July 2, 2022

Finding Your Niche in the Trades, Growing Strategically, & Keeping a Business Alive During a Recession with Angela Gardner

If one thing’s certain about working in a non-traditional role, it’s that you’ll never retire without a learning and misstep. Thankfully, we have people like Angela Gardner to empower women to build non-traditional careers, despite how dirty or unconventional it might be, and to create supportive communities for women in the trades so they can truly thrive.


In this episode, I welcome Angela Gardner, Director of Business Development and Marketing at Hill Electric Company, Co-Host of the Women Talk Construction podcast, and Co-Founder of Women Construction Forum. Angela is passionate about all things construction - from highlighting the power of women in construction to building brands and relationships as a marketing and sales professional. 


Listen in to learn how Angela got a role in a non-traditional industry after a career in fashion design along with her top advice and insights as a female leader in the trades!


What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

·       Marketing tips, strategies, and opportunities for trades/construction businesses

·       What it’s like to market and recruit for the trades at schools 

·       There is a WIDE variety of roles in the trades industry (other than being a laborer)!

·       Unexpected challenges you might face when transitioning from a residential trade to a commercial trade

·       Carrying the burden of leadership 

·       The mindset needed for sustainable, strategic growth in any company

·       What Angela has learned from the many tradespeople in her family

·       Insights on keeping a business alive during a recession & Advice on laying off employees

·       Angela’s Learning and Misstep: The struggle of being a Giver/Helper, life as an introverted, recovering co-dependent & The importance of learning how to deal with grief in a healthy way


Connect with Angela:

Connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/asanterini 

Listen to Women Talk Construction: https://womentalkconstruction.com 

Visit the Women Construction Forum: https://forum.womentalkconstruction.com 

Hill Electric: https://hillelectric.net 


Resources Mentioned: 

