Episode 16: How to Build a Thriving Lifestyle Business with John Haas

My guest on today’s podcast is John Haas. John is the owner of Coastline Painting, a full-service painting contractor headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina that specializes in the rental industry.

What’s unique about John though, is how freedom of time has driven him to build a thriving lifestyle business. We talk in-depth about how John and Coastline Painting operate as an open-book company. This system of trust permits both John and his employees to manage their own time, starting and finishing their days as they see fit. In fact, John’s typical day is to only work when there’s an issue. And although this can be anything from customers to billing to receivables, John’s sole purpose is to put out fires. When they’re not there, he’s free to do the things in life that are most important to him.

We also talk about John’s journey to become a business owner, including his willingness early in his career to do any job necessary until he ultimately found a painting company for sale with great margins. However, the deal originally fell through because the business broker treated it as a transaction even though the seller was looking for someone who could continue what he had started. It wasn’t until John reached out to the seller one year later without the help of a business broker that the deal went through. And since John bought Coastline Painting through an owner-financing deal, the previous owner is now an employee of the business.

Building a Thriving Lifestyle Business

John spent his first year as owner learning the painting business. But from that point on, he was never again a technician. John now serves as manager and visionary, growing the business from three employees to 25. His focus today is on diversifying his business to take it to the next level. This may mean bringing on a younger workforce, expanding Coastline’s service offering within the rental industry, and venturing into larger contracts with companies in multiple cities throughout the Carolinas.

In this episode, you’ll learn how John and Coastline have implemented delegation and trust as their core business principles and how John plans to eventually sell his business to fund his retirement. You’ll also find out why John believes every owner should owner-finance their business sale to have skin in the game. With that, I hope you enjoy this episode of The Retiring Entrepreneur Podcast, “How to Build a Thriving Lifestyle Business with John Haas,” as much as I did.

John Haas Shares His Definition of Success

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