Blood Sweat & Tears

by | Jul 3, 2018 | Memoirs | 2 comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Looking out reflecting

I pulled off the trail to contemplate my progress, enjoy the view, and marvel at how far I’ve come. I realized that the group Blood, Sweat & Tears’ name is what I have invested, and their song “Hi-De-Ho” is an appropriate anthem for me. I have been overwhelmingly fortunate to make lightning strike twice in my life, with two successful businesses to my credit.

Adjusting the Compass

Spin Out

As I move along, I am constantly readjusting the compass. A degree off if you are taking a short trip is no big deal, but over the long haul, that could end you up on a different continent.

Reflecting and reassessing is the dirty work that must be done to end up where you want to be. It could be a slight crosswind, or it could be any number of shiny things that I had to learn to say no to. It could be the wrong people in the wrong seats on the bus. It could be something stupid we were doing, or not doing, that was throwing off our calculations. Trust me I have experienced it all.

A difficult client can throw me into a funk for ages. You can’t fire me, I quit! At times it felt like when spinning out in an autocross course with orange cones all around me, completely disoriented, with the clock ticking.

Working for a grateful client makes me burst with pride. I go all out to achieve that feeling, and it is what motivates me to arrive at work before the sunrise and keep going right into the weekends.

Tools in the Toolbox of this Remodeling Business Owner

Very few folks that start off framing are going to ever learn to enjoy this work. It is a rare breed that ever gets to this level of complexity or understanding of the remodeling business. I am proud to be in that elite group. Acting presidential is something my good friend Mark Hofstee suggested. To that end, I am marveling at my newly minted feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction. These are a few of the things that have become second nature to me.

  1. Accurate estimating
  2. Job progress reports weekly
  3. Job autopsy upon completion
  4. Understanding Regular Financial Statements of all kinds
  5. Setting budgets for everything and checking progress regularly
  6. Comparing where we are in relationship to what we budgeted
  7. Employing a team of dedicated professionals and skilled craftsman that learn, adapt, and produce consistent and beautiful results.
  8. Working on the biggest problem at the moment then moving right to the next one.
  9. Reading books and attending conferences to keep up to date on the industry
  10. Making friends with industry leaders to share wisdom

Ringing the bell

I’m Their Leader, Which Way Did They Go?

There is a feeling that comes over me when a series of things goes my way that is indescribable. There is no trophy or Ta-Da moment. There is just a joy that wells up that causes me to want to do more creative writing and tell stories. Like the one about my Remodelers Advantage brothers Rick Baker and Chuck Ott, who consoled me and chastised me for being the runt of the litter because I was not taking care of the most important thing in the recipe, myself.

It is reminiscing about pulling myself out of a rut again, swearing I would never do that stupid thing again, only to fall into another one. Shaking off discouragement is something I am good at. Enough already, I get it!

There is also a sense of an inner desire to reflect, teach and share what I have learned the hard way: to be grateful, and to fortify my systems and processes even better, because like my dad, I’ll likely never perfect it. Owning a remodeling company is best described as working on your car while it’s going down the road; at least I feel like I am in the driver’s seat rather than under it for the moment.

The pendulum has definitely swung; Now it is up to me to celebrate, and then get back to the hard work of maintaining the course. Sadly, as the crow flies is not one of the choices I get.

What Would Make It All Worth It?

Creating a repeatedly excellent remodeling ride that folks want to take again and share with their neighbors, family, and friends is what makes it worth every minute. To my supporting cast I say, “let’s rock and roll!” This is what I have been working toward for the past 13 years.

Making clients happy with their homes again is the best reward for my hard work. It is no accident that I feel that we are headed the right way. I’m their leader, follow me!

“Success is waking up in the morning and bounding out of bed because there’s something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you’re good at – something that’s bigger than you are and you can hardly wait to get at it again.” – Whit Hobbs

Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261

If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor, please contact me. You’ll be glad you did.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

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Leave A Comment


  1. Janelle Burns

    Joe-my job was simple, but made complicated by insurance adjusters and “mold remediation” that was frustrating to no end. Who would have thought that a dishwasher leak would leave my house (especially my beloved kitchen) in such disrepair for six months?

    When I first contacted you at my wits end, I was immediately calmed. It was reminiscent of dealing with my late husband, a licensed contractor with whom we shared more of a “point and click” relationship when it came to home repairs and remodeling. You and your team took over everything that needed to be done, relieving me of all associated anxiety. When you get that level of comfort and ultimate satisfaction there is no dollar amount that can be associated with it—it’s pure professionalism and ultimate satisfaction.

    To this day, I remember your comment while installing my new Bosch dishwasher, “I’m going to do something I rarely do and read the instructions…” We are all human and recognizing and voicing your vulnerability in the face of customer satisfaction meant everything to me!

    I find your genuine interest in the people you serve (including my cousin who referred you to me) the most important compliment a person can receive.

    I will certainly hope to retain your services for my Master bath remodel as soon as I recover from the trauma of the leaky dishwasher.

    All the best,
    Janelle Burns

    • Joe Levitch

      Holy cow Janelle, thank you. It is a comforting calm that comes over me to hear how our little act of kindness impacted you and how a leak can traumatize. How we earn our reputation is rarely expressed but is very powerful to hear. Reflecting on how an interaction impacted you is therapeutic and enlightening. I find that taking a moment to sharing appreciation and being mindful is refreshing and what makes us human. May you be showered with the joy you share. All my love Joe


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