Bring Back the Trades: https://www.bringbackthetrades.com

Lift Training: https://lifttraining.com 

Don Gardner Architects: https://www.dongardner.com

Codependent No More by Melody Beattie: https://amzn.to/3zWHbpV



I think that would be the most meaningful to me. and they really aren't any kind of, you know, accolades or awards or anything, but they're just, I feel like if you just help someone else out or make them feel good for the day or that moment, then your life can only be, you know, that much greater. Ooh, that is Ms. Angela Gardner from the upstate in South Carolina. I have no idea what the upstate means, but it's a South Carolina thing. And before I get into my introduction of Ms. Angela Gardner. I wanna give a special shout out to miss Kayla sold hug, she's the one that's writing, all the beautiful, eloquent, um, episode descriptions and giving us our titles, uh, connected with her on fiber. If you're looking for amazing service with very intuitive writing, that's that's meaningful and captures the spirit of your interviews. Hit her up at Kayla K a Y L a underscore soul hug, S O U L H U G. She does phenomenal work and onto Ms. Angela Gardner. She's kind of a ball. That's the kind of people that are out there in the trades and that's the kind of people we're gonna be hanging out with here on Learnings and Missteps. She's the co-host of Women Talk Construction. Co-founder of the Women Construction Forum. And she's like the marketing manager she's run a company. She had a fashion design studio in New York city. So she got it going. In our conversation, we get, we, you know, we go a little deep here. She shares some of her secrets, uh, with interacting with trade schools, interacting with high schools and marketing the company and also delivering a service to, to the students to bring them into our industry. Both of us dive into the burden of leadership. Many of the LnM Family members are leaders. And it's something that a lot of people really wanna do, but there's some stinky stuff that you gotta do when you're a leadership role. And Angela and I get into that. And then she shares her experience and how , how she worked through or persevered in running a business through a recession, uh, which, you know, the constraints, maybe the constraints are always gonna drive creativity. And of course we've gotta give a shout out and much appreciation. To all of our LnM Family members out there that have signed up as patrons. They're making financial deposits to help in the Learnings and Missteps mission, which is of course enhancing the image of careers in the trade. And our newest patron is Carol RRY. Ms. Carol, thank you so much for jumping in, signing up and supporting our effort and to everybody else. Um, quick reminder, 80% of what we get here going forward is going to be going to the Skill Trades Alliance, which there's some awesome ballers over there as well. and 20% we're gonna keep to, you know, buy some swag and get some new gear, pay taxes, that sort of thing. We appreciate all the support that we're receiving from the LnM Family, go to Learnings and Missteps.com hit the, become a member button, and you can sign up and be a patron. We'll give you a shout out and you'll get some special access stuff and you'll be able to contribute to the cause. So now I'm gonna stop talking and let, y'all get to know Ms. Angela Gardner. I'm gonna tell you right now, if you're relaxed, listening to her is going to get you another level of relaxed peace. What's going on? LnM Family. I am here with Ms. Angela Gardner. Um, I don't know. Can I, can I like just spill the beans and let everybody know right out the gate that you're co-host um, oh yeah. Women Talk Construction. sure. Yes. I love it. Women Talk Construction in non-traditional roles. I gotta remember that one. Y'all heard it. Y'all it's not just one piece. There's another piece there. How you doing this morning? Miss Angela. I'm great. How are you? Oh, I don't know if you can tell, but I'm like super full of energy. I'm on somehow this cup of coffee just keeps getting full. Oh, and I'm sparing. Hey, it matches. Yeah. Bring Back the Trades Oh, I need to show him the clip, like told like, Hey Steve, check it out, bro. We're we're we're sporting the BB. TT gear. Um, he's an awesome dude. He's out there lighting the world on fire and I'm super, did you see, it's so important that we get dollars to him I forward all of those notices to my career centers and tell them, Hey, listen, your students need to apply. How and why are you engaged with this trades, these, these nontraditional careers and spreading the message that you're spreading. Well, okay. Let me first start with, you know, you have to work somewhere you share the same values and you know, you wanna do the same stuff. So I work at Hill Electric and I give them a big shout out because I love them. I love their team. they care about the community. They care about their people, which is number one. in fact, when I first started there, I met , one of the original owners of hill electric, Mr. Hill. And he came up to me, it was at a Christmas party and he came up to me and he goes, Angela, what you need to do is always highlight our people. that's what I always do. and I hope I do it well, they support me going out in the community and getting in front of the career centers. And so they kind of let me loose, go start doing that. so I started building connections and with the technical schools, with the, even some of these high schools have construction programs within, inside them. Yes. And so we go to those, through all of this, in 2019, Rachel vere and I found Women in Construction Forum, which is just an Upstate platform. It's not even really a. A company, it's just a tribe of women and we get together and we have happy hours, but then we also go out into these career centers and technical schools and get in front of women and talk about being. In this career and the stories you hear are just, they're amazing. But then also of course, some of them are, you know, we we've got some work to