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EPISODES

  • Episode 50: Hiring to Your Weaknesses... AND Strengths?
    Episode 50: Hiring to Your Weaknesses... AND Strengths?

    Episode 50: Hiring to Your Weaknesses... AND Strengths?

    Episode 50: Hiring to Your Weaknesses... AND Strengths?

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Michael Turcotte, proprietor of Turn Cycle Solutions!

    Michael built and grew his New Hampshire-based business with the usual hard work and hiring team members to cover his own weaknesses... But he also made the unique decision to hire people with similar strengths to his own. Why would he replace his own strengths with a costly employee, and how did this decision help his business grow? Listen to this episode, and you just might find out!

    00:36 - The Scoop on Turn Cycle Solutions

    02:22 - From Grandma’s Breezeway to 18 Trucks!

    07:33 - The Hiring Process: Covering Your Weaknesses

    10:30 - Letting Go of Your Strengths

    12:59 - The Employee Pipeline: Weird & Wacky

    16:59 - Balancing Family and Business

    20:41 - Cleaning Up a Mess

    21:42 - Dad: The Cut-Up

    22:58 - Patience is the Word

    24:34 - Keeping Positive

    29:10 - A Typical Day

    32:24 - Mike’s Key Advice: Go Do What You’re Good At

    33:45 - Human vs. Machine

    36:13 - Closing Remarks: How to Get in Touch


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Michael Turcotte

    • Runtime

      37 Minutes, 43 Seconds

    • Air Date

      February 12th, 2024


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  • Episode 49: The True Meaning of Leadership
    Episode 49: The True Meaning of Leadership

    Episode 49: The True Meaning of Leadership

    Episode 49: The True Meaning of Leadership

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Dean Leber, a top leadership consultant at The Leaders Group!

    The corporate world is full of bloated questions - "What's the difference between a mission and vision statement?" and "How do I empower my employees to become good leaders?" These questions seem jejune on the surface, but Dean has real, authentic answers to them that can help you, your team, and your business. Listen to this episode to find out how!

    00:15 - Opening Statements

    00:56 - 75-Hard… 113 Days

    01:45 - An Introduction to Dean Leber

    03:20 - Lebership

    04:49 - The Definition (and Importance) of a Mission

    07:38 - Unify, Inspire, Move

    08:35 - The Less Corporate, the Better!

    11:32 - How Long Should a Mission Statement Be?

    13:10 - Revisiting the Mission: Whenever It’s Relevant

    15:16 - Culture is: Values, and Action

    17:08 - Reaching Your People: The Intrinsic Method

    19:31 - The Five Towers Interview Process: Unicorn Wrangling

    21:16 - Structure: Developing and Empowering Leaders

    23:39 - Balancing Risks: Aim Small, Miss Small

    27:19 - Good Leaders Ask Questions

    28:45 - Addressing Failure: Meter Your Expectations

    31:16 - Mike Demands Sheep Talk

    32:48 - Read Philosophy: Dean Recommends Stoics

    34:12 - How to Get in Touch: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    34:58 - Mike Biffed It

    35:28 - Staying Young: Diet, Exercise, and Learning

    36:57 - Closing Remarks: Shoutout to MLB and Michaels Group!


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Dean Leber

    • Runtime

      37 Minutes, 35 Seconds

    • Air Date

      February 5th, 2024


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  • Episode 48: From Scraping to Scaping
    Episode 48: From Scraping to Scaping

    Episode 48: From Scraping to Scaping

    Episode 48: From Scraping to Scaping

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Chris Manzela, co-owner of BradManz Landscaping! Chris has been working since he was only 14 years old, but he's progressed a long way since then - from $3.75 an hour bussing tables to owning his own business and a massive football fan cave, Chris' steps forward have not been small! What's his secret? Listen to this episode, and you just might find out!

    00:15 - Introductions

    01:32 - Whoa! New Sound Effects!

    02:11 - An Introduction to BradManz Landscaping

    04:26 - Getting Started… At 14?!

    06:16 - Food Service Wages… Thankfully Have Changed!

    07:04 - Picking (and Losing) a Partner

    08:05 - Chris Can Do It: Getting a Degree

    10:39 - Brickman!

    11:35 - Managing Over Maintenance

    14:21 - The Beginning of BradManz

    15:08 - Matching a Spirit of Generosity

    16:54 - Where’s the Work Ethic? Lazy Podcasters!

    20:54 - Broadcasting from the Bills Sanctuary

    21:16 - Building a Business: It Always Starts Small! Go Above and Beyond!

    24:51 - Do You Know, and Do You Care?

    26:39 - Shoutout to The Town Tinker!

    27:48 - Valorous Volunteerism: Shoutout to Ronald McDonald House!

    31:09 - Competition is a GOOD Thing! Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help!

    36:59 - Take Care of Your Unicorns!

    40:44 - A Day in the Life of Chris

    43:47 - A Well-Oiled Gearshift

    48:13 - Communication is Paramount!

    49:31 - Pay Your Bills!

    51:58 - Chris’ (Incorrect) Prediction for the Big Game

    52:51 - How to Get in Touch: bradmanzlandscaping.com

    54:11 - Closing Remarks: Shoutout to MLB and Michaels Group!


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Chris Manzela

    • Runtime

      55 Minutes, 14 Seconds

    • Air Date

      January 29th, 2023


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  • Episode 47: Ownership vs. Management - Dimitri's Story
    Episode 47: Ownership vs. Management - Dimitri's Story

    Episode 47: Ownership vs. Management - Dimitri's Story

    Episode 47: Ownership vs. Management - Dimitri's Story

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Dimitri Skrinik, the Project Manager at MODS National!

    Dimitri's had an exciting journey, between emigrating from Moldova, leveraging internships into running his own blue collar business... And then leaving it to manage construction projects using shipping containers! Why did he choose Project Management over business ownership? What have his experiences taught him? Hear the answers, his story, and more here, in this episode!

    00:15 - Where IS the Dirty South?

    01:24 - An Introduction to Dimitri Skrinik

    04:17 - Why Construction? Thanks, Dad

    06:35 - Discipline: The Ups and Downs

    09:04 - Purpose Through Religion

    10:40 - The Wild West That is… Shipping Containers!

    13:45 - That Start-Up Feeling

    15:03 - Balancing Gigs: There’s Always a Solution!

