Like anybody else in any other profession, construction pros are expected to learn new things and get better at our work. Dirty secret: some of us don't do that at all. Amazing opportunity: those of us who DO get better and better leave the others in our dust, and we get not only our own loyal clients, we get theirs too.
I love my work, and I get paid to learn every day- it's incredible that there's always more to learn, no matter how deep you dig. When I first trained to become a HERS Rater, my instructor told me on day 3: "You ask too many questions- you just need to shut up and do what I tell you for the rest of the week."
I knew then and there that I would never be that guy. We need to ask MORE questions, not less, and we all walk around pretending we have a handle on what's going on when we usually don't have a clue! That feeling in high school- the one when you know you didn't do your homework and you're about to be found out- many of us live with that feeling every day in our work. It doesn't have to be that way. Now there's FALL FAST TRACK.
Proof Is Possible, and performance testing is the way to get there in buildings. It's a funny thing to be where I am in the construction industry: still a relative newbie at only 7 years in, but also one of the only people with both 7 years experience AND daily performance testing experience, still. Most of my colleagues at this level have primarily taken on management work, and don't actually crawl around in homeowners' attics and crawlspaces. Many home performance experts out there do not lug blower doors around or drill test ports in ductwork- they manage employees who do, or write about it, or make policy decisions for energy efficiency programs. I still do all my own hands-on work every day, and it makes me a better building scientist and teacher.
Which brings me to the free market. My hourly fee is on par with attorneys in many places, and that's because I don't just bring brains to the table- I bring tons of scientific gear, too. Anyone with both can earn a good living in home performance contracting, but you have to get out from under the umbrella of energy rebate programs to do it.
I attended a think tank recently, all about 'how to bring home performance contracting into the mainstream private market'. On the last day, I came right out and asked how many of the 40 building science experts in the room already worked entirely in the private market; and I was the only one. It made me feel both proud and like I must be an idiot for not taking the public money. But mostly proud.
I've learned to help homeowners solve problems and get more control over their homes, and earn a good living while I'm at it. And so can you. FALL FAST TRACK happens just once a year, and is limited to 100 pros. My goal is to have at least one home performance ninja in every market in the U.S., and if it's not you, it'll be your competition. And then there's Australia, Europe, Asia, and Africa to work on. Am I tired yet? Hell no, I'm fired up about it!
All we need to do is get the client, the homeowner/homebuyer, to understand what they should expect from anyone in the construction industry, and they'll naturally seek out the masterminds. It's worked for me. It can work for you. Let's do this.