do so yeah. Yes. Well, you say, you say like, yeah, you know, we're just this tribal of women, but like y'all, ain't just a tribe to steal. One of Christie's quotes y'all are like bomb.com women. like, y'all got it going on. Y'all are making things happen. So going to the high schools, that's a very special place for me. Mm-hmm because that's, that's kind of how the Learnings and Missteps podcast kind of that's where it came from. Right. I spent a lot of time going and talking to high schools, talking about careers in the trades specifically because of my experience. and then I couldn't do that anymore because of COVID. Oh, yeah, Learning the Missteps. Woo is bored. Um, but once, so I'm wondering when you go to the schools, is it like, are there like a line of other trade contractors? Non-traditional career representatives banging at the door, trying to talk to these students? Not that I can see, but I mean, you know, of course I'm always on social looking to see what others are doing. And, um, and I talk to a lot of my peers and, you know, and I don't, I mean, it it's probably because they just don't have someone in a role like mine I feel extremely grateful that my company allows me to do this because, and even do marketing because a lot of companies construction don't value. I think marketing and being out in the community as much as they should. Um, cuz it really can bring back tenfold, first off, I wanna mention one thing that you mentioned earlier, you know, we trend with Women Construction Forum. We were told we couldn't go into the career centers. So we started creating videos. And I don't know if you've seen any of those, but we did several videos of our women at job sites, like the grand Bohemi and, um, Greenville county square, and just various projects that they worked on and interviewed them. So that's how we kind of adapted to that. But then, Me as hill electric goes in, I go in with my, um, coworker David wooey, who is VP, and we will actually go in and treat and teach them like lift training. So in other words, I know. And so it's not just a get up there and talk to them. It's an interactive We do that in technical schools, the, um, high schools and the career centers, and they love it. Mm-hmm and you know, the thing we're doing too is because we special it we're just to step back a second, we go into manufacturing facilities and we basically are installing machinery and facility power. So we're not building the buildings. So it's really kind of helpful for our clients too, that we're in showing them about lift training, because. You know, they'll learn more about it because some of these kids probably will be going into the manufacturing sector too. So. And so I think we've all been able to be successful in getting like future employees from yes. This. Yeah. Like, yeah. Guess what I, so we hired our, well, our first female since I've been there, I know from Greenville tech, so, and she was at a lift training Oh, good for you. That is, I know. And, you know, electricians, we only have about maybe 1% are females yeah. In our sector. So, I mean, it's really it's even, yeah. Rare, rarer. There's there's a lot of, a lot of room, um, for women. Like not like anybody has to create special space. There's plenty of space. Yes. For everybody. And, and particularly women just because. There's a thinking right. That, and I, I gotta admit like full confession. I had the same thinking a long time ago that, you know, there were only certain roles that, that a woman could fulfill on a job site. And that was totally false. I mean, I've worked with some women that are amazing It's just a matter of me getting past my own short sided thinking. Um, and, and working with them, like work with anybody else. Like it's just work. The challenge, like the overarching challenge, I think, is the, the climate or the, the culture in construction or in these types of space, trade spaces. Is it's, it's not comfortable. It's not warm. It's not as warm and welcoming as your podcast is . Um, and you know, we have a long way to go, but again, Women can help us with that. yeah. Well, we can all do it right together. Better together. Yes. Ma'am yes. Ma'am better together. Yeah. You know, I, I have to say this throughout my career. I have been fortunate enough to not, um, really have too much of the thing. The stories I've heard happened to me, but I kind of came about a different way. I think you asked, like what I originally wanted to do yes. Ma'am. So. I actually, I grew up in the construction sector. My granddad was a plumber. Okay. And had his own company and my dad's an architect. it's been a part of my life, but I originally wanted to be a fashion designer. Wow. Well, yeah, that didn't actually turn out the way it was because I, I moved to New York city when, right after college, and then I decided. Two years later, I wanted to be back home. Um, and then I couldn't find a job. So I started working for dad mm-hmm and so, . It was an eCommerce house plan company, national international, one of the top number one. And so I worked there for 18 years and then ran it for 10 and I got to run it during the great recession. Yay. I know, I know. And then, you know, we also owned other businesses, like a design development company and, um, which it did really well too. And then I transitioned. and we'll get more into that later, but the various roles I've had throughout my career have been just anywhere from running blueprints to, um, learning accounting, to, uh, project management. I actually got to do be a project manager on a 2 million, um, Luxury lake home. Okay. And, um, right after I left Don Gardner, that was pretty cool. I got to actually be on the job site and do that. And then of course, sales and BD or business development and marketing is where I am now. So I haven't really been, say a per se, a skilled trade mm-hmm person, but. I've been a part of it. And I want, what I have done throughout my career is always loved hearing stories and I've always loved to help others. So, um, however, I can do that. If I can