    16:39 - The Moldovan Advantage

    18:20 - Get Out of Your Own Way!

    20:14 - Controlled Chaos: The Drifting Method

    22:22 - Dimitri’s Business: Taking (and Returning) the Reins

    26:57 - Working with Family isn’t Easy!

    27:59 - Owning a Business is Great… If You Can Handle It!

    32:38 - Entrepreneurship Means Marketing & Salesmanship: No Matter the Business!

    35:01 - There’s No Such Thing as an Accidental Cowboy: Horses are Scary, Man!

    37:41 - Keep Getting Better: Dimitri’s FunHouse

    40:05 - Dimitri’s Advice: There’s Never Been a Better Time to Enter the Trades!

    41:15 - How to Get in Touch

    42:03 - Closing Remarks


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Dimitri Skrinik

    • Runtime

      43 Minutes, 19 Seconds

    • Air Date

      January 15th, 2024


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  • Episode 46: Advocating for the Trades - AGC NYS
    Episode 46: Advocating for the Trades - AGC NYS

    Episode 46: Advocating for the Trades - AGC NYS

    Episode 46: Advocating for the Trades - AGC NYS

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Brendan Manning, the Vice President of Education & Environment at AGC New York!

    The AGC (Associated General Contractors) specializes in discovering and solving the problems caused by federal and state legislation that pertain to the trades, and informing and working with local tradespeople based on that information. Whether it's by focusing on the legal side, directly training local business owners, or partnering with local organizations, the AGC is a fantastic Blue Collar advocate! Listen to this episode to learn more about their important mission!

    00:15 - Introductions: Happy Holidays!

    02:36 - Associated General Contractors of New York State: What Is It?

    04:41 - A Proactive, Reactive Organization: Weighing Potential Consequences of Policies

    09:01 - Bills: Separating the Valuable from the Crazy

    10:08 - A Better Way to Build: The Power of Computer Modeling

    11:26 - Mike’s Chicken Mansion: A Perfect Example

    13:25 - Nurturing the Budding Blue Collars: The Education Side of the AGC

    17:20 - Which Training to Do in Person, and Which You Can Do Online

    18:36 - Gaining Members During COVID: The Zoom Method

    19:54 - Affordable Programming: Funds Scholarships!

    21:45 - The Value of Schooling: Give Kids Options!

    23:14 - Shoutout to BOCES!

    23:51 - Don’t Go to College as a Statistic!

    25:37 - What Goes Into Running a Business: Stephanie’s Story

    29:18 - Cooperation to Improve Competition: P2P Networks

    31:46 - Building Capacity for Natural Diversity

    33:11 - Business Owner, Tradesman? Either Way, AGC can Help!

    34:20 - Membership Options

    36:22 - Suicide Awareness

    37:33 - Joint Operations: Partnering with NESCA

    40:33 - A Brief History of Brendan Manning: Banking, Software, Y2K, and More

    42:19 - Brendan’s Key Piece of Advice: Find a Good, Specialized Attorney and Accountant!

    44:07 - How to Get in Touch

    44:49 - Closing Remarks: Shoutout to MLB and Michaels Group!


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Brendan Manning

    • Runtime

      46 Minutes, 6 Seconds

    • Air Date

      Janurary 8th, 2024


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  • Episode 45: Revolutionizing Workforce Development with BoomNation
    Episode 45: Revolutionizing Workforce Development with BoomNation

    Episode 45: Revolutionizing Workforce Development with BoomNation

    Episode 45: Revolutionizing Workforce Development with BoomNation

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Brent Flavin and David Johnson, co-founder & CEO, and Sales VP respectively of BoomNation! Finding workers and finding work - that's the biggest challenge the trades are facing. BoomNation breaks through the drawbacks of job boards, combining effective professional services with a fun and personal user experience. If you breathe Blue and want to work Blue, BoomNation is your solution!

    00:15 - Introductions: Welcome to BoomNation!

    04:00 - Not a Recruiter, Not a Forum: A Community

    08:37 - Facilitating the Connection: Cutting Through the Noise of a Typical Job Board

    10:58 - 90 Days, 98-Million Users Reached!

    12:11 - Professional and Fun: All in One

    16:40 - Helping Not Just Employees, But Employers, Too!

    18:24 - 92% Application Dropoff Rate?! How BoomNation Fixes It

    22:11 - The Upsides of a Union… Without the Downsides

    23:54 - Derek Arrives, Thumbs Appear

    24:40 - Getting Into the Trades: Never Too Early, Never Too Late!

    27:17 - Getting (And Staying) In the Trades

    30:56 - See a Need, Fill a Need: The BoomNation Origin Story

    36:34 - From Passive Project to Top App

    38:10 - A Great Project Starts With a Great Team!

    39:30 - You Want Quality? Pay For It…

    43:45 - …But Pay Alone Isn’t Enough! Be Responsive!

    46:40 - How to Get in Touch

    47:28 - Shoutout to MLB Construction and Michaels Group!

    48:15 - Closing Remarks


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guests

      Brent Flavin & David Johnson

    • Runtime

      49 Minutes, 11 Seconds

    • Air Date

      January 2nd, 2024


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  • Episode 44: Fabricating the Future
    Episode 44: Fabricating the Future

    Episode 44: Fabricating the Future

    Episode 44: Fabricating the Future

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Terrence Musto and Robert Manasier - the creator of Fabbro Industries, and the business mentor that helped him do it! From a humble start building custom bikes to running his own professional fabrication shop, Terrence's business is a stunning example of the kind of value a business mentor like Robert can provide. Want to learn how to take that idea of yours to the next level? Listen to this episode to get a few clues!

    00:00:15 - Introductions

    00:02:13 - “Fix it in Post”? NO!

    00:03:21 - Fabbro Industries: From Motorbikes to Machines

    00:07:05 - The Demise of Apprenticeships

    00:08:05 - What is a Fabricator?

    00:11:14 - Riding Your Own Bike: Living the Dream

    00:13:26 - Earning Approval: A Multi-Step Process

    00:18:42 - Meeting Manasier: Taking the Motor Out of Motorbike

    00:20:54 - Good ol’ New York State: Michael and his Cycles

    00:22:01 - Building the Business: Outmaneuvering the Metrics

    00:25:53 - Private Enterprise Beats the State Every Time!

