Wood Talk: Paul Nelson

Paul Nelson is the founder of Wyoming Wood Floors and serves as the operations manager for that company, as well as Western Sport Floors in Clinton, Montana. You might recognize Nelson from his social media presence or his more than 120 YouTube videos, where he showcases his passion for gym floors. He is a United States Marine Corps veteran and an active member of the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA) and American Sports Builders Association (ASBA).

Nelson recently was featured on the NWFA Wood Talk podcast, so Hardwood Floors magazine caught up with him to ask a few more questions.

Photos courtesy of Paul Nelson / Wyoming Wood Floors LLC and Western Sport Floors LLC

Tell us something interesting about yourself. I have driven to jobs through snowstorms in 10 of the 12 months of the year.

How did you get started in the industry? I started sanding floors in western Wisconsin and the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. We moved to the Jackson Hole, Wyoming area, and eventually, we started working on gymnasiums. In 2012, we purchased a competitor (a gym floor contractor) in Missoula, Montana. We now do gyms almost exclusively.

Who has influenced your career the most and why? Randy Nash with R&R Hardwood in Boise, Idaho, was a mentor to me. He taught me the value of maintaining high-quality customer service and doing very high-quality work. Then charging high-quality prices.

What is your favorite wood floor project that you’ve participated in? Our favorite job is always the one we are currently working on! The past is gone, and the future is uncertain. We focus on what is in front of us right now.

What energizes you to stay in the wood flooring industry? Horace Mann says, “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” We think installing, sanding, painting, and finishing gym floors is important. We think growing our company and our team is important. We are proud to walk the earth as giants among men, part of the greatest industry in world. Those thoughts drive us out of bed in the morning.

What are you reading right now? During the past 45 days, I have read: “Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill,” “8 Attributes of Great Achievers” by Cameron C. Taylor, and “The
Story of You (And How to Create a New One)” by Steve Chandler.

Do you have a morning routine that sets you up for success? I walk a mile, have coffee, write down some goals, and sit in an ice bath.

What keeps you busy outside of work? We have a 17-year-old daughter who plays travel hockey and lacrosse and a 13-year-old son who plays football and travel basketball. Much
of our leisure time is spent on youth sports at this point. We also enjoy a four-wheeler ride in the mountains, but we stay very focused on our business and our goals. Recreation for us is just a small break from the routine, not a goal to be pursued.

You can listen to a technical-focused discussion between Paul Nelson and NWFA’s Brett Miller, as well as other hardwood flooring experts by visiting hardwoodfloorsmag.com/nwfa-wood-talk-podcast.

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