We recently connected with Manny Macedo and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Manny thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Before we get into specifics, let’s talk about success more generally. What do you think it takes to be successful?
This is a tricky question for everyone has their own definition of success. In my opinion success is the ability to do what you want to do when you want to do it. To be successful you need to see beyond the obvious, you have to believe in what no one else believes. It’s being sure that there is something there but you can’t see, feel or touch it but you chase it anyways. It’s doing what you say you will do and holding yourself accountable for it. It’s going the extra mile and not expecting anyone else to see it. It’s being honest, grateful, respectful. It’s like taking all those quotes that we often see and putting them into action, instead of just reading them and relating to it. You have to be relentless. Work hard and trust that at some point it’s going to give and things will go in your favor, and until it does you work hard. When things get hard, you push harder, when you’re tired, you work harder. This is what I carry with me in my journey and I consider myself very successful because my competition is myself yesterday as long as I beat myself I am good.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
My name is Manny Macedo, I am 34 years old, married and have a 3 month old son. I got into woodworking by accident, started as a summer job in high school, I worked for my uncle who owns a very successful interior trim company but back then mostly did material & scaffolding deliveries, which I hated, but once in a while I would be sent to projects to actually do woodwork and that didn’t bother me, it was like putting puzzles together. After 2 years, in 2008, I was going to community college and I worked at a restaurant as a server on the weekends. I was making more on the weekends as a server than I was the entire week doing woodworking so I decided to quit. I gave away all my woodworking tools and promised myself I wouldn’t cut another piece of wood. I went on to do various different jobs and 4 years later I caught myself needing to find work quickly. That’s when I turned back to wood working, I went back to my uncle to ask for a job temporarily until I could find something that I could support myself. Having left in good terms, he only asked one thing, that I would put in an effort this time around, for last time I had worked for him I was coming in just to collect a pay check. I said fair enough and went back to woodworking. This time around though I was interested in learning the trade and paid attentions to the details that made the difference. I learned very quickly and shortly after that I had become an asset to the company. I then asked my uncle to teach me the business side of it and he trained me to be the estimator for the company, which was one of his jobs until then. I excelled at it, being proficient with computers at a time where blue prints were switching from paper to digital. I did that for about 3 years and that is when I started to get an itch to want more. I started making random pieces of furniture with the left over materials my uncle had and giving them to friends & family. The word got around and I started taking orders and soon enough I realized I could make a living from doing something that I truly enjoyed doing and that is how I started MM Wood Designs. I think that what sets me apart from others is that I learned my woodworking skills at a very high level, the houses that my uncle worked on were anywhere from 5-50 Million dollar homes so the standards were very high and clients were very demanding, perfection was a must. I have been wired that way, also being the estimator for 3 years I learned how to read blue prints which allowed me to see the projects on paper, the process & finished product. I am most proud of my journey and how I got to where I have gotten thus far and knowing that there is so much more to go. Though it has been a very difficult path, running a business and wearing all the hats is very hard and demands a lot of you. The most important thing is that I do something that I truly love, I take a lot of pride in what I do, I am here to stay and I take pride in my business being built on relationships with clients & designers that I have met through the last 6 years I have been in business. 95% of my work comes from word of mouth referrals and I take pride on not advertising my work, quite the contrary I had to remove my phone number from social media & google for I was spending too much time on the phone with leads. I plan to soon launch a wood club where I will only work with members within the club to ensure a quick turn around for projects and maintain the quality that my business has been built delivering.
Where do you think you get most of your clients from?
My main source of new clients is word of mouth. Every project that I complete I do my best to ensure that the client has the best experience they’ve ever had. In my field is sort of easy, being construction a lot of people don’t return phone calls, don’t show up on time and many don’t deliver what they promise. I do come short at times, but I do my best to communicate with clients letting them know what is going on and when problems will be taken care of, also the high quality products I deliver help ensure that the experience is second to none. My goal is to increase my client’s home values and when they have guests over their home they can’t help but brag about what a great experience it was working with me, regardless of the set backs we may have had throughout the process.
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
When I had the idea to start my business Instagram wasn’t as popular as it is now, so when I created my account it was a lot easier to gain new followers and having a lot of time in my hands I used to spend a lot of time on it just liking pictures regardless of what they were, I must have spent hours liking pictures, I would click on # of cities around here and like every picture and I noticed I would gain a lot of followers, also back then there weren’t thousands of woodworking accounts so I think people found my content interesting enough to follow mostly for lack of there of. Nowadays I have actually deleted ig app from my phone, I was spending too much time on it and getting easily distracted. I think that is a problem for most of us, specially people starting out, they focus too much on social media presence and that is almost irrelevant, unless of course your business is to be a so called “influencer”. In my opinion people should focus on delivering the best product & service in their industry and let the work speak for itself, obviously having a presence on social media is good for validation when someone googles your name but that shouldn’t be the main focus of your business.
- Website: mmwooddesigns.com
- Instagram: mmwooddesigns