    00:29:28 - Blabbing About Beards

    00:31:02 - The Incubator: Build Out that Beachhead!

    00:35:42 - A Clear Pathway to Success: The Output DOES Matter!

    00:37:29 - The Play Entrepreneur… You Need More Than Just an Idea! Be Coachable!

    00:41:19 - Both Parties Need Accountability! Mike’s School Story

    00:42:35 - A Structured Cohort: Alpacas vs. Llamas

    00:45:38 - Bob’s First Business… Started at Age 13?! “But Do You Have a Job?”

    00:47:14 - The Biggest Challenge: Predicting the Future, Planning for Failures

    00:50:26 - Entering Production: There’s Lots of Factors You Haven’t Considered!

    00:54:12 - Finding Highly-Skilled Employees Isn’t Easy!

    00:55:10 - When Close Enough, Isn’t

    00:56:48 - Mike the Ne’er-Do-Weld

    00:57:39 - How to Get in Touch: And One Last Story

    00:59:53 - Closing Remarks: Shoutout to MLB Construction!

    01:00:31 - A Sneak Peek for Next Episode!


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guests

      Terrence Musto & Robert Manasier

    • Runtime

      1 Hour, 1 Minute, 13 Seconds

    • Air Date

      December 19th, 2023


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  • Episode 43: Breaking the Blue Collar Stigma with Curtis Lumber
    Episode 43: Breaking the Blue Collar Stigma with Curtis Lumber

    Episode 43: Breaking the Blue Collar Stigma with Curtis Lumber

    Episode 43: Breaking the Blue Collar Stigma with Curtis Lumber

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Doug Ford and Pam Stott, two employees of Curtis Lumber who specialize in workforce development! It's all anyone can talk about now: "Where are all the young workers?" "What will happen to the trades in ten years?" If Doug and Pam have anything to say about it, things will only get better - they're dedicated to educating people across the state about their options, and the wonderful truths about Blue Collar work - it's not "a backup job", it's skilled, profitable, fulfilling, and essential!

    00:15 - Show Begins

    01:16 - Introductions

    02:56 - Fix that Mic!

    03:33 - All About Tupper and Saranac Lake

    05:40 - Combatting Workforce Development Challenges

    09:17 - The Blue Guarantee

    11:23 - Overcoming the College Expectation

    12:45 - Too Much Work? The “Real” Job Stigma

    15:30 - COVID Helped Grow the Trades?!

    16:52 - Stability, Benefits, Safety: The Trades Have Evolved!

    18:08 - The Organization Grows

    20:18 - Working with the Government

    22:43 - Striking Against Stereotypes: Love for the Locals

    26:27 - A Decades-Old Stereotype: When Will it Pass?

    29:26 - The Education Pipeline

    31:48 - Scary Statistics: Where is Everybody?

    33:31 - Show Your Support! What You Can Do to Help

    35:49 - Branching Out: Taking the Mission Further

    37:42 - How to Get in Touch

    38:26 - Closing Remarks: Shoutout to Michaels Group!


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guests

      Doug Ford & Pam Stott

    • Runtime

      40 Minutes, 15 Seconds

    • Air Date

      November 20th, 2023


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  • Episode 42: Lifelong Skills to Pay the Bills from WSWHE BOCES
    Episode 42: Lifelong Skills to Pay the Bills from WSWHE BOCES

    Episode 42: Lifelong Skills to Pay the Bills from WSWHE BOCES

    Episode 42: Lifelong Skills to Pay the Bills from WSWHE BOCES

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Jared Davis and Samuel Stork - teacher and graduate respectively from WSWHE BOCES! They've got programs in dozens of different subjects for kids and adults alike, but one particular strength of their offerings is the Blue Collar menu! Horticulture, heavy equipment operation, welding, automotive - whatever your shade of blue, BOCES has a program for you!

    00:15 - Introductions: Love That Blue Collar Coffee!

    02:06 - Greetings From WSWHE

    03:30 - This Week at BOCES

    05:12 - Well to Do About Welding

    06:13 - Heavy Equipment Training!

    08:34 - A Stork’s Journey: Working Day TWO After Graduation!

    11:42 - A Little Bit of Everything

    13:16 - Is College On the Table?

    14:56 - Class During COVID

    15:53 - What Makes Us Blue?

    18:41 - A Blue Collar Teacher’s Job: Keep Those Kids’ Fingers and Toes Intact!

    20:47 - The BOCES Advantage: Those Skills Last a Lifetime!

    21:53 - No Fringe Benefits for You!

    22:26 - Hundreds of Partners, Hundreds of Opportunities!

    24:09 - Placement Metrics… 50% Job Market, 50% Military!

    25:38 - How to Get In Touch

    26:27 - Is BOCES Right for You?.. YES!

    27:32 - Working Towards the Future: Young People DO Want to Work!

    28:39 - Adult Learning Options

    30:47 - Visit the Website: https://www.wswheboces.org/

    31:27 - CTE Works

    33:24 - Closing Remarks: Shoutout to Michaels Group!


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guests

      Jared Davis & Samuel Stork

    • Runtime

      34 Minutes, 58 Seconds

    • Air Date

      November 13th, 2023


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  • Episode 41: MLB Unveiled - The Perfect Mix for Success in Project Management
    Episode 41: MLB Unveiled - The Perfect Mix for Success in Project Management

    Episode 41: MLB Unveiled - The Perfect Mix for Success in Project Management

    Episode 41: MLB Unveiled - The Perfect Mix for Success in Project Management

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Kelsey Martin and Craig Dittl, two project managers from MLB Construction! They work with all kinds of people, from experienced Boomers to green Gen Zs, and no matter what the project, they keep the team and clients happy and get things done! What's their secret? Listen to this episode and find out!

    00:00:15 - Introductions

    00:02:13 - Who is Kelsey Martin?

    00:04:32 - Who is Craig Dittl?

    00:05:30 - Project Planning: Try to Get it Right Early, But Always Be Ready to Adapt!

    00:06:55 - Project Engineers: All About Tasks!

    00:09:21 - Lawyer, Accountant, and Therapist: All Rolled Into One!

    00:11:06 - Estimation Takes Coordination

    00:13:03 - Budget Boss

    00:14:11 - Discovering MLB: The Right Balance

    00:20:12 - Thriving with Challenges

    00:21:25 - Looking Back: Kelsey’s History

    00:24:30 - Success is Doing What You Say You Will!

