April 13, 2023

Episode #74: Sue Ann – Emmons Painting Service

Sue Ann Emmons was born and raised in Indiana but also traveled the US due to her father being an active US Army enlisted soldier. She spent her early career testing out a variety of trades. One of which was business ownership as a commercial and residential cleaning company, along with her partner and husband Derrick Emmons. As fate would have it they closed the company and ventured on to other trades. She obtained a business degree and worked in the medical field, as well as homeland security. Her partner went on to learn a trade in General Contracting as a commercial and residential painter.

In early 2009 they decided it was time to make a go of entrepreneurship once again and opened Emmons Painting Service LLC. Then in 2012 turned the company from a sole proprietor into an LLC where Sue Ann became a partner and turned the company into a million dollar venture. Today the company offers a variety of services. Commercial and residential painting, as well as painting service plans to the greater Indianapolis MultiFamily Housing community. Emmons Painting Service also partnered with Uhaul and is also now a Neighborhood Uhaul Dealer Location.

Sue Ann also offers as a second career the opportunity for men and women to up their fitness, nutrition and mindset either by becoming a client, or allowing themselves the opportunity of partnering to help others. All with an online platform and all the tools for a successful business or lifestyle routine!

To book an appointment for painting services go to http://www.emmonspainting.com

To learn more about the BODi partnership go to https://linktr.ee/sueannemmons


hello this is coach Tim Campsall and I’m your host for the self-made is a myth make a difference together show where we are talking with successful business owners to hear the stories of their journey to building their business and because we know that success doesn’t happen alone we are recognizing the folks who have helped us in our it’s excelling in our business today I’m excited to have a fellow business owner from Indiana with us today my guest is passionate about people and learning everything that she can about them in her downtime she enjoys reading camping and hanging out with friends and she’s most proud of being a mom and a wife it is my pleasure to welcome sueanne to the show today hello suanne hey Tim thanks for having me on the show absolutely well hey let’s start with having you introduce yourself tell us a little bit of your background um your personal story like where you were born where you live about your family and some of your hobbies okay yeah my name is Suzanne himmons we’ve introduced that already I um I grew up I was born in Indianapolis Indiana and I grew up downtown Indianapolis in areas that were called the valley and Old South Side which is where um where I met my husband we have three children four grandchildren two dogs and two grand dogs all the dogs are I love it so fun so uh we’ve you know you’ve told them that you know my hobbies what my hobbies are I do love to read good uh romance novels sometimes I uh I’m not sure I go from those to personal development kind of back and forth I get a little bored with one and go to the other and then outdoor activities and playing with the dogs hanging out with people I I do love people I love to hear their stories and I love to talk so talk and listen talk and listen to my favorite things to do so with our family uh once we start having children you know I wanted to get our children away from public schools because I didn’t have the best experiences so we moved out closer to Mooresville Indiana in Decatur Township in 2000 and so that’s that’s where our children grew up and graduated high school and went on to college and so that’s pretty much it we’ve been in Decatur Township for close to 15 years with the exception of moving around a little bit with life-changing circumstances with my husband’s mother and things like that tell us what is a funny story that your family likes to share about you that that you’d be willing to uh tell us today yeah I love this question sure I could come up with a million but this one so I live truly to my blonde nature um when uh we first started having children my my father lives in Eastern Kentucky and so I I actually you know kind of grew up with you know two different households and um growing up we didn’t have screen doors such as like in patio doors and so when I went to visit him and his uh brand new house in Eastern Kentucky he had the patio doors in the hot tub and all the things that you know I grew up in an old house where you had a front door and back door maybe a storm door and so uh not paying attention uh and and I was warned ahead of time so Dad says there is a screen door so you make sure you you know open that screen door and close the screen door because he knows my nature and so okay yeah sure sure enough I walked straight from that screen door and tear that screen door off and it was just like you you knew it was gonna happen so that’s a story they tell about the screen door and my blonde selfie I love it thank you so much for sharing I think I can