Do not be afraid to try new things. You never know when a new method of working or a piece of technology can be integrated into your work, making it even better.

 

Charles Licastro is the owner of Ace Kitchens & Baths, a home renovation company in New Jersey. Charles comes from a family of craftsmen, causing him to learn about the business from the time he was born. It was this early exposure that led to his lifelong desire to help others create the home of their dreams.

Charles attended a work-study program in woodworking, where he continued developing his passion for building. Later, he would graduate from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Bachelor’s Degree. During his years at college, he began working and contracted small jobs in the area.

Charles Licastro’s love for redesigning homes did not end in college, however. He has taken this passion and used it to take over the family business, which has been running for more than 44 years. Additionally, Charles completely renovated his home, as well as a vacation home at the Jersey Shore. It was his hands-on education in renovation that helped him complete these tasks in their entirety.

Charles’s ties to the community are a driving factor in his work ethic. From the time he was young, he was taught the importance of a tight-knit community. In the small town he grew up in, there was no denying this fact. Now, Charles uses this to drive him to excel at every job he takes on. He does a great job every time, and it is important to him that he has a positive reputation for being hardworking and making people’s visions come to life. Few things make Charles more proud than a job well done.

Outside of his work, Charles spends time with his family, who are very important to him. He enjoys visiting with his children and grandchildren, and looks forward to a yearly family vacation. He also appreciates the outdoors and frequently spends time boating and fishing.

Where did the idea for Ace Kitchens & Baths come from?

I come from a long line of business owners, including my grandfather, who was a stonemason and builder. Running a business and renovating buildings was a part of my childhood, and I grew up loving the work. It seemed natural to go into kitchen and bathroom renovation as an adult.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

On a typical day, I show up to the office and look at the broad overview of the day. I like to know where we’re at with our ongoing projects, so I get updates as needed. Then, I usually knock out the administrative tasks before diving into the hands-on aspects of the business. I stay productive by planning out my day by the hour, but leaving some time to be flexible when things come up.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Every time a customer contracts me to work on their home, I bring their ideas to life. Through my years of expertise with building and my ability to figure out exactly what clients want, I’m able to capture their ideas and put them into motion.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I love technology and seeing new advances is really exciting. In my work, that translates to smart home technology, but specifically smart kitchens. From the small things like motion-sensor faucets to indoor smart gardens, I enjoy seeing what new innovation will enter our homes.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Planning out my day is essential. As an entrepreneur, it can be easy to get off-track the second a high-level problem shows up. Having a to-do list in order of importance helps me get back into my work when distractions occur.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Do not be afraid to try new things. You never know when a new method of working or a piece of technology can be integrated into your work, making it even better.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Modern takes on vintage kitchen designs are here to stay. There is a reason why they are timeless, and I think we’ll see more vintage elements making a comeback in the next few years.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Take time out to spend with your family. Nothing is more important than family, and too many business owners ignore that.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I always make sure to verify things verbally and in writing, to make sure I am on the right page before moving on to the next steps. This has helped me catch understand my clients’ expectations, leading me to garner a positive reputation within my community as a customer service-driven professional.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

When I first started, I found it so easy to be disorganized. It led me to make mistakes here and there that I would not have otherwise done. Over time, I learned that being overly-organized is better than not organized enough, and now I keep everything in order to ensure I don’t forget anything.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

A recipe app that integrates with a grocery shopping service would be a great idea.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I get regular massages that help me de-stress. It is important to take care of yourself so you can do your best work.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I love using Google Calendar to help me plan out my days. It helps me get through my to-do list and is a great way to prioritize my work.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell, because the way you think can make a huge impact on other areas of your life.

What is your favorite quote?

“In the age of transparency, honesty, and generosity, even in the form of an apology, generate goodwill.” -Alexander Asseily

Connect:

twitter.com/CharlesLicastro