Let’s slow the pace for a moment and consider what we want to accomplish in life. Do you want the BIG house? The impressive car? The flat-screen TV too large to mount on your wall? These are all fair questions. They help us focus.

Or…perhaps the more important perspective has little to do with the number of zeros on your paycheck. Instead, it has everything to do with flexibility, freedom, pride, and a strong feeling of accomplishment.

Would you like to shape your company’s culture, atmosphere, and work-life balance? As an entrepreneur, you can make those tough calls. You can take home the largest paycheck…or decide to spread the profits among employees, if you choose.

If YOU own the company.

When You Own the Company

entrepreneurSure there’s more risk when you branch out on your own as an entrepreneur. Perhaps longer work days. An “occasional” working weekend or two. But look at an owner’s home and what he or she drives. These types of material wealth usually happen as a result of entrepreneurship. From carpentry to plumbing to electrical work, the BIG money is in business ownership.

David Decker’s passion and personal experiences as an entrepreneur are tied closely to his creation of Hub & Spoke and its goals. “What we’re creating is different from a traditional trade school,” he says. “We’re taking the perspective of what the industry can offer through the eyes of an entrepreneur who works in a hands-on industry.” Our approach is to help YOU learn the industry so YOU can one day own your own business, where the income potential is the greatest. (See relevant examples at the end of this post.)

An Alternative to College

According to Associated General Contractors of America, nearly 80 percent of construction businesses are struggling to fill skilled labor positions. And 80 percent of new skilled trade jobs require less than a year of schooling. So the market is there for the picking.

A four-year college degree still makes sense for students who expect to find gainful employment in certain fields. However, for fields where job prospects are more uncertain – or where a bachelor’s degree is not required, it might make sense to consider alternatives to college, such as training and eventually becoming an entrepreneur.

A Bigger Purpose

entrepreneur“Being a business owner gives people a bigger purpose to work toward, and they will learn the desired skilled trade as a result,” David says. “Our goal is to show people the possibilities of success and growth in our industry through experiential -, project- and work-based learning.”

Relationships drive everything. The more relationships we have, the more successful we will be. We grow better together. David wanted to create a design center where business owners and employees from multiple industries can gather to share resources. For example, a construction attorney, a marketer, and a builder can gather in Hub & Spoke’s Community Connect area on any given day. Getting all these different people together, collaborating on each other’s businesses, innovating, making new things – that’s what Hub & Spoke is all about.

Learning from Others Experience

“I realized early on in my career in the design and construction industry that there’s not much collaboration between businesses,” David says. “So, being a new business owner, I couldn’t ask a guy that I knew how he ran his business. Businesses were then and still are today tightly vested about how they run their operation. When you’re beginning your career, you want to know, how did he or she become successful? What did they view as success? There weren’t companies getting together and sharing ideas and thoughts. I recognized early on that collaboration in the industry is needed.”

David also learned early on from an entrepreneur perspective that he needed to do more than help employees earn an income to support themselves and their families. His passion grew into helping people find their purpose – their passion – and helping them grow into that purpose earlier in life. He calls it self-discovery. “I believe the why is more powerful than the what,” he says. Being a business owner allows him the freedom to fulfill his passion.

Training the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs


When David and cofounder Travis Tucker talk about how Hub & Spoke’s focus will include “student-run businesses,” people’s eyes light up. These students are going to be responsible for all aspects. And it won’t always be turning wrenches. Hub & Spoke will bring in people that are good at numbers to help these student-run businesses with cost-based accounting. There’s an opportunity for marketing and sales people to create a business plan together.

“The students can get excited because they feel like what they’re doing has real-life application. They can see the outcome. They’re getting behind a problem so they can solve it. They know why they’re doing it,” says Tucker.

People learn more as entrepreneurs than they do in any other environment, so we’re giving kids real-life and real-work experience to help them connect the dots. We’re creating a pathway for these kids that lines up with their interest, their career goals. Kids may say, Why am I learning trigonometry? I don’t need this. Well, you do and here’s how you use it and why. Then the light bulb goes off. There’s research and data that supports how people learn best. Our partners within the Hamilton Southeastern school district are strong supporters of our plan as we provide an educational journey in which the community becomes the classroom.

So someday you’ll be working in that BIG glass corner office.

Skilled Trades Pay Scales

Now let’s look at the difference in income between an employee and the business owner:

Salary range as an employee: $49k to $64k
As the company owner: up to $93k+
Education: High school or GED

Heating and Cooling (HVAC) Technician
Salary range as an employee: $41k to $69k
As the company owner: up to $96k+
Education: High school or GED + apprenticeship

Salary range as an employee: $42k to $66k
As the company owner: up to $96k+
Education: High school or GED

Drywall Contractor
Salary range as an employee: $39k to $61k
As the company owner: up to $90k+
Education: High school or GED

Salary range as an employee: $47k to $63k
As the company owner: up to $90k+
Education: High school or GED

Contact Us

Interested in learning how Hub & Spoke can help you on the path to entrepreneurship? Sign up below to stay informed on the project and up-to-date with Hub & Spoke. For our industry professionals, click here to find out how you can make a difference in workforce development.

Data compiled from Salary.com and Payscale.com


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