remember um being at parties and seeing that happen so it’s it’s it’s always funnier from the people that don’t run through the screen door than it is for the person who does true enough so Anne tell us about how the business came about and at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business oh there’s so much to tell um but I’ll narrow it down my so my late mother-in-law she ran a cleaning company and so my husband and I worked for her when we started our family we we worked for her because we were pretty young when we started our family and so we worked for her and through the years she decided she just really wanted to move on from that and so she gave us her contract so she was a apartment cleaning company she did some residential but mostly it was multi-family housing and she also did some carpet cleaning so we kind of took on the carpet and the cleaning services and so after a few years of that we both decided that we just kind of we didn’t really want to be cleaners we we just didn’t really we didn’t have fine joy in it anymore so we closed the doors and both my husband and I did some other things I I went off to the military and he went to work for a painting company and some other jobs in between there but mainly for what we do now that’s kind of where we started because then you know I went from being an admin in the military and an admin for in the medical field and then working with us and going to school for business and 2009 he comes to me and says I think I’m ready to start a company again and at first he said you know maybe maybe we could start with cleaning and I I just said I I’m just I don’t I don’t really want to do that I clean my house but I don’t really want to I don’t want to be a cleaning company and so you’re you’re painting what do you think about that and he said I could totally do it and so I said okay well you know I’m behind you 100 and so he started uh looking for like into the old contracts with our cleaning contracts and some apartment complexes and he went back to work but as a painter instead of a cleaning company and a sole proprietor and at the time I was offered a job with Homeland Security and so we kind of was back and forth he said I really need you to help me here um because I you know I really want to get this up and going but we also needed insurance so I went ahead and took the job and helped him the best that I could from 2009 until 2014 where I decided I could probably help him a little more if I focused on just that very cool so um the confidence of of starting the business came from having done it already with with the the first one so talk a little bit about that how did how did you guys you know go from hey we don’t want to have a business to now we want to have a business again any any insights there that you’d be willing to share with us yeah so you know when we when we had the business when we were younger there was a lot of things we didn’t know and by me going to business getting a business degree you know I have an Associates in arts of business so you know the little bitty things and learning along the way I had more confidence in the processes that it that it takes to open your business who you would need to talk to and those things along the way the confidence really just came from him saying I I need you for this because he knew that that I had some knowledge about the back end where you know where you would need to have the legal stuff and and the business plan and all of those things so the confidence really came in that yes we already knew how it was to work with like contracts in the multi-family housing so that helped us to have some confidence there awesome tell us a little bit more about the company so what’s the name what do you guys do how do you help people okay so uh we’re Emmons painting service we are we focus and painting and uh drywall remodeling but mainly we work in residential hospitality and multi-family housing we we actually just this last year added in some maintenance plans for like common hallways and things like that so that our communities could stay fresh and so that’s just kind of something new that we did this year and it’s you know part of the growth process um the company has grown from being in a home office to we have our own location and at our location we added also a neighborhood U-Haul dealership so that we could have more traffic from the street because you know it’s not every day that people just walk in and say hey I just I need a painting company yeah commercials and things like that going on and we we don’t so we thought that would really help us get those people that are moving in and out uh seeing that we are here if you need anything wonderful and where are you guys located we are on Thompson Road off of we’re in Decatur Township off of High School and Kentucky Avenue it’s kind of like a it’s kind of like a side road that you can see from Kentucky Avenue so if you’re familiar with the area where there’s a rallies restaurant right in front of us it’s fantastic so yeah share a story where someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you didn’t think that you could and the impact that that person had on you

