Bumper music credits “I digress” by Big Wreck and “Push” by Ultraspank
I seem to be surrounded by many marriage/business partnerships when attending various pinstripe get-together, and I find myself asking each couple what their respective roles and/or duties are. These all appear to be healthy relationships. The husbands and wives all fall into familiar territory during these reunions as old friends, and I’m often left feeling that we’re missing out on something unique and special.
You might ask “why hasn’t this happened yet?”. Good question. My best guess would have to be that I didn’t see that business/marriage relationship as fundamental as I have in recent years. I always knew I wanted that for us, but for years my M.O. was “have airbrushes, will travel” to any airbrush stand or custom paint job that came my way. Christmas time especially would cause my phone to ring, asking if I would be interested in putting some time in at this mall, or that party, or event for some quick cash. I had no plan or, if I’m to be honest, direction vis-a-vis running a business. There was no thought to marketing, or defining my services as to refuse any job based on subject or specific market. I refer you to my business name “IDENTITY CRISIS DESIGN“. It’s no accident. That name doesn’t just serve to advertise how I like to deal with my customers on a deeper more personal basis in order to give them the best product I could, but also to remind me of my own lack of direction, concerning the business itself. Until, and unless that became front and center, Identity Crisis Design would continue to float around the marketplace, without a solid purpose.
Enter Lindsey. Here we have a woman who is a straight thinker, where I tend to think, and talk in tangents, grasping for a point. This isn’t so bad when a creative is looking for a new angle or idea. Tangential thinking is quite profitable when fishing for a eureka moment but in conversation, listeners get lost in the weeds. Lindsey also reads people better, and faster than I do. I tend to see the positive side in people first. That may sound like a good thing, and in many cases it is, if you’re a psychiatrist, pastor, or need to talk someone down from the ledge of a tall building, but it can also blind you to the potential reality of a persons true nature, motivations, and before long you’re left disappointed by them, and the transaction you’re now stuck in. Lindsey is organized, and while I like to think I am, the truth of this full-time job, kids, business, and life is that things get in the way of being able to concentrate on darn near anything. I have spats of organization that make me clean the garage out, or reorganize a kitchen because I’m just so sick of the clutter. Also, I’m probably procrastinating on projects pretty heavily by the time I’m driven to pick up dog poop so I can mow the lawn. Before Lindsey was in our lives, my kids didn’t even have a bed time. We just fell asleep on each other until the big kid (me) woke up and carried them to bed. Lindsey provided some much-needed structure to things that I, as a single parent, took for granted like mealtimes, bedtime, and what was and wasn’t a set of pajamas versus actual girl clothes… That only happened once. I can hold my own when it comes to typing but Lindsey was an english major in college AND she can type way better and faster than me. Skills like being able to express yourself in words, both spoken and written shouldn’t go to waste when they’re so sorely needed. My wish is that, once Lindsey is steeped in my current “order of things”, She’ll take the same pity on the business that she took on my small kids, fall in love with it, and shape it up into something that makes sense.
So…When I first decided I was going to attend a local bike rally in 2017, come hell or high water, I also decided I wasn’t going to attend, whichever one I chose, alone without any help. In my experience even the local dealership events, as low-key in comparison as they tend to be, are also somewhat over whelming as I try to stripe, promote, and answer questions at the same time. For years, a dream of mine has been to have my wife Lindsey participate as a more integral part of the business.
The only real problem is, she has to want to. And she’s not going want to, unless it’s fun!
That’s a big part of including her in this podcast, the magical 7th episode. We all know that there is a big difference between wanting to do something and having to do something. I’m reminded of Cheap Trick’s hit song in my head, “I want you to want me“. It’s just like that. I want Lindsey to want to help. Not only because I could really use it, but because I see all the possibility that lay in the future for our relationship, and financial freedom. The old adage is true. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with a group.”. I believe the first best member of my business group should be Lindsey. Of course, I can’t convince her. She has to convince herself. I can only explain why my course of action is desirable to any other, if any growth is to occur. Here are some arguments I’ve laid out in the past.
- Once you understand how to do some basic accounting (I’m a one man show. Seriously, it’s can’t get much easier) and can see what monies are going in and out, you’ll have a better understanding of why we don’t go out more. That way you can help find ways to get that next date at the steak house!
- You’re so good at bargain hunting when you shop. You can help me bargain hunt for tools and supplies!
- My appointments won’t collide with family events once you take charge of both schedules. We can spend more time together!
- Once we get you set up as an admin on all the social media outlets I’ve set up, the time spent of Facebook and other social media outlets will be considered marketing!
- You like to travel,and you had a great time in Erie, PA at Roar on the Shore. We can do that more often and have all those trips pay for themselves!
- You look hot in biker leather!
I’m sure there are myriad other benefits to working together that will only make themselves known once the whole thing actually happens. For example, the last dealership event I attended at Steel City Harley in Washington, PA was a rib cook-off. It’s the biggest event of the summer around here, and Lindsey got to be one of the judges. I’m super stoked to find out all the other ways she can profit through joining me on a regular basis.
Roar on the Shore Photos
Did I mention that I’ve managed to get some work done since my last podcast? It’s true. I don’t just talk about this stuff, I actually do it. Probably the biggest project came through Steele Auto Body in the form of a lowrider paint job that I had been itching to work on. After visiting the shop to meet Denny and view the bike all mocked up, I was able to get an idea about how to compose these lines. The boys at Steele Auto Body would apply the flake and hand the parts over to me. Denny was great to deal with but I must admit, he really made me earn my reputation for digging deep to understand what the customer wants. This was my first paint job in this lowrider style. It was also the first time Denny had decided to go in this design direction so communication was very important. In the end, both parties were pleased with the end product and Denny has a best in show trophy to show for it. Because I’m usually dealing with parts only and not the whole bike, I’m left without decent images of the bike all together and shiny. My hats off to Denny for squeezing me into his busy schedule and my daughter Zoe for taking the images of the finished product!
Keep the Faith
Of course that one project took some time to do but it wasn’t the only one. Once I finished with Denny’s “Keep the Faith” project, I was eager to try applying some flake of my own. My next project afforded me the opportunity in the form of a flaked out goalie mask. For that I employed the use of Tamco paint’s 895 inter-coat clear. This stuff has the properties to allow heavy flake, that would normally stick up like the victim of bank robbery, to lay down like one. In other words, it severely cuts down on sanding time between flake and graphics.
I was also invited to attend a pig roast at Three Rivers Harley in Pittsburgh, PA where I was able to imply the use of my Powder-Lines pinstriping template to impress some show goers, as well.
And then there was West Virginia. What can I say that I haven’t said in the podcast? One of the best pinstripe road trips I’ve had to date. Pretty country, great customer, awesome vehicle, and one helluva trips in the form of steaks, a roast, canned goods and Amish apples. MAN!!
A customer from years ago also called to get a helmet done. This is one of those cats you wish you could talk to long after the project is done. Just take a look at the symbols on this helmet in the slide show below and imagine the stories behind this distinguished military career.Video of helmet. Last but not least is a great repeat customer who’s stock in trade is custom firearms. Of course I’ve painted a few of my own and for others but there’s just something way beyond badass about the grim reaper. No matter how many times I paint him, I get a kick out each one.
So that’s it for me until next time. Keep Slingin’ that Paint!!