November 21, 2017

Share everything you know you selfish...

On a recent recording of our The Modern Craftsman podcast, we had a live Q&A, and this question came up, as it often does. “Why do you share so much?” The answer is extremely simple, but in efforts to elaborate on this topic I’ll do my best to try to cover most of my reasons.

Client Relationships

“If you tell the client how to do something, they will never hire you.”-Anonymous

The person who does it themselves was never going to be your client in the first place. Whether you showed them how, or they watched a Youtube clip, they were always going to attempt hopefully successfully the project themselves. So by sharing your the professional, you gain credibility, and they will likely speak highly of you to their peers. Which more often than not, one of those peers is NOT going to be the do-it-yourself types. There is your ROI.


Scott lives next door (hypothetical) to me and is a residential renovation contractor, similar to myself. The only difference is he is working every day and sharing nothing. Trying to learn while being onsite and surfing the web in his time off-site. He is about to start a kitchen install, and I tell him to check out a few guys on Instagram, such as JCH Cabinets, a guy who has single-handedly improved the craft of what seems like 1000’s of cabinet installers. Sharing tips and tricks for a one-person show installing cabinetry and millwork. Sure he is not local to Scott, but Jon is not worried where the audience is located. Why? Because he’s not competing with them, well not anymore. His quality and passion for what he does are now on the pedestal of social media where the client, builders, and peers can see the insane amount of detail he puts into every single job. The builders watching then hiring the other guys are reminded that there is better, and Jon is it. Jon is choosing to force others to challenge themselves while challenging himself every day.

I also think back to when the President of Blum Inc. walked up to me after I just stood on stage talking about how I use social media to force innovation amongst my peers. We chatted about how this relates to every industry, even his. I went on to refer to their products and rather than developing a product so good and waiting for the competition to catch up, be the innovator and give it away. By the time they figure that product out, you are working on Version 2.0.

See when you share what makes you different you are forcing yourself always to be innovating. You know someone is chasing you and chances are your chasing someone who’s bigger, better and doing cooler stuff than you.

Industry Standard

You hear this all the time; the middle class is the one who suffers. What if by sharing what you know you become part of the solution? There is a definite difference between the experienced guys and inexperienced guys, especially when it comes to pricing. So the middle class is forced to go with someone at the top of their budget to get a good product, or they take a chance with someone less experienced and micro-manage someone they hope can produce the quality they expect. Now I know there are plenty of the guys right in the middle of experienced and inexperienced, but they usually don’t last very long in that category. They become experienced, filling their schedule and their pricing goes up. Which, as a business owner, is what we want.

What if those guys shared their knowledge with the public, and these less experienced guys had the opportunity to learn from the guys directly above them? They would relate to them and learn from them. That coattail effect would range from least-experienced all the way to most-experienced and everything in between. Every step mapped out now growing your business, experience, and quality is more obtainable than ever.

Work/Life Balance

John @heresjohnnyh says this best. Sharing your tips and tricks goes so much further than your business, but personally. Those tips you share might allow someone to finish their job a few minutes earlier which in turn will enable them to be home with his or her family earlier and catch their kid's baseball game. How great would that be? You shared a trick you learned years ago, and to you, it was just your daily habit, but to others, it is the difference between working late and seeing their family an extra hour per day.

You're Selfish

There will still be those who do not agree with this mentality, they keep their trade secrets and often die with them. They are comfortable working every day and not only plateauing their craftsmanship and careers but ultimately being buried with them since no one was ever taught what he or she knew. The legacy is gone.

Now more than ever tradesmen are sought after in high-demand, uniquely qualified and passionate tradesmen (and women). So consider this as an exercise, share more about what goes into your daily life as a business owner, carpenter, plumber, electrician, chef, dentist, whatever. Because someone (x1000’s) is waiting to learn first hand just what it takes to do that job.

Add that to your LinkedIn profile, "Teacher & Mentor."

-Nick Schiffer


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