Episode 5: From Designer to Contractor how Julie Laughton Crashed the Boys’ Club

On this episode of Grow Your Damn Business!, host Scott Goodrich invites special guest Julie Laughton to share her inspiring journey in the world of contracting and entrepreneurship. Julie, a successful woman in her forties, discusses the challenges and triumphs she faced as she paved her own path in a male-dominated industry. Julie highlights the rarity of women who hold contractor licenses and take on full responsibility for their projects. She expresses her desire to create a foundation that encourages more women to become designers turned contractors. Julie’s drive to succeed is showcased through her personal experiences, including celebrating her success with a diamond ring and her dedication to taking action and doing what it takes to achieve growth. Delegation is emphasized as a key strategy for meeting growth targets, and

Julie shares her journey of hiring the right personnel to support her business. Advertising tactics, such as utilizing local papers and magazines, are explored, with Julie emphasizing the effectiveness of consistent small investments. The conversation delves into the gender biases and challenges Julie faced as a woman in the industry. Julie discusses how she overcame stereotypes and proved her expertise by becoming a licensed contractor. Her journey of starting from scratch and building a thriving business with 21 employees is a testament to her determination and hard work. Throughout the episode, Julie’s background in architecture, interior design, and custom kitchens is highlighted. Her experiences working in New York City and eventually starting her own residential remodeling business in California provide valuable insights into her journey. Listeners are encouraged to connect with Julie and learn more about her work in the industry.

Join Scott Goodrich and guest Julie Laughton on this empowering episode of Grow Your Damn Business! as they share the grit and determination required to build a successful business in a challenging field.


[00:00:51] Founder, hands-on, experienced architect turned contractor.

[00:06:56] Recession pushed me to start my own business.

[00:08:43] Becoming a contractor changed her life forever.

[00:13:03] Designer handles client relations and project management.

[00:16:00] Consistency in local papers for best results.

[00:19:14] Challenges faced by a female contractor in male-dominated industry.

[00:23:10] 2 women follow footsteps in their forties.

[00:26:56] Common refrain: gotta delegate for growth. Contact julielawton.com.

[00:28:15] Podcast to grow your business hosted by Scott Goodrich, professional EOS implementer. Email Scott or visit website for more. Old Soul builds podcasts for brands and businesses. Email to start your own show.


[00:00:51] The text is an interview with Julie, a hands-on founder in the construction industry. She started her career in design and eventually became a contractor. She moved from New York to California and started her own business.

[00:06:56] Facing limited job options, the author found opportunity in retail, which led to starting a business. Their mother’s work ethic and drive influenced their personality and determination.

[00:08:43] Being mistaken for a decorator, the narrator becomes a contractor and architect, leading to success and managing a team of 21 employees.

[00:13:03] The author is discussing their workload and how they have hired additional help for bidding and construction.

[00:16:00] Consistency is key. Stick to local paper for leads.

[00:19:14] The construction industry has a boys’ club mentality. Female contractors face challenges due to gender bias. The narrator overcame obstacles and expects firm handshakes from men.

[00:23:10] There are some women in their forties following similar paths, but it is not a widespread trend. Many women have their own projects, but they are not fully responsible contractors. The speaker is a unique example of a designer turned contractor and wants to encourage more women to do the same.

[00:26:56] The speaker emphasizes the importance of delegation for achieving growth targets. Contact Julie Lawton through her website, julielawton.com.

[00:28:15] “Scott Goodrich hosts the ‘Grow Your Damn Business’ podcast. Contact him at scott@eosworldwide.com for more on EOS and visit www.eosworldwide.com. Produced by Old Soul, a marketing agency. Email info@aoldsole.com to start your own podcast.”

About Julie Laughton

Julie Laughton has completed over 1,000 remodels and custom homes along the affluent coastal communities of Orange and LA County, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach as well as significant projects in Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Pasadena.

Most notable projects include the Mediterranean Style 1928 Wallace Neff home, featured in the movie Monster-in-Law and the English Tudor hilltop estate of Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter.  Julie specializes in providing her clients a seamless one-stop shop Design Build service where all of their project needs are met in-house.

As a graduate of Iowa State University, she studied Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Mechanical Engineering and Interior Design.  After graduating with a degree in Design, she moved to New York City where she spent five years working for two different architectural firms and top five developers in Manhattan.  Properties included: Phillip Milstein’s Windsor Court, Liberty Court and Normandy Court, Lefrak Property’s Newport City, Landau Development’s 990 Avenue of the Americas, Zeckendorf Development’s Zeckendorf Towers, J.I. Sopher’s the Monarch and Astor Terrace, Bank of America’s 5th Avenue Corporate Offices, Citibank’s Park Avenue Corporate Offices, David Webb Jewelry on Park Avenue, Weinberg Law Offices, Rizzo Law Offices and the historical Friars Club.

When opportunity arose, Julie relocated to Los Angeles and quickly found her way to Laguna Beach. After adding Certified Custom Kitchen and Bath design to her resume, it was time to round out her credentials to include being a licensed General Contractor. Julie’s vast expertise and experience is demonstrated through her portfolio. Her unique hands-on process and attention to detail have made her a favorite among homeowners who value a stress-free process, meticulous attention to detail and a flare for retaining the essence of your dream home.

Connect with Julie Laughton

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julielaughtondesignbuild

Website: https://www.julielaughton.com/

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Scott has an entrepreneurial spirit that’s been burning since his teenage years. Back then, he was mowing lawns, managing paper routes, and selling greeting cards door to door – always finding different ways to put some cash in his pocket! After graduating college, Scott had a successful career in sales and operations leadership, but his desire to be a business owner was never far from his heart. Seven years ago, he and his wife, Jenn, took the plunge and started their own business. Like many others, they spent all their time on the struggle bus – dealing with cash flow, payroll, and questioning whether their doors could even stay open. Ultimately, they persevered and learned some incredibly valuable lessons along the way.

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As an EOS Implementer, Scott is passionate about helping business owners build a solid foundation and clear vision, empowering them to achieve growth, balance, and financial freedom – all while enjoying the ride.

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