173
8 min 4 sec

Wine Expert Loses Job; Becomes House Painter Earning $150,000/Year

After rejecting the extravagant spending associated with the high-end wine industry, an Alberta man looks to get back to his roots and ends up transitioning to something completely new.
Customer ServiceInternationalLow-TechServiceTransition Story

What It's About

A transition story about a wine expert who leaves the wine industry in lieu of living a more intentional life.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Business Savvy & Coordination
Complexity
Low
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Before Simon jumped in with both feet, he decided to conduct some “market research”—the old-fashioned way—by picking up the phone and calling to see if there was any demand for his business. When his research led to landing actual work before his business was even officially set-up, Simon knew he was onto something and, in January of 2005, he launched a window washing and painting business serving the painting needs of Vancouver Island.

If you're not sure who your audience is, do some cold calling to see if your service would be something that people would want. The worst that can happen is that they say no, but it could also end up landing you your first clients like Simon!

Fun Fact

Sometimes your biggest mistakes turn out alright in the end. Simon was painting a summer cottage in rural British Columbia, and everything was going smoothly until the last day when he was cleaning up. The family showed up for the weekend and as Simon was breaking down the scaffolding a can of paint fell off and splashed everywhere—the floor, the table, the couch, the dog, literally everywhere.

Instead of running out the door and driving away like he wanted to, he did everything he could to fix it. He cleaned the furniture, got the dog shampooed, offered to replace the couch and touched up the paint. In the end, his efforts paid off! He got more work from the family, a great referral, and was paid in full.

Notes from Chris

Episode 173

Like all of us, Simon Kuhl’s story starts years ago. But for this episode, we’ll just jump back to when he was 25 and climbing to the top rung of the wine industry in Alberta, Canada. He was working with some amazing people, learning a lot, and drinking a number of amazing wines. For all intents and purposes, he set himself up to have a thriving career in the wine industry.

But just a couple years in, he was burnt out and disillusioned with the extravagance of the industry. He could no longer find the motivation to move up in an industry that promoted such luxury. He wanted a simpler life, more authenticity in his interactions, and a sense of accomplishment in his work day.

So he quit. Simon and his wife, Deborah, moved to British Columbia where he got a low-paying job at a winery. Then, six months after starting his new job, he got fired. Yep, you heard that right, he got fired.

After the shock and disorientation wore off, he discovered that he qualified for an intense 3-week business plan workshop, and this led to the development of his very successful painting service, Sombrio Painting. As Simon put it, “It turns out getting fired was the best thing that could have happened to me.”


MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Sombrio Painting: Learn more about Simon and his transitionary painting business on his website. Check out all of those glowing testimonials!
  • Weebly: The platform that Simon used to create his website for Sombrio Painting
SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

cg-sig-newsletter

Download all episodes from each month:

JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUGUST | SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER

Subscribe Now For A Free Five Step Tutorial

Resources

GET $625 IN FREE TRAVEL

Earn 50,000 travel rewards points (enough for 2 round-trip plane tickets or $625 in travel credit). You'll also earn 2x points on all travel and dining spend, with zero foreign transaction fees.

I use this card every day all over the world! ✈️


Learn More

CREATE YOUR ONLINE STORE

Create your online store with Shopify using an exclusive discount for Side Hustle School listeners. For a limited time, get a free 21-day trial and a 10% discount for a whole year.

Many Side Hustle School listeners are building sites using Shopify's easy-to-learn platform. Try it free today!

Learn More

Quote of the Day
"Defining your success is so important and the experience of creating a business is an incredible learning experience. While it is a difficult road, easiness is not the objective—growth is. Sure, it can be scary to not have a regular guaranteed income, but the trade off is invigorating because there are no limits to what you can do!"
—Simon Kuhl #SideHustleSchool

Sponsors & Gratitude

Try Thumbtack for FREE and consider the job done!

Side Hustle School is brought to you by Thumbtack. From house painting to personal training, Thumbtack makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking no matter what project is on your list.

Download the app or try it now at Thumbtack.com 📌


Get Started

Like the Show? Leave a Rating!

Side Hustle School is for you! If you’re enjoying it, please take a quick moment to leave a rating or write a quick review. It's really easy and it makes a difference! ✅

It also makes a huge difference when you tell your friends about the show. Remember, it's 100% free and listener-supported.


Here's How

Keep in Touch

There’s a new story every single day on Side Hustle School. Episodes are produced to be short and to the point—I know you’re busy. Be sure you subscribe to get instant notification of the day’s broadcast!





To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau