30 Years in the Biz with Julie Laughton

Episode #79: Welcome to the She Builds Show, I’m your host, Stefanie Olson and this week I’m thrilled to introduce you to a powerhouse woman, Julie Laughton. Julie has completed over 1,000 remodels and custom homes along the affluent coastal communities of Orange and LA County, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach as well as significant projects in Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Pasadena. Her most notable projects include the Mediterranean Style 1928 Wallace Neff home, featured in the movie Monster-in-Law and the English Tudor hilltop estate of Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter. Julie specializes in providing her clients a seamless one-stop shop Design Build service where all of their project needs are met in-house.

Join us and listen in…


As a graduate of Iowa State University, she studied Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Mechanical Engineering and Interior Design. After graduating with a degree in Design, she moved to New York City where she spent five years working for two different architectural firms and top five developers in Manhattan. Properties included: Phillip Milstein’s Windsor Court, Liberty Court and Normandy Court, Lefrak Property’s Newport City, Landau Development’s 990 Avenue of the Americas, Zeckendorf Development’s Zeckendorf Towers, J.I. Sopher’s the Monarch and Astor Terrace, Bank of America’s 5th Avenue Corporate Offices, Citibank’s Park Avenue Corporate Offices, David Webb Jewelry on Park Avenue, Weinberg Law Offices, Rizzo Law Offices and the historical Friars Club.

When opportunity arose, Julie relocated to Los Angeles and quickly found her way to Laguna Beach. After adding Certified Custom Kitchen and Bath design to her resume, it was time to round out her credentials to include being a licensed General Contractor. Julie’s vast expertise and experience is demonstrated through her portfolio. Her unique hands-on process and attention to detail have made her a favorite among homeowners who value a stress-free process, meticulous attention to detail and a flare for retaining the essence of your dream home.


• Website: https://www.julielaughton.com
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julielaughtondesignbuild
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieLaughtonDB
• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/julie-laughton-design-build
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julielaughtondb


• Website: https://shebuildshomes.com
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• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shebuilds.homes
• YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/shebuildsshow


0:01 Welcome to the She Builds Show.

0:03 I’m your host, Stefanie Olson, a licensed general contractor who builds new construction, renovates and designs your vision today?

0:12 More than ever.

0:13 We need raw, authentic women who are willing to rise above society’s norms.

0:18 Break those glass ceilings and encourage each other to boldly build the life we were meant to live.

0:24 So honey, what are you building?

0:27 Okay, welcome to the She Builds Show.

0:29 We have a fantastic guest today, Julie Laughton, Welcome to the show.

0:34 Thank you very much.

0:35 I’m so happy to be here.

0:37 Absolutely.

0:38 Okay, so can you just introduce yourself a little bit and tell like the audience what you do.

0:44 Okay, my name is Julie Laughton.

0:46 I’m a designer turned general contractor.

0:49 So I started my career in New York City working with architects as you know an architectural draftsman.

0:56 And I went to college for architecture, landscape architecture and interior design just so you know, so I did all three but I landed with the focus on interior design and space planning and how humans live and work in their dwelling.

1:09 You know, the whole, how it comes together.

1:12 So I have an architecture interior design background and then I became a licensed general contractor after moving to California, right, which is like the hardest place to get your Yeah, I took the test and I was kind of freaked out because I went to college for like six years, whatever, you know, I’m good at books.

1:30 But I freaked me off to take that test and they told me I got the highest score ever and I took it in the fastest time anyone has ever taken it.

1:38 Yeah, I thought okay, good.

1:40 That’s really, how long ago was it that you took that test?

1:45 2006.

1:47 Oh my gosh, that’s awesome.

1:48 It was funny because all the stuff on there was not in the books is what I learned, standing in the dirt in New York City.

1:54 Yeah, absolutely.

1:55 I know a lot of it, it’s very different than any other exam I’ve ever taken.

2:00 Thank you.

2:01 Isn’t it?

2:01 It’s weird.

2:02 It is weird.

2:03 It was hard.

2:04 I thought it was hard, I thought it was hard, but I recognized questions that I thought, oh this is going to save me because it’s like, I actually remember this stuff.

2:13 Yeah, absolutely.

2:14 Okay, so how long have you been in business?

2:19 And how did you start?

2:22 Like why did you want to become a general contractor?

