We had the good fortune of connecting with Bryce Ballew and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bryce, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is really about committing to a course of action when the outcome depends on variables. Identifying, quantifying and assessing those variables takes experience. The more you refine your trade, whatever it may be, the more you learn to recognize patterns and trends. You start to say to yourself, “I’ve seen this before, I know how this story ends”. From early on, I’ve seemed to have an innate compass that points me in the opposite direction of where everyone else is going. I decided the risk to be status quo was worse than trying something new or going my own way. This has led to being wrong often. But it’s also led to some incredible adventures, lessons and friends. There comes a point for every entrepreneur where the inaction of not taking a risk is more painful that taking it. At that point, you have to identify, quantify and assess… Then have the will to act on it and never look back. The biggest risk is sitting at the old folks home in your final days saying, “I wish I would have…”
What should our readers know about your business?
Flex office space is more than desks and chairs. It has become a hyper-competitive laboratory for what an office space needs to be when there’s a choice between one over another. Tradecraft Industries is the first of its kind flex-office/incubator for the construction and design industry. Where other spaces tout ‘co-working’ with coffee, WiFi and conference rooms, Tradecraft goes several steps further to carve out a niche for our unique demographic. We offer storage, trailer parking, 30-yd dumpster and industry specific classes, workshops, and networking. I first had the idea during the last recession of 2009. As a contractor I looked around at our company and others to see an industry decimated by forces outside out control. I thought, ‘There’s got to be a better way for contractors to work in an industry that expands and contracts very quickly and cyclically.” It was a very steep learning curve from being a general contractor to a brick & mortar business owner. I learned, on the fly, an entirely different skillset that was necessary to manage a flex-office space and facilitate a community. Structuring membership agreements, what software to implement, rules & regulations as well as marketing and facility management were all necessary to build a thriving construction community. What I want the world to know about our brand? Easy: ‘Quality’ We are facilitating Quality connections Building Quality businesses Constructing Quality structures This is not a space for people who cut corners or don’t stand behind their work. We are a unique, professional and quirky bunch of construction nerds that love what we do and genuinely care about the things we build, be it buildings, relationships, or memories.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Is this during COVID or normal times? If it’s during COVID, I’d say don’t travel, wear a mask, and avoid large gatherings so we can get back to normal: During normal times, I’d say we’d check out the Dive Inn, Don’s Mixed Drinks, or any number of semi-sketchy dive bars along Colfax. If we felt like being fancy, Cooper Bar at Union Station. The best part about Denver is its eclectic mixture of concept bars, restaurants and local artwork. Avoid the over-commercialized and take a walk on the wild side to find the underbelly of the creative scene. Places like Pon-Pon and Grace Studios are absolute gems that need to be protected from the corporate bastards.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Jeff McCabe, for sure and no doubt. Mr. McCabe was the instructor for Advanced Cabinetmaking in my high school. Creative, ingenious, meticulously detailed and with a seemingly endless knowledge of how things are built, he introduced hundreds if not thousands of kids to woodworking. More than that, he also explained how building things could help us live the life we wanted to live, anywhere we wanted. Want to live on the coast, scuba dive and deep sea fish? Go install cabinets on yachts Want to live in the big city and see all the concerts come through? Go build sets in Hollywood Want to travel the world and live the expat lifestyle? Learn to be an offshore crane operator The skills we learned to help us to live any life we wanted to live. As he gave that speech to our class, a few weeks before graduation; I knew exactly what I wanted to do for work the rest of my life.