bring those two together, it's wonderful. And that's what this podcast does and, you know, women, um, construction forum does for me. So, yeah. Amazing. Yeah. There's a few things there. Um, one important thing that people need to know. Is in our industry. It's not like the, the careers aren't confined to no, just sweating and banging things together. There's all kinds of roles. And every single one of those roles is critically important to the success of the business, to the success of serving the client. And, and I, that's why it's super important and special that you're on with us. You have a different type of role I did, but it's in the same industry and you can, I mean, you mentioned you, you work with your granddad and, and I'm, I'm, I'm gonna make you tell us something about that. Um, but like, I guess the point is, and again, my experience, I started off as an apprentice plumber and did all that stuff. And then I did another different kind of role traveling the country, supporting teams and, and doing lean and last planner stuff. Then I was a safety guy and now I started my own business. Like none of that would've happened had I not started my career in the trades. Yeah. Right. And there's so many things that are important there, um, that our people need to know. Like it's not a dead end. It can be whatever you wanna be. You've been a project manager now you're in marketing. You're a fashion designer in New York. Like, that's pretty sweet and that may be inaccurate, but I'm still gonna say it so I can brag and say, well, actually, I, I used, I did own a, an apparel apparel company briefly. Oh. But we can talk about that in a little bit. that's a good one. You know, I obviously have entrepreneurship in my genes. yes. Yes. So going back to grand. What was it like spending time with him or did you spend much time with them out there? You know, I didn't, I never went to the job sites with granddad, but he. I learned a lot because their office was right next to the house. And this was really, you know, I witnessed a lot of this when I was growing up because once I went to college, I didn't, and you know, the older, he got less, he did. Sure. But you know, grandmother always like would have be outside doing the accounting and the other house. And so I would go out there with her and pretend. And, and then the biggest thing I got from it was the interaction that my granddad had with his team. Ah, and what he did for them. I would always see him come home and rest and come back for lunch and then go back out and then he always take care of his clients, even if say they couldn't pay or something you, but because they do live, they live in Hendersonville, North Carolina. So it's a kind of retirement community. Okay. So. But that's what I learned from him and, and my grandmother and my mom. It really, they're the ones that gay instilled in me to give back. Yeah. And always help others. That is a ultimate lesson. Uh, you know, I, I spent a lot of time, serving myself right. Only worried about me. And that was not fun. I mean, I've had a lot of shiny things. I bought a lot of stuff. There was no fulfillment in my life and it wasn't until I figured out or not, maybe not even figured out somebody kept slamming me in the head and say, Hey, you're doing it wrong. and like, oh, if I live in service to others and, and have some compassion, Oh, my goodness. Life is better. , that's a pretty big deal there. Uh, so, and you said your, your dad was an architect. Yeah, he's an architect and yeah, so, and, and he's actually, I don't know if you've heard of it. Don Gardner architects. Um, okay. They're a stock house plan company yeah, I worked there for 18 years, so, oh, how was that? Very interesting. , I'm very grateful. Um, I learned a lot cuz I went through so many different things that happened there and you know, when you're in a family business, I don't know if you've ever heard this, but I mean, pretty much you do everything that you need to do. Yep. You know, you can have that title, but so what and then at, at family dinners, you're talking business. , it was a wonderful experience. Cause like I said, I got to, you know, lead through a great recession and deal with all that. But of course with that comes. You know, you, you did mention y'all are the misstep yes. Learning missteps and yeah, that probably is gonna be part of mine. So Ooh, I can't wait. I love it. Little teaser, hang in there. Family is coming. So, so early exposure into the trades, into the industry and you decided like you were, um, fashion design was something that was very attractive to you. What was it about fashion design? That that caught your eye. Well, as a little girl, I just, I, you know, I always noticed it and, and I would draw pictures and okay. Always wanna do that. So, when you go to school, you can only get a limited degree and then you have to go to another school after that, you know, to get a actually design part of it. And. I didn't necessarily go that route. And by the time I got to New York city and my, um, husband at the time worked on wall street and it was not really a wonderful life for a Sure. Yeah. I, I met some awesome people and I am grateful that Greenville now has a very diverse culture. But of course, when you're in New York city, you, you experience that diverse culture. Oh my goodness. Yes. It was wonderful, but it was also, it helped me appreciate Greenville a lot more. So that's when I came back home and did something here, then my, um, husband followed me back was it like culture, like shock? Just the pace of things from home to New York city? I mean, it kind of was because I'm kind of already a go, go, go type person. And you very much have to be that way in New York. But yeah, there were definitely different things. Like we lived in a studio apartment that where basically we had, I mean, our bedroom was where our living room was And I had to have being the one with a doorman because I didn't feel safe if I wasn't. Yeah. Um, and then, yeah, I had to work two jobs in order to just make a living. you