D. Barrett Decorating - The Blog

Lockdown Randoms Thoughts

How would you deem success or being successful? Is it having the money to buy whatever you like when you like? Owning your own house or houses? Having a fleet of vans on the road and several people working for you? Or could it be enough to earn enough money each week to live comfortably and spend your spare time with family? 

This question gets asked quite frequently on the various forums I'm on and the answers always vary, there are a lot who crave to expand their business, who will work long hours every day to try and achieve this and there are plenty others who are happy to turn up each day, provide a good job, go home and switch off from it all, though being self employed its rare switching off ever happens!! I think at this time in my life I'm the second one. There are days where I will happily daydream about expansion, about employing more people and going for bigger jobs, but mainly I am really happy working solo for wonderful customers and providing a service they expect from me. It's in these daydreams I wonder how my daily life compares to others, would those who work longer think I'm not as dedicated as they are or would they wish they could swop positions?

Some decorators will go to extreme lengths and while I always admire their workmanship I can't help think its a massive overkill. I'm all for protecting customers homes and I do take great care in it, but I'm seeing some set up what looks like a crime scene to paint a feature wall. Probably takes them a whole day to set up for a job that takes 2 hours but it looks good on Instagram. Not all jobs will warrant that level, flip side to that is that others wouldn't even do the minimum on any job. Suppose that is what differentiates mid and high end decorators to the local basher.  Take spraying for example, there are some who will spray everything regardless but you can't tell me taping up and spraying a two foot bit of skirting is quicker than getting a brush out and doing it. Finish will be good no question but sometimes the brush is better.

I started writing this before lockdown 2, the sequel, landed. Now I think a lot will deem success in a different way. It's just surviving, getting through each day and hoping work will still be there. Since July I have been quite busy, although it has slowed down again now and understandably so, and I know several others who are coming out of this better off or at least busier than before. Thats a good sign and its showing that people want to get on with things. I truly feel for those businesses who rely on the public for business, nightclubs, weddings, pubs, conferences, sports arenas etc who have had the biggest impact on them. I hope come next year we can all return to normality, and I mean normality because everyone walking round in a mask two metres apart isn't normal, start enjoying life again, go on holidays and have entertainment back. I intend to face 2021 head on and take me and my business up a level, wheels are in motion for this and I will look back at this year as the reset year, the year when we all went ok this is how things were and we don't like it, lets change for the better. Without masks hopefully!

Side note: 

In my day at work I lose myself in podcasts, audiobooks and Spotify so I thought I'd list a few of what I listen to and maybe direct one or two of you in their direction, see if you like them. I won't list the links as I use Apple podcasts and it may be different for the providers you use, just search the names and you'll find them.

Decorating wise first, its the Brothers of the Brush podcast, really good chat with decorators opening up about their business and lives.

Two Decorators and a Microphone, basically says what it is in the title! Swearing included.

Dulux Academy Podcast, this is a new one out but as I'm in Select I have to mention it! 

These next two are my favourite ones. First is Chart Music, a podcast where two music journalists and the host take a old episode of Top of the Pops and strip it down, giving praise and destruction to bands and presenters in equal measure while going off on tangents almost every link. Brilliant and a welcome trip down memory lane each month. 

Quickly Kevin, Will He Score? is a 90s football podcast. Another must listen weekly. 

I also listen to The Offensive, a mockumentary football one, the Price of Football and for my sins The Liquidator a West Bromwich Albion podcast.