By Renée Biery

listen on apple

listen on spotify

listen on google

Add-on’s, renovations, and new construction homes can seem intimidating to take on. How do you even get started? How do you find and manage contractors? What surprises should you anticipate coming up? How long do these things take?

In this podcast, you will learn all that and so much more!

Embracing Change: Finding My New ‘A’ Team







I’m experiencing some changes in my work life. 

I am preparing for something I thought would never come: Todd’s retirement. For those of you who don’t know, Todd is someone I refer to as my ‘A’ Team. He is the one small contractor I have worked with for around 15 years, and we work on several projects together every year. 

He’s the one I can count on to pretty much help me out with anything.

I met Todd through a project. I was just doing decorating work and this guy kept coming over to work on small things. So I got to know him and found out he grew up in the industry. His father was a contractor, and Todd has built homes and small developments with his father, and over the years had less and less interest in that scale of work. And so he would help me out with anything up to a small addition. And so the relationship began.

We really became a team. We learned from each other. But more importantly, we became friends over the years. 

Over the years I’ve also gotten a little lazy in my documentation for Todd for the specifications I give him because he knows me.  I also know the job is just going to go a whole lot smoother than others because we know how each other work. 

The thought of finding another contractor with whom I fit so closely is overwhelming and kind of depressing. But I know there are other contractors who are just as capable, if not more capable, than Todd. It’s just a matter of going through the steps. 

So I know I have about 6 months to do some research, to go out and see who else is out there that I want to work with. 

What will I be looking for?

I’ll be looking for a high-quality level of work. 

People skills – but again, like with Todd, I will be there as well, so I can compensate for some lack of people skills.

I want to understand their workflow. 

I want to understand who else works with them.

Leverage my network

If you are looking for your Todd, you should start leveraging your network with the trades. You start with the guys who work with them day in and day out. My guys know all of my particulars and most likely work with others who are at the same level as I am. Better yet, they work with others who aren’t at that level and they can tell me that as well and so can save me time when I’m starting to build a list. 

Remember, this is a relationship you’re building, not a one-off project. I want to build this for the next ten years—until I retire, if that’s when I retire. 

So, I will be following your standard interviewing process. I want to know who this person is and what type of work they do. If possible, I want to see some of their work and talk to their references. And then, yes, I will want to guinea pig one of my clients with this guy. That’s where I get anxious.

That’s what I want you to think about thoroughly before selecting someone. In the perfect world, I would guinea pig myself. And I still may in the future at some point. Keep in mind that they’re going to bring their A-game because they’ll understand what I’m doing. But that’s ok too. I’d like to see their A-game, and then I can hold them to that standard. 

Along with seeing this as an opportunity that has come up for me, I’m always looking forward to the chance to see new perspectives, fresh ideas, new resources, and new vendors. You never know what their experiences are and how they can improve or add to mine.  

But I’m also going to be very careful to set expectations. 

Todd and I grew and improved our skills together. But now I’m hoping to shorten the learning curve with my new team member because I have 15 years of experience now, and I truly know the clients that I work for. So I am now looking for someone who can meet me where I am today.

So, I hope this episode helps you look at a task such as this as an opportunity for you. Change is never fun. I’m not saying that. But it is an opportunity to reach out to your team. Everybody loves to refer someone they like and trust. And it’s an opportunity to talk about how you’re expanding your network. While I don’t think this will be as easy as it was when I found Todd, I’m confident that there is another Todd out there who I just haven’t met yet. 

Another piece of advice I meant to work on for years is that I probably should have had more than one Todd Team in my life. I often thought of this and always put it off, thinking Todd would never retire. But if I had done this sooner, it would have made this whole change that much easier!

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with your questions and/or experiences you’ve had of this! Email me at or send me a DM on social media.

follow the podcast

want to be a guest?

Fill out the form on the inquiry page under the podcast tab and we'll get in touch with you!

leave us a review!

We love hearing from you about your thoughts on the podcast, you can leave a review on apple!

You can find us anywhere! Click the icons to find us on the podcast platform you use!