An electrician’s journey to entrepreneurism
In a small town in Northern California, there is a man who was an electrician for many years, working with a large electrical contractor. With one question, a a friend of a friend changed all that.
“M., can you fix my grandmother’s chandelier?”
He hadn’t worked on an antique lighting fixture before and knew very little about them, but said, “Let me see what I can do.”
The lighting fixture was delicate and intricate. Pieces had to be pulled apart, replaced, rewired and repaired. It needed careful polishing.
The project took weeks but he loved it. The new client was thrilled with his work and paid him well. Then she told 20 people about his work, including interior designers.
Before long, M. had so many projects, he quit his job and had to find warehouse space to store all of his projects. He networked with antique dealers and people who traveled the world to find lighting fixtures and parts. He started seeing things differently: how a hand-blown glass vase from Italy could become a lamp.
Word kept spreading and his clientele grew.
Techies from Palo Alto showed up at the dingy warehouse to buy large orders of light fixtures. A designer would select M. to light an entire house for a famous basketball player.
When you walk into his shop, M. emerges in a T-shirt and jeans. He’s beaming. He shows you a variety of projects he’s working on. He shows off some of his finds from antique dealers and describes plans for his own creations. He tells great stories about jobs he’s done, people he’s met and houses he’s lit.
And there he stands, amidst the crystals, brass fixtures, bulbs and luminescent glass, beaming – lighting up his business as he speaks.
M.’s business is healthy and strong. And perhaps most importantly, it lights up his life.
Happy business development!