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Meet the Makers Series, Interview with Rick Arnold


Interview with Rick Arnold

Interview with Rick Arnold

At the JLC Live Northwest event, my first item of business was my interview with Rick Arnold. Published author, business owner, and teacher, Rick was the perfect person to interview and set the feel and tone for me that JLC Northwest would be.

Rick is the owner of R Arnold and Sons Construction. His introduction to the trades was his 8th grade shop class. As Rick himself states, he didn’t really choose construction. He first went into the military and after that went to college. His college went on strike, so he got a job and never looked back.

Topics in this interview

  • Issues as a  business owner, tough to get help
  • His son seeing the same issues
  • Rick says that they are not even after highest quality and most skilled, just want people to show up
  • Rhode Island (his home state) looked down upon skilled tradesmen, a last chance dumping ground, not college material. Trades need craftsmen and businessmen and women
  • Easy to get into business, exciting when you do, and make profit and good life
  • If everything else fails, tradesmen always have their trade to fall back on to support their family 
  • Educators, Rick says if he can do it, anyone can
  • Rick is mostly self taught, he had plenty of help learning his trade and business, trades have lots of opportunities, professionalism, practices, no matter what you do, if you do it well, you will succeed, opportunity is out there if you can hustle and do good work
  • Night school to fill in gaps, Rick pursued courses in basic accounting, forecasting and tracking, identified weaknesses in his business after, and then marketing. Shortfall, saw others jump ahead because they were better marketers
  • What is his approach to finding good help? Go to high schools, speak to teachers, motivated and willing to learn, take on younger people who YOU can train, they can become highly valuable employees.

Links to Rick Arnold’s work:

Rick Arnold in the Journal of Light Construction

Rick Arnold in Fine Homebuilding

Rick Arnold in This Is Carpentry

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