By: Tara Barber, College Pro Franchise Owner (
I expected a lot out of my College Pro painters. I gave a lot of myself to them to help them do well and I expected the same back. They did great work, worked long hours, and would put in some serious marketing time after long days of painting to ensure we had work the whole season. It wasn’t uncommon for some of my painters to be bringing in paychecks with 90-100 hours on them.
I have since worked in businesses with many employees and I reflect that few are as hard working and as productive as my painters back when I worked with College Pro. With my painters you would hear things like ‘We have to leave early tomorrow so can we start at 7:00 so we can get the job done?” or “I can’t cold call this weekend so we are going to go Monday, Tuesday AND Wednesday, cool?”. They wouldn’t shirk their responsibilities, they would just problem solve how to get it all done. I would love to take credit for this but I can’t, the credit is due to the kind of people they are as well as the environment we created.
They embraced College Pro’s motto ‘work hard, play hard’ to a tee. They all got along really well and I took advantage of that. We had many social events as a team and always went to the culture events that College Pro put on. We had cold call parties, car rallies, pub nights, camping trips and pool parties. Most of the time the social events came after a marketing blitz – but not always, sometimes you just had to play hard.
I know some people get concerned with “Playing hard” with their employees, and, I agree, you have to make sure you’re still keeping your persona in check, but they need to see you having fun just as much as they need to see you working hard. Absolutely things can get out of hand, people can get in arguments, disputes over haunted houses can break out, car doors can get caulked shut…I’m still not over that one, but you need to take the good with the bad. I believe that the culture and success they had as painters is what led to four of them being promoted to franchise managers, one being promoted to a production manager and many returning to paint and help out the following year. Even though playing hard costs money and sometimes your sanity, it was worth it in the bonds I built with my painters, the relationships they developed with each other, and the love they developed for their jobs as College Pro Painters.