Paul Singh: A Natural Move
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
CONCORD — Paul Singh was raised in the landscaping industry, so it was only natural for him to combine his experiential background with his entrepreneurial drive. “My father was a landscape contractor, so I got involved with the field at a fairly young age,” he recounts. “Growing up, my goal was always to own a business one day, and since I already had knowledge and experience with landscaping, I decided it would be a good way to go. After studying business in college, I worked with my dad for a few more years before getting my contractor’s license and starting my own business.”
Today, as owner of Natural Landscaping Contractors, Paul says he enjoys staying on the cutting edge of his field. “This is the type of industry where things are constantly changing and you’re constantly learning, so I’m always in sort of a growth mode. I feel like I could keep going in this business forever and never get bored.”
Originally from India, Paul came to the United States at the age of 17. “It was tough coming here from India,” he remembers. “I feel like I lost a few years just trying to learn a new culture, but I think I got them back once I adjusted to life here.” Today, as a resident of Concord (where he lives with his wife, Baljit, and their three children), Paul considers the Bay Area a perfect place to be a landscape professional. “Besides the great weather, people here are willing to spend money on their homes and landscapes, so there’s a very good market for what I do.”
In addition to working outdoors, Paul likes spending his free time there as well. “My family and I love outdoor activities like hiking, boating and skiing, depending on the time of year,” he affirms. “We also like to travel, but since we’re a young, growing family, we haven’t been able to do as much of that as we’d like. I think it will happen more as life progresses.”
In his life and career, Paul espouses the importance of taking a thorough approach. “When addressing an issue, whether it’s with your family or a customer, it’s important to be thorough and not just take the easy route,” he explains. “Rather than putting a bandage on it, you need to uncover the real issues and deal with them, as well as be proactive about dealing with them in the future. I think that’s a crucial part of doing well in both life and business.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Paul says he’d get involved in charity work. “My wife and I have hopes of one day going back to India and doing charity work, particularly with the youth. I’ve always considered the teenage years as a critical formative time that can determine the course of one’s adult life. That’s why I’d love to help out in some way, whether by doing job training or counseling at-risk youth. I think that would be a really good use of my retirement years.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Our kitchen at home—my wife cooks really good food.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Any holiday that gives me an extra day off with my family.
Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: Learning to walk. I can remember my family helping and encouraging me as I took my first steps. It’s pretty amazing that I can remember that far back, considering I can barely remember what I did yesterday!
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Vinyl records. I have a whole bunch of them, ranging in genre from electronic music to classic rock.
Q: If you could time-travel, would you go to the past or the future?
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A: Probably the past, just to relive some of my chaotic, carefree youth.