Episode 110 of The Contracting Handbook: Builder & Trades Construction podcast:
I’m going to streamline your listening experience for the time being and put the intro to the upcoming shows here and kind of update you. This here episode will provide my personal take on the intro to TCH for the foreseeable future or until I something changes. If it’s your first time listening to The Contracting Handbook podcast, I’m your host Mike Knoche, formerly known as the man who’s seen it all from season 1. I own and operate Straight Ahead Construction in Fairbanks, Alaska. Strictly ZONE 8 residential. I’m a fool construction sites. I can’t look away. I always want to know more about whats going on over there even if I come off like I don’t care. What can I say, I’m busy! This podcast is now the distillation of nearly 1000 years of collective construction industry knowledge and experiences through discussions with my guests in over 100 episodes. It’s a grass roots effort to share knowledge, empower contractors and tradespeople with knowledge and affirmation. Its also 100% independently recorded and produced. Like Jeff Pacheco at Sweet Buzz Woodworks out of Maine said in his review, it’s a podcast of the trades and for the trades. I’m a carpenter that became a businessman. It was hard and like Robin Clevett so deftly put it on our interview for his own experience, he was a tradesperson with a business problem. That’s where this podcast started out, as a mission to make the business side of running a contracting business easier. The running of the business is nuanced. There’s making time for family, long days on the jobsite, irrational clients, stress, mental health issues, cool ideas, setting standards, honesty, integrity, respect, professionalism, and an absolute need to pull together to recruit more people in the trades, women in particular. We need more builders. It started out mostly oriented towards that business but it has evolved as I’ve spoken to builders around the world. As builders we are connected by the universal experiences, food, problem solving, laughter, failure, skills, jobsite banter, tools and our favorite jobsite jams. We’re not that different no matter where we live. If you’re out there struggling, I’ve been there, we’ve been there. If you’re out there winning, I’ve been there too. The storms pass and the blue bird days return. Like Ryan Smtih, the roof slayer, pointed out in our talk, WERE ALL THE SAME
Ok, ok, we’re all fiercely independent individuals but at the end of the day, we have the same experiences over and over and when you boil it down
we want to do the very best we can with what we’ve got. We’re builders, we’re problem solvers, we create our communities, we maintain them and like The Tool Hacker, Brant Taylor said, it’s in our blood, it’s in our DNA.
Speaking of jobsite banter, the language is staying family friendly on the podcast going forward. It’s not always like that in my real life but you know what? When I started this thing, I wanted all you small human taxi drivers to be able to listen with your kids present. Like Paul Urdell of Erdell Construction out of Edmonton does with his little girl. I want him to keep posting pics like the one he did with his kids superimposed on a pic of Tim and Bryan uhler when they were boys that I pilfered from Bryan to use as episode art. So that’s how its going to stay.
I didn’t know I’d still be doing this podcast coming up on two years later. I didn’t know that you all were gonna listen. I cold called Sean Franis of Apex Home design and then Randy Jones of Fine Remodeling on a Friday afternoon in April 2021 to ask them to join me for a podcast. Those were actually pretty good episodes, mostly due to the guest talent. Though have radio broadcasting experience, my interviewing experience was limited to interviewing potential employees, clients, and my mom in sixth grade. They took a chance on the random dude from Alaska. Then a couple episodes later, Steve Dunne coined the hashtag worldwide construction tribe. And, so, it was. The show must go on.
Let’s go back to my beginnings of self-employment. I never thought I’d be self-employed but it turns out it was a requirement. I was and am unfit for employment by others. With every task I saw what I thought was a better way. Right or wrong, the writing was always on the wall. I’ve created a life that I love through my trade and business development. It allows me to live how I want.
I like other peoples rules about as much as the next guy does… I like to live by my own. And here I am, turning 50 in May, at another crossroads in my building career, excited to be building, and hosting a highly rated and ranked construction podcast. I’ve never craved the spotlight. Even when I was in a rock and roll band. I’ve never wanted it.
You know what the best part of being in a band it?
It’s seeing people dance to music I wrote.
Is this allegory? I think I see a parallel
BTW- we’re putting the band back together man!
Another thing about starting out. Mentoring was not envogue like it is today. It was a word I heard in high school on mentoring day which I probably made other plans for. I now recognize many mentors I had along the way and I want to say this. I missed a lot of their messages at the time because I was talking or thought I knew or maybe I thought they would always be there or pride. Here’s the distillation- though much of that advice came unsolicited- they only said it once.
Keep your ears open people. Your elders and peers, both mentors, are planting seeds. Be vigilant, don’t let pride get in your way.
To go out I have a simple question for you and I want written answers. It only requires a few word answer and it was posed by Jeff Kelley of JK Timberframing in our recent talk. You can answer in a review on itunes, a review on podchaser if you are an adroid person, you can email me from my website…I will read the answers on air in an upcoming episode or over a series of episodes and participation might lag due to when you listen.
This is a unique opportunity for me to get an even larger and more diverse crossection of the construction community involved in the conversation. You guys know everyone is welcome. There no gatekeeper. Its open. I don’t care if you’re on social media, I don’t care about your account size if you are. You know all of my guests are not just insta famous or magazine famous, it’s a slice straight across anyone and everyone. You’re listening to me and I’m just a dude at the end of the road, in the oddly wonderful Fairbanks Alaska and I want to know more about you all.
Ok, phew, here we go….
What was the event or moment the led you to the trades or knew you were destined for the trades?
Where are you reporting this from?
Ok, start sending those responses and stayed tuned for my new segement called “The Furious Fifteen”. Sign up for my newsletter at thecontracting handbook . com and of course write a review on itunes if you have an iphone and on podchaser if you have an android. If you have learned something here, please take a few minutes to help promote this 100% independently recorded and produced commercial free yayhoo production. Posting on those site will auto post to my website but you can leave individual reviews directly on my website too. Your answers to the question are great reviews too!
A big thank you from the land of the midnight sun
That all Ii got
The Contracting Handbook podcast is all about the builders and skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen in the construction industry from all over the world and has recently reached the Top 2% of all podcasts globally. Here you’ll meet the tradespeople who took a leap of faith from working their craft to running the own construction company. You’ll meet people who left lucrative careers to enter the trades. For newcomers to running a construction business, there is a ton of advice on “how to” run your contracting company. For established contractors, you get to meet other industry leaders and get behind the scenes of their business and stay up to date with industry change. Mike Knoche, your host, keeps the conversation interesting. He’s been operating his contracting business for over 15 years in the oddly wonderful, Fairbanks, Alaska. Mike’s philosophy is “we are all experts in how we build where we live, but the business basics and business management are universal”. Join us for this global conversation on operating a construction company, mental health, cool projects, and construction industry progress.
Please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts if you have an iPhone or on Podchaser if you are an Android to help spread the word about this 100% Independently Recorded and Produced Construction Podcast! Rate us on Spotify!
Host: Mike Knoche
Website: The Contracting Handbook