The ServiceLegend Podcast – Episode #36 – Breaking Barriers in the Service Industry W/ Juan Vasquez



What is going on? Everybody? Welcome to the Service Legend podcast. I have an amazing treat for you guys today. We are excited to have Juan Vasquez, our Vasquez. Vasquez, uh, as our guest today. Man welcome to the podcast.

Hey, thanks, man. Thank you. Ryan Thank you so much for having me. Of course.

Man. Um, and just a quick intro for those that, that don’t know Juan yet. Um, he’s the founder of and co-owner of Illusions Painting, located in Monterey, California. He and his partner Jose, which he is an awesome dude. I was, you know, I was on an IG live with him this week. They’re renowned for their innovative and creative approach to specialty finishes, making illusions, painting the go to company for some of the most complex finishes in the industry, which we’ll get into that. Um, and despite arriving in the US at a young age with no high school diploma, he achieved great success through hard work, integrity and the business to set up. To set to double in size over the next two years, which is just phenomenal, which is why we have you on here right now. Um, so we’re super excited. Um, and like I was telling you earlier, I feel like Juan and his team is a hidden gem in the Hispanic community. Um, which I am close to myself. Um, and so super excited, man, to get, you know, dive into this. But if you could give everybody some insight into just you, yourself, your team, kind of how you got started and just kind of the foundation of the business there.

Yeah. Hey, thanks, Rhino. Thank you for the introduction, man. I like that. Well, hey, let me kick you out some later. Oh, I got the show. Or should I bring it out? No, you told.

Me to do that, right? So I should.

Have put it on. Dang it. Uh, but no, thank you so much. You know, thank you for having me. Uh, like Ryan says, my name is Juan Vazquez. I was born in Oaxaca, Mexico. Small, um, uh, state on the south part of Mexico. Um, I came with my family to the United States when I was six, 12 years old, actually. And, um, it was really great at school, but I had a kid when I was 16 years old, so kind of, um, triggered for me to find a job. And I guess, like most painters, you know, we don’t we don’t say, Hey, I want to become a painter. You know, we just kind of stumbled up into the business. And my neighbor was a painter, and that’s how I started painting. You know, I was 16 years old. Uh, so I’ve been in the business for God over 25 years now. Wow. Um, I started I founded Illusions Painting back in 2007. Uh, so for. God, 16 years. 17 years. We’ve been working with, um, illusions, painting. We’ve been able to grow, I think, the last 4 or 5 years when we stumbled at PCA and actually started just, uh, I don’t know, learning about more of the business and not just being a painter. I think it’s when everything just really changed. Uh, we’ve been able to grow and build a very good team that I think that’s key in any business. And, um, God, I mean, now we started the podcast, which is awesome, you know, it’s just something unique that we really close to our heart. Jose You know, I’ve known Jose my whole life. He’s actually my brother in law and now he became a partner in 2018. And, um, that’s how we’ve been able to build what we have now.

And it’s amazing to the fact that you started in oh seven, which is when you had the kids came here, right?

No, no. I had my son in 1998.

Okay. So he had it early on. Okay. Okay. Yeah. What’s crazy about that is I had Presley when I was 18. So nice. So, you.

Know. You know how that feels, right? We are young parent. It’s tough. It’s a tough place to be. Yeah.

And, you know, I was 18, and I was, like, thinking I could go to college, play football. You know, I was good at sports, but I made the decision to start providing income and support and resources for the family. Um. I want to talk. I want to talk about that a little bit, because I think that the the contractor industry, whether it’s painting home services, whatever it is, that’s kind of common, where we we choose to provide, um, versus chase our dreams. But you did both, you know, and that’s really, really cool and inspiring for me. Um, when you started in zero seven. Talk about that a little bit. You know, we had the recession right, right there. Um, what was it like starting in kind of that that time?

Well, you know, I mean, I’ve been in painting, like I said, I worked as a painter for for probably 8 to 9 years since 98. And then in 2007, um, I guess it was more of my mentality. I always thought that I can do something a little different than my old boss did. And so I came to my boss and I said that I wanted to do something other than painting in his business, correct? And he basically said, Hey, you know, all I have is a painting job for you. And that’s all I didn’t want to be my I guess my idea was that I didn’t want to be 60 years old and pushing a brush. You know, at that point, that was my thing. Yeah, I started the business in 2007, just like you said, right around the the recession. And I had my second daughter in 2008. We bought our house, our first house in 2008. Brand new business. So it was one of the toughest things I’ve done in my life, I think. You know, we ended up losing our house due to everything that was going on. Having a new baby. One of the things that I kind of bring out all the time is that there was a time where I didn’t have money to put gas to go find a job, you know. But we had the dream and little by little we started working, getting small jobs, doing the best job I could. I mean, if I show up to your job, I’m going to go above and beyond, you know? So it went from like, this kid can paint to this kid can take care of business to one. It’s learning new. I guess we’ve always liked to create new things and be different than everyone else. So I think that’s really what helped me succeed in the business. You know, just bring something different than anyone else in my area.

Yeah, which is kind of funny because most painters or business owners don’t think that way. Most most painters are. How do I be better at painting, painting, painting. Right. But you’re thinking about how do I lead? How do I start a business? How do I build culture and those things? And I’m kind of curious, like, why did you. And this is probably more like a personality or kind of a kind of an innate thing, but why did you think that way? Like, why did you think more than painting?

I guess it’s personality, just like you said. You know, I, I remember at a young age, I always used to get criticized that I was lazy because I always felt that there was an easier way to do things, that there was always someone who can do it for me better. Right? And that was always my mentality. But it’s not a bad.

