How to become your family's super hero again

Becoming A Superhero To My Family Once Again Was an Easy “Process”

I hid my eyes after I asked my son Samuel if he wanted me to teach him how to swim.

It was the look on his face that brought on the tears.

The surprise. The happiness.

And a little later as we headed out the door, April gave me a hug that lasted a little longer than usual.

Honestly, after I had gotten my business to the point where it was supporting my family, knocking my 70 hour work-weeks down to 30 hours was the best thing to happen to my me and my family.

I owe it to processes, to systems.

Look, we’ve all read The E-Myth and know that we should be working on our business instead of in our business

But that’s much tougher to do than it sounds.

I remember the many attempts I made trying to get my production process written, and then trying to get my team to follow them.

Not only were there overwhelming variables of types of projects and scenarios,

…but some of my painters had professional techniques and ways of doing things that they had been following for 30 years.

And habits are really tough to break or change.

Painters Don’t Use Cookie Cutters

Operating a painting business or any service organization has so many scenarios.

We are not like Mc Donald’s with only 6 kinds of burgers to make.

And though may be easy for McD’s to have a burger building checklist…

It’s not reasonable for us to create a 1-page checklist showing the 500 steps to properly prepare a complete exterior home so that any teenager off the street could follow it.

But I really wanted to build a business that could operate without me. I simply HAD to figure this “process” thing out.

I didn’t want to be self employed any more.

Then it hit me.

I was looking at things all wrong.

And by the time I shifted my mindset and implemented my new processes, I was only working 30 hours a week in my business.

I spent the rest of the time writing my book, and teaching my son to swim.

Painting contractor business coach

My realization, my mindshift was that the processes that we could successfully systematize were all in the Customer Journey.

And before you know it, we had all of our Admin, Estimating, Project Management, and Follow up processes written, praise the Lord!

“Process” is just a fancy word for checklist. 

If the idea of creating your processes feels overwhelming, then simply call them what they actually are,


That’s all they are.

A collection of checklists.

If this still feels overwhelming, stay with me.

I’m going to show you how my easy system for getting your processes (checklists) written.

Start with your customer’s journey and just follow the path all the way through from lead received to job completion like this…


Customer Journey

In my case, I started by listing steps in the journey that our customers go through like this:

  1. Receiving a lead
  2. Booking the estimate
  3. Measure & Present the Estimate
  4. Setting up the project
  5. Painting the project
  6. Closing out the project
  7. Top of mind marketing

And each one of those steps gets unpacked like this:

Now take a look at what I just did.

Do you see how the person I have answering the phone for me can refer to that checklist and pretty much do exactly what I would do?

If they have a hard time with any particular step, like “Put them into CRM – Pipeline Deals,” then I just add a checklist for it.

I created a checklist (or two) for every step in the journey.

You can do this too.

Schedule focused time to do this for just 30 minutes each workday and you could have your systems half-written in just 4 weeks.

Once finished, you’ll have it all out of your head and on paper ready for any competent person to simply sit down and follow your processes (checklist).

You will have crossed the threshold of being self-employed to owning a business that can operate without you.

Also, you will have an operating manual that will make it much easier to sell your business one day like we did.

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Article in Newspaper when Steve and April sold Burnett 1-800-PAINTING

If you would like more hugs from your family on a regular basis you can get my complete system for this, plus ALL of our marketing processes, everything for a whole $37.

Plus, if you get stuck, you can just schedule a call with me here.

You’ve got this!

-Steve Burnett

Automobile University

Here are some audiobooks and podcasts that DYB Mastermind Group (MG) members are listening to…


Tech Tip

Our favorite task manager app is Monday .com

Monday is very easy to use. It syncs across all devices, and my favorite feature is that you can add a task and then delegate it!

DYB Members have access to our webinar about how to use Monday for painting contractors. (Not a DYB Member? You can join today)

Free Tool or Process

Are you looking to get into HOA work?

Here is a free infographic that lays out 9 Ways to get HOA leads.

About the Author

As a newly single father of two from MI, he struggled to start over as a paint contractor in FL, going door to door. His situation was so bad, even the IRS had mercy on him.

 Feeling completely hopeless, he remembered the story of King Solomon praying for wisdom. Could it be so easy? 

He felt he had absolutely nothing to lose. So, as a bankrupt, divorced, high school dropout, single father of 2 young kids, now living 1250 miles away from all friends and family, started to pray for wisdom.
 And while he continues to wait for the wisdom to arrive, what did come was an insatiable desire to learn and read books… 
Thanks to God for giving him the burning passion to read books, and attend seminars, (oh and winning the wife lottery) he not only cracks the success code and overcomes the struggle, but also streamlines his painting business in less than 3 years, published a how to book, then sold the company. Now he leads a business coaching company for painting contractors so he can help other businesses, like yours, to do the same. Hear more... Or