Having a painting business for 13 years now, it has been my privilege to work with some pretty solid guys.
Stef and I are opposites in many ways, but like oil and vinegar sometimes it works out just fine. He is a clear thinking person, unlike me who has a tendency to get lost in the greys. I was fortunate to have his help over a couple of years. I learned so much from Stefano, it would be hard to list it all, but I will share a few gems.
1. Italians love to argue. Its a sport for them. Being half French and half German, naturally we disagreed on 99% of everything. Which makes all mundane details in eveyday work life far more exciting, cause everything you say has to be defended and debated. If we ever got bored at work we would just pick a random topic to debate in order to pass the time. Never could convince him that hockey is superior to soccer....
2. Stefano shared a simple but impactful principle with me that has really stuck. (Maybe I was having a bad day or something...) 'Don't complain unless you are willing to change.'
3. Having experience in banking and bookkeeping, he suggested a strategy for staying up to date with income taxes as a self-employed person: 'remit 10% of every payment you receive right away to CRA.' Works great and has made a big difference to my business over the years.
4. Stef was a great example of living a high quality of life on a modest budget. He and his wife try to not buy anything at all at regular price. They use many simple hacks to keep costs low and use the savings for meaningful experiences.
5. Being a man of deep faith, Stef encouraged me focus on the basics of a good spiritual routine, rely on God for direction and set proper priorities in life.
6. Stef is humble, hardworking and mutli-skilled, which has helped him to always have work.
Outside of work we shared many good times playing soccer, doing the West Coast Trail and enjoying good meals (and wine of course) with friends. Stefano is a mensch and has been a good mentor.