Thing, right? We learned that in business, it’s not a bad thing, but like growing up, it’s a bad thing. You’re like, you’re lazy. You want everything done for you. But in business, it’s kind of a good thing.

No, exactly. And I guess that’s that’s it always been my mentality. And at first I didn’t. I saw it more as a curse than than than a good thing, you know, And because everybody looked at it that way, um, but I always said, hey, you know, I can only do so much, but if I can create a group that shares my same mentality and the shares all these things, then we can do more, you know? And so I guess within years I was able to develop that.

Yeah. Yeah. Love that, man. God, this is good. Um, and for those of you that are live, you can put in comments. Hashtag live. Let us know you’re live. And if you’re on the replay, put in comments, hashtag replay. And if you’re on Apple or Spotify, which is where we get most of our our listeners from, let us know how we’re doing right. If you’re on Apple or Spotify. Let us know that you know how we’re doing, whether it’s review, send an email in to podcast at service Let us know how we’re doing. We love to have that feedback. Good or bad or indifferent. We want to know how we’re doing. Um, but getting back to here, um, what I want to chat about real quick is, um, was there anybody in the Hispanic, um. Kind of community or world, if you will, that motivated you.


You know, back in. Back when I first came here to United States, um, I was in a, in a program that is used to be called Yo Puedo, right? Yes, I can. Right. And it was just I was mainly focused on Hispanic kids, just came here, didn’t know the English, the culture, and that was me. So there was a teacher. Mr. Castro. Right. He, um. He was one of those leaders that would just teach you about your roots, where you came from and everything. But it was so great. But guess what he really worked on is just saying, find your potential. And, you know, think about yourself not as an immigrant kid, but as a human being and follow your, you know, your dreams and stuff and that person. I think that to this day has been that guy. You know, Um, I’m very I’m very passionate about what I do in general. I love my business. But lately I think we’ve gotten into trying to help more of the Hispanic community, um, and especially the painters, you know, because we’re in this trade. And so it’s not that I want to follow their footsteps, but I want to show them that there are so many resources out there. We just kind of close our mind to those and don’t really look. We’re so worried about working and focusing that day to day and not creating a future or working on mentality to grow internally. And that’s what I’ve learned from these teacher. You know, I was probably 13 years old and to these days I follow a lot what I’ve learned from him.

Yeah, there’s so much power in mentorship and coaching, but the first thing that is involved in that, if you’re the kind of on like on the receiving end, is being open minded to the new technologies and new softwares and new ideas and, and things like that. And, you know, it’s a really big deal not only for, you know, the Hispanic community, but also just for humans in general, too. Um, I mean, I don’t care where you’re from. There’s so much opportunity in this world. There’s so much opportunity. But a lot of times it takes a lot of good friends, family, mentorship, coaching, um, groups like the PCA, um, to kind of open our minds and our eyes to these possibilities, man.

And, you know, I think that one of the biggest things that I’ve learned, I think the last few years is it’s not much what you can do because sometimes we can have the opportunities right on our face. But I’ve learned that, you know, the right mindset, having the mindset really helps because if your mind is not set where it needs to be, you can have all the opportunities in front of you and you’re just not ready, you know? And that happened to me. Like I said before, I stumbled up to the PCA. I ran my business for over 12 years with 4 to 5 guys and I was just worried about being busy. I wasn’t worried about building a business, building anything. I was just worried about the day to day. Just work, work, work, work. And um, it was my mindset, you know, I had the opportunity, same opportunities I have now, but I wasn’t ready.

That’s true. You know, it’s kind of like reading the Bible, you know, for me at least, like I can read a passage from somebody, um, at one season in my life and then a different season, and I just interpret it and, you know, I see a different perspective or I read a different book. Um, or I speak with somebody like you or, you know, Nick or Jason or all these different people in different seasons in my life or business. I, you know, I perceive that information so much differently and I love that man. Um, and I want to chat about real quick. So we got kind of the onboard there, um, when you started the company. Um. What did that look like? Like, was there a big team? Was, you know, I mean, I know you mentioned it was 12 years with four people, but just talk about, um, how it started, Um, maybe like the first couple of years, Um, what did the marketing look like? What did the team look like? Kind of just like the foundations of the first couple of years.

God, I mean, man, that’s been a long time ago. And let me tell you, the whole marketing thing, it’s so new, you know, because back then we had pagers. We didn’t have cell phones. Okay? So it’s not like you’re going, Oh, what? Our page. I believe you. I’m old, man. But, you know, it’s interesting because in California, we need to have our, you know, our contractor license. Um.

33, I think.

Right. Yeah. 30. Wow. Yeah. Good.

Um, I’m from California, so. I know.

Go. All right. Um, so didn’t have a plan. My plan was, I. I am not going to work here anymore. I’m going to start working on my own, and that’s it. Um, I remember having my last job. I gave my. We do big jobs, so I told my boss, I’m going to finish your job. So it took me about a month to finish that job and I went on my own. Um, I didn’t have a plan. No plan, no strategy, no nothing. I remember at that time I was going through a very tough time in my life. I said, you know, I landed a very good job. I made some decent money. And I was like, Good. I took a trip. I took a trip. I spent some money. I came back. And for the first couple of years, you know, it was just like that, as long as I’m busy. And then I was like, You know what? I need to get my license. I then I got my license. Then I was doing everything. I mean, I was painting every day. I was coming home and doing my whatever you call invoices, which if I if I look at them now, it’s like, how did I get away with that? You know, uh, never really had money because it was always like, the minute I got my check, it would just I thought I got a check for me.