it has been and my mother-in-law I don’t think I I don’t know if I can give them enough credit truthfully you know she she told me just keep track of all all of your receipts uh make sure that you’re always talking to your clients and my husband you know he Derek Derek is his name and so he really has pushed me in that you know I have confidence in you I appreciate everything that you do which that really that really helps me on days where I’m like I’m just not sure I’m not sure how we’ll do this that just that kind of just rounds me back in and saying no you have this he has confidence in you and he trusts in you so you go out and you do the things I love it yes um having a at the support of our our spouses is is significant in terms of you know that for business owners that every day is not necessarily the greatest there’s some ups and downs and so being able to have that you know that solid support and and background or backing can make the difference uh week to week can it yes absolutely 100 so what’s the biggest learning that you’ve had as a business owner you know there’s trial and error one thing that I love to keep in the Forefront of my mind is that there is power in Failure we we do fail a lot that’s that’s part of life and and you can really look at failure as a negative or you can look at that as a positive and I like to look at failure as growth what didn’t work here must mean I need to go some you know I need to maneuver somewhere else to keep this going so as a business owner you just have to in my opinion you have to keep trying um one of the biggest things I learned early on in this business is networking is so important like I I just really can’t emphasize that enough that people early on it was you know sometimes I think the cards just lay out for you when you’re really putting it out in the universe what you’re doing in this in this world and I’ve had um oh there was uh it’s not a newsletter but one of the money mailer that was the name of I had a representative come in and she just really took me under her wing and took me to some networking groups locally and that opened my eyes to see that aspect of things um I also walked into I went door to door at some point once I decided in 2014 with Derek that I would just you know resign from Homeland Security and really focus on helping our company I went door to door and said you know if you really really really want to do something you just go start talking to people and so I go into this apartment complex and they never they never ended up using us but the manager there she said you know um you may be interested in the Indiana Apartment Association she said she was a traveling manager who worked for herself and so this this uh um networking Association was an important key factor in our growth that is awesome I like something you said earlier about putting it out into the universe it makes me reminds me of the Law of Attraction and and uh it’s so powerful that basically that it means whatever we put out is what we attract so I love that the networking and having that can do attitude and and just doing the the door knocking just doing the things that are that were needed to be able to to build up that business and attract you know future business and and uh the the the failing the the learning forward isn’t a way that I heard it’s not what you said but that’s what I took in terms of what you said is hey we are going to fail we’re gonna make mistakes but what can we learn from it and how do we use that to become better versions of ourself and and Build a Better Business moving forward I really like that perspective of you know failing is just part of the journey we’re all Gonna Do It um so we might as well embrace it I I love that perspective so how do you how do did you get to that point how do you be okay with the fact that failing was just part of the journey well I think mainly it’s in the industry that we are in um apart my communities are managed uh by different companies and so if so if one management company decides they no longer want to manage this community they will you know uh this community will find another company to manage them and once that happens uh staff changes and it happens in a lot of companies not just in multi-family but in particular for us when that happens a lot of times um there will be a new maintenance supervisors and things like that and a lot of times they will bring in their contractors who they have and they’ve trusted rather than keep the ones that are there for you know for whatever reason or another and so I don’t know if you can really call that failure but it can kind of feel like failure when you are when you’re dependent on funds from working on the in these communities and so you just say let’s maneuver and find something else because it does feel like failure but grabbing some work somewhere else helps you to see okay I we can do better so whatever it was there that they didn’t like about us and maybe it was nothing maybe it was not had nothing to do with us but if it was then then we can do better somewhere else and you know another thing that really helped me is that um our processes learning along the way how to be um better for uh our customers and things that you know in communication and making sure they’re seeing all the processes that we are doing and um scheduling and making sure that they see the work so we have we now have systems in place that they can communicate with us and see all the work that we do