2:24 Like what led you to that?

2:26 Okay, so what it is, I was in commercial before where it was very organized.

2:29 Everybody had their role and it was just a beautiful thing.

2:32 New York City, top five developers, biggest contractors in the world. We had our place, they had their place, it was beautiful organized rules followed.

2:40 Then I moved to California and decided to switch to residential because I like to draw.

2:44 So I was designing and selling and having custom kitchens built by some craftsmen dude from Germany who didn’t speak English.

2:51 So I was in need deep with all these wonderful craftsmen doing my thing, drawing, designing, getting kitchens built and that led me to be in about 1000 homes.

3:00 It seemed like over the first couple of years I mean it was just endless supply of clients and I was in there as their designer with residential mostly remodeling and I witnessed horror stories of the contractor the and the architect and people dropping the ball and not helping the client working against the client and then you know charging money in advance, but things and jobs not permitted.

3:24 I saw about everything you can imagine that would I call it a nightmare scenario.

3:29 So after about 10 years it took me about 10 years to say oh my God, I just need to be the contractor because I want to solve these problems for my client and I want to sleep at night and not have to worry who’s going to you know rip off the client next because I’m used to think actually working professionally in order and everybody does their job.

3:46 That’s how I saw it commercially but residential it was a free for all.

3:50 So I became the contractor and overnight my life changed, and my client’s world changed and I could relax and things were done right and legally and on time and nobody got screwed with the money anymore because I just took it over so it was kind of neat because I became 10 times more responsible.

4:09 But I liked that, but I was in charge and I saved the client.

4:13 It was all about saving the client because they’re lost.

4:16 The clients are lost.

4:17 They shouldn’t be put in charge of managing people especially unmanageable people.

4:21 That’s incredible.

4:22 And I think that that is kind of my story as well.

4:25 Like I got to the point where I was just frustrated like I just can’t deal.

4:29 I’m like I can do this, and I have enough experience to do it and I know what I’m doing and it’s not you know it’s you have to be a detailed person to be able to manage this many people and that many things going on.

4:43 I think a lot of people don’t recognize the fact that you can actually create so much positive change in your life from being angry.

4:51 Yeah.

4:52 Well there you go.

4:53 I kind of joked about that this morning because I only get angry when things don’t go right.

5:00 I don’t get angry for no reason at all.

5:02 I want to see things, right?

5:04 I want to help people and you can’t help people if you have someone you can’t control.

5:09 That was what was happening.

5:10 But yeah, it’s amazing what that drive does.

5:13 It’s amazing and it’s all about making it better.

5:16 You know and actually helping people.

5:19 What’s one of the projects that maybe you just never thought you would do like what has anything like blown your mind and because I mean you’ve been in this industry for way longer than I have and down and you’re in down in L.A.

5:33 And you see some pretty incredible things.

5:36 I’m sure that me up here in little old Chico doesn’t get to see or experience what would be something like that.

5:44 Well I like challenging projects, so all my remodels are challenging because it’s usually things contractors, other contractors passed out because they just want to rip the house down and rebuild it.

5:54 So I did a couple of houses on the peninsula where I saved the second story above the garage and did the whole new house new on the first story.

6:02 So I stilted up temples and then put the foundation back and the footings back and the and the slab back you know in order and then set the house back down on it.

6:11 So that was kind of fun.

6:12 You know things like yeah and the neighbors freaked out because the walls were gone downstairs and then the second story cottage was just being held up by 10 10 temporary walls.

6:22 So they all freaked out.

6:23 But it was kind of fun because then you just took it back to the footings and then you pour the slab.

6:28 So it was quite simple but those were fun.

6:30 And then I had another one I designed for this guy that had a little bit of too much money and we wanted a pickleball court on the bottom of the house which is the first story on the water.

6:40 So he wanted a sunken pickleball court and then it’s 42 ft stainless swimming pool on the roof.

6:45 So getting this designed, it turned out that I came up with a waterproof foundation 20 ft deep with 238 chemically grounded caissons overlapping each other at 36 inches wide, overlapping so that we could dig out the pickleball court and not have the ocean water at seven ft below flooding or the Santa Ana river 12 ft below flooding our job site and causing a collapse of the two homes on the left and right side.

7:11 So the city, the city of Newport, it was and the and the scary part was is it could have happened.

