Big Picture - March 2018 - 15

veterans back in the day. Nor was YouTube, still in its infant
stage, able to illuminate a path to a competent wrap job.
Before I could lead my own team of graphic installers or build
strong customer rapport, I had to apply the lone-wolf mentality to
my career in order to prevent my company from operating at a
loss, or worse, taking a sharp nosedive. The lone-wolf concept is
the idea of going at it alone while leaving the pack behind. It
involves cultivating your own personal and professional growth
by learning every aspect of the discipline, which means getting
your hands dirty by constantly practicing, training, researching,
and learning. During this period, it becomes a transformative
journey where you try to figure it out by yourself - all the nuts
and bolts of the sign and graphics industry - before rejoining your
loyal pack. And anyone who masters their craft will face
moments of fear and doubt and somehow must find the inner
resolve to keep moving forward. Admittedly, my inner struggles
these days are all about the pressure to match previous success
or surpass it with my clients. Upcoming challenges include
lending my custom services to what I dub the Holy Trinity of Pop
Music (three superstar acts with high-profile outings), developing
a documentary series, and catching a flight to oversee a series of
specialty wraps for the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. It seems
that each new inquiry or assignment follows with a more
complex and demanding workload.
I have learned that a healthy dose of competition is not such
a bad thing for your business. I know this must be a bold
statement, but it does inspire change (to which many people are
not accustomed), keeps you on your toes, and builds team spirit
when it comes to the 9-to-5 grind. Just navigating the web has
revealed a number of first-rate wrap shops of all shapes and
sizes offering a variety of services in their area that can cover
many territories. It's happening with a growing frequency. One
way of setting yourself apart from the rest of the herd is through
industry certifications. Having an industry certification by
established brands and organizations such as 3M, Hexis, Avery
Dennison, or PDAA via their training courses and tests will
validate you as a professional member of the trade. Certifications are essential for shop owners as they show your customers and vendors that you are "doing it like the pros" when it
comes to the actual installation and dealing with each manufacturer's film and its warranty. I believe that prospective installers
should have at least a year of wrapping experience on different
types of substrates and vehicles while using and experimenting
with a wide range of media before you make the jump.
MOVING FORWARD

BIGPICTURE.NET

So what's really at the top of my New Year's resolutions? Building
a world-class team with an aggressive growth plan to double my
crew in six months. I'm preparing myself to be let down if my
plan doesn't materialize. And I will probably be let down because
good help is hard to find. The hiring process or, more specifically,
the interview phase, is even more puzzling, especially when I
walk into a meeting with a set of requirements and qualifications
for what I think would make an ideal candidate. The reality is that
these candidates will usually fall short of what is on this list.
My best advice is to trust your instincts when you make that
final decision of nabbing a candidate who may just be your next
employee of the month. Ask yourself: Are you completely

comfortable seeing this new person
walking through your front office door
every day? My troupe of experts is a
group of trusted individuals (who I spend
more time with than my loved ones) that
my business partner and I have trained
and brought into our inner circle to help
us attain all our short- and long-term
goals. It's about finding the perfect staff
that sticks - the ones who can stay
around for the long haul to accommodate
our round-the-clock, fast-paced environment. This topic has always resided at the
top of every shop owner's list whether
they acknowledge it or not.
As a leader, I am tasked with creating
a positive work environment with the
intent that each staff member can
contribute to better employee morale
with increased engagement and productivity. I liken it to driving recklessly down
several lanes. If I don't choose one lane,
they may not follow me much longer -
or at all. Although a cliché, treat each
employee how you would want to be
treated if the tables were turned.
According to the Chinese calendar,
we are immersed in the "Year of the
Dog." The Chinese Zodiac associates the
dog with loyalty, honesty, and intelligence. Those are the same qualities I find
in the people with whom I work every
day. Without those people and their
support, I wouldn't be here now speaking
about a profession that I've come to treat
like a loyal companion.
For me, it's been a decade-plus effort
of many career highs [Editor's note: Look
right for images of guitar wraps printed and
installed by Sino's team for Justin Timberlake's Super Bowl LII halftime show.] and
lows in my role as a serious graphic
installer in the vinyl wrap industry. To be
exact, as I write this column, it's been 10
years, 6 months, 4 days, and counting.
If I had thrown in the towel when times were tough, none of
my accomplishments would have ever happened. I have
always been a firm believer in making mistakes, seeing the
recovery from the occasional blunders and glitches as a
crucial component of universal success.
Rather than reflect and dwell on your own shortcomings,
I think you should make a series of realistic resolutions that
would benefit your company by revisiting the lessons and
roadblocks that you encountered in 2017. Take an uncensored
look, like I have, and seek out those conversations, moments,
or experiences with your business that you may wish to move
past or forget. Embrace them and start making your own
attention-grabbing headlines.

15


http://www.BIGPICTURE.NET

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - March 2018

Big Picture - March 2018
Contents
Insight
Wide Angle
Upfront
Extreme Vinyl
Beyond Decór
Be Flexible
Connected Packaging as a Marketing Channel
R+D
Explorer
Big Picture - March 2018 - Intro
Big Picture - March 2018 - Big Picture - March 2018
Big Picture - March 2018 - Cover2
Big Picture - March 2018 - Contents
Big Picture - March 2018 - Insight
Big Picture - March 2018 - 3
Big Picture - March 2018 - Wide Angle
Big Picture - March 2018 - 5
Big Picture - March 2018 - Upfront
Big Picture - March 2018 - 7
Big Picture - March 2018 - 8
Big Picture - March 2018 - 9
Big Picture - March 2018 - 10
Big Picture - March 2018 - 11
Big Picture - March 2018 - 12
Big Picture - March 2018 - 13
Big Picture - March 2018 - Extreme Vinyl
Big Picture - March 2018 - 15
Big Picture - March 2018 - Beyond Decór
Big Picture - March 2018 - 17
Big Picture - March 2018 - Be Flexible
Big Picture - March 2018 - 19
Big Picture - March 2018 - 20
Big Picture - March 2018 - 21
Big Picture - March 2018 - 22
Big Picture - March 2018 - 23
Big Picture - March 2018 - Connected Packaging as a Marketing Channel
Big Picture - March 2018 - 25
Big Picture - March 2018 - 26
Big Picture - March 2018 - 27
Big Picture - March 2018 - 28
Big Picture - March 2018 - 29
Big Picture - March 2018 - 30
Big Picture - March 2018 - 31
Big Picture - March 2018 - 32
Big Picture - March 2018 - 33
Big Picture - March 2018 - R+D
Big Picture - March 2018 - 35
Big Picture - March 2018 - 36
Big Picture - March 2018 - 37
Big Picture - March 2018 - 38
Big Picture - March 2018 - 39
Big Picture - March 2018 - 40
Big Picture - March 2018 - 41
Big Picture - March 2018 - 42
Big Picture - March 2018 - 43
Big Picture - March 2018 - Explorer
Big Picture - March 2018 - Cover3
Big Picture - March 2018 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_20150102
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201410
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https://www.nxtbookmedia.com