all right fantastic so tell me um we know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation so what’s one of the biggest challenges that you had during the years and maybe a fellow business owner that came alongside you and helped you get through that challenge

well I would say that uh some of the challenges with most and I would say with most companies is learning how to finance your Ventures really what helped us with the financing part is just looking in different areas also I through networking and through the money mailer friend of mine she introduced me to an accountant friend that she had and she really helped us to see that there were there were grants out there that can help you they’re the you know the better I mean the small business administration can help you there’s so many different avenues that you can take but you have to actually put yourself out there and really look for those resources and so that was a that was a struggle in the beginning but once we found our way with it it’s it’s it’s been pretty amazing the help that you can get to help you grow another another difficult thing for us a challenge has been and and it’s it’s continuing this is hiring getting people to work you know and and it’s a trade that it’s it’s not always the um easiest thing and it’s definitely a skilled trade as far as painting and drywall so finding people that are you know willing to really put their expertise into what they’re doing and be proud of their work it’s that’s definitely a challenge that we have and so definitely have had a lot of help with um indeed and zip recruiter those type of companies really have helped uh honing down on what type of people that we really need in our company there’s another one called the Tradesmen International that that company also hires specific trade types so that’s that’s definitely helped us um one of the other difficult things for me is having the hard conversations with your employees that’s never been my you know I love to talk to people I love to make things make things happy so the the hard conversations were never my uh strong points put it that way yes you you mentioned hiring and a lot of folks have have wrestled with that over the past year with all the craziness happening in the marketplace and um one of the the keys to hiring for folks listening is to make sure that you’re you’re finding people that fit your culture first and so the mistake a lot of us make is we’ll put our job posting or our job description out on indeed and and then wonder why we’re not attracting the right people well Mark looking for people is just like any other type of marketing so we’ve got to turn that job uh description into a job ad turn it into a marketing tool where we’re we’re attracting people that fit our culture and fit our our our way of life and and that way if we find the right cultural fit then we know that those people are coming for the right reasons and they’re they’re going to fit into our our organization then we can evaluate whether they’ve got the right skills and experiences and and so um I I love that that so that you share that you know that that has been a challenge because a lot of people are wrestling with that um and I find that folks tend not to you know not to be as willing to share the the challenges and the and the struggles that they’re going through it but it can be helpful for other people to realize that they’re not alone so thank you for being willing to to share that with us today yeah thank you I mean that’s definitely one I appreciate the marketing strategy on it it’s part part of the failure process is growing and learning from the failures so thank you yeah absolutely so hey if I uh was to put you on the spot and ask you to pick three people in your business owner Journey that you’re most grateful for them being there to help with your business’s growth who are those three people and how they help you well I will number one I’m gonna go with Danny Duggar he works he’s actually a maintenance and procurement is I think is his title now but he’s uh he works with JC Hart um I don’t know if it’s real estate or exactly but I know it’s JC Hart is the name of the company and he really helped us to get into a place with the multi-family housing that we were not we were unable to get into before and that really helped the growth and really I think more confidence in working for a grade properties whereas you know there was a time we weren’t working in a gray properties and we really specialize in like in changing over from residential to multi-family and so if you know the cheaper put it the cheaper communities aren’t as detailed as the nicer communities you know where the your walls are a certain color and your trim is different and and it looks more like your your home would look and so we wanted to be able to transition our people that were working in the communities over to residential without you know changing how good they really were and so Danny was a key component in helping us get into that type of apartment communities um two more let’s see the traveling manager see I don’t have the name for her and I really wish I did it really helped me to because immediately that day when she said if you’re really ready to grow then you need to call the Indiana Apartment Association and so all the people in the Indiana Apartments Association are amazing so any other contractors that really want some growth that is definitely where you want to be especially if you want to work in the multi-family Housing Industry and so that traveling manager helped us a lot and the Indiana Apartment Association so but by name I’m just going with Danny and another person um is Teresa Rhodey she’s an accountant and that’s the accountant that’s really helped us with the financial parts of things and how helping us to see not only just with our company but any questions of friends or family that are doing their own small business stuff I can always send them to her and I’m also part of a networking group that has her in it and that’s kind that’s how I got in contact with you or you got in contact with me is through that networking group which is uh Pro networking fantastic awesome so let’s shift gears here and talk about the future as you think about the next three to five years what are the biggest challenges that you see that you’ll face in reaching your goals and who are the types of people that you’re going to need to overcome those challenges well we’ve kind of brushed over that the hiring part you know hiring teams uh for marketing I’ve got I’ve got a PR person now that’s working with me but having people that are in sales and having people in the culture for painting and drywall those are we’ve we’ve already had those challenges but but I’m hoping that in three to five years that we really have the company in a place where it it’s it’s an not only an enjoy that you enjoy the work that you do but the whole culture is an amazing place to be in and you know art is is such a an amazing thing to me and so I I I’m not a painter so I love to do projects but these guys really love what they do and so I’m really hoping in the next three to five years those challenges that we’ve had in hiring people that we find people that truly enjoy doing this type of work and that we can cater to the needs of those employees so that not only they are happy the customers are happy and everyone is happy doing what we do wonderful and um last question here Jim Rohn is awesome uh author and and business leader from the past one of his quotes is we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time with so so and as you think about this quote what advice would you have for business owners who are trying to do it on their own those who think that um that they they can’t or shouldn’t ask for help and and that they just have to figure it out by themselves what advice would you have for them you know there is an old saying that um Word of Mouth is the only way to do business and I have to disagree I I think that it does work but but I think you really have to try all the the faucets of business you have to make a plan you have networking networking networking some people just really don’t think that it’s it’s necessary but how can you really meet people if you don’t get out there and those networking groups are all over the place online they’re in person if you network your business will grow that’s the main key component in that and another thing you know if you’re if you’re the smartest person in the room then you’re in the wrong room you know you learn from those who know more than you do and that’s also why I love to talk to people because what do you know that I don’t know yeah and for business that’s so important yeah and to that point of uh finding a different room the the with technology today it’s so easy to watch a video or you know read a book or you know attend a an online conference so that there’s no really no excuses not to surround yourself with smarter people because it’s so easy today to to do that right right absolutely I agree so so man it sounds like you’ve been blessed with some incredible people that have helped you along your journey if they were all on the show here today what would you want to say to them thank you you’ve you’ve really helped my life and I appreciate you that’s what I would say wonderful well so and it has been a pleasure uh speaking with you today thank you so much for being on the show thank you so much I appreciate it to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to the self-made as a myth show with your host coach Tim Camp so be sure to help us spread the movement by liking the show or posting about it on your social media and to join our movement go to bmadtogether.com all right folks that’s a wrap make sure to pay it forward and I’ll see you all next time take care