I didn’t realize that, you know, you need you need to have this for your company. You need to, you know, have a structure for your company. I didn’t have none of that. So I think for the last for the first two, three years, it was like that. Um, it was very, it was so different in those in those years because like I said, it wasn’t a lot, um, out there like it is now. You know, we, we, we can just listen to a podcast and just learn how to do something, you know, systems back then it wasn’t a lot of that so it was and in our area it’s very old school. So for us it’s like, you know me, I go paint your house and that’s that. And that’s basically how my business was for the last for the first three years.

It’s crazy because, um. Were you guys always in Monterey?

Um, yeah, I’ve always been in Monterey. Um, so I don’t know if you’re familiar with the area, but. Yeah, so, so Monterey, you know, you have.

Lived in Bakersfield, so that’s just. There you go. Yeah.

Three hours. Three hours inland. That’s right. Yeah, that’s right. We’re talking about that. Yeah.

I used to work for Steve Holloway painting. Um, that’s where I got my start. Was right there in Bakersfield. And, um, we would go down to Santa Barbara and do quotes there, too.

Yes. Yeah. So we have a very unique place here in the area, right? We have Pebble Beach, which there’s, I mean, just incredible homes. I mean, just very, very expensive homes, exclusive homes. Carmel But then we also have like the, you know, vicinity cities where like, you know, now and days, I mean, half $1 million won’t buy you anything here or anywhere else, I guess, you know, But back then.

Like a, like a one bedroom condo these days.

Oh, God, it’s horrible. Yeah. So being in Monterey, you know, it was great because we do have these jobs, but the problem is that no one is going to give you one of these jobs because you haven’t proven yourself. You don’t have the reputation. You, you know, they don’t trust you. So anyone who did all those big jobs just because they had a name, they built the name they were when I when I was working, they used to call me the kid. So, you know, when I first went on my own, they were like, Oh, I got this kid. You know, Actually, my first big job that I got is because I made these these fiberglass doors look just like real wood, distressed wood. And the contractor came in, He’s like. He’s like, where do we get these door from? I’m like, Oh, no, I finished it. The owner wanted this like, no way, No way. He was like, I got to introduce you to this guy. He introduced me to another guy. That was my first break, you know, then then I got into the bigger homes.

Still got the first break. Like. Like your skill or your ability to kind of produce solid stuff or creative stuff. Kind of got your foot in the door, it sounds like.

Till this day. Till this day. I think really what really helps us in our in our business, our company is the skill and the creativity that we have. We’ve always we, we want to we want to set ourselves apart from the rest. There is many painting contractors and there’s some are very, very good. But for us it’s like, okay, if I can do this good, how can I do it better? And how can I build more on top of my name? And I guess that’s what’s really set us up and our company to be where we are.

Yeah, I love that. Um, so real quick, um, you know, I think that. You have this, this, this internal ability to see the bigger picture. You know, like and that was probably always in you, but it really kind of, um, you know, you know, I, you know, I would say you express yourself, if you will. Um, on that last job, right? You know, that you mentioned. But what helps you kind of, um, get that to your team like that. Like that excitement about the future, that excitement about innovation and new technology or new, you know, um. A new creativity when it comes to the trade. How do you translate that to your team? Like, how do you build that culture with Jose or or the team?

Um, you know, honestly, I guess when when you’re around someone and you project that, you sense it. I guess what has really been happening the last couple of years is we knew what we wanted, but we weren’t quite sure how we want it. So now that I can actually get the right people that understand our beliefs, I believe our beliefs, you know? So I guess now it’s it’s, it’s understanding and finding, not just the team. Because in order for me to translate that, I have to have the right team, right? So I guess by by having the people who have the right attitude and, and you know, and the right, you know, like like Nick says, you know, good human beings, I can teach you how to do everything else, but I cannot teach you how to have the right attitude, you know? So I think it starts with that. And then after that, you know, we’re we’re very big into training and we want to do training away from the job, not in the job, but away from the job. So we will cut, right? Because it’s so different. We realize how different that is. We make sure that we bring them lunch, burritos. Everybody loves their burritos, so we bring their burritos. We try to make it fun.

You still paint with a burrito. You can eat the burrito.

Right? Right. And then and I guess really most people now, they realize they’re like, oh, my God. Like, yes, I can probably go make a couple dollars more here. But what I tell them, like, I want to teach you how to be a good painter, how to mean excel, like I’ve known painters who basically been painting for a very long time. And when I tell them to read a can or to tell me about a can, they don’t know anything. And that’s what we started with our guys. We put, you know, and now what we do is we put that on our website and they can go back to our, uh, uh, what are you, our sessions that we have, right? Our trainings. And so we are taking the time to instruct them to talk to them, if any of them. Okay. He goes back to what I did when I left my boss. I had this thought if I left the business where I was because there was nothing else for me to grow into. And how do I expect to have people to grow within my business? So I got to give them that. So if I find the right guy. I found a good guy two years ago that I had to let go because I wasn’t ready to give him the place he needed. So we worked on building that place first. So now when we found the right guy, God like things have changed magically. But you got to understand, you got to do the work. We like the.

