• Standing Out, The Influence Ecology Newsletter, Transactional Competence, Transactionalism

Standing Out

Joni Rocco, Program Faculty, Influence Ecology, Transactionalism, Transactional Competence

Create a Healthy Work/Life Balance by Standing Out from the Crowd

Influence Ecology Member News: Joni Rocco Hardwood Floors Magazine

by Joni Rocco
The Influence Ecology Newsletter August 2019

My husband, Joe, and I have owned our small, 3/4” solid hardwood installation and refinishing contracting company, Artistic Floors by Design, in the Denver area for the past 13 years. Throughout the past several years, we have undertaken some unique projects to differentiate ourselves in our marketplace.

From the start, let me be clear: Neither Joe nor I were raised by entrepreneurs. In exchange for the service of both our (retired) Air Force fathers, our families received regular paychecks and benefits such as free health care. We met at the University of Colorado, but neither of us ever took a course through the College of Business, and both of us worked for large companies until I was able to stay at home and raise our kids.

In 2006, Joe was laid off by a Colorado Springs flooring company and decided he would open a wood floor contracting business focused on remodeling homeowners. I naively figured it would be short-term until something better came along. But then, I had an aha moment: this business was doing well for a small, owner-operated company in the southern suburbs of Denver. Artistic Floors by Design survived the Great Recession and could support our family, probably for the rest of our lives.

But I missed Joe. To keep the pipeline going, he worked long hours, including time spent doing estimates on his way home in the evening or on weekends. While money and career always are a concern, our family is as well. If we were in this for the long haul, a change was needed. I think a lot of us get to this point in our contractor career, but I think it’s also a legitimate concern for every person in this industry and others as well. Balance in life matters, and spending too much time and effort making money can harm health, family, and other unavoidable, inescapable conditions of our lives.

So I offered to help Joe with estimates. He was worried it would be too much with four kids, even though they were all now in school full-time. I was a little nervous myself, wondering if I would become one of those crazy moms flying through the carpool line at school, throwing snacks and yelling for everyone to be quiet while I talked with a client on the way to sports or dance practice. I was also scared I would stink at math and embarrass myself with the measuring tape in front of prospective clients. I had no idea what grading was and still am challenged occasionally by [Continue with the original article]

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