know, you learn the certain things like you don't go on the subway when you're a female young, um, at night. I did. Greenville after seeing some of that stuff. And then just the cost of living was much different than inexpensive. Yeah. I love visiting New York, but I ain't living there cause that's a lot of money. Yeah. Yeah. I actually, I actually had someone at one of the, I, I worked in retail and I actually had someone come in the store and tell me to go back to Texas. And I said, well, I can't because I'm from South Carolina. So oh my goodness. So the accent they, yeah, didn't help me. the thing about New York, you walk down the street and you can hear all kinds of languages. Mm-hmm like, it's, it's not, it's, it's really, really densely diverse, right? Like I'm from San Antonio. And I don't know what kind of accent I have cuz I can't hear it, but people always get it wrong. Right. Some people and I don't know, I'm like, whatever, it's just, I grew up in the hood, bro. Like this is way I talk. I can run into people here, speaking Spanish, speaking, English, speaking a mix of that. but that's kind of it, unless I'm like downtown on the river walk, then I'll be able to hear, you know, some French or, you know, different languages. But New York, it's like every time I've walked the street, I've heard people get an Uber different languages. Right. Like it's just the norm out there. And so for them to be trying to send you back to Texas, I mean, you're welcome, please come. Uh, that's a little interesting. Yeah. People are weird that way, I guess. It's okay. You know, yeah, it's good. Most of them I think, did like my accent, so yes. Yes. Well, like I said before, we started recording, you know, listening, maybe that's part of the experience that I enjoy so much of, of your podcast is the accent. Like there's, I mean, I'm feeling it right now. Lots of warmth coming from you. And when I listen to you and Christ. Like I said, like I said, it's very soothing and warm, but maybe the accent has something to do with that too. I'm not sure. Right. But LnM Family, y'all gotta tick them out so you can tell me, let me know. What do you think that secret sauce is? and so now you're in marketing. Yeah. What do you think about the actually marketing in sales and by the way, sales, there are very few females too. Intruction in sales. Is that I'm guessing you, you wanted that challenge. I always want a challenge. yes. If you tell me I can't do something, I will find out why first and then I will figure out a way to do it, mm-hmm, , that's what it's all about sister. Um, now what do you think about I, so I'm very critical. I'll just say it that way. I'm critical about. What companies, how they market themselves. And like, I'm not looking for perfection. Everybody knows. I misspell everything. I'm not very proper. I don't follow the rules. I don't even know the darn rules. So now I'm not breaking them if I don't know. 'em right. That's okay. Cuz I misspelled tapes yeah. See, like it happens. No big deal. No. Um, when I see companies and it's not like, yes, it's the organization. But they have it's they're people that are pushing the buttons and posting the post and over and over again. What do I see? Oh, happy to celebrate this 380 square, 80,000 square foot building that we just built and grand opening of this. And, and I'm like, okay, like buildings, all those buildings were built by people. Lots and lots of people that sacrifice time away from their family, from the things that they love and why can't we see them? What do you think about that? That is so true. I've never even thought of it that way, because that's not how I think . Oh, good. But you know, I have to say this too. Um, sometimes those companies hire outside marketing firms to do their work, and so they aren't, as in touch and it's leadership telling them. The key is Hill Electric thought enough in advance. And outside the box to hire me as a liaison because it's not all me. I have a marketing company that I use. I have a photographer and I have an it guy who also does our website and I'm interacting with all of these people. And I'm making sure that they know the message that we wanna put out there. Yes. So I think that that's very important. If a construction company or someone in our industry wants to do that, then they need to have someone within their organization that has the ability to think outside the box. And yes, include those people in those pictures of those buildings. I mean, you're right. They're the ones doing it. I mean, half our team is always working on a shutdown and that means it's a holiday. Oh, yeah. Right. Holiday long hours. Day night. Yes. Lots of stress. Lots of frustration. I mean, that happens all the time. And then you see, you know, this glass steel and concrete, look at the beautiful building and don't get me wrong. It's a beautiful building. But those of us that have been out there know the hours in heart and sweat that went into that. And just the hours of heart and sweat that keep a business alive and all of those hours come from people. Yeah. Like I just wanna see more people and come on. Well, good. I'm glad. Well, hopefully see people in mine. So sales, what kind, I wonder what kinda unique unexpected challenges did you come across? When you took on this, this new, uh, thing challenge around marketing and sales. You know, I'd never been in the commercial industrial world until 2016. Okay. But you know, residential and commercial are very different. Yes. Even the connections that you make. So I kind of had to, I had a few, but I had to reestablish myself. So then when I transitioned to hill, oh yeah. The challenges were even greater because, I love this about them, but they never wanna share our client's names. I cannot share a client even certain photos, I can't like I can never go in with my phone and take a picture. I just get to go in and see our people doing the work and see some of these like awesome one mile long machines they're installing in these buildings. Um, so I don't get to say that. So that