Scott M. Haskins is an art conservator with Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, an internationally renowned painting restoration firm that provides a variety of professional services, including disaster response for art and murals. He is also the author of the Save Your Stuff series, of which over 10,000 copies have been distributed to help people save their stuff at home.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 024
How To Automate Your Business – https://greatinternetmarketing.com/automate/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[02:19] Tom's introduction to Scott M. Haskins [03:11] What Scott does for art conservation [04:41] Wannabee and authentic paintings [08:24] His regular University job [10:33] A turn in the economy and technology [14:37] Avoid getting screwed in business [16:02] Natural disasters and insurance [18:00] Bizarre and funny stuff in this business [21:06] Best and worst things about working for yourself [22:14] What Scott offers today [25:11] Tom was worth $79! [26:00] Sponsor message [26:37] A typical day for Scott [31:30] Parting thoughts for us Screwballs
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Fine Art Conversation Laboratories – http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/
Collection Care Tips – http://collectioncaretips.com/
Save Your Stuff website – http://saveyourstuff.com/
Save Your Stuff – https://www.amazon.com/Scott-M.-Haskins/e/B001KC8PPY
Scott's YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/bestartdoc
How To Automate Your Business – https://greatinternetmarketing.com/automate/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
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Episode 024 - Scott Haskins
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:27] Hey everybody it's Tom here welcome to screw the commute episode number 24. We've got a very unique businessman here and a very unique business I'm going to tell you about here in a minute. Don't forget to listen to Episode 23. We had a raucous interview with Vickie Sullivan including, and this is a first for me, a hit man offered her a free stabbing for her excellent customer service. I'm not kidding. It was absolutely true.
[00:01:07] So our sponsor today is how to automate your business e-book some of the techniques in this book. I mean we tried to figure it out. Have saved me something like literally seven million keystrokes in just typing e-mails alone over the years. There's tons of other tips in this book that I used to handle as many as 150000 subscribers and run my entire business with one part time temp person. The only time I started adding employees was when my accountant called me up and said hey Tom you've got too much retained earnings. And I'm Like what??? I said, what does that mean. He said well you're going to have to pay more tax. I'm like you kidding me. I'm keeping my nose clean. I'm not buying boats and airplanes and hookers and everything else and I got to pay more taxes. Yep yep that's what it is. So that's when I started hiring people because I'd rather pay for jobs not bombs. So anyway this ebook shows you how to automate your business and handle lots of people, bring in more money. I'll tell you a little bit more about it later.
[00:02:20] All right let's get to today's topic. Scott M. Haskins is an art conservator with fine art conservation laboratories, an internationally renowned painting restoration firm that provides a variety of professional services including disaster response for art and murals. He is also the author of the save your stuff series of which 10000 copies have been distributed to help people save their stuff at home. Scott's been working with me since 2008 and I'm really proud of the great things he's done. So Scott are you ready to screw. The commute.
[00:03:01] I'm always ready. You know that's not my wife's name. That's right it isn't. So tell everybody what you do.
[00:03:12] Well as you said we do restoration of paintings but there's a lot more to it than that. There are many different services that we provide. But generally speaking we restore paintings that might be sold at auction or with dealers. If you had a rip in a painting that was your great grandmother we can make that disappear. But we also work on murals in public places and historic buildings. And just you know a variety. It has paint on it and it needs restoration stabilizing preservation then we do that work do that work for private people. We do it for governments. We do it for the trade. So there's like I said there's a lot more to it than that.
[00:03:54] Well how how does one get into a field like that. How did you get into it.
[00:03:59] When I was a kid I always was interested in science and was interested in the arts but I never knew till I got it through to the end of my bachelor's degree that you can blend the two and my department chairman said well why don't you go into art conservation and I said well what's that. Well it's the application of science to the preservation of art. So I ended up going to Italy for my master's degree program and loved that experience spent several years over there and that's how I got into the field.
[00:04:31] Wow. I didn't know they had courses and things on that. So if you ever found a painting that somebody thought was real and wasn't.
[00:04:43] Oh my gosh. That's like a constant part of our diet around here.
[00:04:47] Hope you get paid before you tell them.
[00:04:51] That is actually a problem sometimes. You know people I mean I can keep you here all day long with stories about wannabe paintings and and every once in a while you know I've got lots and lots of stories about something picked up at a garage sale that was real. Or that people just didn't know what was going on. Really quick one there was some folks about two hours from here that put their mother into an assisted living situation she was on your way out. They were going through the house and found a painting in a closet in the house that was not on the wall was stuffed in a closet. They said they told their mom she was still coherent. Well what the heck is this doing in the closet. I dug that out of the trash decades ago. I never liked it. Just throw it away. Nobody wanted it. Before they threw it away they called me we brought it into the lab looked at the signature underneath our microscope and we were able to decipher the squiggle and it was Della Moyer. Well nobody's ever heard of Della Moyer as an artist. But we found out that there is a guy in Amsterdam who wrote a coffee table book about this artist who lived back in the 20s and the 30s.
