For most guys, being able to wrench on things is a point of pride. I have a friend who has rebuilt a small block engine by himself. Another who remodeled his entire basement and another who could re-wire just about anything. Me? I type for a living. Not exactly the most rugged, “guy” kind of job. But even though I’m a writer by day, it seems I’ve become quite the expert in other things that I had no idea I was.
See, I live in a suburban condo complex where I’m one of just a handful of younger people. So after talking with a few neighbors in friendly, passing-by conversations over the last year, the fact that I’ve redone my deck and fixed my own water heater (both which took me about three times as long as they should have, but still) has suddenly made me the local handyman.
In just the past few months, I’ve had one neighbor who’s selling her condo unit ask me to also re-sand and paint her deck, one ask me to change the heating elements on their water heater, and when a neighbor found out I did that for them, guess who he called when he couldn’t figure out how to wire his new surround sound system?
While most of these are simple things that anyone with the willingness and an internet tutorial can figure out, I’ve found it quite funny that someone like me, who’s fingernails stay pretty clean for the most part, has been enlisted as this guy with a trusty toolbelt of sorts. What’s nice, is that I’ve also found it profitable.
In each instance, I’ve simply been able to apply my knowledge in doing things that I’ve done for myself, or others in prior experiences, to help my neighbors when they need something done. And in turn, be rewarded for it. If ever there’s been a quintessential definition of side work, this is it.
While people probably think that I have all kinds of tools in my garage and do this kind of thing all the time, the truth is, I don’t. I have the basics – some socket wrenches, a hammer, screwdrivers, etc. But I’ve been able to parlay that basic knowledge into a real offering of services.
Which is conicidentally, kind of how Siide works. One neighbor knew I helped another. Did a good job and when they needed something similar done, they called me. I was the expert all of a sudden. And not because I grew up doing it or took classes. It was just because I had the experience, provided a quality service for an affordable price, and because someone vouched for me. That’s the power of having credibility within social circles. It turned a guy who looks at a computer screen all day into a steel-toed boot-wearing handyman.