Skip to main content
Blue Collar StartUp

Blue Collar StartUp

By Michael Nelson
Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Currently playing episode

Episode 3 - Devon Camenga

Blue Collar StartUp

1x
Episode 14 - Patrick Farnan
In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Patrick Farnan from Next Level Finishes! Patrick really hit it home for us that running a successful business doesn't need to wait - it can start as soon as you're willing to put the time and work in! Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast! Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners. Patrick Farnan - Next Level Finishes 00:16 - Introduction 01:21 - The First Six Months: Making the Transition and Learning From Your Mistakes 05:51 - The Moment: A Failure That Opens Your Eyes 08:20 - Starting (and Running) Your Own Business is Not Easy! 10:01 - The “Stepping Stone” - How to Approach Your Mentor 13:39 - Farnan’s Most Important Tip - Be Prepared For Anything! 14:37 - When Is It Time to Transition From Side Gig to Full-Time? 16:40 - Can a Finance Degree Help With Bookkeeping Operations? 18:37 - The Biggest Roadblock: Dealing With Naysayers (Inside Your Circle and Out!) 22:22: - College: Weigh the Cost and Benefits to You Carefully! 23:30 - Work Ethic: Where Has it Gone? 26:20 - Secret to Success: Hard Work, a Support System… And a Little Luck! 27:32 - Hiring: It’s Important to Learn How to Treat Your Workers! 30:36 - Mobile Phones: Boon to Consumers, Bane to Business Owners! 31:46 - Morning Routines 33:31 - What’s Next? 35:05 - Closing Thoughts & Contact Info
36:26
July 25, 2022
Episode 13 - Matthew Perry
In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Matthew Perry from the Auto-Body Program at Hudson Valley Community College! Matt highlights for us that there need not always be a line between a college degree and trade schooling; sometimes, you can have both! Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast! Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners. Matthew Perry - Hudson Valley Community College 00:16 - Introduction 07:13 - HVCC’s Auto-Body Program: What it Offers and Where It Can Take You 15:41 - Who Can Benefit From the Program? Anybody! 19:28 - Evolving Car Technology: Keeping Up With the Times 25:49 - Student Success: An Uplifting Track Record! 30:39 - Hailstorms: A (Car) Roofer’s Best Friend 32:46 - A Golden Chance: Come in Early, Stay Longer, Work Smart, and Make a Mint! 36:15 - Work is What You Make of It! 38:05 - Enrollment: Easy Options Galore! 40:39 - How to Know if Auto-Body Would Be a Good Career Path For You 42:24 - How to Get in Touch and Closing Thoughts
46:14
July 21, 2022
Episode 12 - Matt DeFazio
In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Matt DeFazio from DeFazio's Pizza in Troy and Albany! This episode really highlights that starting with an already-successful business is one thing, but it's what you (and your team) put into it that can make it grow... Or let it crash and burn! Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast. Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners. Matt DeFazio - DeFazio's Pizza 00:16 - Introductions 06:25 - DeFazio’s Scale; Past, Present and Future 12:24 - Rising From Hidden Gem to Famous Diamond 16:23 - His Biggest Challenge - Not Finding Workers, But Dealing With Them! 23:00 - Business Owners - Not Out Golfing All Day! 26:12 - Name-Drop of the AWESOME Editor 26:31 - DeFazio’s Biggest Struggle - Online Ordering! 32:05 - The Secret to DeFazio’s Success: Hard Work, But Also Cutting Yourself Some Slack! 36:14 - The Importance of Work Ethic and Common Sense Scheduling 40:04 - DeFazio’s Coaching Experience: How It Helped Him Run His Business, Too! 42:36 - Owning a Business - A Constant, Validating Challenge 45:20 - DeFazio’s “Barstool” Reviewer Score - Sky High! Delicious Food Galore! 51:05 - Final Piece of Advice, and How to Get in Touch
55:34
July 20, 2022
Episode 11 - Jennifer Lawrence