7:18 So the thing is the city of Newport kind of patting me on the back because I was the first person to come up with a waterproof foundation because all the other guys just pour regular concrete and have to pump the ocean every time the tide rises.

7:31 What a waste of time.

7:32 So I came up with a chemical granted one and it’s soft enough to excavate the first week and then you don’t have any water issues and no flooding.

7:40 And it makes the city happy because you don’t flood the alley.

7:44 Yeah, it’s a $1.2 million foundation.

7:47 Most people wouldn’t pay for that.

7:48 But you know, it’s, it was just, it’s Newport and it’s on the water.

7:54 And it was a playhouse for the client and the working with the engineers was my favorite part because the details, it took us like six months to work out everything in advance.

8:03 The preconstruction was over the top is incredible.

8:09 I enjoyed that.

8:10 It was like, I felt that’s what I feel good is the architecture and the engineering because solving problems because you know, putting the paint colors and putting the cabinets is quite simple, right?

8:20 Yeah, something a little bit more critically challenging.

8:24 I’m sure that’s incredible.

8:25 That’s way over my head.

8:26 My goodness, we don’t have the ocean to deal with.

8:29 Yeah, I’m an expert at working in the sand because the minute you dig down three ft you’re hitting water, you know, and we’re putting pouring foundations in the sand is totally different than the dirt and we’re experts at it cause I’ve done like 40 homes on the peninsula and probably more within three blocks of each other.

8:45 So all my clients know each other.

8:46 So it’s kind of funny, right?

8:48 I feel like that happens.

8:49 I was telling my husband that this morning and he goes, oh, I go, I have to, he goes, what are you doing today?

8:54 And I’m like, oh, I have to go, you know, to a client’s house down the road and I go, yeah, I made it like a joke.

8:59 And like my requirement is everything every job that I do has to be within a mile of where I live because everybody just tells everybody when you do a good job.

9:09 That’s what you want.

9:10 Because I just, I noticed that over the years I realize I have two areas, you know, Laguna and the bell bow of peninsula.

9:16 I don’t even, you know venture, I mean it’s funny.

9:19 Yeah, centralized definitely.

9:22 So what does your crew look like and you’re just kind of like your business structure?

9:27 I’m just curious.

9:28 You know, it sounds so I’m guessing that you maybe do you no longer bigger projects and fewer of them.

9:35 Is that, so how what is your, you know like your business structure look like just for somebody of your scale.

9:43 Okay.

9:43 So what it is is I’m a designer and I do the architecture because I don’t have to have an architectural license.

9:48 I chose not to do that because it complicates things but, and I don’t need it.

9:52 So I do the architecture, the design and manage five engineers to get a house built under the one corporation, which is Julie Lawton design build.

10:00 And then I have the second corporation which is Julie Lawton general contractor, J L G C.

10:05 So back-to-back those two company work side by side and I usually have seven jobs on the table and seven jobs in the field.

10:13 It’s always like that magic number.

10:14 So what it is, is my structure is I try to take on projects that are not less than half a million because it takes just as much time to boil a half upon the pasta as it does to ponds of pasta, you know what I mean?

10:27 So I can’t afford to work on the 500 or less because I spent, I can’t make it financially and it burns up our time.

10:35 So I try to do 500 to a million in the remodels as a minimum.

10:39 And then the new homes are 123 and four or five million.

10:44 When I was talking about the pickleball court that was six million.

10:46 So the point is there’s a range from 1 to 5 but there’s a whole lot more of the 500 to 1 million than there are of the you know 2 to 4, there’s two of the big ones right now and seven of the little ones.

10:59 How’s that?

11:00 Perfect?

11:01 How many people in the construction business?

11:04 You have five engineers in the design build and then how many people do you have on staff with the construction side?

11:11 So what it is is I have two girls, one of them does all the billing for both corporations and she’s like my personal assistant but executive assistant so she’s right next to me then I have another girl that just does the design QuickBooks and then I have another girl that just does the J.L.G.G.C. QuickBooks.

11:28 So I got to counting money on each company.

11:30 Then I got the girl right next to me.

11:32 Then I got two guys in the field that one runs errands and just covers me all the little stuff I used to do.

11:38 And then I got another guy that helps me with project management by just simply typing those schedules because I don’t have time to sit at the computer and enter the data anymore.

