business coach painting contractor

DYB Podcast EP83 From Drug Addiction to Successful Painting Contractor With Jeff Walters


Jeff Walters joins Steve for EP83 of the DYB Podcast and discusses his life’s story of drug addiction to being a successful painting contractor.

Jeff became the man of the house at a young age, which put pressure on him, though he had a very encouraging mom.

He began playing in a band at the young age of 11 and worked hard –whether working hard for drugs or as he now does, to help give others a second chance.

Not only does he have a wonderful, thriving business, but Jeff strives to give felons a second chance as he hires them and helps them to work hard to overcome their previous life choices to be successful, clean, and sober.


  • How Jeff started out in a band at a young age and painted on the side to make money
  • What the catalyst was that helped Jeff out of drugs and into being a successful businessman
  • The hope Jeff offers to other convicted felons–helping them see beyond their past and work hard for their futures.
  • The interesting start the 12 step program gave Jeff for his painting company and the encouragement he has for hiring today



1:34 Steve: “How did you get started in this crazy business?”

Jeff: “Well, the funny part about it was, whenever I couldn’t find anything else to do, I could always find something you paint. And this goes clear back from, in my teens, at that point I’m supposed to be an entertainer. So, I mean, I never thought of the painting business as a career. It was just a way to always make some quick, easy money.”

3:04 Steve: “So you started playing music very young and then you figured, ‘All right, well, I’ve got to actually generate some income.’ How old were you?”

Jeff: “17, 18. It was just kind of a side thing, when I was playing five nights a week and I did the holiday circuit and we had a band that traveled about five States. We did college one nighters for a few years, so I started pretty young. One of the neat things that there is, as I see some of the new young guys come in, now they’re all ‘gung ho’ about starting the business and stuff. That wasn’t how it was for me. I wasn’t looking at it as a business at all, it was just a way to make decent money relatively quickly, but I didn’t really look at it when I started, as that being a business or career.”

3:52 “It was basically me and my mom growing up. So I didn’t meet my dad until I was in my thirties. So it was me and my mom growing up and I was kind of the man of the house, but with that came a lot of, a lot of pressure. Mom was always supportive of everything that I did, but I turned to drugs, really, at a pretty young age and battled with some addiction issues for a huge chunk of my life. I’m thankful that I don’t have to live that way today. I’ve been clean since, October the 6th of 2001. And it’s something that I work on, really, every day.”

5:29 Steve: “So you started off in new construction.”

Jeff: “I did. Yeah. Like most of us, right? Easy leads. Just usually no profit, unfortunately. But at that point, I wasn’t looking at any of that. We’re just trying to get some money to continue the lifestyle.”

7:32 Jeff: “One of those things, Steve, where birds of a feather flock together, you know?” Steve: “Oh yeah. It’s so true. That’s one of my favorite quotes. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with– Jim Rohn.”

9:43 “When I got clean, that was almost a full time job for me — just to try to find a whole new way to live and not associate with the people that you…that’s why I took the halfway house for awhile. Cause that way, at least, I had someplace safe to go. I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have anything. So, finding a job sounded like the logical answer, except nobody would hire me. I’m a convicted felon at that point, I’m at a halfway house. I wasn’t having very good luck finding a job. So I start up the business.”

10:26 “Of course, at first…I didn’t have any kind of advertising or anything else. As I would go to these 12 step meetings, I would tell them, say, “Hey, here’s the thing. I just got out of treatment. Anybody has anything to paint, I’d like to do it.” And at that point, I was just trying to keep the phone on.”

11:29 Jeff: “An old timer once told me, “Look, all you need to do is stay clean till your next meeting.” So that’s how come I was attending three or four a day because I wasn’t sure if I could make it til tomorrow, but I could make it to my next meeting. Then the days started turning into weeks and the weeks into months and then years. And here we are today.” Steve: “These referrals from the meeting, they had a vested interest. They wanted 1) to support you, because it’s like a brotherhood. And then 2) they were kind of there as accountability, too, after they pay you. They’re like, “So Jeff, you’re going to use this to pay bills and buy equipment, right?” Jeff: “Exactly…a whole new set of birds to flock together.”

16:50 “I would way rather have some really good people that don’t know how to paint. I can teach them how to paint. (Verses) somebody that comes in and says, “Oh, I got 27 years worth of experience.” I’m like, “Yeah, I got 27 years worth of bad habits to break.”  Steve: “Isn’t that the truth!”

18:23 Steve: “Now, for our listeners who are not DYB Members, yet, you mentioned Monday. I just want to pack that a little bit. So, Monday is the new production management & admin management program that we have rolled out. And what Jeff’s referring to is, we (in our 1-1 Coaching Meetings) built out an All Star Team CRM now, so that it’s created its own application form. And so, then when he posts that link with his hiring ad, everybody drops into that form and it makes the process streamlined. Plus he’s building his list, right, Jeff?” Jeff: “Right. Correct. And , the nice thing about doing that is now, they can fill out the app off of a cell phone. Before, I used to have him come in, fill out an application… I wanted to see if they could read and write and follow instructions, you know, and a lot of them couldn’t do at least parts of those. But now, we’ve tried really hard to streamline a bunch of those processes and we see the benefits of doing that.”

24:01 “I just wanted to, let some of the people know that there’s some really good people there (felons) that really want to work hard and just want to do, want to change their lives and given the opportunity, some of them do that. We’ve had some really wonderful success stories over the years. And that’s part of why, why I still do this. You know, God is good. He’s given me some tools here where I can make a difference in some people’s lives. So for me, I’m at an age where the money is important and I live comfortably, but that’s not really the big motivator for me. So if anybody has any questions on that ever, they can sure contact me.”



0:18 Jeff meets his wife, who mistakes his employee, Johnny, for the owner as Jasmine thinks, “If Walters Painting will hire, Jeff, then maybe they will hire me.” Little did they know, they’d get married a few years later!

01:45 Jeff starts playing in a band at a very young age and gets into the drug and alcohol scene. He then paints on the side to make quick cash for his lifestyle.

05:29 Jeff starts off painting in new construction for the easy leads. In 1988, Jeff is busted on drug charges and taken to prison. In 1991, is when he really started a painting business.

08:10 Jeff goes back to prison from 1995-1998, but he does work for the Department of Corrections eventually, painting about every correctional facility there was in Nebraska.

09:43 At a half-way house, Jeff tried to find employment, but as a convicted felon, no one would hire him. Jeff decides to start up his painting business.

10:26 Jeff begins asking for painting work at his 12 step meetings and landing work.

16:29 Jeff shares how he took his company culture to the next level, working with convicted felons and then having them all read business books together and discuss.

18:23 Jeff talks about how he has streamlined his business.

24:01 Jeff talks about his key motivator for business in giving hope to those who need a second chance.



Receipt Bank

QuickBooks Online

Monday: Project, Hiring, and Admin Management

QBQ (The Question Behind the Question)

Dave’s Killer Bread



Thank you very much for joining us today! If you received value, would you take a quick few seconds and leave us a review on iTunes, please?

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