I had been a believer in post secondary education. Get the degree, get the degree! My father instilled to my brothers and I that we were not to work in the trades. He’d say go to school, stay away from working in restaurants (even though we ere involved in ownership of 2) and that White Collar work was commendable. He was not wrong but he was not right either.

I am a people person, so I found myself drawn to restaurants. Hanging out there, working there and finally making a career in them. As life happened and I transitioned into building restaurants my passion for building brought me closer to the typical trades of carpentry, electrics, plumbing, painting etc..  I built a lot of great relationships with these trades people. Relationships that have stood the test of time. Reliable, trustworthy and down to earth people who I now call friends.

I started to notice a decline in restaurant franchising because of the costs associated with it. I quickly realized that trades was a great route for franchising. That lead me to Harding’s, an opportunity to work daily with these people I admired so much and help take their small businesses to the next level. There has been a decline in ‘work’ effort in recent years and yet the trades continues to get hard working men and women busting their butts to put food on the table. And they do, very well I might add. Margins that some trades are seeing are far better than typical businesses. Your overhead is lower, your labour is already skilled and product cost is very reasonable with great markup potential. In short, franchising in trades is where its at.

I recently watched this TedX Talk with Mike Rowe, from Discovery Channel’s – Dirty Jobs. I was so wrong about him. I assumed he was a Blue Collar grunt chosen from his trade background. I was pleasantly surprised to find him eloquent, very well educated and inspiring. His belief in trades and his experience gained from working along side of so many hard working trades people is spot on.

A career in the trades is commendable, there is no shame in it and a lot of money to be made in it. Don’t sell yourself short and play yourself long on higher education and the massive debt that can go with it. Take a look at the trades!