What It's About
A transition story about a wine expert who leaves the wine industry in lieu of living a more intentional life.
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!
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
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
- CORKCRM | How to Start a Painting Business: If you're interested in starting your own painting side hustle, here's a step by step guide to help you get started!
- College Student Earns $20,000 a Month Cleaning Houses: A Washington, D.C. student identifies problems in the cleaning industry, then starts a customer service-driven company.
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