[00:06:04] And Christie's sold the painting at auction in Hong Kong a couple of months later for one point four million dollars.
[00:06:11] It's good to visit your mom's once in a while.
[00:06:18] And that was like the totality of their inheritance too so they hit the lottery. I can keep you here all day with stories like that.
[00:06:28] But I understand you've got big contracts from murals and cities and things like that.
[00:06:34] Oh yeah. Actually you played a big part in that. The murals are something that are usually part of a you know like public art part of a government responsibility. And I have worked on murals since day one in fact the very first week that I went to school in Italy and I was still kind of wondering if this is the field I want to go into they put me on scaffolding and a monastery that was built in the year 800. It had been abandoned and then converted to this very high level scientific school. And I was working on murals dated 1365 over a hundred years before Columbus. And so I've worked on murals my whole life. One of the other services that we provide is that of being a expert witness for the courts. They we're taking my deposition here a little while ago. And the other attorney was you know being kind of smart alec says well how many actual murals have you worked on. I said well here let me count I didn't actually know and I've got all the jobs written down on a consultation on a resume type of thing. And I counted up 360 mural projects. Will that do for you? Will that qualify me to be an expert?
[00:08:01] Oh that's actually a good point for our screwballs on here. If you have an expertise it's another income source. You got paid for that right?
[00:08:11] Oh absolutely I don't do anything for anybody if I don't get paid.
[00:08:14] Yeah. There you go. Except for your wife.
[00:08:20] Yes so that's another way to turn your expertise into money. Now did you ever have a job?
[00:08:27] When I got back to the United States from working in Europe, I was actually headhunted by a university who brought me on as an employee of course in the Fine Arts Department. I was supposed to set up a restoration a conservation lab for them and I was there for about six years. But I was kind of in charge of everything and you know I didn't answer to anybody I was in charge of my own budget and no one knew what I was doing.
[00:08:55] Typical university art conservator.
[00:08:58] Yeah I loved the environment of the university. But as soon as I got out of the university environment I got a call from the Greek Orthodox Church the main Greek Orthodox Church in Los Angeles that had water infiltration through the dome and there had been dribbles down their murals and they said we want to sign you as our conservator. And I thought you know what I am going to keep all of the money in this project. This is great. I love it. So I have an entrepreneurial spirit. I love getting out there and working things out with people and see how business can be developed and utilize creativity and developing business ideas which are all things you can't do when you work for somebody else.
[00:09:47] So that was kind of a turning point then the Greek Orthodox Church.
[00:09:51] Yeah absolutely. That was my aha moment you know. This is the best situation for me for sure.
[00:09:58] You know it's bizarre about that is you kindly give me a lot of credit for your success and I appreciate that. Let me tell you this. I was baptized Greek Orthodox. That's what's bizarre about that.
[00:10:16] Thanks Tom you've helped me more than I know.
[00:10:20] So you've been in my program and you brought a young geek with you to help implement which I always suggest. Certainly. And then you start getting these big contracts as people found you. You did the work. That's the whole thing.
[00:10:35] Well in 2008 you might remember that there was a turn in the economy and not only that there was a turn in technology. Also it was about 2008. And in fact everybody that calls me at my business we ask how did you hear about us or who referred to us and before then about 80 percent of the people call our business would tell me that they found us in the Yellow Pages. Well I don't know how many of your listeners have a big yellow pages at home that they consult in. About 2008, we stopped hearing that it was like within several months. It was something that was just super surprising to me. Nobody was telling me that they found me in the Yellow Pages anymore. It's like the Yellow Pages business dried up in less than a year.
[00:11:25] They were good for holding up desks and stuff.
[00:11:30] So I started looking for a way to generate business. People were saying well I would go online go on our computer and there was a whole development a whole change in how the Internet was working back about that time. And so I looked you up I found you and you were exactly the Guru I needed and it was because of your optimizing. Oh actually that the thing that I do every day is that when I put an article out in a blog or on the website or I post a video and I've got over 300 videos on YouTube that are all done through things that you taught me when ever I do all these things I know I have a feeling of what it takes for people to find me on the internet and I'm in a very small niche. So if you put in painting restoration Salt Lake City I come up all over the place or Las Vegas or Orange County or Los Angeles or you go repair a rip in a painting Beverly Hills I come up.