    00:26:01 - Directness: Know When (and When Not) To Use It!

    00:30:32 - Different Generations: Same Team

    00:36:06 - Relationships Matter… With EVERYONE You Work With!

    00:38:15 - YouTube Learning: Free and Fast!

    00:40:19 - The Network Queen (and Duchess!)

    00:44:58 - Networking Advice: Prepare Beforehand!

    00:46:13 - A Stink Bug Attacks!

    00:46:36 - Networking Advice: Give Yourself Time!

    00:48:20 - Repeat Business: Take Care of Them, They’ll Take Care of You!

    00:50:03 - Just a Phone Call Away: Email is for Chumps!

    00:53:54 - Don’t Fear the Learning Curve!

    00:55:55 - Is Blue Right for You? Time Management Tips

    00:57:38 - Confidence Comes with Time!

    01:00:43 - Go that Extra Mile!

    01:01:56 - How to Get in Touch: mlbind.com

    01:03:27 - Mass Retirement is Imminent! Take Advantage of It!

    01:05:06 - Closing Remarks


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guests

      Kelsey Martin & Craig Dittl

    • Runtime

      1 hour, 5 minutes, 57 seconds

    • Air Date

      November 6th, 2023


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  • Episode 40: Putting Out Fires - Solutions for the Budding Businessman
    Episode 40: Putting Out Fires - Solutions for the Budding Businessman

    Episode 40: Putting Out Fires - Solutions for the Budding Businessman

    Episode 40: Putting Out Fires - Solutions for the Budding Businessman

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our host Mike Nelson and visionary founder Derek Foster talk to Ben Rieth, co-founder and operator of Daigle Fire Solutions! While his business is literally based around fire prevention, his stories make it clear that every businessman needs to know how to deal with tough situations in the same way! There's plenty of tips for up-and-coming entrepreneurs in this episode!

    00:15 - Introduction: Derek is the Main Host!

    02:52 - What is Daigle Fire Solutions?

    05:35 - Coming to DFS: A Risk Worth Taking

    08:08 - Starting Your Own Business: Ben’s Story

    10:07 - The Boss Steps In: How Involved Should You Be?

    15:04 - Putting the Pro in Processes

    16:59 - Under Pressure: A Fire Solution

    18:08 - A Day in the Life of Ben Rieth

    19:59 - Mistakes Don’t Matter: Reactions and Results Do!

    22:00 - Problem-Solvers: Will You Pull the Cart, or Ride in It?

    23:48 - Make a Decision: Stagnation Kills Everything

    25:09 - A Skilled Juggler Has a Cool Hand… And a Great Team!

    27:32 - The Mental Transition

    30:04 - Acquiring New Clients… Go Talk to People!

    33:33 - Marketing Generates the Leads… YOU Keep Them!

    34:43 - The College Curse: Don’t Doubt Yourself! You CAN Do It!

    37:04 - Closing Remarks


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Ben Rieth

    • Runtime

      39 Minutes, 8 Seconds

    • Air Date

      October 23rd, 2023


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  • Episode 39: Inspect & Protect - Morgan's One-Man Operation
    Episode 39: Inspect & Protect - Morgan's One-Man Operation

    Episode 39: Inspect & Protect - Morgan's One-Man Operation

    Episode 39: Inspect & Protect - Morgan's One-Man Operation

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Morgan Pellitteri, the man behind TechSmart Inspections! While he worked white collar and with other employees in the past, Morgan rededicated himself to a new calling - running an entire home inspection operation himself! What made him make the change? How has he achieved success? Listen to this episode and find out!

    00:15 - Off-Tangent

    00:49 - Show Begins: Mike Needs His Sleep!

    02:35 - An Introduction to Morgan Pellitteri

    03:54 - From Corporate to Crepes to Inspection

    07:55 - The Sales Component

    09:37 - Call Morgan, Maybe?

    11:04 - Starting Small: It’s All About Communication!

    13:05 - The Next Steps: Cold-Calling Strategies

    16:12 - You’re Not for Everybody: A Story About Drawing the Line

    21:04 - The Real Estate Boom… When Will it End?

    23:14 - A One-Man Operation

    25:55 - A Day in the Life

    27:27 - One-Note Arnold

    28:16 - Exercise and Meditation: The Benefits of Sober Living

    29:46 - Work to Live

    31:15 - The Next Generation: Shoutout to Edon, Jawid, Jonathan and Tim!

    33:56 - Inspect = Protect

    36:37 - Morgan’s Advice: Keep Learning!

    38:47 - Closing Remarks


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Morgan Pellitteri

    • Runtime

      41 Minutes, 11 Seconds

    • Air Date

      October 16th, 2023


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  • Episode 38: Heartbreak, Heroes, and the HVCC Community
    Episode 38: Heartbreak, Heroes, and the HVCC Community

    Episode 38: Heartbreak, Heroes, and the HVCC Community

    Episode 38: Heartbreak, Heroes, and the HVCC Community

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview four students at the Blue Collar College - Tim, Jonathan, Jawid and Edon! Their incredible stories showcase the strength of the Blue Collar spirit - between preserving heritage, community values, working hard to chase those dreams, and even acts of genuine heroism, the future for the next generation of Blue Collar workers is looking bright!

    00:15 - Be Careful with Gas Fires!

    01:32 - Live from the Welding Room!

    03:05 - Introductions: We’ve Got a Full Room!

    08:46 - Honda Gang!

    09:11 - Time Keeps on Slippin’

    10:11 - Chasing the Dream

    14:56 - Restoration Takes Dedication!

    16:12 - Honda Gang Strikes Again!

    17:23 - Blue Collar Gives Back

    19:31 - Escaping a Fire… And Saving a Family!

    24:54 - No Stranger to Danger

    26:41 - An Incredible Community

    27:47 - Gaining Experience, and Seeing Opportunity

    31:28 - Security and Opportunity: Blue Collar’s Where It’s At!

    35:42 - Attracting Talent: Show Some Support, and Respect!

    38:50 - Owning a Shop Isn’t for Everyone… But What a Ride!