was a little bit of a challenge. And then of course, since we mainly, you know, a lot of our. Clients are manufacturers. It's really hard to get into those facilities. So I have to get real creative with that. Of course that that was a challenge. Mm-hmm and I hope I've met it because we want to grow, but we wanna grow strategically too. One thing you just said that, that people please take this. I need to repeat it because it's important is there's this thinking out there that says, you know, if a business ain't growing, it's dying, there's some truth to that. But the growing for the sake of growth is also not smart. Like you burn people out, you not only do you burn people out. Here. I am like talking out both sides of my face because I just started my own business and like, I need business. Right. Cause I gotta eat. I gotta buy them. Yeah. At the same time, I can't just go crazy and go out and gimme work. Let me work. Let me work because my, my time is finite. Like I only have so much time and if I get too many customers, I'm gonna underserved the customer. And my systems right now, aren't really developed such that I can, um, serve a multitude of customers. And so all the way, the main point here is what you said is grow strategically. And, and in that strategy, how do we honor respect and account for the people that are there? and the people that are going to be coming in because to grow, like you gotta bring more people in and then there's all kinds of fun that comes along with that. So thank you for saying that strategic part. Well, I guess at all the companies I've been at, that's kind of been my mindset. So I'm lucky Well you say lucky, but I think you've had a lot of experiences. And you've learned from them and you've carried them forward, right? Like that's not luck. That's practice. That's you put in the work. You did the time. Yeah. Um, you know, and with that, you've you started, went off to New York, you're be a fashion designer. You've had your own apparel store. you ran a company through, through a recession, which. I'm sure there was no stress associated. Oh my gosh. was, was there some stress? Yeah. Yeah. Y'all if you're only listening. Well, you know, we're yeah, well we're, we were a house plan company and we actually saw it first. Oh. Because people stopped, you know, that's the first thing people buy and typically they don't build the house until one to two years later. And then builders just stop, buy. House plants. Yeah. So we saw it first and we had to start getting creative and of course cutting back way back, way back. And of course the executive team cut back first and then salaries. And then of course we had to start. I hate to say it, but we had to lay people off. Um, and then we had to stop designing new house plans, you know, because there are certain things you just can't do if you don't have the team to do it. And, um, and then we had to reevaluate, well, how do we move forward? How do we, how do we build the business back? And so for us, and during my time there, um, I noticed that a lot of people that did buy the house plans wanted to make some modific. Huh, and we really that wasn't in our wheelhouse, um, so much because you know, when you're in stock house plans, you can only modify a house plan to a certain degree. You know, it can't be really job site specific. Um, it has to be within certain codes. Mm yeah. So we would do, we started doing that and advertising it and actually it, it helped. Kind of get back out of somewhat of that. Okay. So I learned a lot, but I don't don't there were a lot of days when I had to shut my door and cry because I had to do something I did not enjoy doing. So, yes, the, the, the burden of leadership, right? The burden of responsibility is many times you just gotta do things you really, really don't wanna do. And there is nobody else to assign that to. No, it's all you all you and, and I applaud you for admitting, right. That I had to close the door and cry. Yeah. Because I've been there, you know, the first time I was involved in somebody getting terminated, and it was a really great termination. The person was a bad, it was a bad situation. Having that person there way. This was way, way back. When I got home, I was full of emotion because I knew that I. Have impacted him. Yeah. Wife, his kids. Like I knew that, so it didn't feel good. And, and that was like a easy one. I'm sure you were dealing with a lot of really, really tough ones. Oh, I could share a lot of stories with you oh you know what, okay, let me just mention one thing. If you do ever have to lay off, this is the thing that I always, when I had to do it, I put it in my brain is, and you know, they were, they needed to be let go. Yes. I always reminded myself that I'm actually doing them a blessing because if they can't perform at our company, You know what, maybe they'll do it better at the next one, because that, that's what happened to me early on in my career, when I think I was in college and I wasn't doing, you know, I just was, I don't know, for some reason I just didn't. I, I got, I think I either got reprimanded or let go. Mm-hmm and. That that helped me learn that I didn't need to be like that. You know, that changed my perspective and that's, so that's what I always would tell myself whenever truly they needed to be let go, is that I felt like they would find a better opportunity or they would learn their lesson through being, let, go from our firm. Yes, no, that's beautiful. Beautiful advice. Like that's a. An important thing. it's not easy to let people go, but it's much easier to release them back into the industry when you've taken, when I've taken all the appropriate steps, right? Yes. Have the conversation with right hard conversations with them, provide them with the resources that they need to gain the skill, consider putting them in another position that they may be better equipped for. But at some point you just gotta say, bro, it ain't working. Like I think you're awesome. And I think you're gonna be awesome at other things in other