I have fond memories of my grandfather growing up. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and my grandparents live here in Wichita, KS. About once a year, they would make the trek out to Pittsburgh. One thing about grandpa was that he always wanted a project to work on when he came. I remember as a young boy watching my grandpa work around our house on many remodeling projects ranging from a bathroom remodel to a room addition. I was probably 7 or 8 and he gave me a hammer and some nails to “practice” hammering into a board. As I got older he let me get more involved in the remodeling projects.
I believe I developed my love for woodworking, building, and remodeling from my grandpa. I was fascinated by it early on. He is a good man and taught me much about work, business, and life. I would like to share 7 qualities my grandpa taught me about work, business and life that have shaped my character.
Use Straight Boards (Quality is Key)
We were working on a bathroom remodel, and I remember spending hours at Home Depot looking for the best lumber. He wasn’t going to settle for warped or crooked lumber. We would eye down the lumber and go through so many 2x4s (I’m sure Home Depot was not pleased with us) until we had what we needed. He explained to me that this framing material needed to be top quality in order for our bathroom to turn out well.
Maintain your stuff
I’m not sure how many scoldings I received for leaving my bike or my shovel outside overnight. He was an advocate for taking care of your things. As I got older he taught me the value to make sure your saw blades are sharp so they cut the wood nice and clean.
I’m not sure if I know anyone that was as hard a worker as my grandpa. He grew up in the depression and had to work for everything. He had a small farm in his young adult years, and we all know how much work that is. In my teen years and college years I remember thinking, “wow, he just keeps going!” He has great perseverance. In my early adult years, my grandpa in his early 80s, would still be coming over to help me on my house – roofing, demo, and carpentry. He has lived his life revolving around and being fulfilled by hard work. I’m seeking to pattern my life after his.
Take a Break
When noon rolled around, Grandpa would be dropping his tools and his tool belt and heading for the house. Without fail, my sweet grandma would have the table set and food on the table for her man. Grandpa would always make sure he and I would be nourished and hydrated so that we could “get it done” after lunch. And Grandpa I don’t think, could take a long lunch. He had an urge to get back to work right at 12:30. He taught me the value to taking a small break in the day to rejuvenate, but not to linger too long.
Faith and Family are First
Grandpa loves his family. His faith and his family are what drive him. He would do anything for us. He never worked on Sunday but would go to church in the morning, and then we would gather around the table for lunch. These are such great times that I look back on with fond memories. His example helps me to keep my priorities straight in life – it’s hard to do that sometimes!
I can’t think of a more helpful person in my life. He is always on the lookout for ways to help people. He is known throughout his neighborhood for helping people–from catching rats in the basement to changing out a garbage disposal to picking up mail for his neighbors when they are away. I hope that I can learn to be as helpful to others as Grandpa someday!
Serve your Customer
After he retired, Grandpa had a few side businesses to keep him busy. Whenever someone called with a problem, he would call them back immediately and go take care of the problem. He always did a nice neat job. He would communicate the problem and how he was going to solve it. His customers loved him and were constantly calling.
I know this is not the typical remodeling contractor post you see on very many websites. But I believe that business is about people and relationships. This article is a little bit about me as well as the culture of our company, Pinnacle Homes. You could say that Grandpa wrote my business plan for me.