‘No Fear’ For Woodbury Businessman During Great Recession

Caleb Brunz and his wife Stephanie have started five new companies in the past few years.

Woodbury businessman Caleb Brunz says he knows what ails the nation’s economy.

“It’s our country’s fear,” he said. “That’s our problem—this perpetual fear cycle.”

The 36-year-old has started five new companies in the past few years and now has a team of 14 people who in turn employ another 60 individuals collectively. Paradoxically, doing this during the so-called Great Recession is no huge feat, said Brunz.

“People put all their faith in government and the economy in general,” he said. “When the recession hit, people didn’t have enough emotional fortitude in themselves. … There’s nothing to fear.”

Getting Started

Brunz counts , , , Radiant Change Enterprises and Paul Davis Emergency Services of Bloomington among his companies.

That’s it? “For now,” he said.

Brunz gained traction in the franchise field with College Pro Painters and Floor Coverings International, and is now a business coach along with running his own companies.

He and Stephanie sunk their life savings into their new businesses.

“There’s some value in burning the bridge. For us it is a 'has to work' and not a 'nice to work',” said Brunz, who will soon lead a business seminar at the University of St. Thomas.

One of 13 children growing up in Sioux Falls, S.D., Brunz said the restoration business is “recession resistant, but not recession proof.” Plenty of general contractors moved into the field during the recession, he said, but he hopes his companies are well positioned for the future.

"There is a lot of pent up demand and we want to be ready with our capacity when the economy returns,” Brunz said.


If things with the franchises and business coaching don’t work out, Brunz has a backup plan.

“What’s the worst that can happen?” he said. “We’ve got our double-wide (trailer) in Landfall picked out. It at least has a roof and a heater.  As long as we have our family, each other, and a roof over our heads we can be happy."

He said he has been to plenty of “American dream” homes after they have burned down and it is a matter of perspective.  "We understand the stress people go through when the unexpected happens and really love to help out, but for us personally a home is more than just a house.  It’s wood, sheetrock, paint, and plastic. … It’s really nothing but molecules and materials,” Brunz said.

People have a right to feel disenfranchised, Brunz said. “Big business is broken; government is broken.”

But it doesn’t mean they should stop working toward their dreams, he said. "Getting through adversity and taking risks is like lifting weights—the more reps you do, the stronger you get.”

Friends often ask Brunz how he’s able to maintain the workload. The strategy, he said, is to partner with capable people and let them do what they do best.

“I don’t do it all—that’s the point,” Brunz said. “The philosophy is to get the right people on the team.”



“I don’t believe in balance, I believe in harmony,” Brunz said. “Balance is a façade. There’s a season for everything.”

A member of Five Oaks Community Church, Brunz said he works to maintain that harmony in his physical, financial, spiritual and mental states. “And they’re all connected.”

The attitude helps when everything seems to be “go, go, go,” he said, and gives him a perspective for the next phase in his overall plan—"developing Paul Davis Restoration & Emergency Services into a house hold name across the Twin Cities East Metro by using a hub and spoke model"

“The ultimate vision is to foster a collaboration where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” he said.

Giving Back

Through Dec. 31, 10 percent of all sales at Floor Coverings International will be donated to the .

“We wanted to find a way to give back to our community,” Brunz said.

For more information call 612-234-4122.