11:46 Then I got two guys.

11:48 One of them is Richard, he’s dirt to drywall management and the other one’s alloy drywall to set and finish management.

11:55 So they helped me talk to the subs, but I still run the subs because I’m the designers.

12:00 So the thing is with me, it’s a little different because I drew the plans.

12:03 So I have to be there to answer the questions because they’re my plans.

12:08 And then I have three drafts meant that take the plans to the city and pull the permit for me.

12:13 So I got those on both companies too because I used to draw all the plans myself, submit them to the city myself.

12:20 And then for the permit, all those hours I gave up during Covid.

12:24 Finally, because we couldn’t get to the city and I thought, oh my God, this is a miracle, we can do this.

12:30 All the email now.

12:31 So then I stopped going to the city and all my girls at the city missed me because you know, we like to gossip about, you know, my hairstyle or whatever is going on gossip.

12:42 But I stopped going to the city because it was too much time.

12:46 So with the three draftsmen and I have 20, you know, 19 employees.

12:52 So you got the six people right around me, three draftsmen and then I have my workers.

12:57 So my company handles everything from demo to carpenter, framing, concrete, finished carpentry painting and drywall so we can move from job to job to job.

13:10 But then of course I have to have a dry Waller and a painting company for the bigger job.

13:16 So we can actually manage the remodels with my employees, your internal crew and then the and the new construction of course I bring in a concrete company because we can do all the footings and the everything we want in house.

13:29 We got the concrete guys were good.

13:31 But when we go to do bigger jobs, I bring in a concrete sub and all that good stuff and then all the rest are subs.

13:37 So waterproof for the, you know, the cabinet guy, the electrician, the plumber, the H V A C the roof for the sheet metal.

13:44 You know, they’re all subs of course always and then we have safety meetings every month and we do all these extra training.

13:50 So we have good insurance and good safety meeting and OSHA stuff, you know in the ocean 300 reports every week.

13:57 So we’re on it because as a female, I’m totally, you know, I want to be the best and I want to follow all the rules and woman thing.

14:07 Why skip it?

14:08 Because you’re going to get bit in the, you know what they asked later if you don’t, you know that’s just how life works.

14:13 Absolutely.

14:15 I know my crew, we’re doing this just like small bathroom right now and all we’re doing is changing out the tile and one of my team members was like, oh well we don’t need to get a permit.

14:25 And I was like, yes, we do.

14:26 Like even if it’s one inspection for you know your shower pan inspection and we don’t need to like absolutely.

14:32 Like I don’t ever want anything to ever come back to me and I didn’t do the right thing because the minute that thing leaks because maybe they drop a hammer on it and then yes, it is.

14:43 And that’s what people don’t understand because I swear in this business, if you, I’ve been in it 35 years, I swear there is 10% good ones and 90% bad and that’s why the clb you know, you know can arrest people, I swear because so many people cutting corners.

14:59 I don’t understand why.

15:00 So I’ve made an effort just, you know me because I’m a woman to reach out to the good contractors and drop the walls, let’s talk, what are you guys doing?

15:09 What are we doing?

15:10 I’ll refer you to jobs.

15:11 I don’t want, you can refer me, but it’s really about communicating with the good guys so we can stay strong because there’s a lot of bad ones, you know, and I hate that, you know, with the amount of time you’ve been in the industry, did you like know that you wanted to be in construction and did you face like, do you have any, you know insight of the difference between, you know, maybe when you started and then now as just a woman in the industry, I’ve seen things change.

15:42 What’s kind been your biggest struggle there or I mean to me, people always ask me that and I’m like, I don’t really care like I’m just doing what I’m doing and I’m trying to make a difference, but you know, and if people have a problem with me, like then they haven’t spent enough time with me to learn that.

15:57 Like I do know what I’m talking about and if I don’t, I won’t pretend, but I think I’d love to hear from your perspective kind of what your experience has been.

16:05 Well I am like you, and I have a cousin, her name is Hailie Deegan, she’s a race car driver because her dad’s like metal militia motorcycle, but she was the first Nascar driver and there’s another one too, but she said it’s not because I’m a woman, it’s because I’m a good driver.

16:19 Okay and I did the homework and I practice okay.

16:22 So that’s my philosophy, it’s not man or woman it’s doing the job right?

