Who are the Good Guys?

My friend, Ron West, has operated his roofing company, Ronald West Roofing, LLC (www.ronwestroofing.com) since 1991. Like myself and a handful of other friends, Ron’s a native of Central Florida. We all grew up and supported our families in the construction and building services industries, and we all learned about Quality and Best Practices a long time before they were corporate buzzwords.

In the weeks since Hurricane Irma swept through Central Florida I have been assisting Ron with an avalanche of calls for roof replacements and repairs. It’s a privilege to help people with a service they desperately need, and I am enjoying the creative dawn-to-dusk environment we live in to serve our customers.

Because I’m an industry participant now I am naturally inclined to listen more closely to every commercial I hear, or read more closely every article I see, about roofing.  What I find most interesting is how these articles and radio talk show infomercials go long on helping consumers steer clear of purported scammers (generally described using adjectives or business practices that somehow describe everyone EXCEPT themselves) but never address specific questions and answers that describe the basic elements of quality installations.

I have met a lot of people lately who are looking for a “good deal” on a new roof or repair.  If you are in that group then you might appreciate this short checklist to help ease uncertainty and simplify your decision-making process.  It will serve you well every time.

  1. Good estimators will spend enough time on and around your roof to accurately capture all costs necessary to do you a good job.  This is the first sign that you’re talking with a quality contractor.
  2. You should be presented with materials that are manufactured by name brand companies that have been around for a while; chances are they’ll be here if they need to honor their warranty;
  3. Work with contractors that are licensed and insured and who place supervisors on all jobs daily;
  4. Ask how the crews are managed and compensated.  Well-paid tradesmen possess greater skills; that’s why they make more.  Never hesitate to pay a fair price for great craftsmanship; the extra years of roof life will more than offset any nominal amount paid over lowest bids;
  5. Trust your gut.  Too many soft or evasive answers to your questions (and you should ask questions) should raise red flags.  Heed them!

I will be writing more about what I see over the coming weeks.  Next up will most likely be a piece on how the insurance industry is responding to insureds’ claims requests.  Until then, please feel free to contact me with your thoughts.


Wallet a Little Lighter than You Like it?


Over the summer I’ve been looking for ways to bring a few extra bucks into the house to cover improvement projects we want to complete. Along the way I’ve come across everything from legit ways to earn a few hundred bucks a month, to career-change opportunities that hold real promise.  It’s been an interesting little research exercise and I figured that some folks might find value in what I turned up.

Rather than specific gigs, I am listing some of the sources I found that seem to present the best (most realistic) opportunities.  The only ones listed here are those that I’ve looked into personally and have validated as worth considering.  For this reason there are only three listed (so far).  If reader interest warrants I will update this post as I discover more.

Results Preview…I have begun executing at least one opportunity found within these resources and it is paying off!

Side Hustle Nation – www.sidehustlenation.com Check out Nick Loper’s cool website and podcast for some great ideas on how to start a side gig that can go to full-tilt if you want it to.  One of many ‘Lifestyle” bloggers on the scene today, Nick is producing some great stuff, and his work has had a positive effect on my own side gigs.  Check him out!

Manufacturers Representatives – http://www.manufacturers-representatives.com/ If you’re a salesperson and want to start your own gig, take a look at this website that is full of manufacturer listings seeking good salespeople.  Read up a little on becoming a manufacturer’s representative to gain a greater understanding of the risks and rewards associated with this line of work.  Depending on your background, there are some cool and lucrative opportunities to be found here.

Craigslist Gigs – http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites  Yeah, I know; everyone knows about Craigslist.  I agree there can be a lot of junk there.  That said, I can also tell you that I uncovered a really cool part-time gig there that gives me upwards of $1,500 per-month for just a few hours worth of honest work, all completed from my study at home.  Not a bad gig!

New ventures can be challenging; for this reason I have also included a couple of helpful sites, one discovered recently while the other I’ve used for years, that are geared towards helping position one’s self for greater success.  Check these out:

Live Your Legend  – https://liveyourlegend.net/ If you’re trying to figure out what it’s all about, there are scores of books and people (most of them good) that can help you.  I recently came across Scott Dinsmore’s site and have to tell you there’s a lot to be found here.  If you’re not quite there yet on what you want to do for your next act, definitely check this guy out.

100 Day Challenge – http://100daychallenge.com/ Need a little kick in the pants to get you moving?  Check out Goals Guy, Gary Ryan Blair for some can’t-miss methodologies that will get you on track and keep you there, IF YOU’RE READY FOR IT.

Whether you’re trying to boost income, find a new career or fight boredom, I hope you find something that will work for you too!   When you do, please post an update and let us all know how it’s going for you.