From TV commercials to the Internet to billboards around the area, Malcarne Contracting continues to have a presence in the Hudson Valley, not only through this exposure, but by the reputation of the quality product the company is dedicated to producing.

But while maverick owner Joseph Malcarne, through these many outlets, is the face of the business, he’s also the heart. Whether it’s on the job site or with his family, attitude is everything, he says. What makes Malcarne tick goes way beyond a passion for construction: It’s his commitment to making those around him as happy and fulfilled as he is.

Talent in the Genes

Construction has been a part of Joseph Malcarne’s DNA since before he could even lift a hammer. Malcarne’s great grandfather was a craftsman, and as a kid, Joseph assisted his father in many projects. In fact, he cut his teeth on his first solo building projects at the tender age of 14. “Construction,” says Malcarne, “eat it, breathe it, drink it – that’s what I did growing up.”

But around a decade ago, Malcarne noticed a shift taking place in his life. While he maintained his passion for production, his time off was dedicated to another pursuit. “Most of my free time is spent reading books that my wife likes to call ‘self-help,’” he says.

By learning from authors including expert gurus and spiritual teachers from many walks of life, Malcarne feels he’s found the way to a fulfilling life, whether it’s in constructing someone else’s home or living in his. Each day, he uses the techniques he studies to help him be the happiest, most peaceful person he can be – but it doesn’t end there.

“What do I really want?” he asks, confidently ready with his answer. “I want to do everything I can to facilitate other people being happy.”

Joy in the Job

Facilitating happiness isn’t always a straightforward task – but it does start from the top, says Malcarne. In a business setting, it’s crucial for those in charge to set a good example.

“If you have the person who’s leading the company who is a miserable, awful person, it’s hard for the people who he or she interacts with to have a good, positive, upbeat feeling about themselves in their work and their life,” he says.

Having a good attitude is just as important a tool on the jobsite as that state-of- the-art solar panel, insulation material, or new HVAC unit. For example, every day entails balancing schedules, plans for future projects, day-to- day building, managing materials.

“What we do requires a lot of ‘doing,’” says Malcarne. “There’s just a tremendous amount of coordination.” Amidst this juggling act, Malcarne desires to be an example of positivity, encouraging those around him to find joy in the everyday, whether it’s fulfillment in the job for his employees, or enjoyment in the service provided to his customers.

“I try to learn about how I can personally be the happiest person I can be,” Malcarne says. “I feel that affects my employees and my clients – all the people that I interact with.”

An Upside-Down Kingdom

It’s difficult to go through a career without encountering a boss whose power goes to his head – a despot with an iron fist and no compassion, who makes the rules but doesn’t follow them. Malcarne runs his company as the polar opposite.

As a leader, one of his primary desires is to make sure that the needs of those he works with – customer and employee – are met. It’s one of the simplest ways he can spread joy on the job, everywhere he goes.

“Rather than the attitude of them serving me, it’s how can I serve and help them,” he says. “How can I facilitate their success, which, I believe, is tied in with their happiness.”

As someone in charge of many moving parts – including the success of his family’s company – Malcarne could see this as a daunting weight on his shoulders. Instead, he sees everyone he interacts with as an opportunity to practice what he preaches: Happy employees spread their joy to clients, who disperse it further – and nothing makes Malcarne more pleased.

“There are always numerous reasons to be upset or angry – you don’t even have to try,” Malcarne says. But shifting your view to see the good in everyone and everything can completely change your life – and
the life of those around you.

Says Malcarne, “I find that, initially, it takes a lot more work to see the positive in every situation – most importantly, the ones we term to be negative or difficult. Yet, what I have come to learn is that those are the greatest opportunities.”