    41:38 - A Creative Battering Ram to the Experience Wall

    43:45 - Bringing the Modern and the Classic Together

    47:44 - Closing Remarks


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guests

      Tim, Jonathan, Jawid, & Edon

    • Runtime

      49 Minutes, 53 Seconds

    • Air Date

      October 9th, 2023


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  • Episode 37: Grasshopper Heating & Cooling: Handling Explosive Growth in a Short Time
    Episode 37: Grasshopper Heating & Cooling: Handling Explosive Growth in a Short Time

    Episode 37: Grasshopper Heating & Cooling: Handling Explosive Growth in a Short Time

    Episode 37: Grasshopper Heating & Cooling: Handling Explosive Growth in a Short Time

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our host Mike Nelson and visionary founder Derek Foster interview three Blue Collar superstars - Amanda Triolo, Brian Correll, and Luke Scarcelli of Grasshopper Heating & Cooling! Grasshopper has been all the buzz - or rather, chirp - on the scene lately as their marvelous marketing, terrific teamwork and stellar service take the community by storm! What's the secret to their raid growth and success? We have some of the answers for you here in this episode!

    01:00 - Shoutout to Michaels Group: And Our Mission

    02:29 - Introductions: The Grasshopper Team

    06:58 - A Grasshopper Hops Forward

    12:57 - A Sudden Swarm of Happy Hoppers

    13:57 - Glory Be to Gary Grasshopper

    14:49 - Business Ain’t for Babies!

    17:18 - Carving Through COVID

    19:23 - Everything Has a Solution!

    20:24 - Keep Calm and Carry On

    22:33 - Cultivating Culture and Valuing Values

    29:47 - Inform and Educate: Do No Disservice

    31:39 - Why Does It Matter? Sharing a Vision

    34:22 - The Vision Board: Pipe the Perspective

    35:57 - Employee-Focus Isn’t Just for Higher-Ups!

    37:30 - Started from the Bottom… Now We’re Here

    38:55 - Maintaining Morale

    43:02 - Game Time

    47:20 - Shoutout to Dean Leber: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deanmleber/

    47:55 - Throttled Marketing

    51:25 - Keep Those Customers!

    54:45 - GrassLARPer

    56:06 - How to Get in Touch: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    56:41 - Closing Remarks


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guests

      Amanda Triolo, Brian Correll, & Luke Scarcelli

    • Runtime

      57 Minutes, 32 Seconds

    • Air Date

      September 12th, 2023


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  • Episode 36: Jim Dawsey - Decades of Trials and Triumphs
    Episode 36: Jim Dawsey - Decades of Trials and Triumphs

    Episode 36: Jim Dawsey - Decades of Trials and Triumphs

    Episode 36: Jim Dawsey - Decades of Trials and Triumphs

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our host Mike Nelson and visionary founder Derek Foster interview Jim Dawsey, the President of MLB Construction Services, LLC! Jim's come a long way in his life, from minimum-wage drudgery in a February rainstorm to running a premier multi-million dollar company! He learned no small amount of methods, strategies and secrets along the way... And if you listen to this episode, you just might learn a few for yourself!

    00:15 - Blue Collar Insider: Learning from Mistakes

    01:48 - The Show Begins

    02:57 - An Introduction to Jim Dawsey and the World of Construction

    05:13 - A History You Can Count On: Jim’s Journey

    09:39 - Taking the Next Step

    11:33 - The Role Sharpens: Finding the Niche

    13:11 - Sawing for Saratoga, and Driving With No Hands

    14:27 - Learning on the Job: Experts Have a Lot to Give!

    15:26 - Transitions: One Successful, One Not

    18:52 - My Old Man

    20:05 - Take it from Jim: Relationships are EVERYTHING!

    23:38 - What’s Hot and What’s Not

    25:26 - Jim’s Biggest Challenge: Adapting to the Economy

    27:59 - Don’t Fly Out of Albany for a While!

    28:51 - Forecasting and Planning

    30:56 - Jim’s Biggest Mistake: Working with a Developer

    35:11 - Chloe Speaks! And the Secret to Jim’s Success

    37:05 - The Next Ownership Team

    38:26 - What Role Does College Play?

    39:58 - A Day in the Life of Jim Dawsey… Starts at 4:00 AM!

    41:27 - A Coffee Conversation

    43:57 - Jim’s on Drums, Mike’s Son’s on Guitar… This Editor’s on Bass! The Blue Collar Band

    45:31 - Jim’s Key Piece of Advice: Through the Ups and Downs, Never Lose Your Passion!

    48:37 - How to Get in Touch: Social Media’s the Way!

    49:26 - Closing Remarks: Thanks for the Gift Bags!


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Jim Dawsey

    • Runtime

      51 Minutes, 29 Seconds

    • Air Date

      August 14th, 2023


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  • Episode 35: Juan, Jason & Matt (Hunt Companies, Inc.)
    Episode 35: Juan, Jason & Matt (Hunt Companies, Inc.)

    Episode 35: Juan, Jason & Matt (Hunt Companies, Inc.)

    Episode 35: Juan, Jason & Matt (Hunt Companies, Inc.)

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our host Mike Nelson and visionary founder Derek Foster interview the triple threat team of Juan, Jason, and Matt from Argyle's Hunt Companies! They've handled construction for some major players locally, but they didn't just stumble into the trust of those big league clients - they earned it! Have a listen to this episode and find out how!
     

    01:26 - An Introduction to Hunt Companies

    03:45 - The Beginning: McDonald’s and You

    06:06 - Director of Operations: Welcome to Argyle

    08:02 - Matt: The Future

    09:06 - Commercial vs. Residential Work

    11:14 - The Record is Seven!

    13:15 - Small, Focused Teams: The Ups and Downs of COVID

    16:39 - Onboarding: A Constant Process (Shoutout to BOCES!)

    19:14 - Experience Ain’t Cheap! Don’t Be Afraid to Train!

    22:15 - Cultivating Culture

    24:41 - Trickle-Down Culture: It Starts at the Top!

    28:12 - Showing Support

    30:16 - Kinks in the Supply Chain… Won’t Get Better Anytime Soon!

    34:42 - Why Haven’t Costs Gone Back Down?

    38:48 - Good Relationships… Are Based on Trust!

    41:37 - Multi-Layered Profit-Earning: Waste Not!

    43:26 - Advice to the Next Generation: Find Out What You Like to Do!