16:26 Because when you get on a construction site it’s like a prison yard you even know what you’re talking about, and you don’t and they’re going to push you down and disrespect you and if you disrespect them you’re going to get it.

16:35 So the point is there’s a mentality which maybe you and I are similar because I don’t have a problem with men.

16:41 I enjoy working with men and I understand them.

16:44 So I noticed a lot of women as far as the experiences they have a thing with men, and they act different around men and it’s hard for them to communicate but I took the role as boss easily.

16:54 Maybe it’s because I grew up with a lot of men and I had a strong father, but I didn’t have a problem because I was doing the construction all these years.

17:02 Even as owner builder before I was licensed naturally because I took charge.

17:07 So what I can see is women don’t want to do the work.

17:13T hey don’t understand about being in charge of men.

17:16 They don’t it scares them they want to be us but they don’t know how or maybe it’s just not in their DNA.

17:22 It’s not comfortable.

17:23 They just prefer to be the designer because when you’re the designer you’re only 1 10 to the project.

17:29 You know basically there’s so much else going on.

17:31 So that always bothered me because I want answers how it’s built and you know, I wanted all the answers because I can’t just show up in the middle, I need to know how it’s built and what’s the schedule, you know what I mean?

17:44 So I always wanted the big picture, so I kind of naturally fell into it.

17:48 I noticed that women, there’s so many more women because I always encourage women to go into project management because if you don’t want to actually swing a hammer, that’s one choice or sling drywall or do electrical, that’s great.

18:00 But if you really want to get into the business and have a longer career project management and I see a lot more of that thank God as women in engineering to an architecture, there’s more absolutely, you know, just on the personal side, do you have any Children?

18:16 No, what happened is I never got married and thought about it because I had this weird thing where I was, you know, kind of like engaged when I was 18, he died.

18:25 So my mom was like, you know, just, you know, I know it’s weird my path, it was weird.

18:29 So my mom’s like, just don’t think about marriage, it’s not that important and go to college, get your career and move on.

18:35 And so I kind of had that in the back of my mind and I never thought about marriage and then I got happily married when I was 50.

18:42 How’s that?

18:42 So I?

18:44 Yeah so it was late, and it was probably good cause I go 1000 miles an hour and I don’t think anybody else could have kept up to me.

18:50 So you know that’s awesome.

18:57 What do you absolutely love about your job?

19:01 I love helping people and solving problems and the fact that I have the knowledge and can stand there in front of a client answer them on the spot and they can just save thousands of hours and a huge headache.

19:14 I just like that.

19:15 It’s like a five star instant gratification service I provide to the client and I seriously take the stress out of it.

19:22 I mean I can meet with someone three times and build their whole house.

19:24 I’ve got it down so pat.

19:26 You know I got it down.

19:27 So I just I like to save people time and headache and just do it efficiently and organized and just take the stress off of them.

19:34 I mean I just like giving them that confidence that it’s getting done right?

19:38 Absolutely.

19:39 I think that that you know you probably had to work to that point where people just trust you.

19:45 But I think that once you do get that and you have somebody else that’s like just let her do her thing.

19:49 Like that’s my favorite line.

19:51 Exactly.

19:53 I have a new client now.

19:54 He’s a little nervous but he’s a high-level executive and he looked at me the other day, he goes, I can’t see this.

20:00 But I trust you, I said good job because you know, don’t, don’t worry, I go, you told me everything about what you need on the first meeting, and I got this.

20:08 He goes, okay, good, right?

20:10 Absolutely.

20:11 Where do you see yourself going in the next, you know, five years?

20:16 Do you want to do this forever?

20:17 Like what’s your plan?

20:19 Okay.

20:19 So here’s the deal.

20:20 I turned 60 last year and I told myself, I’m going to take this business and exploded.

20:24 So I want to work 20 years and in the next 10 years I want to reach, you know, 100 million in sales.

20:30 I’m serious.

20:31 And in 2015 and I tripled my, I went from one million to five million in 2015 and now I’m at 10 million.

20:38 So I want to reach 25 million soon.

20:40 And if not 100 I had this goal to prove a point that we, I can do it officially.

20:45 But as a designer and a builder, the combo platter, I kind of want to prove a point.

20:50 That one stop shops better as an option and then see what I can get accomplished.

20:54 But I’m going for it.

