Who I AmAnd How I Got Here
Who I AmAnd How I Got Here
My name is Randall Soules. I come from a very humble background. My father was a preacher, who later became a missionary to Brazil, where I spent the majority of my childhood. In my mind, it was a wonderful place to grow up (of course that’s all I knew, right?). I finished high school in the States, as we called it, and went on to the University of Virginia to try my hand at Mechanical Engineering.
I’ve always been a hands-on guy, and I thought that mechanical meant dealing with tools and machines. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After three years of striving to accept that it was all about theory, calculus, the science of materials, and physics, I left the school and went back to my hometown and got a job working in a manufacturing plant.
One day while working at my factory job, I met a carpenter and asked him if I could learn to do what he did. He told me to go see ‘The Man’ at a very large residential and commercial contracting firm. Which I did. The Man (Doc) was tolerant, I must say, but what he saw was a very green young man who wouldn’t last a day in this business. That was in 1972. He asked how I’d be getting to the job site and I told him I’d be there rain or shine on my bike, which is how I got from Charlottesville, VA to Chattanooga, TN. He really rolled his eye at this statement, but he gave me a job as a laborer. I was VERY grateful.
That’s how I got my start. Right there. I hung on with all my might. The next year I became a carpenter apprentice, graduated from the 4 year course in 3 years, won the city and state best apprentice award, got married, got laid off, had a baby boy, and when times got really tough, I started out on my own. That was in 1978. Looking back, that’s not bad for a greenhorn who would never make it in construction.
One of the blessings of life is being ignorant about the future. I had no idea what I was up against. But ignorance is bliss, and my wife and I became quickly immersed in the business of remodeling. Another baby boy appeared.
In the next few years, we went through many trials and tribulations, as I’m sure you have in your business. We computerized very early, we developed systems for everything in our business, and soon became one of the leading contractors in town. We were never big, but we were always profitable. We continued our education by going to conferences, buying and reading books, and networking with other great professionals. I was a journeyman carpenter, so I kept my belt on for many years. In later years I learned to delegate my duties which freed up time for me to spend with my two perpetually hungry boys and my wonderful wife. I am eternally grateful for the many trips and vacations we took together.
After 31 years in the remodeling business, helping hundreds of homeowners achieve their dreams, I decided to start teaching others about the remodeling business. I made so many mistakes during my career, and I saw a way to help others avoid those same mistakes and take the fast track to success. My first step was to put together a course on managing remodeling business processes. The eCourse is made up of 3 modules, Sales, Production, and Marketing – the big 3 that every owner has to deal with. You can learn more about the courses here.
Thanks for spending your precious time reading about my adventures in remodeling. It’s been a great journey and I wouldn’t change a thing if I could. Remodeling works for me, as it most likely does for you. I need diversity, and I need feedback that I am creating beautiful things and helping others. I hope that I can help you too in whatever way I am able.
Enjoy the journey!
Wishing you the best of fortune, Randall