    47:27 - How to Get in Touch

    49:04 - Closing Remarks


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guests

      Juan, Jason & Matt

    • Runtime

      50 Minutes, 8 Seconds

    • Air Date

      August 7th, 2023


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  • Episode 34: Mike McGrath (1-800-Paint-Job)
    Episode 34: Mike McGrath (1-800-Paint-Job)

    Episode 34: Mike McGrath (1-800-Paint-Job)

    Episode 34: Mike McGrath (1-800-Paint-Job)

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our host Mike Nelson and visionary founder Derek Foster interview Mike McGrath, the head honcho at 1-800-Paint-Job! Mike overcame plenty of struggles to get where he is, and faces more every day... But no challenge is too great for a Blue Collar worker! Hear about his struggles and successes here, in this stellar episode!

    This episode was recorded on-location at The Eden Center for Integrative Care: https://www.theedencarecenter.com/

    00:15 - Introduction

    02:15 - The Turning Point

    03:44 - A Portrait of the Future

    06:01 - A Changing Market

    08:25 - The Equipment Plan: No Plan!

    10:04 - Finding Help: Quality over Quantity, Build a Culture!

    13:07 - Billing Blues: Email’s Got Issues!

    15:45 - The Biggest Challenge: Recruiting!

    18:41 - Do You Have What it Takes? Coping with Failure

    21:03 - Help Comes to Those Who Ask… Reach Out, Make Friends!

    25:30 - From Plebeian to Paint-Master

    26:59 - There’s More to Business Than the Sale

    27:46 - Self-Education is INCREDIBLY EASY Now… So Do It!

    29:17 - The Mike McGrath Story: Overcoming Addiction and Achieving Success

    32:22 - Discipline… The Most Valuable Skill of All

    34:23 - The Other Half: Making Hard Decisions

    35:16 - You’ve Got to De-Stress!.. Healthily

    36:30 - McGrath in the Morning: Routing Out the Routines

    37:48 - Awesome Audiobooks

    40:36 - Money vs. Time: Time is ALWAYS More Important!

    42:10 - Wise is the Man With the Home Library

    44:02 - The 1-800-Paint-Job Value

    45:08 - Closing Remarks: Shoutout to The Eden Center and Michaels Group!


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Mike McGrath

    • Runtime

      47 Minutes, 2 Seconds

    • Air Date

      July 31st, 2023


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  • Episode 33: Taylor Hopeck (Witt Construction, Inc.)
    Episode 33: Taylor Hopeck (Witt Construction, Inc.)

    Episode 33: Taylor Hopeck (Witt Construction, Inc.)

    Episode 33: Taylor Hopeck (Witt Construction, Inc.)

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike and Derek interview Taylor Hopeck, the Client Coordinator at Witt Construction! Her story perfectly showcases that sometimes, you choose the Blue Collar life... And sometimes, it chooses you!
     

    00:15 - Introduction and Shoutouts

    03:06 - Who is Taylor Hopeck?

    04:48 - Supply Chain? More Like Supply Pain!

    05:24 - Team and Client Coordination: How Taylor Handles It…

    07:34 - … And How Derek Handles It

    09:15 - Finding a Home in Home-Building

    12:48 - Social Media: A Powerful Tool!

    14:55 - A Day in the Life of Taylor Hopeck

    16:43 - Field Experience is SO Important!

    17:24 - From Being Green to Making Green

    19:38 - Taylor’s Advice: It Never Hurts to Try! Knowledge is Power!

    22:20 - Workforce Development: What Witt’s Working On

    25:23 - When Email Becomes Snail Mail

    27:57 - When Do You Need Taylor?.. Right Away!

    32:33 - Keeping Your Free Time Free

    34:53 - Closing Remarks: How to Get in Touch


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Taylor Hopeck

    • Runtime

      36 Minutes, 20 Seconds

    • Air Date

      July 10th, 2023


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  • Episode 31: Bruce Hoffmann (WSWHE BOCES)
    Episode 31: Bruce Hoffmann (WSWHE BOCES)

    Episode 31: Bruce Hoffmann (WSWHE BOCES)

    Episode 31: Bruce Hoffmann (WSWHE BOCES)

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, Mike and Derek interview Bruce Hoffmann, the Work-Based Learning & Placement Coorindator at WSWHE BOCES! We and our kids have all had those classes that we just didn't want to take and asked the question "Why do I have to learn Trigonometry?" Bruce works hard to make sure his classes are the exact opposite - everything students learn from BOCES has a specific and real purpose! Give this episode a listen and find out just what kind of value BOCES has - not just for your kids, but also for you!
     

    00:15 - Introduction

    01:38 - What Does Bruce Hoffmann Do at BOCES?

    05:15 - Workforce, Workforce, Workforce!

    06:11 - Hands-On Learning

    08:40 - What Happened to Wood & Metal Shop? Mike’s Experience

    12:02 - Shoutout to Dr. Turina Parker!

    12:44 - The BOCES Stigma: Moving Past It

    14:44 - The Intern

    16:54 - From BOCES to Bank: Placement Opportunities

    19:12 - Getting Started with BOCES

    23:38 - Setting Kids Up for Success: The BOCES Difference

    25:15 - Running Out of Room

    27:20 - Funding the Adult Programs

    28:35 - Shoutout to Michaels Group, and All of Our Sponsors!

    29:43 - Sponsoring BOCES Helps So Much, Too!

    31:02 - BOCES Graduation: What it Looks Like

    32:09 - Working with Home-Schoolers

    33:07 - Reaching Students: How BCS Plans to Help

    35:57 - How You Can Help

    38:01 - The Typical Day of a BOCES Student

    39:29 - Why Do I Need to Learn Trigonometry?

    41:16 - Women in the Trades: BOCES’ Latest Initiative

    42:46 - How to Get in Touch

    44:23 - Drop Us Some Questions and Comments! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Bruce Hoffmann

    • Runtime

      45 Minutes, 34 Seconds

    • Air Date

      June 6th, 2023


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  • Episode 30: Terry Hubbard (Peak Environmental)
    Episode 30: Terry Hubbard (Peak Environmental)

    Episode 30: Terry Hubbard (Peak Environmental)

    Episode 30: Terry Hubbard (Peak Environmental)

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our visionary founder Derek Foster interviews Terry Hubbard, the founder, CEO and Sales Manager at Peak Environmental: Landscape Construction & Management Services! Terry's been working in his field since he was only 16 years old, and has grown his business to a multi-team unit with 25 employees, and room for more! How did he do it? What practices have led to his success? Derek learns the answers here, in this stellar episode!
     