[00:12:34] Because you're using keywords effectively which is our first lesson here.
[00:12:38] Yeah it was. And I did all the things that you showed me how to do. I did all the things that you've asked me to do that told me to do with production of videos that kind of thing. I did it to promote a book. It completely up'd my game when it came to the conservation restoration services that we provide. I wasn't even expecting that.
[00:13:04] Yeah. You show up everywhere. That's our first episode. Episode one was all about keywords because that's the whole basis for everything. They sit down and they type in words things that they're looking for and if you don't have those words optimized all over your sites and your videos and blog posts and all that stuff you'll hear the crickets chirping.
[00:13:26] Well you know since 2008 the Internet changed or evolved a lot so people are always saying OK well how do you get found on the Internet. Well they're doing it different. You can't. And Google doesn't like Facebook. And you know and this and that but I'm it's such a small niche that when somebody needs me they look for me in a particular way. So in that way is the way I put it out there. And so when they look for me they find me whether it was in 2008 or 2018. It's still working for me. I mean I love all the updates that you do and the quality coaching that you do all of that is much much much appreciated I implement absolutely everything I can.
[00:14:10] I know you do and that's what I love about you actually do the stuff I mean my friend John Kramer was on an earlier episode and he's a consultant I heard him say one time you know I'm thinking about doubling my consulting rate and giving half of it back if they just do what I tell them. So have you ever gotten screwed on any of these job.
[00:14:38] Not very often. That's a business practice. You know there's part of it is the enthusiasm and your expertise that you take into starting a new business. But there are some mathematical equations and just some proper business savvy that you've got to have. You've got to have some street smarts you've got to get a team together to implement ideas. In my opinion business is a team sport.
[00:15:07] Yeah and you need written agreements.
[00:15:10] Absolutely. You need to cover your fanny with the legaleze. And so that's all important you can't just wing it. Correct me on this but I think my perception is that our society is more litigious today than it was 10 years ago.
[00:15:28] Oh sure sure some companies, all they are is in business to sue you. That's their business model like the image places they can find an image that you don't have a license for. And they do a federal lawsuit against you for six seven thousand dollars and settle for four. And you really got hammered. That's their whole business model is to do it. While I have you I was thinking of one question I wanted to ask you what advice would you have given or would you give to those people in Hawaii with all this. You know the lava just you know burning their houses up.
[00:16:03] Grab your ankles and kiss your ass goodbye. There's more to just burning lava. I mean if your house is overrun with lava like I said You'd better have left early and taken everything with you. But I mean a lot of times, we just had an enormous fire storm roll through Santa Barbara and Ventura area in California in fact it was the largest fire in the history of California. This happened last December and the fire was in the back hills and so it did take out I don't know six or eight hundred structures the damage that occurred with most of the population was it the wind blew all the ash and all the smoke onto the city and the residential areas for three to four weeks. All of the in fact 100 percent of the insurance claims that we're working with don't have anything to do with anything getting burned up. It all has to do with smoke damage. And then of course as you know in a fire they put it out with water. And so you can have water damage. You've got smoke damage and you've got heat and you've got water damage there's all kinds of things follow up when you've got a hot situation. Then of course we thought it was a godsend, a heavenly sent answer to prayer to dump a bunch of water on us here in our area. But we didn't realize that the amount of water in the very short time would uproot huge boulders and we had an enormous mud slide down on it and wiped out entire neighborhoods of high end homes and high end collections. I think there's probably billions, with a B, plural billions of dollars of gold and jewels mixed in that mud. There's going to be our archaeologists working there.
[00:17:48] They'll be guys with metal detectors as soon as they can get there.
[00:17:52] All that mud is three and four feet deep.
[00:17:54] Oh boy.
[00:17:55] So anything take it on a different note does anything bizarre funny happen in this business?
[00:18:02] Well bizarre and funny one of the funniest things in any business of course are the people and their personalities get all kinds you get somebody who's educated they come in and they just speak to you matter of factually and you give them the information and then you move forward. But I've had people come to me with treasure maps that they think had been painted out to keep them hid up from the Nazis then were rolled up in somebody's underwear and smuggled into the United States and they were being brought to me so I could take off over the paint on the top and rediscover the treasure map and they were willing to let me invest. You get dingdongs like that. I really have some interesting things and you can't believe how elaborate some of these people's thought processes are. Like someone will go out and take fifty thousand dollars and print up a whole book to legitimize a painting that's supposed to be authentic. But it wouldn't be authentic in a million years. They're trying to construct all around this painting all kinds of evidence that the painting is real so they can sell it. And I understand their motivation. I mean a couple of months ago I was asked to come and look at a secret painting in a bank vault. And it turned out to be a painting that had three separate appraisals of over 88 million dollars for the painting. So I mean we get involved with some really great stuff but we also get involved with some certifiable people.