20:55 How’s that?

20:56 That’s incredible.

20:57 Oh my gosh, you have to listen to, have you ever heard of Brooke Castillo?

21:01 No.

21:02 Okay, she has a podcast.

21:04 It’s called the life coach school and her goal also is 100 million by 2030.

21:09 There you go.

21:10 Right.

21:10 And like she has a jet, and her jet says let’s effing go.

21:15 So that’s what I decided because when I turn 16 like damn!

21:19 So let’s do this because we have the assets like you and me, we have the assets, and we can choose our destiny and we have the talent so why not?

21:28 And I think helping people is one of my biggest things and You know, my solution is the one stop shop is different.

21:35 No one else offers it.

21:36 They offer design bill, but you’re still dealing with five people.

21:39 So that is so incredible.

21:41 What advice?

21:42 You know, I’m almost 40 and I just kind of them in the first couple of years of this and I have dreams of going to where you know you’re headed but also having, you know, I have three kids and I’ve been married for 12 years and it is a stressful job.

22:02 It’s not like an easy peasy thing that you do.

22:05 It’s like you’re constantly thinking about what you forgot to think about.

22:10 Do you have anything that like just from your wisdom, your experience of advice you could just offer me on along that path that you’ve learned.

22:19 Like what do you think worked well for you?

22:22 Well what’s worked well for me is advertising what makes me different and unique compared to other people and then solving problems by if you’re working with architects and designers making sure their plans work before you bid them and investing more time into preconstruction.

22:36 But also networking with people that are going to excel you and work with you, and communicate with the people that are going to take you to the next level.

22:44 So if I build these big custom homes, I got to be cruising the architects that are, so they stop working with the old boys club and maybe hire me instead to do the construction.

22:52 You know what I mean?

22:53 Because everybody’s got their contractor, but you’ve got to link up with the people that are building the bigger projects you know and follow the plan the plans that’s where it all starts.

23:03 But really advertising and marketing what makes you unique.

23:08 Your clients are your best voice but I do a lot of marketing on top of it but your clients are your best voice but just really target the market.

23:17 You want to go into higher end residential and then you get to target architects, you know who’s pulling in the business.

23:24 Have you had a business coach or anything like that along the way?

23:28 Oh yeah, I’m into self-help and therapy books.

23:32 Right?

23:33 Anybody that is that you know your level or anybody that wants goals like that you have to evolve as a person.

23:41 Yeah.

23:41 So here’s what I did because I have like 24 employees at one time and then I had 20 and then I kind of run the ship like you know like an army like a general.

23:50 I’m very precise and you know clean and straightforward and very clear, and I expect people to follow with clear instruction.

23:56 So what I did is last year maybe year and a half ago I got a life coach called powerhouse.

24:01 This woman from I think Chicago.

24:03 And first thing we did is analyze what my personality is, who is me.

24:08 So your personality and take that test and I’ll send it to; you can take it.

24:13 It’s like three pages long and it tells you which personality.

24:16 I’m an E.N.T.

24:18 I’m like 5%.

24:19 I’m like a general in the army for real, there’s only five of us like that.

24:23 So I’m a real driver and I meet my goals.

24:26 So I find out what my personality test and then I found out what everybody else is, was, and then we learned to work together because you got to work with their personality because my secret was I always knew the other people’s personalities because I’m good at reading people and understanding people.

24:41 So I always work with my peoples and personalities, but I never analyzed mine.

24:46 I just knew I was an A type personality. And I just knew I was psycho.

24:50 Yes.

24:52 Crazy, as my sister says, like a Tasmanian devil.

24:55 You know, there’s not, there’s not many people like you and me.

25:00 Do you know Joan Barton down there in LA?

25:03 No no.

25:05 Oh my gosh so she’s a, she owns Dirty Girl Construction and she’s down in L.A.

25:11 She has been in the industry just as long as you have and she’s incredible.

25:16 I think you guys should be, oh my God yeah Joan Barton, she’s incredible.

25:22 You guys would, she does exactly what you do.

25:25 She’s a general contractor and she’s down her company’s Dirty girl construction and she’s just like you, like when I met her, I was like when you meet people like you that are those driver types, you’re like oh my gosh like you’re somebody.

25:39 Yeah.

25:39 I know I didn’t just like rarely meet people like that.