    00:15 - Introduction: Old Mike Nelson’s On the Farm!

    00:46 - A Brief History of Terry Hubbard: Starting His Business at… 16?!

    03:03 - The Next Step: Straight Out of School

    04:34 - When it All Clicks

    08:48 - Building a Solid Footing

    10:20 - Overcoming Challenges

    13:21 - Six Distinct Crews, 25 Employees!

    15:52 - Shoutout to Luke Michaels and the Michaels Group!

    16:19 - Training the New Blood: New Tools and New Tricks

    19:42 - The Value of Proper Onboarding

    21:46 - If You’re Not Training Your Employees… You’re Still Paying For It!

    23:01 - Making Business a Game… Makes Profits Consistent, and Employees Dedicated!

    28:17 - Where’s the Work Ethic?.. It’s Right There! Respect Your Team, and They’ll Work Hard For You!

    30:53 - The Value of College… It’s Right for Some, But Not All!

    32:00 - You ARE Good Enough!

    33:08 - A Day in the Life of Terry Hubbard

    35:14 - Meditation and Cryotherapy

    36:01 - Terry’s Key Piece of Advice: Hire People Who Are Better Than You!

    39:21 - Admitting You’re Not the Right Person for the Job

    41:18 - Terry’s Day-to-Day Role: Sales Manager… For Now

    43:13 - The Traction Model

    45:31 - Closing Remarks: How to Get in Touch


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewer

      Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Terry Hubbard

    • Runtime

      46 Minutes, 48 Seconds

    • Air Date

      May 22nd, 2023


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  • Episode 29: Vince LaTerra (Bonacio Construction Inc.)
    Episode 29: Vince LaTerra (Bonacio Construction Inc.)

    Episode 29: Vince LaTerra (Bonacio Construction Inc.)

    Episode 29: Vince LaTerra (Bonacio Construction Inc.)

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster have a chat with Vince LaTerra, the Project Manager at Bonacio Construction! If you live in Saratoga, you've heard of these guys, and there's a lot of advice this successful businessman has to offer in this episode! What is it? You'll have to listen to find out!
     

    00:15 - Introduction: A Friendly Update

    01:26 - Training Babies to Sleep

    02:36 - Mike’s Son Locks Him Out

    04:20 - It’s Time for the Show - With Vince LaTerra, Project Manager!

    06:37 - 12 Jobs at Once?!

    07:23 - Specialized Software? No Way! Notebook and Pencil!

    09:08 - Determining Priorities

    10:36 - Everything is a Problem

    13:13 - Antics in the Attic

    15:32 - Why Construction?

    17:12 - Doing Right by Retention

    19:18 - Getting the Train Back on Track

    21:34 - The Resources You Should Have!

    23:33 - Sourcing Staff

    26:31 - The Bonacio Path: From Greenhorn to Construction Champ

    28:15 - The Traits to Look For

    30:13 - The Generation War

    31:55 - Learning From the (Noisy) Old Guard… And Your Mistakes!

    36:17 - Vince’s Secret to Success: Consistency!

    37:18 - Manager and Salesman: Can the Roles Coexist?

    39:00 - The 40 Under 40 Award, and the Shaken & Stirred Event

    41:35 - Vince’s One Key Piece of Advice: Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses!

    42:50 - Closing Remarks: How to Get in Touch


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Vince LaTerra

    • Runtime

      44 Minutes, 48 Seconds

    • Air Date

      May 15th, 2023


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  • Episode 28: Ivan Bell (IBS Septic & Drain)
    Episode 28: Ivan Bell (IBS Septic & Drain)

    Episode 28: Ivan Bell (IBS Septic & Drain)

    Episode 28: Ivan Bell (IBS Septic & Drain)

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our host Mike Nelson interviews Ivan Bell, the main man behind IBS Septic & Drain! He's got a lot to say about balancing home life and family life, giving 110%... And, most importantly, loving what you do!

    00:15 - Introduction: The Rise of Ivan Bell

    01:30 - Ivan’s Advice: Just Go Forward! Don’t Give Up and Carve Your Own Path!

    02:42 - Seizing an Opportunity: Every Day is a (Fun) Battle!

    04:09 - I Dig It, Man!

    06:49 - Making the Change: From a One-Man Show to 20 Employees!

    09:15 - Ivan’s Biggest Challenge: Balancing Work and Family

    10:24 - The Family Business

    12:52 - The Money Will Come

    15:56 - When is it Time to Let Others Pick Up Some Slack?

    18:24 - The Secret to Success: Love What You Do!

    19:13 - Everything to Everyone… Great Album, But Not a Great Life Strategy!

    22:54 - Shoutout to Warren Tire!

    25:00 - Adversity Absolutely WILL Come! Be Ready!

    26:39 - Respecting Your Employees is Important!

    27:45 - Retirement? No Way!

    29:48 - Say I’m the Man… What’s the Plan?

    31:06 - Keep Your Heart in it… And Keep Going!

    32:08 - Closing Remarks: How to Get in Touch


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewer

      Michael Nelson

    • Guest

      Ivan Bell

    • Runtime

      33 Minutes, 51 Seconds

    • Air Date

      May 8th, 2023


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  • Episode 27: Jim Countryman (HVCC)
    Episode 27: Jim Countryman (HVCC)

    Episode 27: Jim Countryman (HVCC)

    Episode 27: Jim Countryman (HVCC)

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Jim Countryman - the assistant professor of Applied Technologies at Hudson Valley Community College; AKA, The Blue Collar College! We know, we know - we've often said college isn't for everybody... But with amazing programs like Jim's, you can learn Blue Collar skills from start to finish - like automotive mechanics, aviation mechanics, HVAC, electrical engineering, and much, much more! Get the inside scoop on HVCC's stellar, affordable offerings for any and all students here, in this informative episode!
     
