Joshua Page is a husband, father, electrician, entrepreneur and TEDx Speaker. With the release of his first book, What Does Your Daddy Do?, Page has also added “author” to his many titles. An electrician by trade, Page is passionate about informing the younger generation of all the career options they have in addition to college. Page believes that choosing a trade and working with his hands saved his life and allowed him to have the life he loves. As a father of two, his mission is to teach his children and their generation about how fulfilling a career in the trades can be and to encourage them to follow their own path in life. In a conversation with Joshua Page explains why he wants to plant a seed in a younger generation’s mind about how ‘cool’ the trades are and to start the conversation young.
Do you think Gen Z and Millennials are so focused on getting a quality higher education? How can we explain to today’s teenagers that college isn’t the only avenue worth pursuing?
I don’t think its starts with today’s generation. I think we need to start educating our parents and teaching the younger generations. 3rd-6th grade about the many options of different career choices and that the blue-collar industry is a great option. College is great for many, many reasons. However, when it becomes the only option, that is the issue. Kids believe that going to college is the ONLY option to be successful, and unfortunately, throughout their life, they have been lied to.
What motivated you to write the book, What Does Your Daddy Do?
My motivation comes from wanting to make a bigger impact in the world and speaking for years at Career day events but realizing that I am not making the impact I wanted to plus, I didn’t think the age geography was where I needed to be to make the biggest impact.
Can you share something about the book that isn’t in the blurb? What do you hope your readers take away from the book, What Does Your Daddy Do?
I want them to realize how “cool” the trades are, and we aren’t just a bunch of old, dirty men with pants hanging low like the movies and society parade us. Without the trades, we wouldn’t have our TV working, our showers working, or a roof over our heads. Literally, every Building and house we enter was built by a tradesperson.
You are an electrician by trade. When did you realize that you also wanted to be a writer?
I don’t consider myself a writer. I feel that writing was my best way to communicate all the voices in my head that were pulling me in all different directions to get the word out. I felt like this was the best medium to do it with.
How did you manage to find time to sit down and work on your book? Tell us about your writing schedule.
That’s easy, the world shut down in March 2020. Haha. I shut down our companies for two weeks to do our part. I couldn’t sit still for long and just kept thinking about career week and then was thinking about my wife’s daycare and those kids. I knew I had to plant the seed in a younger mind, but how young? I figured high school was too late. 7th and 8th grade were awkward years, and minds were already being influenced by so much. Preschool is too young, but we can absolutely start there. So I landed in 3rd-6th grade.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching the book?
Back in 2019, I actually sent out a google sheet on Facebook for people to fill out on their trade, what they love about it, what’s “cool” about it, what tools they get to use, and what they would tell the next generation. I received a lot of great Ideas from this and will use them in my future series.
What was the most surprising thing you learned during the writing process of an electrician by trade?
The most surprising thing was how long it took to publish a book, from the manuscript being accepted to the point the book was published. Especially illustrations. I never thought about what the characters were to look like, the color of their hair, what they were wearing, or how tall or short they were. So many things I had to make decisions on.
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing? Who is the author you most admire in your genre?
I don’t have any Children’s Book authors I admire, but I do read/listen to probably 100 books a year, and my all-time favorite author that has transformed my life over the last 5 years is Dr. Mark Goulston. He wrote a book called “Just Listen,” which is incredible in teaching you the best communication techniques. This is the stuff you DON’T learn in school. We are taught to listen but not to hear.
What does your typical working day look like? How do you handle pressure and stay calm all day, and how do you unplug from work?
I wake up around 4:30-5 am every day; I go down to my home gym, which I call the Iron Lab and stretch, write down my goals on my whiteboards, and then get in at least a one-hour workout. I come upstairs, and some days I bring my second grader to school, and others, my wife does. I’ll eat breakfast and head to the office. From there, I could do 3-8 estimates daily with residential and commercial customers all over Massachusetts. Then I need to build the estimate, get material and labor pricing, and sell the job to the customer. On other days, I check in on projects, perform customer service, and ensure our clients are being taken care of.
As an entrepreneur and TEDx Speaker, what is the change you want to bring into people’s lives to help their families and communities?
I want a few things: Number 1, for kids to understand that College is not the only option and that the trades need you. If you are good with your hands, like to climb trees, or always work on things at the house. The trades might be for you. The trades might be for you if you are a visual and kinesthetic learner. Number 2 is to follow your passion. Find your purpose on this earth and hold tight to it and live every day with passion. People throughout your life would just love to steal that purpose and leave you unfulfilled! Do not do that, mediocrity is death. Follow your purpose and live with passion!
What projects or goals are you working on or leading currently?
I am in the middle of getting “What Does Your Daddy Do? Plumber/HVAC” to the publisher. I am working on a new website called KnowYourNumbers.me which will help small trade contractors to know their labor burden, overhead, and profit numbers so they can make more money and become profitable, and to know their numbers. I am also working on my speaking career and getting in front of audiences to motivate and inspire them to follow their purpose and live with passion. There is also a website for that and a book that will be written within the next year. Pwrofpurpose.me, I still own and operate 3 electrical companies in Central Massachusetts, Coach my son’s Soccer and Basketball teams and be the best husband I can possibly be for Lindsey.