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Trade News

From the Desk of Mike Colon, Blue Collar Black Book Founder
Jul
14

What The Future Holds For Construction: How Contractors Can Improve their Odds

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Have you ever had a “Run In” with The Law? It doesn't matter if it was a traffic stop, something more criminal or if you called the police to file a report. One of the very first things that officer did was get your photo identification and radio records for a check of your personal record. I know exactly why they do it and I am sure you do too. What I am about to tell you is how this first critical step relates to your future in the trades and how it will improve your chances for survival. So sit down, relax and keep your hands where I can see them & don't make any sudden movements.

Before we get to the how this relates to construction, please be patient and allow me to get you into the right frame of mind for a moment.

In case you didn't already know, I will let the cat out of the bag. Police “run us out” most importantly for officer safety. Their survival depends on knowing who they are dealing with, and what that dispatcher tells them will affect how they interact with you from that point forward.

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Jul
06

HOORAY for ME and SCREW YOU! The Attitude that is Destroying the Construction Industry

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It's a complex world we are living in. Too complex and unnecessarily so, or maybe we have mentally devolved so far that we don't realize we are all connected and what effects one of us affects all of us. In construction the “hooray for me” attitude manifests in a gruesome game of killer take all (all that is left over). Strap on some body armor, in this article we will suffer the slings and arrows of OUTRAGEOUS Fortunes.

Why are Tradesmen willing to work HARDER to make LESS?

 

Answer me this: Why is it that Contactors, the people who build the world we live in today, are now dismantling their very potential to make a living? If you have your own business in the trades, you probably know exactly where I am going with this article.

 

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Jun
16

Who puts the "CON" in Contracting. Newsflash: It isn't the Contractor

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99% (that's a made up stat but I'm guessing it's within + or - .9%) of all learning on the job consists of trade skills. Unless you grew up around some sketchy people or witnessed a lot of people “hustling” other people you are probably under prepared for the shenanigans (by shenanigans I mean: throat slitting, back stabbing, step on your back as your drowning in a puddle of water games) that get played in the contracting business.

People joke around and cast dispersions about Contractors and Subcontractors being Con Men but who is REALLY doing the CON'ing? Put your wallets, keys and phone in your front pockets, take off all your valuables and look tough. We are going walking through a rough neighborhood on a dark and stormy night.
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Jun
10

The Customer Is often WRONG and Why We Should All Grow a Pair

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Ladies and Gentlemen this aint retail and you aren't some pimply faced teeny bopper - this is the Construction Trade.  If you have been doing your job right over the years, you are a highly trained, extremely knowledgeable professional in your chosen field. It's time to put aside whatever bull the Corporate talking heads have said about customer service, they're barely paid minimum wage themselves and are chiefly concerned with not embarrassing their overlords.  So strap on your big boy pants and grow a bigger pair, because this is going to get REAL ....  Interesting.

Let me start by saying if you're an apprentice, take notes but refer all client questions to your supervisor until way later in your career. In addition let's put aside all the ways a client can do you wrong, we will save that for another much longer and painful article. We are going to focus on the experience of getting a client from start to finish on a particular job.

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May
29

How Long Can You Go......In the Trades?

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How long can you remain a working contractor?  This is a topic that has always been on my mind and it guides a LOT of my planning and career choices. The topic came crashing back into the front of my mind this morning when I was walking into a Lowes and I ran into a contractor we have used for years. He was walking in for his first day of work ... AT frigging Lowes!

But WHY would he leave behind a good contracting career?  That's a good question with a long answer.  So put on your seat belt Marty, we're cranking this thing up to 88 MPH - and believe me - where we're going we don't need roads!

FACT:  Very few Tradesmen make it to Retirement Age

So what does this mean for the rest of us?

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