    00:15 - Introduction: Who We Are, and What We Do
    01:12 - Shoutout to Matthew Perry!
    02:27 - An Introduction to Jim Countryman
    05:08 - HVCC’s Amazing Programs: Aviation & Auto Mechanics, HVAC, Electrical Construction, and More!
    06:13 - Enrollment is Through the Roof! How Wait-Listing Works
    08:57 - A Complete Associate’s Degree… For $10,000?! And it Buys You so Much More!
    12:00 - The All-or-Nothing Mentality… Time Management is a Bigger Challenge Than You Might Think!
    14:46 - Trades Take Skill and Dedication: It’s Not an Easy, Free Ride!
    16:31 - From Zero to Hero: No Prerequisites Required! You Don’t Even Need to Know What a Ratchet is!
    18:30 - Determining Mechanical Ability… Surprises Galore!
    20:34 - Metal Shop: A Thing of the Past? How STEM Made Trades-Learning Harder to Access
    23:53 - Is The Blue Collar College Right for You? Don’t be Afraid to Try!
    27:14 - Following the Path to Success… Time Flies, Put in Your 100%!
    29:09 - Partnering With Local Employers: 100% Job Placement?!
    33:33 - It’s Not About THE Trade… It’s About A Trade!
    36:03 - Stigmas are Human Nature… But Opportunity is Not Exclusive to One Side! Do Your Homework!
    38:25 - The Evolution of Trades Skills: So Much is Computerized Now!
    39:29 - Got my Two-Year Degree… What’s Next?
    42:31 - 120 Hours of Instruction: 20 Hours of Lectures, 100 Hours of Hands-On Practice!
    44:23 - Perception is Not Necessarily Reality… We All Make Mistakes!
    46:01 - Jim’s Key Piece of Advice: Talk With Experienced People!
    47:26 - Crawling Out From Under the Social Media Rock: Have Real Conversations!
    49:28 - How to Get in Touch With The Blue Collar College
    51:15 - Closing Remarks

    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Jim Countryman Jr.

    • Runtime

      52 minutes, 23 seconds

    • Air Date

      April 24th, 2022


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  • Episode 26: Paul Lambert (Bonacio Construction)
    Episode 26: Paul Lambert (Bonacio Construction)

    Episode 26: Paul Lambert (Bonacio Construction)

    Episode 26: Paul Lambert (Bonacio Construction)

    LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast! 
    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.   

    In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Paul Lambert, the Project Manager at Bonacio Construction! If you're from Saratoga Springs or Rome, New York, you know these guys - but if not, don't worry! We'll fill you in on everything you need to know about Bonacio Construction and Paul Lambert here, in this stellar episode!

    00:15 - Introduction

    01:35 - Who is Paul Lambert?

    02:40 - What is Bonacio Construction? Where are They Based?

    03:52 - What Does Bonacio Do?

    07:33 - What’s Sonny Bonacio Like?

    09:36 - How Paul Got his Start in the Trades

    10:48 - Shoutout to Luke Michaels!

    12:12 - Climbing the Ladder

    16:14 - Problem-Solving: Every Blue Collar Job is This!

    17:13 - Bonacio’s Structure and Systems… Are Relatively New!

    20:10 - Tracking Time

    21:42 - Hiring: Back in the Day vs. Now… Expectations and Priorities Have Changed!

    24:10 - Two Kinds of People: Hard Workers, We Want You!

    28:31 - Working Your Way Up… It’s Hard to be Patient Nowadays!

    30:48 - Dangling the Carrot… Looking Ahead, Giving Motivation

    34:31 - Workforce Development: School’s Not For Everyone, Get Out There and Work!

    37:09 - Keep a Low Barrier to Entry: Train the New Workforce!

    39:15 - From Your Best Employee to Your Best Subcontractor

    41:19 - Retaining Your Workers

    43:52 - Paul’s Secret to Success: Never Stop Climbing the Ladder! Keep Setting Goals!

    46:00 - Looking at the Calendar

    48:12 - Closing Remarks: How to Get in Touch


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Paul Lambert

    • Runtime

      49 Minutes, 57 Seconds

    • Air Date

      April 17th, 2023


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  • Episode 25: Dustin Manny (Manny Topsoil and Gravel)
    Episode 25: Dustin Manny (Manny Topsoil and Gravel)

    Episode 25: Dustin Manny (Manny Topsoil and Gravel)

    Episode 25: Dustin Manny (Manny Topsoil and Gravel)

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    Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast!

    Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners!


    In this episode, our Host Mike Nelson and Visionary Founder Derek Foster interview Dustin Manny, the main man behind Manny Topsoil and Gravel! Dustin is all about working hard and doing the job right, and he tells us all about his methods, beliefs and styles right here in this episode!
     

    00:15 - Hello, Newspaper Truck! And a Snag in the Brewery

    03:08 - There’s Always an Issue…

    04:18 - Welcome, Dustin!.. Finally!

    06:08 - An Introduction to Dustin Manny

    09:07 - Hard Work is Easier When You’re Working for Yourself!

    11:37 - Making the Jump to Self-Employment

    15:43 - Does the Economy and Real Estate Market Affect Dustin’s Business?.. NO!

    17:05 - The Challenges of Growth: Trucks Ain’t Cheap!

    21:03 - A Two-Employee Business… Two is Plenty!

    22:36 - Vacation, Have to Get Away… Slows Down Business, Though!

    24:30 - From One Guy in a Truck to a Massive Company…

    25:30 - … If You Can Get a Truck!

    26:39 - Dustin’s Secret to Success: Hard Work!

    28:57 - Working Blue Collar, You Don’t Need a Workout Regimen!

    29:51 - Hey, Shit Happens!

    33:29 - Time With the Kids… Blue Collar’s Big Downside

    36:04 - Mike’s Kids Smash his Televisions

    37:17 - College Isn’t for Everyone! There’s so Much Opportunity in Blue Collar Work!

    42:09 - Routine? Nah! Up, Eat, and Go!

    43:14 - Mike Nelson, (Semi) Professional Podcaster

    44:01 - Dustin’s Marketing Secret: Diversify, Try New Things!

    45:15 - Turn Off Your Damned Phone!

    46:41 - What’s Hot? CDL Drivers, and Hard Workers of All Kinds!

    48:32 - Dustin’s Key Piece of Advice: Pick Your Niche, and Master it!

    49:49 - Closing Remarks: How to Get in Touch


    Episode

    Details

    • Interviewers

      Mike Nelson & Derek Foster

    • Guest

      Dustin Manny

    • Runtime

      51 Minutes, 35 Seconds

    • Air Date

      March 15th, 2023


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