Work. We have to change first before we bring in great people. It’s not like we’re going to be the same, like the same technology, same system, same culture, leadership. And then we’re going to, you know, I, I, I preach it to my team that we don’t want to, um, find people to solve our problems. We want to find good people that can come along this journey with us that’s not going to just like so for example, if you got a problem with prepping or hiring, it’s not like, you know, you know, alarm, alarm, alarm. I’m going to hire you. You’re going to fix my problems. No, no, no. I’m going to build the business, build the foundation, build the culture. I’m going to bring people into that culture, you know? Um, and like that. You mentioned the training, too, man, because I think that training in home service abroad or, you know, even any business really like nail salons, I mean, yeah, we’ve all experienced going to a nail salon or a, you know, whatever, right? Um, with, uh, Chick fil A, you know, whatever you go to. I’ve experienced just really bad people that did have bad customer service. And, you know, a lot of times we look at that person like, Oh, you’re a bad person. But it’s really the leadership, you know, it’s the culture, It’s the, you know, the training, the company. Why do you feel like training was so important to you, you know, early on? Like, was that something that, you know, that you experienced when you were working somewhere or you didn’t experience that you wanted to implement? Like, why is training people in developing people so important over there?

Uh, I think.

It should be everywhere. I think about 2 or 3 years ago when we were at the PCA, we were the whole conversation was the new millennials, you know, the millennials, the millennials, you know, and everybody said that to last.

Right? Yeah.

So we’re like, Oh, there’s no more good painters. Like, oh, like the good painters are gone and stuff, right? And so I guess as a business, you know, we have to we have to be prepared for the future. What we have already now it’s good, but we have to think ahead and we have to think in the future. So back in the days, you know, you used to be like, oh, I want a good painter. I want to have a painter that has the experience. But now the problem is that if there’s not a lot of those, how what can I do to build my next team? So what we created is like, okay, I’m not going to treat my millenniums the way I used to treat my other guys. Okay. They have different needs. Um, thanks to the PCA and people I’ve, I’ve, I’ve met, I’ve learned to listen to books. I don’t read books, but I listen to books and, and, and basically just having to be ahead of yourself, having to see the needs of your business. Um, so what we saw in our business, like, okay, I cannot go find a guy that has 10 or 15 years of experience that knows how to do everything. I’m not going to find that guy anymore. You know what I do.

Somebody already, right? Like, exactly.

Right. Yeah. But if I get a group of guys and I can start training them, and the next three years, four years, I will have a crew that is going to just work exactly the way I want that is going to follow exactly the same values that we have. But how do I do that? I can’t just go out to the job and be like, Oh, here, grab this brush this way and grab and no, it doesn’t work that way. Most I read a book about, you know, it talks about the five languages of love, right? Everybody has their own love language. So you as a business have to understand what this person needs and what that other person needs. So you have to it becomes work, you know, and it becomes work for you. Understand? Try to understand your team. Try to build a team that is not just here to produce for you, but you are producing for them as well. They see you as a value as well. If you I told my guys in five years, I mean, in three years I will build you to a to a painter that can go anywhere else and succeed better than a lot of other painters. I’m hoping that you stay stay with me because I’m going to pay you so good and I’m going to treat you so good that you don’t want to leave me. But if you leave, you’re going to elevate us because anyone’s going to be like, Oh, wow, I want to go work for illusions. Why they give you a training. They, they, they they value you as a person. So that’s why I think that training, it’s very important just just how to build that person.

Yeah. And I love that you bring in the, the, you know, personal stuff into business where you’re caring about people like what Nick talks about decent human beings. And by the way, Nick is a big fan of yours. Oh, yeah. He’s a big fan because when I posted the stuff, he goes, I love me some. Someone you know I love you. Uh, yeah.

You know, we’re. We’ve been. We’re getting. They they getting me in there, and I’m starting to be involved more with the BCA. And I love it because I do feel that it’s really going to be something great for me for be able to help and to grow personally, you know? Yeah, the.

Pca is, I mean, amazing man, because, you know, any, any organization or company that is elevating the trade at any level. Crms, you know, you look at HOUSECALL pro or drip jobs or service legend or even like Eric or Brandon, you know, like these different marketing companies. For me, I don’t see them as competition, you know. You know, I see it. All of us were elevating the business, um, and we all can charge more and we can have better teams, better cultures. We can serve our employees better, we can give them better salaries and promotions, and our customers benefit from that. And the whole, the whole industry just elevates. Um, and I’ve seen that happen in HVAC or garage doors. Um, and I haven’t seen it as much in painting and coding, but it’s starting to happen over the next, you know, like over the last couple of years and you know, and I can see it moving forward. It’s just, you know, it’s just, you know, just a joy to be a part of man. Um, and, um, I wanted to talk to you really quickly about the marketing side of the business because I feel like what you guys are doing over there, you know, is, you know, is really, really awesome when it comes to social media. And I know Jose, you know, does a lot of that for you. But if you know anything about that and can speak to that, um, what are you guys doing for marketing? Um, are you guys landing bigger projects for commercial or residential? Is it cabinets exterior kind of what is kind of the, you know, like the game plan when it comes to marketing over there for you guys?

Um, you know, for us, I guess we do. Um, so we do marketing for different things, right? So I think offline marketing is kind of like more that’s what you guys call it, right? It’s kind of like what we do more and for us it’s more just our presence, you know, in the area. Um, most of the most of the social media we do is to stay connected with people and to be relevant. Um, but it doesn’t really land us business, um, but it really gives us the presence that we, that we, that we want. What really helps us is all of our guys have a uniform, our trucks have logos, um, everywhere we go or anything we use has our name illusions on it. We just made sure to create a brand and a lot of the companies in our area, they drive, they drive. They drive around in a truck that doesn’t need that doesn’t have any signs or they’re they don’t care about their image. And that’s something that we’ve done in order in our area. And I think that’s what’s really helped us, um, some of our niche area that we’re, we’re in, they don’t really care much for the, for the advertisement because these are very, um, I mean very, very high end, uh, clients.