Matthew Johnson November 30, 2011 at 07:44 PM
Point #5 a good mustache, I hope you didn't shave it for this! Great article guys. :)
Edward November 30, 2011 at 08:47 PM
“It’s our country’s fear,” he said. “That’s our problem—this perpetual fear cycle.” Some of our elected officials like to stoke that fear. "“We‘re broke but we act like we’re still on top of the world,” Bachmann said. “For the first time we’re making decisions that a Banana Republic would make,“ not those ”a first class nation” would make. With growing financial burdens and worldwide turmoil bearing down on the U.S., Glenn then turned his focus to emergency preparedness. “What would you say to the American people about preparing their own house?” Glenn asked Bachmann. “I would tell them that EU economic collapse could mean U.S. recession,” Bachmann started, qualifying that she would “urge people to not give into that form of panic but think about their own resources” like food, water, and the basics needed for survival. Bachmann noted that every home in Switzerland is required to have a bomb shelter, food, water and a firearm, suggesting the European country is a potential model for the U.S.. Bachmann urged that Americans “just need to take precautions” in the event of a military or economic “disruption,” however unlikely that may seem, and asked people to consider supplying themselves with what they would need to survive a 7 to 30 day period." http://www.theblaze.com/stories/bachmann-to-beck-were-facing-new-axis-of-evil/
Paul December 01, 2011 at 04:23 AM
Bachmann is a negative and foolish person. Pretty much all of her advice is foolish and ill-considered. As a Christian, which Bachmann pretends to be, we are told that we must cultivate and develop wisdom. It is more precious than rubies or gold. And yet, Michele willfully seeks stupidity and ignorance. God is not pleased with Michele and Marcus.
Edward December 01, 2011 at 02:16 PM
http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/11/bachmann-i-would-close-our-non-existent-embassy-in-iran.php Apparently it's now important to oppose things that don't exist.
Edward December 01, 2011 at 02:29 PM
"Bachmann sure makes it hard to like her God. If she is the reflection of Him, then one can only believe that He lies, He punishes, He hates certain people, He's a racist, He's overly critical, and He's stupid." Is Bachmann God's gift to the atheism movement?
Markus December 01, 2011 at 04:29 PM
Some of our elected officials like to ignore reality.
Edward December 01, 2011 at 05:37 PM
More Godly acts from the Bachmann campaign http://theiowarepublican.com/2011/bachmann-campaign-in-hot-water-over-stolen-homeschooler-email-list/
Dave Anderson December 01, 2011 at 06:33 PM
Renee and Paul. Way to turn an article about an innovative and hard working member of the community into a hate filled diatribe about Michele Bachman. You are as guilty as anyone could ever accuse her of creating today's societal divisiveness. The only difference---whether you agree with her not--- is she acted on her beliefs and is in public service. While it is certainly your right to express your views you should do so with a constructive aim in mind, not this obsessive and invisible virtual stalking
Edward December 01, 2011 at 06:51 PM
Sorry about going off topic, but Caleb's first line in the article was about fear, and so I thought about fear mongering, and that led me to thinking about who is our nation's biggest fear mongerer . . . and pretty much it's Bachman. Seriously, I can't think of a candidate who uses fear rhetoric more than she does . . . not Perry, not Gingrich, not even Ron Paul. Can you think of an elected official who uses the fear rhetoric more than Bachman? I mean, now she's saying we should all hunker down, buy guns and food and go into survivalist mode like those Y2K people (remember that?), and be prepared for armageddon. I can't think of anyone else trying to instill so much fear in people. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/bachmann-to-beck-were-facing-new-axis-of-evil/ I did like the original article, and Mr. Brunz is to be commended for his hard work. It's tough to run a business in this economy. It's actually an uplifting piece, so thanks, Mr. Brunz.
Dave Anderson December 01, 2011 at 07:10 PM
obsessive [əbˈsɛsɪv] continually preoccupied with a particular activity, person, or thing
Edward December 01, 2011 at 07:24 PM
It's more like watching a train wreck -- so hard to look away . . . the entertainment value is better than watching soap operas . . . and I used to be hooked on watching "General Hospital", but this is better, because there's a gaffe just about every day with her. If you tune in you aren't disappointed. I can't stop laughing at this one today: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/01/bachmann-names-v-p-picks/ I hope she stays in the race up to the very end. Do you think she'll get a reality TV show after that? I hope so, because she (and her husband) has the potential to be a national comic treasure.
Edward December 01, 2011 at 07:43 PM
" innovative and hard working member of the community" What has she done that's innovative?
Matthew Johnson December 01, 2011 at 07:52 PM
I agree Dave, an asset to our community like Caleb deserves better. Would be nice if Renee could take her political banter to another blog. Great work Caleb, we appreciate what you do for Woodbury!
Dave Anderson December 01, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Rennee you are a hateful person. God Bless you
Edward December 01, 2011 at 08:06 PM
Putting links to news in comments makes me hateful? Thanks for your judgment of my character . . . something I expected to have to wait for God to do . . . but apparently you are more qualified (and loving?) to condemn me . . . Okey dokey . . . .
Dave Anderson December 01, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Actually I have heard that God is only subscribing to the Eagan Patch so maybe Kris could send him an invitation. Your spiteful words speak louder than anything I could say.
Edward December 01, 2011 at 08:29 PM
"Your spiteful words speak louder than anything I could say." Then why did you attack my character?
Edward December 01, 2011 at 08:31 PM
@Davea: Would Jesus have attacked my character as you did? Your words speak more about your own character than mine . . . do you call yourself a Christian? Just sayin' . . .
Dave Anderson December 01, 2011 at 08:56 PM
Be happy to carry this on on some other article if you wish , but your hypocritical rants are detracting from the Brunz story,--I realize I am just contributing to your irrational behavior and I don't want to that---here
Edward December 01, 2011 at 09:02 PM
"your irrational behavior" How are my comments hypocritical or irrational, and why do you continue to baselessly attack my character? I realize this is the Rovian way (attack the person's character if you cannot logically respond to an argument), but it does not make it right -- in fact it makes it immoral. "Be happy to carry this on on some other article if you wish" Are you the moderator here? Can I only post on the articles you give me permission to post on? Was it against the rules for me to post my comments on this article?
Caleb Brunz December 02, 2011 at 01:17 PM
I want to point out that it is not that there is "No Fear" for us, but that it is our capacity to deal with our fears that help us get through the hard times and challenges that often come daily. We are human and we fight the fear bugs every day! They come a crawling all of the time and it is a conscious choice to put our eyes and focus on things of hope which help us shake them off. Most of our FEARS usually come from a high “Need for Control” which can never be achieved anyway. The more we let go of control the less we FEAR!
Caleb Brunz December 02, 2011 at 01:18 PM
more info on this blog http://radiantchange.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/society-of-fear/
Dave Anderson December 02, 2011 at 04:56 PM
well said Caleb
Markus December 02, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Davea, Renee and Paul have made it very clear they have a obsessive hatred for Michele Bachmann. They look for any opportunity to attack her. They even attack her husband. That's tantamount to you attacking Barney Frank's boyfriend. They post the typical Huffington Post garbage and then feed off each other's childish rants. Next they'll probably be posting Bachmann attacks in the recipe section. Maybe if we ignore them they'll go away.
Edward December 02, 2011 at 07:35 PM
'As Bachmann would say, “We allow you to express different beliefs. You can express different beliefs that agree with us.” ' It's not about hate, it's about shining light on her fear mongering and lies, and somebody has to take responsibility for doing that. It's simple: You can buy into her version of reality . . . or not. I choose NOT. PS: For starters, there is no US embassy in Iran, and the Founding Fathers did not end slavery.
Markus December 02, 2011 at 08:24 PM
It's called context Renee, something you hardly ever take into consideration.
Edward December 02, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Yeah, I know. Lying is always ok if it's done in the "right" context ;-)
lizzie brunz December 04, 2011 at 05:49 PM
Goin on a date with my daddy caleb b.


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