We had the good fortune of connecting with Caleb Hartman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caleb, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
Inspirational quotes have the ability to change your perspective and help motivate you to push through tough times. There is one individual in particular who has driven me- Randy Pausch and “The last lecture.” What many people don’t realize is that my education was far from traditional. It was a mix of small church schools and homeschooling, eventually landing a GED at the age of 16. A four year college degree was never on the table growing up, so my exposure to influential speakers that could motivate me to seek perspective on social topics or expand my views was minimal. But his story is that of many other American’s. He lived a normal life, worked hard, had a wife and three kids. Life was good and then suddenly he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given six months to live. This changed his outlook a little bit. In his “Last lecture” he was speaking on a lot of topics which all focus on perspective. If we can change our perspective, then we can change our world. The single most influential quote I got from him was this: “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.” That’s right, experience is what you gain from not getting it right the first time. Another way to look at “FAIL”- First Attempt In Learning. Don’t be afraid to not nail it right away. Accept the failure and embrace it because you tried and will try again but now you know what you did wrong and can adjust for the next time. Experience is what you gain from failing, not from getting what you want. As it relates to my trade, I have failed many times. But I wouldn’t be where I am, without the opportunity to learn from those times that that things did not go as planned.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work is my passion. It challenges me daily. Some days I feel like I am on top of the world and have won the day. Other days I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water but I know that I have to get up and push through. I guess that’s what separates me from the herd. When I’m down I know that I have to get back up dust myself off and continue forward momentum. Was it easy? HELL no. I started in my garage working hours upon hours, sweating, dirty, and tired day in and day out. I did not start with bank funding or any other form of financing. There have been many days I just wanted to quit and walk away from it all. I’m thankful that during those darkest moments, somehow, out of the blue the phone will ring and it’s an ask to bid a larger job, or a client provides positive feedback from a recent job. Suddenly the drive to succeed is back at full throttle. Over the last 5+ years I’ve learned a lot about accountability- there’s no one else to blame except for myself when something goes wrong, timelines are delayed, I underbid a job, etc. As far as my brand and story- I’ll leave you with this: Hard work pays off. You get out of life what you put in. You give it your all day in and day out and life will give you everything you want. Your past is your past- leave it there but don’t ever forget where you came from or you will be back there before long. An analogy that sums up these sentiments is “The reason windshields are so big in comparison to your rear view mirror is because its all about where your going not where you have been.”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve never been big on “going out”, so my input on nightlife is lacking. The Phoenix area has good Mexican food and there are a few restaurants that I take guests to. My wife and I had our first date at La Casa Blanca in Chandler 15 years ago when the roads were single lane with stop signs. Arribas and Si Senor are “New Mexican” favorites. Carolina’s is fantastic if we make it down town. Additionally, we like to show people some of the scenic drives AZ has to offer. Namely, The 89A from Flagstaff to Sedona with a stop at Slide Rock if it’s not terribly busy, and the Apache Trail via the road up Four Peaks and down the backside to Roosevelt lake. Growing up in the 1990’s Mill Ave was the place to be. Although the landscape has changed quite a bit, I still make sure to spend some time with my guests dining and shopping the downtown area. Hole in the Rock at Papago and the Roosevelt Arts district are also on my list of places to share with out of towners, however like many other things in AZ they can be dependent on weather and time of the year.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are too many people to thank but obviously if the people you surround yourself with are a direct reflection of you, then my response without question is my family. I’ve made a lot of poor choices in life and my family was always there to support me. They were not enablers but when I felt like a complete loser they were there to reassure me that I was not a loser, I just needed to make wiser choices. As I got older I realized a more mature level of accountability and perception. The wiser and older me recognizes that the decisions I make are not always all about me and I have learned to think about longer term results and consequences. Watching my mom and dad getting through the hard times plus my grandma and grandpa being married over 50 years gave me confidence that success was possible. Seeing them work through challenges allows me to recognize that a long term marriage and relationship is possible, it just takes work at times. If it wasn’t for those four people, I wouldn’t have my foundation and my everything- my wife Andrea Mae Hartman. She taught me way more than I ever even knew I needed to know. I don’t and can never tell her enough the amount of love and gratitude I have for her. In short, my shout out is to my family the ones who made me good enough to start a family with my wife. If your loved ones are still here hug them because life can be unpredictable and at some point you will never be able to get them back.
Photo Credit for family photo: Rachel Perrella