Most of them, we get them through a contractor. Um, so we bid the job. Yeah. Gcs. Okay. And so basically, um, now that they know that we can deliver certain things, they’ll call us and say, like, Hey, I got this job, I need a we don’t really do a lot of estimates, which is what they want a budget from us and we do time and material most of the jobs. So we haven’t really had the need. But lately we are really looking into going into the repaint business and more maintenance. So, um, what we’re going to do is we’re focusing more on that on our social media, on our on our website. And then now we’re going to take an ad on one of the papers that it’s, it’s, uh, that’s distributed exactly in the area that we want to work. So yeah, love that.

And think you guys are doing more commercial, it sounds like, than, than.

No, it’s residential. So for us it’s mainly high end residential. So most of like, it’s like.

New builds or like like, like, like home remodeling because, because the GSEs come into it. Right? Where like, how come, how come it’s going through GC versus bid to owner on that, on that like on the residential.

So unique area where we are most of the houses that are owned. By and Pebble Beach and Carmel. 80% of them are owned by people from all over the country or all over the world. So people come in here and they buy a $20 million home and they’re like, you know what? I don’t like it. Take it down, build another one, you know? And and that’s the kind of money that they have, you know, And so we’re able to get into that niche. So, uh, you know, some of the jobs we do we’re in right now, we’re in two jobs and we’ve been in one for a year and a half. The other one, we’re there for about probably about six months now. Um, so they’re very long projects. Yeah, like.

Big, big, big projects.

Their homes, their homes, but they look like museums, you know? Okay, So that’s mainly what we do.

Interesting. Okay. So the kind of like the traditional, you know, you know, run ads or do SEO, get these, you know, five, ten, $15,000 jobs for cabinets, repaint, interiors, um, that’s not necessarily what’s currently going on. But but, you know, I heard you mentioned that kind of what you want to get into, particularly to add on some more revenue. Um, talk about that a little bit. Like why would you want to get into the residential space in that perspective? Um, and kind of how you guys plan on kind of knocking that out there?

Yeah. So I think for the last couple of years we’ve been kind of stuck in one spot. We, we really grew to where we can kind of grew with our systems we had in place and now we, um, now that we got to the point, we’re like, okay, we need to build more. Some of these projects are amazing, but they take too long. So the return on the money is very slow. So we need more revenue, you know, we need more capital. And the more we’ve been involved with, you know, listening to other painters, how they do it across the country, it’s like in order for us to grow, we looked at our business and we can say, okay, in a high end residential, we can probably top out around $3 million. You know, in order to be effective and then have the right guys and everything. So now how do we grow our business? We have a lot of repeat clients, so now if we jump in, jump into the repaints, we still want to be in the higher end of the repaints, but it’ll be a faster return that requires a little bit more of, um, advertisement and marketing and stuff.

But we feel that we can grow that around two mil. We also have a shop where we outgrew our shop now and it was part of the same, uh, illusions. Now we are hopefully moving. We are moving into a bigger shop now we’re are building that shop and creating that and doing its own promotion and marketing. So we’re hoping that we get about 2 to $3 million there and now we’re building a sandblasting division that we feel that that is going to get us to more revenue. So for us, it’s to grow our business but have different revenues and different aspects of the business, right? So that’s what that’s what our business is shaping to be. And so it is a it is an ongoing, um, how do you say thing? Yeah. So that’s what we’re doing right now in the business. And we do realize that by changing into and that’s why we’re looking into the newspaper because we did a little research and a little survey and we realized that that paper that, you know, that specific paper does very good return for anyone that uses it. So that’s what we’re focusing on that. For the residential units.

Man, that’s awesome, man. Um, you know, also SEO would be, you know, is really, really good for that area. I bet you there’s some good search volume, so, you know, good SEO, maybe some Google, um, optimizing the Google business profile will probably really good. Um, and then maybe some Facebook ads. But um, you know, you got to have a system for it, you know, like, you know, it’s a whole different system where it’s like setting the appointments, running the appointments, follow up. Like, you know, it’s a whole different, not completely different business model, but it, I mean, it can be sometimes, you know, it.

Is a it is a different business model, you know, from our model, most of the people that I’ve known that that have done these high end residential, they’ve never really needed an office because as long as you’re giving a weekly report, they don’t care. They pay you by the hour and they pay you materials and that’s it. Yeah. So we built our office. Now we have two two assistants in the office. So one runs admin and one runs the, you know, anything that has to do with bills pay. And now we’re building our other side of the office. Now we brought a project manager who is taking care of who’s actually, uh, getting Jose out of the field, you know, Now the project manager.

You’re going to stay in the field forever, bro, if you’re watching. No.

No. You know, he’s the creative part. You know that guy is. I mean, if I say I will sell something and he comes and I’m like, Hey, dude, I need to make this happen. He’s like, Give me a day. You know, he’ll make it happen, you know? And then we have Oliver, which you met, I believe, over in, uh, in New Mexico. And he does all he’s doing our marketing, our website. He’s making sure if we do a, you know, like a podcast, he’s just the brains. He’s just smart, you know, And we’re now we’re building our estimating system, which we already have it, but it’s very hard to use for a high end residential. But now we are going to start using it on our repaints, um, the callback system. So that’s how we’re like we’re looking into as a company camp or is it called.

Yeah. Company camp. So dude it is, it is awesome man.

