About Matt Brackman
My father started his concrete finishing business, The Finishing Touch, in 1976—five years before I was born. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t sit with him in his truck as we made the rounds to current jobs and new customer’s homes. Throughout those years, as a child, I was meeting people that I still connect with today! On a daily/weekly basis, today!
It’s the type of work we do, in construction, we come in contact with many people. It’s an incredible experience to start at that age. You just “learn” people and they get to see you grow up. It’s a testimony of the kind of a reputation you have when you start that young and people see you lose your dad and then you lose your mom and then you take over the company and you’ve learned to hold to a certain standard—the standard of customers from since your dad was running the company. It feels good to get a call 10 or 20 or 30 years later to do some more work for them.
It’s almost as if we were adopted by an entire community at times of need. The outreach happened many years before when our parents were known by so many people in the community. Then, they still remember you when you were cute & cuddly so you’ve got that going for you! But those connections go on and on—and that relationship keeps building. So it’s a very cool thing about belonging . . . which is a human need!
Another thing about the construction business is that anybody (who isn’t a shyster) is greatly valued, especially in a community like Twin Falls. These are practical and down-to-earth folks who recognize and value other people who know how to get things done.
I think back about what it was like for me and Andrew to learn the skillset that has brought us to this point in time. And I mentioned riding around with dad in his work truck all the time as a child. It started out as an adventure for a young boy, getting to spend quality time with my father, which was how it began.
Much of what I was learning was by osmosis. I was having fun, meeting other adults, learning about the building trades and being encouraged by my dad (and others) to learn to operate heavy equipment and work in concrete construction . . . by operating heavy equipment and working in concrete construction!
As my siblings and I grew up, we were not only learning skills but also values that have served us well ever since. I didn’t know I was working and learning. I was having fun!
As we each grew towards high school graduation, our dad told us we could attend college if we wanted to and that would be our decision. Dad went to college and dropped out after his third year to start his business. He also schooled us in ways that helped us to think, evaluate, persevere, communicate, appreciate and learn.
Then at another point of his choosing, our father started telling us what he thought of our work and he actually discussed what it was worth! Once when we were working on a big pour and I was acting out the “typical teenager exhibiting some attitude.” My dad gave me a choice, “either I’m going to fire you right now or you will work the rest of the day for free.” Well, I chose the latter and the next thing I knew I had a bank account that I added to each payday.