What my business is really all about is achieving people’s vision while staying within their budget. And to do that, I listen to them and I solve problems.
Listening – really listening – to people about what their vision is, identifying the ‘needs’ and the ‘wants,’ prioritizing those things and solving problems in creative, elegant ways to stay within budget are what have made me successful. I take pride in doing quality work for a fair price and that has built my business to what it is.
I started as a handyman while still in graduate school. After graduating with a master’s degree in geophysics from UC Davis, I found that running a small business was a better fit for me, so I got my contractor’s license and grew my business to what it is now. And I learned a lot along the way. When I don’t know something, I admit it and find people who do. I talk to them, listen to their experience, and modify that information to fit the particular situation at hand.
I regularly navigate the city’s permit process, work with city employees and inspectors, deal with subcontractors, and follow city building code. Too often, people think of a bureaucracy as a barrier to be overcome or to get around. But bureaucracies are people. They are run by people and they are put in place for the benefit of people. There is a process. And the process was put in place for valid reasons. Is it the quickest way to the end result? No. Does it help to prevent egregious mistakes and promote a quality end result? I believe it does. Do it right, do it once.
I am a believer in process. I believe in transparency and accountability. And while the process may take more time, there is a purpose to it. In Davis we have a very open and inclusive process. The purpose behind this process is to solve problems in creative, elegant ways and to achieve a quality end result for the entire community. In my experience, the best path to bringing people on board is to get them involved.
I am not afraid of community involvement – I welcome it.