I love it. So, so we’re looking into so now we’re, we’re creating so, you know, in our business, you’re never going to stop, I guess, right? Yeah. You owe it. If you stop, you’re all news, man. I, I that’s kind of what I’m getting at. You know, There we are keeping building and as we go, we see the necessity for something and we create it and then move on to the next one and then we create it. So that’s basically what we’re doing right now.

I love it, man. You are the epitome of a entrepreneur, visionary, just moving and shaking like me, man. And a lot of us that are running businesses also. Um, just real quick before we go on. Yeah, I think it was Brian, if I’m correct, I think it was, yeah. Brian Um, he is, uh, helping run a company in, um, there in, uh. Gosh, Brian’s going to kill me. Uh, I believe it’s, um, San Jose. Gosh dang. I’m. I know. What’s wrong. Um, it’s like Central California, But anyways, he had a question here talking about, are you guys doing concrete coatings? Um, they are in your area. They’re a client of ours. Oh, nice. And they get a lot of leads in your area. I think it’s a little bit further than their area. Are you guys doing coatings or is that a even a thing on your guys’s map at all?

Concrete coatings. Yeah. So, um, so we actually got trained by diamond coat, uh, out of, uh, Colorado, Grand Junction, Colorado. Uh, we are actually certified installers. Um. We are, we do it. We haven’t really focused much on it, but we can do it. As of probably last year, we used to any lead that came in for the concrete coatings or garage coatings. We always used to pass it on to another contractor. And so but now our intention is to grow. So now we’re like, okay, how can we alleviate that? How can I create a division that is going to not going to take away from my, you know, high end jobs and start doing that? So we we are planning on doing that, but we want to have every division to to run the leads doesn’t really, really don’t pay for them. So what we do is diamond coat anyone that reaches out to them. We are their certified installer and Northern California. So if a lead comes in, it comes our way and we choose whether we take it or not.

Nice. So, Brian, if, uh, if you guys want to connect, um, I’m not sure if you live with us anymore, but, um, where’s where’s?

Well, maybe wherever he’s from. I mean, yeah, that’d be nice to connect. I love to network, man. And we know a lot of people up in the Bay Area. It’s about two hours from now in San Valley area.

There in Santa maria.

Santa maria. Oh, so that’s south. That’s about. Got us about four hours south from where we are.

Yeah, there’s a lot of business in there for coatings. Um, so, Brian, if you want to reach out to Juan, um, what’s a good email for you on for, for Brian.

So you can reach me at admin at illusions painting I’m sorry. Or you can find us. Uh huh. Well you can always find us on on Instagram, you know.

Yeah. Reach out to me too if you need it, man. I’ll connect you guys up. Um, yeah. And then also, any new are you working with Annie?

Oh, I love Annie. Annie is one of the first ones I’ve. I’ve met in PCA, and I admire her. She is one of the smartest persons I’ve ever met.

Yeah, she’s awesome. I met her with, uh, I think it was last year. She’s. She’s awesome, too. So she was just kind of, uh, giving you a high five on, you know, like a pat on the back here saying you’re the real deal. So thank you, Annie. Yeah, appreciate that. Annie Um, okay, so a couple things before we get, uh, you know, to the end here, um, is, you know, I, I just love your, your ability to see what’s next. And I think going back to what you mentioned earlier about the mindset side of things, um, and the information side of things on reading books and podcasts and, and you’ve really kind of, um, opened your eyes to what’s possible after the first 12 years of, you know, quote unquote suffering as a, um, Jason Phillips calls it contractor prison, right? Where it’s like you’re just spinning your wheels. But you really, really, I mean, just took to the next level. I mean, just, you know, you’re really the epitome of somebody that understood and saw some information and capitalized on it and made moves. And, um, you know, I want to talk a little bit about that real quick. Like, um, what makes you want more out of life? Like, you know, is it, is it more money? Is it, you know, I want a boat for my family or a second home or like, what keeps you going to the next level? You know, is it you, your team? Is it the family? Like, kind of what moves you, man?

Uh, you know, I’ve had this question asked, like, other all times. Um, I’m not driven by money, I’ll tell you that much. I am. I love certain things, but I’m a simple man. Um. I just. I just feel that for me, it’s. Okay. Let me say this first. I’ve already I already feel that I have fulfilled most of my wildest dreams growing up. I feel that I have surpassed that at this time. I feel comfortable with myself, that I’ve done what I’ve done. I feel that I’ve never in my wildest dreams thought of it. So now from here is how can I build and how can I leave a legacy? I have two kids. Um, you know, my son is 25 years old today. Shout out my son. That’s my son, Michael. Happy birthday, Michael. Happy birthday, mijo. Um, so I have a 25 year old. I have a three year old grandson, and my daughter is going to be 15 years old. Um, I guess for me, it’s. It’s, um. As the legacy that you leave. You know it’s it’s it’s what you if you really create and love something man do that. I enjoy what I’m doing right now. I’m actually like, I get up really early and I go to sleep late and I am doing the things that I, I just love to do.

You know, I’m building a a team that can actually go to work and take care of the business. And at some point, you know, I always said, oh, I want to be away from it. I feel that the more we grow, the more I want to be part of it because there’s no headaches anymore. You know, there’s there’s all of these challenges, but I can influence that. So honestly, that that’s what drives me. And now with the arcade, I have been involved more and now we’re creating this Hispanic It’s called El Pintor Hispano, which is a new committee. And we’re going to try to help the new Hispanic community that is very close to my heart. So for that, I mean, I’m not looking to say, hey, how much money am I going to make? You know, I have learned so much from these guys. You know, every day. Every day I get like yesterday we had our first meeting and I’m you know, I’m listening to a couple of things. I’m like, you know what? I’ve been in this business for such a long time and never has these things crossed my mind. So I guess it humbles you every time you do that to me. That drives me. That’s the that’s the ticket for me. Yeah.

