Tough Times and Integrity September 2010
How does a person keep their integrity during tough economic times? The following article will hopefully try to at least start the dialog of how and why? Let's start by stating the definition of “Integrity”: possession of firm principles: the quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards.
During these extreme tough economic times that are filled with uncertainty, distrust, and with an out of control Federal Government that‘s growing faster and bigger than any referral list that most painters could only dream of having. So when I mention fair play, competition, and may the best painter get the bid. I know there are a lot of painters who will read this article, and may feel I’m naïve, or just plain stupid!
Whomever is reading this I assure you that I’m neither naïve nor stupid. I do hope my thoughts, opinions, and subject matter will connect with the majority of readers. It’s also my intention to have other painters share their thoughts and experiences on this subject. I will do my best to be open to feedback, suggestions, and comments. Whether I agree or disagree I will be respectful and hopefully objective. So, with that being said I would expect the same from whoever responds to this article.
My hope is this blog will not only provide an open format for the professional painter, yet also a format between the painting contractors, and their products of choice. I'm also hopeful that our favorite paint manufacturers will communicate with us using this forum. I'm sure if they choose to it will be by encouraging their sales representatives to use this platform to share their knowledge (or lack of in some cases) of what may be coming to our trade in the near future? As a self-employed painting contractor I’m extremely interested in what’s going on in the world of Paints and Coatings, yet to expect the manufacturers to share any information that would be helpful would be a stretch, and therefore would make me naive!
However, the fact is whenever my Sherwin-Williams sales representative and I get the chance to chat I usually ask questions, and bring up issues regarding what’s the latest news from SW? When I’m speaking with a painter who uses Benjamin-Moore my first question is why do you use BM paints?
My main concern is to stay well informed during the present and the near future. I then usually take as much pertinent information and economical predictions that can be applied to the following year’s business plan. I also like to know what’s happening with the larger paint manufacturers. Are they doing anything for the small painting businesses during these challenging times? Such as, do they plan on having another 19% increase on materials during 2011 as they did in 2009-10? If so why? And what action can the painting community take? These are serious questions and serious issues that we need to ask, and challenge during times when the small painting businesses are barely making a profit, or keeping their doors open.
Without trying to sound redundant it's my hope that we will hear from the veteran painters, yet also from the amateur. Maybe someone who wants to open their own painting business someday? Hopefully there will be an ongoing section devoted to both novice, and amateur painters. This way they will be able to learn from professionals. And I do mean professional painters! You know the ones I’m talking about…anyone who possess such qualities as integrity and common decency.
And I don’t just mean how to paint, or learning the so called tricks of the trade. This is something a painter should already know (at least 75%) before starting a painting business. You should know how to display your integrity, honesty, and ethics. I believe painters are finally pulling out of the stereo type of all being alcoholics and druggies who are liars, and unreliable. I would also like to see that the painters who are craftsmen and women get their due respect.
Remember being patient and steadfast, and of course painting and prepping every day if possible will make you a skilled and experienced painter (craftsmen). Also if painting is a craft you want to pursue…Great! If you are only pursing the profession to make some quick money you can safely bet you will not last long, and your work will be shabby at best. However, if you plan on starting your own business and like to paint and want to be creative (decorative painting and paperhanging), remember stay in business for the long haul!
The winter months are nearing, and so are the “Winter Blues” the days are shorter and the nights are longer (I believe I heard that in a song?). However, statistics show that the lack of day light can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder in much of the population.
We also know that certain colors can either help or make your blues more intense. At Phil’s Quality Painting we specialize in Color Psychology, and can help with choosing the right colors that could help abate your SAD moods. So what do you say…let’s put some color back in your life and on your walls.