[00:19:46] If you took possession of an 88 million dollar painting to work on it that's a lot of responsibility. That's like 88 million dollars worth of responsibility.
[00:19:56] Well obviously we put a release on there and we let their insurance company take care of that. So that's not a problem. And then we also make sure that we're not going to be sued by the insurance company if there's a claim. So they're coming in a back door to get us. You know that's part of being savvy from a business point of view. But you know we had a van Gogh in the lab this was years ago. It's probably like an a 50 million dollar range. The question we worked on this and the insurance company was going to double the insurance premium if we took the painting out of our lab which is a lock down situation at night with all kinds of alarms. Police responses. That's just our normal way we do it. But at night if we were going to take it out of here and put it into a bank vault they're going to charge us double the insurance rate because they felt that we were more secure.
[00:21:02] That's pretty good deal. What's the best thing you like about working for yourself and what's the worst thing.
[00:21:08] Possibly the thing that gives you most angst would be dealing with employees. You know you're always looking for those that blend well with your personality and everybody's on the same page. They're going to be a good person you know a good part of the team I'm maybe overly sensitive about this right now because the last three office managers I've hired were Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde where you hire one person they turn out to be completely different than the person you're hired. That leaves you kind of feel feeling snakebit. So that's maybe the worst part of it. The worry is always cash flow and cash flow is king. But if you set your business up correctly and watch your overhead then that's less of issue. But on the other hand one thing that I love the most about being in business for myself is cash flow.
[00:21:58] Yes exactly right. It's all yours.
[00:22:03] It's a religious experience.
[00:22:07] So what can people do to buy something off you. I mean they should definitely get the save your stuff book for sure.
[00:22:17] I'll do one better than that right now. Well I recently did. And this was a result for me. I put together what I call a multimedia e-book. And I haven't printed the book but it's about 210 or 20 pages. But throughout the book there are all kinds of live links and videos there's like 35 embedded videos into this book. So instructional videos so that as you go through the e-book there's lots of live entertainment going on. I wrote the book it's called collection care tips you can find it at collectioncaretips.com.
[00:22:55] We'll put that in the show notes everybody.
[00:22:57] Well anyway the genealogy industry glomed onto this book with both hands and just loved it. And so I offered it to the online genealogy industry as an added bonus or as a giveaway to the people and I don't know if you know about the genealogy industry. But it is unbelievably gargantuan. This is from personal contact with the five biggest companies and their accumulative or their combined email list is half a billion people. The top five companies. I'm sure there's a lot of overlap but still half a billion. Just incredible. So I offered to these genealogy companies the opportunity to let their patrons download my book for free. And so that is still an offer that's running. And if you send your folks to collectioncaretips.com and they just need to opt in and then they can download this book for free which I've had some people tell me they think it's worth hundreds of dollars. Take care of things at home better protect their items that are important to them. What do you do with brittle family documents. How do you take care of your photographs. You ever had a situation Tom where you were afraid of losing your family photos in a natural disaster.
[00:24:23] Yeah I was freaking out I had to run out of Hurricane Isabel or no hurricane or something else and grab everything and you know throwing man in a bin and trying to get out of here.
[00:24:35] I remembered you we were on the phone I was telling you what to do and up then and I had you send me some scans of them. No no. I was at your house and I took pictures. You remember that just. I was at your house. Right. And I had taken photographs of all your family pictures while I was there. And then after the hurricane hit if they had been blown to Oz I would have been able to send you a copy of them all dialed in and look in perfect high resolution you would be able to reprint them. So there were several different things I was teaching you to do that would have saved your fanny had your house been blown to Oz.
[00:25:12] You know what's interesting I determine Scott that I am definitely and I have proof I'm worth seventy nine dollars because I was going through my mother's stuff the other day and I found the bill from the hospital when I was born. Three days in the hospital and delivering me seventy nine dollars. So I am at least worth seventy nine dollars. I have proof. How much is that per pound. Oh I don't know it's divided by eight. I mean almost ten dollars a pound. That's pretty good. Great. So give us that Web site again and we'll put that in the show notes. collectioncaretips.com.
[00:26:00] All right we need to take a brief break for our sponsor which is how to automate your business E-book the seven figure guide to getting and handling and lots of customers without pulling your hair up. This book covers equipment free programs and services backing up stuff smart phone shortcuts photo editing auto responders upselling all kinds of automatic stuff to help you run your business so you can check that out at GreatInternetMarketing.com/automate and that will also be in the show notes.