It’s kind of like it’s kind of like all of this mentorship and coaching and information that you were, you know, got the opportunity to kind of receive, you know? Yeah. Um, what we realized when we grow up and we’re adults now is we realize that not everybody has that information. You know, not everybody has the access to the Jasons, the Nicks, the wands, the Ryans and the Tommy’s all these different guys. Um, and so I really love, you know, you experience that information that, that those opportunities and it sounds like you want to, um, turn around and give that back to others that were in the same position as you are. And I think that’s the coolest thing about entrepreneurs is the majority of entrepreneurs fill this exact same way, like we fill this exact like this, this overwhelming sense of, um, just opportunity. And, you know, we’re, you know, we’re humble. Um, there’s a lot of arrogant entrepreneurs, you know, obviously. But, um, you know, I think the ones that we met a couple too, um, but I think the majority of like our community here, the, and the painting space and the home service space, you know, a lot of the folks that I’ve met have this same dialogue, you know, And I really love it, man. I really love it. And I think that there’s a lot of power in this dialogue, in this conversation. Um, so real quick, you know, I want to ask you about the a little bit, um, you were just awarded a position there, right? If you could speak to that a little bit, um, how, you know, kind of what that means to you and what it’s going to look like moving forward over there.

Um, man, you know, I’m honored. You know, I came to the PCA in 2018. First time I got there and I actually put my trip to the PCA on a credit card because I couldn’t afford it. Wow. But and this was when. When you did that. This is in 2018. Wow. You know, I. I went down to San Luis Obispo. My sales rep from Sherwin-Williams brought me down there, and I heard Josh Abramson. Yeah. Abramson from over.

At Albright and. Yes, sir. Yeah. Yep. I know him. Yeah.

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And so I heard him talk about the PCA and what it did for his business, and I was like, Man, I was like, I want to go there. Jose’s like, Oh, I don’t know. And we’re just barely, you know, partnering up. And I was like, Man, the company will pay for it. And he’s like, Uh, how? We don’t have money. I’m like, Don’t worry, we got a credit card. So, you know, we went and from there it’s, you know, at the end of the story. But um, so for about, you know, for about the first couple of years, um, just to be able to be exposed, you know, to everyone, it just changed, it changed my mindset. I think I already, I kind of had the idea, but I didn’t know how. I always used to say like, Oh, we’re going to do this, but I don’t know how. So my mind changed to like, This is what we’re doing and this is why we’re doing it. You know, so being part of the last year, I got an opportunity to become one of the to be part of the Speakers Bureau. So we did 12 different presentations for Sharon Williams throughout the country. So we got to fly anywhere and, you know, 20 different places in the country, different states, and sharing our experience and knowing how much people actually have the need for just sometimes you just need that little push or just hear it from someone you know. So we came back and started How can we impact more people? That’s how we came up about Los Pintores podcast because, you know, now we can reach out to more people and showcase other painters across the country. Uh, reach out to me last year right before the expo, and they offered me to be part of the the board. So now I am part. I’m a.


God. Blacked out. Blacked out here. So now I’m part of the board, and, um. Hey, you know what?

You’re a new member, so you know, it’s okay. You know it’s okay. It’s gonna, you know, slap you on the neck. No. Oh, God. Yeah.

Like, come on. Hey, you know, this is. You know, this is all new to me. Like, this is something I would say. I’m a painter at heart, but now it’s just, uh, being part of the board and being. I mean, just learning from these guys, sitting in a room with these guys like Nick, like Nigel, like these guys who. I mean, they’re. They’re just. They’re incredible. And just to be able to listen and be part of that, to me is mind blowing, you know, the experience. But more than anything now, now Nick comes to me and he’s like, Hey, can you run the Hispanic, you know, committee? And I’m like, Oh, Nick, man, yeah, let’s do it. You know, it’s hard for me to say no. And then I realize how much work I put in the back of my bag. But but I love it. You know, I think it’s a big responsibility, but more than anything, um, I see what I can learn and I see what I myself and being part of this can impact on someone’s life, you know?

Yeah. And the dude, the coolest thing about you is you talk about all of these opportunities that have been presented to you, whether it’s business or whatever it is, mentorship. Um, you always see it like I do, which is, um, as a opportunity to learn where, um, in reality, as you’re learning, you’re, you’re guiding, mentoring, um, and really advising and encouraging others, you know, and that’s the biggest thing. Um, you know, I forget, I think it was Tim McGraw. There was a song, uh, it was a song by Tim McGraw. Um, I forget what it was, you know, it’s called, um, humble and kind, I think. And it talks about just being humble and kind and teaching our kids to be humble and kind. But there’s one sentence or lyric, I should say, in the song where he says, you know, when you get where you are trying to go, turn around and reach out your hand, you know? Um, so if you get where you’re wanting to go, whether it’s financially or you have the company you want or the marriage you want or whatever it is when you get there, it’s not time to just sit there. It’s time to turn around and say, Hey, how, how can I help you? You know, what can I do for you? Um, and what I’ve learned with that too, it, it sounds like you learned it as well, is when you do that and like, through that process is you grow so much faster, um, through this exercise of serving others. Um, if we could.