25:41 I didn’t even know I had an A type personality till I was like, you know later in life then I didn’t, I didn’t know I was a salesman until I was 30 and I didn’t know I was an A type personality till I was like 40 because then I started taking those tests and then there like, bang, bang, bang.

25:54 But then you just have to ask my sister, she calls me a bulldozer.

25:58 So whatever.

26:01 That’s awesome.

26:02 So, Powerhouse, what did, so she took, she helped you with your personality test and then like where did she take you from there to try to help you run?

26:10 Because I think probably the hardest part for people like me and possibly you is, we expect so much of ourselves.

26:18 But it’s so hard to manage people because they’re never at our level and I feel like and then you get angry.

26:25 So yes, all the time.

26:27 So then I had all the employees take a questionnaire how they thought my management style was and then we analyzed that and then we told me down a couple notches and then I got a girl next to me that can handle me saying____ every five minutes and then other than that, but then the rest, I got to tone it down and you just be normal and then we do quarterly reviews and keep everybody in check so they are doing their job but a pile of driver, I can’t do it to everybody.

26:52 So but what it is we just came up with a softer approach of management style by just I just keep myself very clear by putting everything and writing in an email and then give people time to catch up and follow up.

27:05 But it’s really about analyzing yourself and then your employees and then getting their feedback so that you can tweak a little bit because it’s nothing better than just everybody just wants clear instruction and then how to be successful and how to be successful.

27:19 And then, you know, then you do bonuses and compensation because when I heard about three new people this last year, I’m in the process of training these people to catch up to my level.

27:28 It’s never going to happen.

27:29 But you know, I’m going to train them so that they’re better project manner than any other project manager, but they’re never going to know as much as I know because I’m six.

27:36 It’s been a long time.

27:38 I know.

27:38 Yeah.

27:39 Well I love it and I so appreciate you taking the time in the midst of your little hairdo situation.

27:47 Yeah, no gray.

27:49 Can’t have that.

27:50 Yeah, No.

27:50 Great.

27:50 We decided no gray forever.

27:52 Okay.

27:53 Is there any, are you a reader?

27:55 Do you like to read?

27:56 I am a reader.

27:57 But I don’t have time lately.

27:58 I love reading and I, but I don’t have time.

28:00 So I just kind of skim things and glance at things.

28:03 But I am a reader.

28:04 Yes.

28:05 Is there any book that you’ve like read or a podcast or anything that you listened to recently that you felt worth sharing.

28:12 You know, it’s so funny because I’m so, I’ve been working so much on, you know, building the company and training people.

28:19 So I’ve been focusing on outlining exactly what each person does and how we can improve it based on their personality.

28:27 And if we need anybody else, we’ve been basically fine tuning each individual person and I’ve been taking the time to write out everything again what I do all day long, what everybody else does.

28:38 So well can really fine tune it.

28:40 So I’m in the middle of that just like documenting processes and organizational charts and just really cleaning up the kind of like the foundation of the business, which I think when you grow so fast it gets out of control and you’re like why aren’t you doing your job?

28:54 And they’re like, because I don’t know what my job is, that’s where we’re at right now because I’m trying to smooth it out because I like to run real fast and everybody has a checklist to complete so long as they do the checklist and not at all done now.

29:06 So we’re kind of fine tuning that.

29:08 But I always listen to motivational people and anything uplifting just so you know, and but I’m into organization like crazy.

29:16 So I have to have organization, but I mean not that I, you know, listen to Tony Robbins or something, but you know, I like if I come across something motivational, that’s what I like people to listen to because there’s always hope because it’s about learning, learning and improving.

29:33 We’re doing it every day all day long.

29:35 It’s always, you know, always room for improvement, never enough kindness because life is hard.

29:43 Absolutely.

29:44 Oh my gosh, I was listening to a podcast this morning Justin Donald and he’s a lifestyle, he’s like teaches lifestyle investments and he was interviewing this man, his last name was Christians and I can’t remember his first name right now, but he was talking about creating your core family values and I was like writing them down and he does like rites of passage with his Children at certain ages and does these extensive, really, it was really cool and I just started like writing down like I’m like, what do I want to teach my Children most?

30:10 And like number one was just be kind, I just want them to be kind.

30:14 There you go.