In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Jennifer Lawrence from SEAT Center! Jennifer makes it clear for us that with the right training and support, anyone can succeed! Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast! Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become blue collar business owners. Social Enterprise And Training (SEAT) Center - Jennifer Lawrence 00:16 - Introduction 03:15 - SEAT Center’s Origin Story 06:18 - Finding Your SEAT: How to Engage With the Center 13:49 - Staffing Opportunities 20:26 - The Success of SEAT’s Graduates 24:15 - Saying Yes: The Key to Success 29:48 - Key Advice - Have a Plan For Your Business’ Scale 32:36 - The Power of No: Know When to Say When! 33:40 - SEAT’s Plans For the Future 38:44 - Mental Toughness Training: Develop Your Strengths! 44:52 - Morning Routines 48:10 - Socializing and Human Limitations 52:16 - The Scope and Format of Planning: Pick Ways That Work For You! 55:28 - Final Piece of Advice and How to Get in Touch With SEAT
58:47
July 18, 2022
Episode 10 - Mike Robyck & Matt Roberts
In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Mike Robyck and Matt Roberts from MR² Construction Services! They make it clear for us that no matter what your background or how you start up, you can make your business shine with enough work - and a little luck! Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast! Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become blue collar business owners. Mike Robyck & Matt Roberts - MR² Construction Services 00:16 - Introductions 05:20 - What Motivated Them To Start Their Business? 11:50 - Managing Employees: Strategies and Complications 13:56 - Strategizing the Expansion of a Business 18:55 - Finding the Right People For the Job 22:16 - Commercial Break 22:41 - Rags to Riches: Doing What It Takes 26:36 - Adapting to Stress 30:12 - The MR2 Process: Structure is Crucial! 34:10 - Recreation: Mike and Matt’s Hobbies 39:32 - MR2’s Secret to Success 42:44 - Thoughts on Work Ethic 43:38 - MR2’s Final Piece of Advice
47:07
July 08, 2022
Episode 9 - Randy Rowe
In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Randy Rowe from Farrell Brothers Plumbing & Heating! Randy makes it clear for us that running a franchise (or two) can be in the cards for anyone who's willing to put the work in! Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast! Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become blue collar business owners. Randy Rowe - Farrell Brothers Plumbing & Heating 00:16 - Introductions 05:56 - Randy’s Franchises: What the Value Is 13:41 - Adding Businesses: What to Look For (and What to Avoid) 16:50 - Randy’s Biggest Challenge: Finding Workers! 21:43 - Randy’s Daily Routine 23:48 - Commercial Break 24:25 - Randy’s Thoughts on Work Ethic: It Can Be Taught! 26:18 - A Fifty-Year-Old Toilet? 27:08 - College: Is It the Right Choice? 28:59 - Business-Planning and Goal-Setting: Retirement’s a Long Way Off!
34:57
July 07, 2022
Episode 8 - Bryan Berry
In this episode, our hosts Mike Nelson and Derek Foster interview Bryan Berry from Color Code Painting! Bryan makes it clear for us that no amount of adversity is insurmountable as long as you're willing to put your nose to the grindstone and work towards your goals! Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast! Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become blue collar business owners. Bryan Berry - Color Code Painting 00:16 - Introduction 03:58 - Achieving the Balance: The Fine Line Between Complacency and Valuing Yourself and Your Accomplishments 05:55 - Color Code Painting - From an Apprenticeship to an Award-Winning Business 11:57 - The Pivotal Moment: When it Was Time For Bryan to Work For Himself Full-Time 17:02 - Bryan's Time in Prison: A Transformative Experience 25:11 - Your Biggest Obstacle in Business... Can Be Yourself! 30:36 - Commercial Break 31:00 - Bryan's Tips & Tricks: How to Keep Yourself (and Your Workers) Motivated 43:14 - Bryan's Secrets to Success!
