A Taste of Success! Shawn McKinney
I came to The Extension in September of 2017. I was in desperate need of help. I needed a change. All the wrong choices in life brought me to The Extension. It was “the last house on the block” as they say.
I got started in construction right out of high school around 1997. My grandpa owned a remodeling and painting company and he put me to work. I started out as just a “gopher”.
I would “go for” this and “go for” that!! Cleaning up job sites, scraping windows, holding ladders; all the “simple” work. One day, a crew needed an extra guy to install some decorative trim in a store. I really enjoyed it and ever since I’ve been learning carpentry and other trades.
I’ve tried to work for myself many times, but I was too insane and not able to manage well. I failed miserably every time. I remember talking to Ron Green (my counselor) in my early days at The Extension. He is very goal-oriented and he helped me take a good hard look at my future. He played a big part in my decision to start my own company. He basically asked me why not? Ron showed me how to apply the life principles I was learning at The Extension to my business.
I’ve only been in business officially for about 2 years. It took time to do it right and prepare before I actually made the move. Getting insurance and equipment and slowly building a good name for myself on the weekends and things like that. My company has grown more than I ever could have imagined. Almost all of my work is by referral! I am a small business with only one full-time employee, but we are booked out for months ahead.
Being a business owner in recovery definitely keeps me practicing the principles all the time. It is most important to me to live and work with honesty and integrity. One of the things I like best about being self-employed is that I can (most of the time) set my schedule, so I can focus on the more important things like my family and my God. I try extremely hard to never stray away from Him. I definitely know that God makes all this possible.
I like the freedom to be in it for the enjoyment of the trade, not just a paycheck. It’s hard to say where I see business, let alone myself in 5 years because I’m not in it to be the wealthiest or the greatest, but I do know that I will keep doing the things that work, the things that brought me out of a life of darkness and into this life filled with promise.