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As the title goes, would customers shy away from me once they realize I’m 22, or do you think it wouldn’t matter? I’ve been doing painting since I was 17, have done both residential and commercial, and know the job well enough that I can do everything alone. The only thing I wonder is if customers would want to work with me. What do you think?
 

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Up until I was about 22 I worked for various companies. When I was 22 I moved away from home and got a job with a small office and carpet cleaning company. I remember meeting one of the owners at a McDonalds. He had all the equipment needed for cleaning the restaurant overnight, floors (both eating areas and kitchen), bathrooms, windows (squeegeed inside and out every day, 7 days a week. The first night took me 9 hours. The next couple of nights 7 hours each. Every day I would cut my time down as well as figure out better and faster ways to do the cleaning. I also assisted them cleaning carpeting. I paid close attention to what I was doing. Eventually they had me training others to clean new accounts. I also filled in for when others were absentee. Within a short time I was getting my own jobs and eventually struck out on my own. After 2 years I ended up moving back to my parents' house (winter of 1979 in Chicago! I was in Chicago when the snow started. Turned on the radio to hear what traffic would be like going back to Naperville, IL - heard that a semi had jacknifed and was blocking all lanes going where I wanted to go. I decided to go to Northbrook where my parents lived. Got used to being back home and not living with several other bachelors who were in my church.)

After deciding to move back home I started my own cleaning company based on what I had learned first hand and from what I had learned from Jack Roth at Able Supply, a very good janitorial supply house in Skokie.

Had my own office cleaning (and related jobs) business for almost 20 years. I also did my share of house painting, both in and out. After almost 20 years of this (including working late at night or getting up in the wee hours of the morning to clean offices) I stopped and went to work for a real estate manager I cleaned for. She was specializing in foreclosed properties. I swore I would never paint again. I ended up doing some painting on foreclosed properties, but not full time. When the realtor I worked for went out of business I had to figure out how to make a buck. I decided to go back to painting. Shortly after that I joined this forum and have enjoyed all the advice I have read since then.

You sound like you have a big jump on me as far as painting. How have the contractor(s) you have worked for liked your painting? What kind of feedback have you gotten from those you have painted for? If you are hearing good and good you might do what I and many others have done once they have gained the skills to do a job right and realize that can go off and work for themselves. As far as proving yourself on this forum, I would suggest that only you can judge whether you think you and your skills are good enough to find work directly for your customers and not just working for a contractor. I hope some of this helps. You are in the right place for asking advice, something I wasn't in back in the old days. Good luck!

futtyos
 

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No question.

By making this post, you have acknowledged that there will be a bias against you because of your age. You need to do everything you can to counteract that.

Put together a solid website and business cards. Always return calls promptly. Never no show on estimates. Dress the part. Perhaps a collared shirt, carry a portfolio, etc. Provide solid references.
 

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Absolutely you can do it! Among some of the first things you need to learn is how to write a proposal/contract. This will set the tone as to how your perceived by potential clients. I was taught the 30/30/40 rule. First 30% supply's and operating, 2nd 30% payroll and last 40% taxes and my salary. Another note be very specific as to the work and make sure to add your hourly rate for any extras (as you'll learn with scheduling, you've made a promise to be somewhere else!) There are many things you'll learn as you go. Good luck
 

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Absolutely you can do it! Among some of the first things you need to learn is how to write a proposal/contract. This will set the tone as to how your perceived by potential clients. I was taught the 30/30/40 rule. First 30% supply's and operating, 2nd 30% payroll and last 40% taxes and my salary. Another note be very specific as to the work and make sure to add your hourly rate for any extras (as you'll learn with scheduling, you've made a promise to be somewhere else!) There are many things you'll learn as you go. Good luck
Welcome to painttalk. And you are..??
 

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Not sure what you mean? As far as painting? I'd be a third generation painter, who started contracting in my teens and retired back in 2014at age 54. I've done everything from riding on top of a truck on a 30 foot pic spraying dryfall in warehouse's to glazing walls in twenty million dollar apts in nyc. My father and uncles tinted there own paints and my grandfather brushed out walls cause they hadn't invented rollers yet. Who are you?
 

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Not sure what you mean? As far as painting? I'd be a third generation painter, who started contracting in my teens and retired back in 2014at age 54. I've done everything from riding on top of a truck on a 30 foot pic spraying dryfall in warehouse's to glazing walls in twenty million dollar apts in nyc. My father and uncles tinted there own paints and my grandfather brushed out walls cause they hadn't invented rollers yet. Who are you?
Kevyn is simply acknowledging your lack of an intro. It’s something we really like to see posted by anyone new to the group. What you wrote above helps us get an idea of your experience level - so thanks. And welcome to the group.
 

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I say go for it comrade. Don’t let your age slow you down. There are a million reasons why freelance painters fail but having an attitude of humility, hard work, and honesty will go a LONGGG way. Here are my nickels worth of free advice:
-Go for the jobs you think you can handle.
-Do the best work you are capable of ALWAYS.
-Never hesitate to pass on jobs you don’t think you can pull off.
-Don’t be afraid to try new things when existing ideas don’t work.

These things can sound like a contradiction but they don’t have to be.

In addition to all of this, try not to get discouraged when you make mistakes/have unhappy/impossible clients. We’ve all been there. Just own what’s yours to own, apologize, and ask for the opportunity to make your mistakes right. The rest is out of your control.
Good luck!!!
 

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I started my company at 21 and had never painted. Granted it was a franchise, so I got training. The focus of the training was marketing and management, and then a little bit of paint application training. That taught us how to identify paint issues and the proper ways to solve the issue. This way when you were talking to a customer, you could show them you knew what you were talking about and establish yourself as a pro. Producing the job is where the nightmare really started because although I could identify issues, the guys working for me were inexperienced as well and they messed plenty of stuff up. My second summer in business I did $100,000 in business. I was in college, so we only painted June, July, and August. I charge 4 times what I did then, so that is like doing $1.6 million in volume in today's dollars on an annual basis my second year in business.
 

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You’ll be fine. I remember wishing I could say I had 10 years experience or whatever when I was young and starting out. Always do a good job. Be honest, listen to your clients and give a crap about quality and you’ll do well. People appreciate people who care about their projects. Be respectful and make sure to respect yourself and charge enough. I definitely charged too little starting out. 30 years latter I think I’m finally getting the hang of this biz
 
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