48:39
June 03, 2022
Episode 7 - Dr. Turina Parker
In this episode, our host Mike Nelson interviews Dr. Turina Parker from New York BOCES! Dr. Parker makes it clear for us that properly directed education is the best route towards success - whatever you happen to study! Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast! Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become blue collar business owners. New York BOCES - Dr. Turina Parker Check it out at: https://www.boces.org/ 00:16 - Introduction 01:30 - BOCES' Approach to Adult Learning: Technical Trades Galore! 06:04 - BOCES' Approach to Child Learning: Getting Excited About Learning! 09:14 - Derek Steps In! 09:53 - The Student Stigma Against BOCES: How Baseless It Really Is! 13:15 - Women in the Trades: What BOCES Is Doing About It 18:54 - List of What Trade Learning BOCES Offers 20:33 - How Do I Know if BOCES Is Right For Me, My Child, or My Business? 22:22 - Commercial Break 23:01 - Overcoming Barriers: How BOCES Makes Itself Known and Available 27:03 - Women in the Trades Part 2: Measured Success and Aspirations 29:23 - Student-Focused Learning: Individualizing the Experience 33:13 - How to Get in Touch With BOCES
35:59
May 31, 2022
Episode 6 - Matt Smith
In this episode, our host Mike Nelson interviews Matt Smith from Ace Home Inspections! Matt makes it clear for us that the best thing about blue-collar businesses is the motivation that goes behind them - if you believe, you can achieve! Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp, the podcast! Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become blue collar business owners.  Ace Home Inspections - Matt Smith   00:17 - Introduction 01:19 - Interview Begins 02:48 - Prospective Homeowners Should Want to Be Informed 09:41 - Derek Foster Refuses to Visually Cameo But Is With Us in Spirit 10:03 - Ace’s Success, And How Difficult Founding and Running a Business Can be 16:33 - What Made Matt Decide to Start His Business 19:17 - Extra Help Matt Hired, and the Reasons Why 24:45 - Commercial Break 25:13 - Interview Recommences; Matt Refuses To Leave, Mike Reveals His Favorite Timelord 25:36 - Matt Talks Metrics: What to Keep an Eye on 31:55 - Work Ethic 33:12 - College Education 40:33 - Daily Routine 43:29 - Matt’s Number-One Tip For Success 44:58 - Closer: How to Get In Touch With Mike and Ace Home Inspections
46:43
May 19, 2022
Episode 5 - Josh Jewett (Cole's Collision)
In this episode, our host Mike Nelson interviews Josh Jewett from Cole’s Collision... Some really great stories here on growing a business from zero to 90 employees, with multiple locations and more! Definitely a must-hear episode! Watch on Youtube: https://youtu.be/MUCmeTQGtIg Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp the podcast. Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners. 01:17 - No Choice But to Be a Car Guy 01:50 - Hudson Valley Mechanical Course... 04:09 - ... It’s a Unique Program 06:26 - Starting a Lifelong Career 14:45 - Cat Food and Crackers 17:29 - A Hailstorm: A Saving Grace 21:09 - Networking... Is Working! 24:00 - Growth Through Acquisition 26:55 - When Things Go South… 28:40 - Trying to Grow a Business; Not Kill a Business! 30:43 - Quadrupling the Business 37:16 - Growing or Dying 37:53 - Biggest Challenge  42:20 - Mini Companies Inside Your Company 45:22 - Certifications  47:22 - The Mosaic Basic Things You Need as a Solid Employee 47:38 - Apprentice Program
55:14
May 03, 2022
Episode 4 - Jamie Magur
