Some of you may know, but more than likely most of you don't know what I do for a living. I opened a Custom Hardwood Flooring Installation and
Refinishing Company several years ago and I have been fortunate enough to watch the business grow into a good performing company.
I started with 3 employees (including myself), very modest and basic tools, and an office in a spare bedroom. There are currently 14 employees
(including me), we operate out of a 3,750 sq ft building, and offer our own line of exotic woods and custom built inlays, medallions, and compasses.
We also specialize in custom designed tubs, showers, back splashes, patios, etc. Basically, if it deals with hardwood or tile, we do it.
Because of this I have been able to make a comfortable living for myself, but I have sacrificed some things. I am not married, no kids, and I live
I am a pretty boring guy, I don't drink, use tobacco, or do drugs. I don't attend church. Since I don't go to bars or do a lot of other stuff outside
of work, I find myself bored and trying to find ideas to muse and entertain myself with.
Through the past several years I have been visiting ATS, I have noticed periodic posts asking others what they are doing about it.
For example, when someone complains, another member will ask what they are doing about it. Most of the time it is obvious that the member complaining
has done nothing about what they have issue with, instead they just want to whine about it.
I wondered what I could do that would entertain me and also reward the good will of others. I came up with a plan and put it into action last
Thursday, not sure what to expect.
The first step of my plan was creating an advertisement of sorts on Craigslist. I did tell a bit of a fib, but I justified it for my cause (some may
say, for my selfishness).
The advertisement went something like this (shortened form);
"I am a spiritual, single man who lives alone. I have a job and I work hard at it. My job has always provided me with enough to take care of
The terrible weather that came through last week has caused me real problems. A tree fell on my house and caused severe damage to my home and car. I
have home insurance, but the deductable is $1,000 and auto insurance is $500 (which are both true) I simply do not have it.
After looking through my budget for this month, I was able to find an extra $250 if I go light on some things and skip a bill.
I don't have anyone else to ask and I hate the feeling of reaching out to the community for help. I am not asking for charity or handouts, I just want
any opportunity you might have for me to make extra money.
I have taken my 2 weeks paid vacation in order to try and raise the money to fix my home.
Here are some things I am good at, but I'll do just about anything you have for me:
Hardwood flooring installation or refinishing
I have a trailer and a truck and can haul stuff or clean out clutter
I have a gas pressure washer I can use if you need pressure washing
I can lay tile
I can paint
nothing is too big or small
(I added a couple other things I could do, but that's pretty much all)
If you have anything I can do, please call me, it would really mean a lot to me"
So I posted that and included my phone number, then began the waiting game. I had faith in people in general and thought I would get several calls
Thursday night - no call
Friday - no call
7pm Friday - a man calls and said he was looking around and just happened to see my ad. He said he was looking to sell his home and planned to
have the floors refinished, but everyone had quoted him too high.
He had 1,100sq ft that needed to be sanded and refinished. He said the lowest quote he got was at $1.50 sq ft and, since I don't have a license or
insurance (which I really do) he would let me do it for $1.35sq ft. or $1,485
He commented a few times that, 'Everything happens for a reason' Each time he said this, I
kinda laughed to myself.
He asked when I could start, I said ASAP. He let me know he was coming back to town on Saturday and I could start Sunday morning. The date was set and
I went on Sunday morning with one of my workers and we started the job.
I drove an older SUV (1995 ford explorer) instead of one of my box vans.
We hit his floor hard, sanded it completely flat, stained it provincial and applied 2 coats of polyurethane. It looks incredible, (excuse my ego
) and his wife was as pleased as he was.
We finished the job today around 2.30p, but before that I got a money order for $1,250 (I took out the cost of materials - sand paper, buffer pads,
edger paper, buffer screens, polyurethane, stain - and gas for my truck)
I put the money order in an envelope and sealed it. On the front I wrote, 'Thank You So Much'.
He came down the stairs and said he only had $1,000 on him and ask that we follow him to the ATM for the rest, so I did. He went to a local
supermarket (Kroger's) and while he went inside I put the envelope on his seat and went back to my truck.
I saw him leave the store, so I met him in the parking lot and got the rest of the money, shook his hand and thanked him again.
I made it all the way back to the shop and got a phone call from his wife. She was confused and asked me, 'Are you for real?' I said, 'Yeah', and
explained the real story to her. I could tell it did mean a lot to her, even though they were not hurting terribly for money. She actually went from
laughing with excitement to crying before the call ended.
It really cost me next to nothing to do this (I traded my worker a depth finder for his boat in exchange for his time and effort) and I got a good
kick out of it. I think I probably did this much more for me than for someone else, but I do hope they will do something good for someone who has no
clue about it.
Just thought I'd share with you guys and maybe someone here will find a way to help a family in their community without being required to or finding
excuses not to.
I think I might do something like this again in a few months, but what surprised me is the fact that this family is the only one that called, so maybe
there is something bigger at play here than just my crazy idea.
edit on 17-7-2012 by esteay812 because: poor grammar