Just, everybody else does that for you. You know, everybody does. That’s it for you. And I guess that’s the point, you know, is when you’re so worried about your growth, you isolate yourself. Yeah, but when you but when you create a group, you know, I read this not too long and I actually read this part, you know, about either being a boss or a leader. Um, you know, and they say how, you know, I don’t want to be a boss, you know, I want people to trust me. I want people to actually believe in me and be there. You know, I’m I don’t talk with people much money. To me, I always money is a secondary thing. Some people are look at me and they’re like, no, no, no, no, no. That’s the first thing you look at. I’m like, No, because if I bring the value, everything else comes with it, you know, of course you’re going to be smart. And how do you protect yourself? But it’s it’s it’s a mindset again, you know? Yeah.

Yeah. I love it, man. Um, well, dude, it’s been awesome talking with you. I really, really, um. I mean, I’m personally, you know, inspired by what you have going on. Um, and I’d be super open to, uh, just helping in any way with the podcast so much. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

No, and yeah, and that’s what we’re talking about. You know, I walk around with my painting legend, so like I said, I go to the gym and that’s what I wear every day. I’m like, God, he got me to it. I’m like, Man, that would have looked so good with an illusion sign on the bottom, man. But it’s okay. You’re good.

Hey, I can make it happen. Maybe, you know? We’ll see. Yeah, we’ll see.

Work out. Let’s work on it. We’ll work on a deal.

And I have a, um. A garage legend as well.

Oh, sure.

Yeah, we have, uh, you know, like, a different stuff we’re doing, But, um, man, it’s just super cool to see what you’re doing, man. Like. Like it. It’s, um. You know, for me, it’s. It’s awesome seeing the industry grow, um, you know, more leadership, more culture and the things that you’re talking about here, I know that will impact, um, not only Hispanic painters, but also just painters in general. Because the reality is, is that what you’re doing is what I call trailblazing, which is, you know, you’re innovative and you’re leading the way in the space. Um, and I just am honored to highlight that and really, really appreciate your time, man. Um, I always like to end with two questions. So what is the best advice or best advice and the worst advice? So what is the best advice you’ve ever received when it comes to business?

So Nick Mace, I don’t know if you know Nick Mace. He is from Wolves by Design out of Denver. Um, I you know, our mind kind of gets very going. And sometimes you want to conquer the world. I get that. I get that all the time. He told us one day to me and Jose, he goes like, Listen, before you want to go conquer the world, be the best in your area, be the one in your area, be the dominant person in the area, the go to in your area. Once you do that, then you can move forward. You know, and I think that was one of the best advice for our business at that moment, because we were already trying to skip a couple steps. But by doing that, it brought us back to be like, No, we have to do that. And that’s what we did. I mean, I can I can say without bragging that we are one of the best ones in the area. One of the two go people in the area, you know, and that it’s something that we created. Worst one, I had a guy used to work for me, you know, very great guy. And right now he he helps us in jobs and stuff. And his thing was like, you know what? I want to get this job even if I lose a little bit. I want to get it. So I used to be like, Why would you want to lose on a job? Like, why would you? You know why? He goes, Well, it’s better than no job. And I was like. Why? So the minute you tell me I want to get this job, but I’m going to be losing. I don’t care if it’s much less or whatever. No. So in our business, I think I’m talking about business. I think that’s those are two things that really pay, you know, really set the pace for us to move forward.

You know I love that man. God, I love that. It’s funny because your best advice as an entrepreneur is like, there’s steps to, you know, and there’s levels to success. And a lot of times us entrepreneurs, um, and if you like to be creative and your visionary, like you could be an entrepreneur, right? Not every business owner is an entrepreneur, but yeah, there’s all these ideas and shiny objects and it’s easy to get distracted, right? Um, with things that don’t make you money or they keep you busy but not, you know, productive and things like that. But, um, and then the worst advice is, is really cool because it’s, it’s, it’s really focusing on making sure that there’s profitable projects going on. We’re not shortchanging ourselves. Um, it’s just a really, really good information to share, so I really appreciate your time. This will get syndicated via email, Apple, Spotify. So make sure you guys tune in to that. Um, we do not run any ads on the show, so there’s no, there’s no vendors or ads. You know, currently on the show. Um, the only way that we grow is through word of mouth mainly, right? So, yeah, if you’re on Apple Spotify, leave us a review. If you’re a contractor, share this podcast with others. We’d really, really appreciate that. Leave a comment, leave some feedback for us. Um, and want really, really appreciate your time. Man. I know you’re a busy guy. It’s Friday.

No, no, thank you, Ryan. No, I mean, we’re here, you know, like I said. And if you guys do go check out Los Pintores podcast, too. Yeah, Where can they, Uh, Spotify everywhere. You can find podcasts. Same thing with us. It’s not a structure. And as good as Ryan’s here, but we’re working there. Okay? We’re working. We’re working on it. Trying to learn from the best. Yeah.

Man. Really appreciate your time. Um, guys, we’ll be. I’m going on vacation next week. I’ve never been on vacation. Really? Ever. Um, we. My wife and I got married almost five years ago, and we started our first business almost four years ago. So we’ve been doing business, business, business, building teams, building everything. So, um, we’ll be off next week from the podcast, but we’ll be getting back to it the week after that. Um, so hopefully you guys had an amazing Q2 and really wish you guys an amazing start to your or sorry had an amazing Q1 and really wish you guys an amazing start to your Q2 and we’ll see you guys very, very soon. So have an amazing weekend. We’ll see you guys soon.

Ryan, thank you so much, my brother.

Thank you, bro. Peace.

Thank you.




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