In this episode, our Host Mike Nelson interviews Jamie Magur from Troy Grooming Company. Jamie really highlighted for us that no matter what your story is, no matter where the road has taken you... You CAN start over, and you CAN be successful! Watch on Youtube: https://youtu.be/2WP4Pc8Jp4I Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp the podcast. Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners. Troy Grooming Company - Jamie Magur 01:19 - Barbershops are on the Return! 01:56 - Cutting Hair in the Garage  02:56 - “It’s in the Family” 03:13 - Uncle Tony Disrupting the Game 05:38 - Keep You Coming Back  08:31 - You Pay for the Company, and Get the Haircut for Free! 08:57 - What it Takes to Run a Barbershop in the Current Environment 11:36 - “...Learn a Trade on YouTube…” 15:14 - Biggest Challenge - Starting Over 23:25 - The Resurgence of Many Trades in the Last 5 to 10 Years: Barbers, Butchers, and More 24:25 - Why He Went to College 29:30 - Work Ethic 30:44 - What the Younger Generation is Looking For 32:32 - Going Backwards  34:16 - Morning Routines 36:27 - Goal-Setting and Planning? 39:38 - Giving Back... And the "Curse Jar" 41:08 - One Piece of Advice  42:21 - If You Love it... Stick With it! 42:35 - College is Not the Only Way 46:01 - How to Get in Touch
48:02
April 20, 2022
Episode 3 - Devon Camenga
In this episode, our host Mike Nelson interviews Devon Camenga from Camenga Construction. Devon really highlights how to go from no-hustle to side-hustle, and then how to turn that side-hustle into your full-time gig! Big secret to success here? We'll give you a hint: Reputation. Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp the podcast. Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners. Show Notes: 02:53 - Who is Camenga Construction, and What Do They Do? 05:12 - The Difference in Demand Between Now, and Just 5 Years Ago 11:23 - Young Blue Collar Labor Force 14:18 - Soloprenuer! 14:47 - Looking For an Apprentice. 16:40 - Making the Jump from Educator to Full-Time Contractor... 18:57 - ... It's a Scary Leap. 21:04 - Your Reputation is EVERYTHING! 22:14 - You Have to Know How to Network 24:21 - The Plight of the Adirondack Contractor 27:58 - Mentors Along the Way 30:15 - Secret to Success 32:11 - State of Blue Collar Industries 44:26 - Things to Consider - Trade School IS an Option! 47:06 - Mental Toughness... 49:01 One Bad Job
50:40
March 25, 2022
Episode 2 - Derek Foster
In this episode, Mike interviews Derek Foster: co-founder of Blue Collar StartUp, president of Daigle Cleaning Systems, and CEO of DCS Franchises. Derek has grown a commercial cleaning and janitorial business from his side hustle to a thriving multi-million dollar business with over 100 employees! In this podcast, Derek fills us in on how he got started, going from side hustle to full time, and what it takes to grow a successful business in the janitorial industry. Welcome to Blue Collar StartUp the podcast.     Our Mission is Simple: To facilitate the growth and development of Blue Collar businesses. We will showcase REAL Blue Collar businesses in interviews, and use these stories to help educate and empower the next generation of trades workers to become Blue Collar business owners.     Learn more about Blue Collar StartUp at https://bluecollarstartup.io/  Show Notes:  04:13 - Work Ethic 06:50 - Side Hustle Start Up 10:05 - Creating Process 11:13 - Everyone Sucks Sometime 13:46 - When Mistakes Happen, You Have Two Choices 25:05 - State of the Blue Collar Industries 29:41 - From Chaos... Comes Opportunity 31:29 - Patience - It Goes a Long Way! 32:14 - Biggest Challenge Derek Ever Faced 33:00 - Wake-Up Call 37:10 - Will vs Skill 37:22 - What Would he do Differently, if he Could Do it Again? 38:34 - Mentors Along the Way 44:01 - Secret to Success
47:13
March 24, 2022
Episode 1 - You Gotta' Start Somewhere
In our first episode, Derek Foster and Mike Nelson discuss what the podcast is about, who it is for, and what is behind it all. We (MIke) did make a couple mistakes while recording, so our audio is a little off on this one... We also discovered that Mike should not be allowed to chew gum during recording! As the title says though: "You gotta' start somewhere", and we look forward to improving the quality of the recording as we go.
10:54
February 26, 2022