EP40 Mike Katounas: Family Confrontation, Combating Cancer with Faith, while Succeeding in Business
Today we sit down with Mike Katounas. He is the owner/operator of Home Works Painting in northern Virginia, just outside of DC.
Mike’s father was a painting contractor and therefore, Mike gained a lot of experience painting. However, when Mike was younger, he had absolutely no interest in being involved in painting long-term.
After completing a master’s degree in health education, Mike looked at job prospects and was not impressed at the pay those jobs offered or what they entailed.
He then received an offer from his father to go back and work for him and eventually take over the business.
Mike accepted, but ten days into working with his father again, he got fired.
After multiple more hardships, Mike eventually decided he wanted to become an entrepreneur by starting his own painting company.
However, the tough times were not over, as Mike was diagnosed with cancer a few years after starting his business.
Mike tells us the story of his business from the beginning to where it is today.
It has gone through an abundance of changes due to Mike’s battle with cancer, the recession, and Mike’s realization that his company’s culture had to change.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
- How important it is to persevere
- Mike battling cancer while balancing his business
- Marriage advice for people who run a business and their spouses
- Dealing with “hitting a wall” and assessing your company’s culture
- When to decline a job, including getting past approval addiction
“The best advice I got was from a roofing contractor that I met in my first year of business…He said, “do whatever you have to do to survive [a recession], because if you come out on the other side, you will be a lot stronger and a lot better.’”
“When you’re actually wrestling with the idea of ‘you may not be around a year from now, or months from now,’ you start getting a perspective of what’s important and what’s not.
“It just felt like an ‘every man for himself’ kind of culture…I decided I was going to change that and really try to change everything we were doing to make it a place that I wanted to be at and create a team environment.”
“My first ten years of business, I was running based on what my dad taught me. A lot of it worked, but it wasn’t going to help me scale and last for a long time.”
“Never stop learning. No matter how old you get or how long you’ve been doing this, the moment you think you’ve got it figured out is the moment you’re moving backwards.”
[03:53] How did Mike get started in this business?
[14:14] What were Mike’s thoughts and feelings when his father did a total 180 and started helping him out?
[22:47] Mike gets told he has cancer yet doesn’t freak out?
[32:10] What does it look like with four employees and the leads starting to come again?
[44:15] What did the future look like after growth began? Catching us up to today, is Mike still making the same amount of revenue he was around 2011?
[49:48] What are some things Mike did to make the shift to a better company culture?
[54:45] What does Mike think the biggest paradigm shift has been for him?
[1:01:22] What has made the biggest change in Mike’s business?
[1:12:23] Is there a final point that Mike would like to make?
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