places. yeah, no. Yeah, no that's but it's not easy. It doesn't feel good. No, not at all. So along those lines, miss Angela. Um, I, I take it, I bet there's like a whole lot of these, um, Learnings and Missteps that you had in your amazing life. Uh, so I'm wondering what is a significant learning you've had as the results of a painful misstep? So I've been in the business, I think for like 20. Years now and okay. Of course. I feel like all of my life I've had to learn through missteps yeah. Whether it was personal or professional. Um, but you know, the one I wanna talk about today is just to share with others is I of course, a little bit about me. I'm an introvert. Mm-hmm I like to listen. I'm not really. A talker. So it's hard for me to talk a lot, but I I'm a listener. And also I'm a recovering codependent. Ooh. Oh, there's plenty to talk about . Yes. So that leads me into my one misstep that I'm going to share is, and y'all talked about it this weekend on the live LinkedIn, Justin, Jen, stabilize yourself. Yes. Um, So there were a lot of nuggets there for me, throughout my career, I was very driven. I was go, go, go. Um, I never really stopped. We had two kids. Um, we were building an empire pretty much. Yeah. And, but then we had things happen in our life that, you know, we really aren't prepared Man. I know it was just getting good. And here I am breaking up the flow again. But I can't help myself. If you want the rest of this tasty, morsel of goodness, head on over to our YouTube channel and look for the backstage pass playlist. You're gonna find this one. And the whole library of previous backstage passes where our guest. Shared like super intimate stuff, like ultimate cheat codes for self discovery and personal growth. There's a lot of value there for you and for any youngins, any of the youngling in your life. And if you wanna get this F this backstage pass F before anybody else does go on over to learnings and missteps.com hit the, become a member button, do all the stuff you need to do select a thing. But everybody that becomes a patron. Um, we'll get first access to every single backstage pass that we record going forward. And just in case you missed it, those funds are gonna contribute to enhancing the image of careers in the trade. 80% of that is gonna be going to Skilled Trades alliance. The other 20%, the Learnings and Missteps is gonna keep that to pay taxes and do some other things. Um, we are blessed and we are fortunate. And we are here to spread the love and share the wealth with people that are carrying the same mission and demonstrating the behaviors that we see. Okay. That's enough. Now we're going back to the show piece. sometimes the universe has a way of helping you learn what you need to learn. Yeah. Oh, the other thing that y'all mentioned too, on your, um, livestream this weekend was asking for help. I had never done that before, because everyone came to me. And I, and I help them either financially. I I didn't know how to do it for myself. Like, I, I, I didn't, I've learned. how, so, what if would you mind like describing what it felt like in those early times when you started asking for. it was really scary and I felt horrible. I mean, because like I said, I'd always helped everybody else. That's what I got from my grandmother or mother too. Mm-hmm they were always helping and giving mm-hmm . Um, whether it be at their time, money, resources, whatever. So. It was, it was, it's just, it, it still probably is today. Still really hard for me and I wanna probably help way too many and too much. Okay. Let me share a story with you because I won't say names, but I remember meeting with one of my peers and the way I slowly got out there was I did this. Entrepreneurship type thing, um, training. And so I kind of got out there. It was scary, but this one gentleman who was a peer of mine, we would meet for coffee and we would talk and there was Christmas coming up and I had come from having like so much. And like you said, I didn't have to want for anything. Hmm. And this peer of mine. Her, you know, knew that I had, I had nothing, it was Christmas and he actually gave me $200 just to spend on my kids for Christmas. Yeah. And I mean, I don't even know how to describe that feeling. It just, I felt like he saw me and that he was there to help me and I didn't, he was a true friend. I had not experienced that before and we talked about on the nobs with Jen and Jess livestream was asked for help. Yeah. And it's, but it's easier said than done. Like, like for me, the way I reconcile that whole thing is when I ask, when I don't ask for help. What I'm doing is I'm robbing somebody of the gift of giving. Right? Like, I don't feel good. I feel when I'm helping. Yes. And I love the help because man, it feels good, but I'm not at like, I'm not gonna let anybody else feel that for me. Like that's where it was like, oh, okay. I, I can, I can start trying to ask for help. But it's definitely not an easy thing, but it is an amazing thing. Uh, it's a beautiful way to connect on a really deep level with other human beings just by seeking their help and receiving their help. And, and, you know, wouldn't you say that you have to surround yourself with people, but that think like that too, or somewhat because. There are some that aren't going to Yes, totally. Totally. So, yeah, I learned a lot about how to pick those people out and only surround them in my lives. So yeah. Oh man. You've, you've had like a big, big, gigantic life. I love it. And that's the beautiful thing I, most people have. So in that big, gigantic life of yours, uh, sounds like a lot of you've had gained a lot of clarity over the years. I know you like to help. I know you're out there doing things for, for women, for the industry, for nontraditional careers. so what footprint do you intend to leave on the world? Miss Angela? You know, the footprint I wanna leave is that my kids I've instilled what my mom and grandmother instilled in me to my kids. I have a son and a daughter, and then I also hope that whenever I meet someone, they