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Start-Up of the Year | Ben Strickland with Tink Construction

“Everybody has fear. But you’ve got to take that first step,” says Ben. “If you want to be an entrepreneur, you need to keep taking steps forward.”

Ben Strickland, Founder of Tink Construction

At the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), we believe an entrepreneurial spirit can uplift entire communities and transform lives. Ben Strickland, the founder of Tink Construction, embodies this truth.

On June 13, 2024, Tink Construction was named CCT’s Start-Up of the Year. This award recognized his exceptional commitment, outstanding growth, and significant contribution to the entrepreneurial community. While this accomplishment alone is worth celebrating, Ben’s journey to arrive at this point is equally inspiring.

Ben’s Story

As a young man in his mid twenties and thirties, Ben spent seven years facing homelessness. During this time, Ben also experienced extreme isolation and daily battles associated with drug and alcohol addiction.

In 2014, Ben decided he wanted to reconnect with his family and build his own. He entered a rehabilitation program and refocused his energy on exercising and diligently caring for his physical health.  “I felt so healthy and balanced – mentally and in my soul,” says Ben. He began rebuilding his relationships with friends and family, strengthening trust and cultivating a network of support.

In March of 2016, Ben began working a temporary job at a factory where he was promoted several times as his employers recognized his ambition to succeed. “For years, I woke up in the morning and worked hard all day,” says Ben. “I had tunnel vision and was motivated to get through each day.”

In 2021, Ben transitioned to a new job in a local company’s Tenant Improvement division. Ben worked on building maintenance, painting projects, and other modifications in real estate spaces to serve the needs of those who would live there.

The Beginning of Tink Construction

In July 2023, Ben decided to venture out and start his own handyman business- Tink Construction. “I grew a sense of independence where I realized, if I had an idea, I just needed to go for it,” says Ben. “I thought, if I fall, I can always go back and get a job with someone else!” 

“Now that I’m doing it, I am so glad,” says Ben. “I feel like I’ve grown so much this last year- more than the last five years combined!”

With a desire to strengthen his entrepreneurial skills, Ben enrolled in CCT’s 7-week entrepreneurial training program called Launchpad. This course equips entrepreneurs with essential tools and mentorship to launch or expand their businesses. Through Launchpad, Ben learned how to develop messaging to target his ideal customers, start a website, send invoices online, and create financial systems for long-term profitability and growth.

The CCT team is consistently impressed by Ben’s unwavering determination and inquisitive nature.

“Ben is a person who wants to help others and see their vision realized in a tangible way,” Bryan Feil with CCT. “He has a ‘hustle’ about him. Each night of Launchpad, Ben showed up ready to dig in, having done the coursework and ready to put it into practical application the next week.”

Now, Ben has a website, helpful online invoicing tools, and is currently working on obtaining more construction certifications so he can expand Tink Construction’s services.

Ben Strickland’s journey from homelessness to entrepreneurship is a testament of his resilience and teachable heart.

“Everybody has fear. But you’ve got to take that first step,” says Ben. “If you want to be an entrepreneur, you need to keep taking steps forward. Fear is a wall and you’ve got to walk right through it.”

Ben Strickland shares about his experience taking the Center for Community Transformation’s Launchpad class.
Ben Strickland (middle) being awarded “Start-Up of the Year” at Center for Community Transformation’s 2024 Start-Up Fest with Bryan Feil (left) and Carlos Huerta (right).

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