[00:26:35] Scott, tell them what's a typical day look like for you.
[00:26:40] I like getting up early but I've got an office at home and then I also have.
[00:26:45] So you screw the commute every day.
[00:26:53] If you have to commute all the way across Santa Barbara it takes about 20 minutes. So I've never been in a situation where I had to be. Well that's not true because weekly I go see clients at their locations and we do a lot of work done in the cement jungle of Los Angeles. So you now I'm often out there with 50000 of my favorite people just kind of just moving along. Only have once a week or less. And it's also by choice. I don't have anybody pushing my buttons. So that's nice. But I start out by taking care of a few essentials there at the house. And it's often that I just say hey I'm going to screw it going into work today. Call up. You know we stay in touch with everybody electronically or by phone. And I stay home and take care of all.
[00:27:45] Just call Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and tell them you're not coming in today.
[00:27:48] They're not invited to the party.
[00:27:50] I've got a new office manager. Fantastic. You know I've always got remote projects that we're proposing or we're following through on things and so I've got plenty of things to do online and I'm always working on an article or a video to put on, like I said we've got 300 videos on our YouTube channel which is YouTube.com/bestartdoc.
[00:28:17] Ok we'll put that in the show notes also.
[00:28:20] But the things that really keep me motivated keep me pushing along are you know we've got some projects like we're trying to promote better are our series of books on save your stuff. We've got a couple of big big projects in fact maybe the biggest project of my career is coming down the pipe and part of this is thanks to you. Thankfully I've already paid you back. Well anyway we got a call a couple of months ago. We got a call from a couple of months ago the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. And I'm a painting restoration guy and the National Gallery is right across the mall. But the favorite museum there is this air and space museum. I mean it is such an exciting historical place. And you know what's really funny is usually when you hear museum people talk about their artifacts. You know they're talking about a little bowl or maybe somebody's bones or you know somebody like an artifact they found well in this museum an artifact is a 90 foot rocket. And an artifact is like the original plane the Wright brothers. I mean it just like it puts a smile on my face to hear them talk about their collection. In the museum there are five gargantuan murals that need to be moved because they're going to be going through a renovation and they called me because I was in the system as a pre-approved expert. And that's only happened because I've known how to get myself out there online which is all started with you.
[00:30:20] One question I wanted to ask and this probably flows off of this one too. Let's say you get a mural in Toledo Ohio. You have to go there and live there for a week or two weeks or a month or what?
[00:30:33] I wouldn't call it living there. I'd call it a visit. And I was in Houston last week looking at stuff that was damaged in the last hurricane. Yeah I've worked all over the United States. I've done WPA murals in rural post offices in Pennsylvania and in Georgia worked on the art. The biggest amount of work that we've done is out of Texas. We've just done a ton of work in Texas. I love Texas and texmex and you know and all that kind of stuff. We've done great work. Yeah just like all over the place a lot of work in Utah done worked on murals in the Hawaiian Islands. Heck if you've got a mural in Dubai or Hong Kong. Let's go.
[00:31:22] Let's go. There you go. Any closing words for all the screwballs thinking Man I love that kind of life. I want to get out there and start my own business.
[00:31:32] Well there's two components to it as we've already talked about. One is your passion and I tell you there's nothing better than doing something that you love but that is not all you need just because you love to do something. If you haven't got your head in the business side of life then it ain't going to work. And like I said I believe that business is a team sport. But when it's flowing well you get it. I count Tom as an important part of my business team and of my mastermind team. And I have other people that you know handle legal issues or accounting issues. And it's a great way to go. I love the creative opportunities that are before me and if it's going to be it's up to me.
[00:32:21] All right. It's been great. How should they reach you if they have questions.
[00:32:26] Yeah let me give you my phone number: 805-564-3438. And Gina will take good care of you and if I'm not sitting in my office she can put you through to my mobile number.
[00:32:50] Well thanks a lot. Thanks so much for taking the time out and this I'm really so proud of the things you've done. You da man!
[00:33:04] I hope we get a chance to connect and mix it up some more in the future. Always a great pleasure for me. Thanks.
[00:33:09] Sounds good. Everybody, this has been episode 24 of screw the commute podcast. Make sure you check out the show notes. Get over there get those things that Scott has for you at the Web site and give him a call if you have any interesting projects that you'd like him to be involved in. He's a really really great guy. The only kind of people you're going to hear on this show are good good solid people. He's certainly at the top of the list. Of course he's only on number 24. I couldn't get a hold of you you're working on a mural. So catch you on the next episode everybody. See ya later.
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