Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
My Dad was a Sub-Contractor and laid carpet by trade. I filled my weekends and summers working with my Dad laying carpet. While being his helper, we would go to buildings, houses, and apartments to pull up the old carpet and install the new one.
Carpentry was tough work, and it was this very job that drove me into working with computers for a living. I saw how hard my Dad worked and the toll it took on his body over the years. But while I worked with him, I learned some valuable lessons that I still put in practice today.
The outline of a typical day laying carpet:
Start of the day: Dad always wanted to get the materials and get to the job site by 7:30 or 8:00 am at the latest. So that meant we were up and in the truck no matter the weather at 6:30 and for a student who spent all school year with this schedule, it wasn’t fun to keep that up during the summer or on a Saturday.
Lesson Learned: Set a schedule and stay on schedule. I’ve owned my own business for over 13 years, and I’m always in the studio at 8 am without fail. No one has to tell me to get up or get to work because it instilled into me at a very young age and I found value in that.
Morning Shift: Dad had been laying carpet for quite a while and was very good and quick at his job. I pretty much just held, moved, carried and filled in where needed. But watching Dad, he always had a plan and process to the project. He looked over the place and then set his plan in action.
Lesson Learned: My Dad had a plan and stuck to it and by doing so completed the project like a seasoned vet. That allowed me to learn to review a project, set a strategy and stick to it. I may have to refine it, but we set a plan instead of approaching it with a Ready Fire Aim approach.
Lunch: Dad always picked up a sandwich from a convenience store or a local shop. So, I got the chance to eat at some cool places in New Orleans. But I learned to look around and experience the area. Don’t cross town and step over something that may be a great benefit to you and it be right under your nose.
Afternoon Shift: Because Dad was so focused on his job in the morning, we finished most of our projects by lunch. Then if he wanted to make more money, we went back and got another job for the afternoon. Many times, he just took off at midday.
Lesson Learned: If I stay focused, I can accomplish a lot of work in one day. While I don’t stop at noon, I’ve always taken off Friday at noon as long as I’ve owned my company.
The last thing I’ll leave you with was my Dad’s Toolbox. It wasn’t much to look at as it had seen years of use, but it did its job. The tools inside were covered with carpet stains, wax, loose nails, dull knife blades, scratches and much more. Any one device didn’t do too much, but all used together, allowed my Dad to be a Rockstar when it came to laying carpet.
Takeaway: Have the right tools, use them correctly, and you will succeed.