30:14 I think I learned that too because it makes me cry when I see people being abused or mistreated, you know, young people, our elderly, I always had a problem with that.

30:22 I I know I must, my parents were good parents because I have these values and it’s amazing.

30:28 Yes, it’s valuable and that’s really compassion and empathy, you know, because you never know what the other person is going through and don’t do drugs and don’t do drugs.

30:37 You don’t do drugs.

30:38 I always tell my kids hugs, not drugs.

30:42 They’re like, oh gosh mom, okay, well I would love if we could continue our friendship together, we need to get together and have a phone call because I didn’t even realize and you kind of came out of nowhere.

30:55 So let’s actually get a phone call going, let’s do some networking and let’s set up a meet and greet.

31:00 I would love that more than anything.

31:02 Thank you so much.

31:03 Surely, you’re incredible and you are.

31:07 I hope that more people just get to know who you are because I think you’re just, you know, kind of setting the stage for so many women in the industry and what they can achieve.

31:17 Well that’s my goal because I wrote a book and it’s being shocked about my story and I’m I really mission is to leave a legacy and be a Trailblazer for other women.

31:25 And don’t be afraid to step your toe into construction because you’re in it halfway as an architect as a designer.

31:31 Just take that next step.

31:34 There’s only one little baby step and then you’re there.

31:37 I mean, why stand next to it when you can step into it?

31:40 And what’s the name of your book?

31:42 Well, you’re in the middle of it changed the name now to, you know, badass memoir or whatever.

31:49 But it was about how to avoid a nightmare remodel.

31:53 And then it turned into a memoir.

31:54 So we changed the title last year after Covid.

31:58 So it’s out and it’s published.

32:00 No, it’s not.

32:01 It’s being shot to the publishers because there was some resistance about all female in charge.

32:07 They don’t they don’t understand it.

32:09 They don’t get it, I don’t fit in any box is as the female contractor and I don’t want, and I don’t want to be in a box and I’m sure, you know what I know there’s not enough of us.

32:18 So they don’t get it.

32:19 And so we just change it to a member of my life as it came into being a contractor.

32:23 So it’s being shopped.

32:25 And, you know, when it’s ready, I want to purchase many copies.

32:29 So you have to send it to me.

32:31 Yes.

32:31 And it’s all about inspiring women because it’s it’s tough.

32:34 I’ve been through a lot.

32:35 You know, it’s it wasn’t easy, but I don’t right.

32:40 And you learned, and you want to share and I love, I love that you’re not just keeping that information to yourself.

32:45 I know I’m sharing.

32:46 I went through a lot of crap personally and professionally and all the crap women go through.

32:51 You know, it makes me laugh at the end because I have a lot of, you know, pride and surviving.

32:57 I’m a survivor.

32:59 Absolutely.

32:59 That’s just incredible Julie, thank you so much for being with us and we’ll make all of this, so live for you and I’ll share it with you and I do so appreciate you.

33:09 And I know if I need any help or call me anytime and we can swap stories because when I need to invent my workers, I can’t do it to them anymore.

33:19 You know, somebody told me that to like quit complaining to one employee about another.

33:24 I’m like, oh, you have to watch it because then they hang up and they say, are you talking about me that way too because, you know, you got to watch it because I have two events sometimes, but when you’re training like two or three people at one time, you just get frustrated.

33:36 You know, it’s my A type personality, but we can vent to each other and that would be healthier.

33:41 Absolutely.

33:42 You can, you can call me and say the F Word as many times as you want.

33:45 Okay, thank you.

33:46That’s how I, that’s how I stay looking so young and don’t have great. Just kidding.

33:50 Thank you Julie, have an amazing day.

33:55 Thank you.

33:55 I’ll talk to you soon.

33:57 Thanks for joining me today on the She Builds Show.

34:00 My name is Stefanie Olson.

34:01 My hope is that this episode leaves you feeling empowered and ready to boldly take that step into building the life that you envision 12×4 at a time.

34:11 And if you can do me a quick favor, please leave me a five-star review on iTunes I guess.

34:15 Get you over reading the reviews each week and I will choose one special person to win some She Builds swag, make sure you add your name to the review and I’ll reach out if you’re the winner.

34:25 Thanks again for hanging out.

34:26 Be sure to visit me at theshebuildsshow.com where you can ask me questions and share with me what you’re building.

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