Saul Palacios

Saul Palacios: Handy Aspirations

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN RAFAEL Not long after he started in construction, Saul Palacios realized that if he wanted to advance in the industry, he would have to take matters into his own hands. As the new guy on the crew, I was eager to learn things and move up, he explains. However, most of the positions in the company were already filled by experienced guys, so there wasn’t much opportunity. It seemed I was doomed to do small stuff for the next 20 years until something opened up.

Ironically, it wasn’t until Saul took on a small job that he saw the potential to do something bigger. I was helping my boss with a small project on the side, and it made me realize there was an opportunity to do things on a smaller scale as a handyman. I’d always liked helping people, and being a handyman seemed more in line with thatyou work one-on-one with customers instead of being part of a big crew. After some contemplation, I decided to go out on my ownand that was 15 years ago.

Today, as owner of Diaz Handyman Services, Saul says being a handyman has enabled him to achieve the life and career he’d always dreamed of. Since starting my own business, my life has totally changed. I’ve been able to learn and do more, as well as get better compensation for my work. Plus, I’m able to create my own schedule, which gives me a lot more freedom as far as spending time with my family.

Born in Mexico City, Saul came to the United States as a young child. Today, as a resident of San Jose (where he lives with his wife and two children), Saul expresses his appreciation for the Bay Area atmosphere. I really enjoy living and working in the Bay Area. The people are really nice, but they also want to get things done, so it’s a dynamic that translates really well to my livelihood.

Outside of work, Saul engages in a variety of hobbies and activities, typically in the company of his family. We like going kayaking, fishing and hiking as a family, he affirms. There are a lot of great places to do those things in the Bay Area, so we love exploring. We also like doing simple things like going swimming and barbequingjust regular stuff, you know?

In regard to his professional career, Saul espouses the importance of providing solutions. To me, the core of my business is bringing people solutions, he explains. With today’s fast-paced lifestyle, something small like a maintenance problem can cause a big interruption and get in the way of your daily routine. That’s why I get a lot of fulfillment from removing these problems for customers and allowing them to get on with their lives.

When asked what his life might look like if he were to retire tomorrow, Saul says he would find opportunities to pass his knowledge to younger generations. Knowledge is a valuable thing, but if you don’t pass it on, it won’t be useful to those who come after youit’ll just be forgotten. That’s why I’d like to pass on the knowledge I’ve accrued in some way, whether by writing a book or just working one-on-one with people who are new to the industry.

Ask Me Anything!

What’s your favorite sports team?

A: The Golden State Warriors.

Do you have a favorite TV show?

A: Two of my current favorites are Empire and The Walking Dead.

Music or talk radio?

A: Music. It’s one of my passionsI went to school for sound engineering and it’s still part of what I do today.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

A: Believe it or not, kayaking. It’s the best when it’s rainingthere’s just something magical about it.

Pancakes or waffles?

A: Pancakes.