walk away feeling uplifted and feeling heard and feeling special. You know, there's so many things that I want to do, but those were really the things that I think that would be the most meaningful to me. and they really aren't any kind of, you know, accolades or awards or anything, but they're just, I feel like if you just help someone else out or make them feel good for the day or that moment, then your life can only be, you know, that much greater. You know, we, we, the world, there's a lot of like, less than awesome things happening out there in the world. Yes. Just is. Um, but there's a lot of amazing, beautiful miracles that we can actually play a part in. And you said, I just want somebody to feel like they've been heard, like if that's not a miracle. I know when you know, it's very easy. It might, there's two ways to like, get me to be your little puppy. One is gimme food and I'll just keep coming back. Me and you got me. Um, two is listen to me. Yeah. When people listen and hear whatever's coming outta my mouth, I feel valued. Like I don't feel less than anymore. And that's a gift. Like that's a real. Gift and, and you know, the fact that that's the footprint, you tend to leave on the world. That's an enormous gift. Like making somebody. So going back to, to the, your peer that helped you out. Yeah. For Christmas, like, did that not make you feel like a beautiful, special, appreciative human being? Yes. That's the same thing. That's the same feeling. Like if you just listen, make help me feel heard. I feel like I matter. And if you're doing that out there, Angela, you're gonna make all kinds of changes in the world all in the right direction. Uh, you know, the other thing too, just, I wanna also make sure I, I always I'm authentic and I'm vulnerable and I share my story. And not, and usually, you know, the stuff that's not so shiny and beautiful, but I hope in a way I'm providing hope to someone because you know, it doesn't always that, that those times, those dark times, don't always, aren't always dark. And if you surround yourself with the right people and, um, you keep working and growing, it can be much brighter and today my life is so much better. So many of my peers that knew me back then they see me today and they're like, oh my God, Angela, you are, you look so happy. You have such a big smile on your face and I'm just, they see a change in me. Yeah. So , that's amazing man power bringing the power today. Oh, you're so awesome, man. Thank you for that. So, are there any people, special organizations that you wanna give a shout out for? Oh, well of course Hill Electric and then Women Talk Construction. Yes. Oh, well, Hill Electric go to our website hill electric.net. And then of course there's Women Talk, Construction.com. Please come there and join our forum because. that's what makes us very different. We're a podcast, but we also wanna connect women and men together to either find jobs, find resources, check out our women construction forum, that tribe, because, you know, I wanna encourage everyone out there, men or women, you can build your own tribes and, you know, share information, um, get to know each other. So I guess those are kind of the resources and, you know, feel free to reach out to me anyway and I'll try and help beautiful. I love it. So you already heard there's website hill, country.net. Hill electric. I'm sorry, my bad there's hill electric.net. Geez, I do. I don't know if you heard the one episode where this was awesome. That was not awesome. It was not awesome. Um, I was interviewing Felipe, uh, Monique and I was three times in a row. I've got his website, his podcast. Wrong. Like I messed it up. He's like, Nope, Nope. Ah, you finally got it. And I left it in. It was horrible. Practice is perfect. Right? Practice is perfect. Yes. So hill hill electric.net. women talk, construction.com. Yep. Yep. And this women cons women construction forum or, oh yeah, you can get, we actually have a LinkedIn group. If anyone wants to join that they can join that. And that's pretty much the only place you can find our kind of group if you're outside of our area. So, oh, and so this not in the upstate, this is really just the upstate of South Carolina and we meet for happy hours every. I know. So if you're in South Carolina, maybe you can come to a happy hour. hang on South Carolina or fly to South Carolina, like I'm gonna do for a very special engagement with you and Chris Exciting. I told you Angela's got it going on. And I know, I know I teased y'all with the backstage pass. It's live, it's ready. It's available for you to go and consume that bad boy, hit up our YouTube channel and, and hear a little bit more. It's some pretty intense stuff that I think a lot of us are dealing with. And if we aren't dealing with it directly, there is definitely somebody in our space. That's working through those types of issues and Tom for the LnM Family member. Shout out. This one goes to Mr. Jorge, uh, who left us a review on the apple thing. Uh, Jorge says I've worked with Jesse many years and I know that his message is truthful. And with the honest intent of helping people in the construction industry, Listen to this great podcast, so you can learn what our craft and the construction industry live. Every day, they work very hard and most of the time we do not recognize them. Truth, baby truth. Hold head, appreciate you, my man, hold his out there. Making waves, supporting the trade, supporting the industry to make it a better place for a lot of people. Um, and to the rest of y'all love you. And we'll talk at you next. Peace. Man you are one dedicated listener, sticking with us all the way through to the very, very end. Please know that this podcast dies without you. And we invite you to share how the episode's impacting you along with your thoughts, questions, and suggestions. You have been gracious with your times. So we added social media links in the show notes to make it super easy for you to connect with us. Be kind to yourself. Stay cool. And we'll talk at you next time.