Travis Lemon is the owner of Wise Guys Media, a company he founded in 2007 in Morgantown, West Virginia. The 38-year-old West Virginia native does everything from mounting TVs and installing home theaters to setting up smart home systems for music, security and lighting.
Why did you get into this line of work? And did you always want to do this?
I didn’t have any idea that I was even interested in electronics. Then I started selling TVs at a local shop and then I started delivering TVs, hooking them up – and then it just kind of blew up from there.
What does a typical day for an AV technician look like?
I hang probably five or six TVs a week. I do larger and smaller home automation jobs – like programming a house to turn on and turn off and light up the path to the bathroom at night or light up the path to the bedroom when you get home or music throughout the house. I install a lot of custom theaters.
What do you like most about being an AV technician?
Seeing the final product and seeing the customers happy. I like delivering the ‘Wow’ factor. That’s my No. 1 motivation.
What are some common misperceptions people have about AV techs?
There’s a lot of DIY products out there. So I’m kind of competing against an entire market of companies that are putting out these do-it-yourself products. And when people buy those products, they can't figure it out. So they call me.
What kind of training did you do?
I’m a “Control4” dealer so I had to go to North Carolina for a week and do a training program down there to learn how to program and design systems. Otherwise, you've got to have a little bit of know-how, know where studs land and such.
What kind of personality traits or qualities would make someone a good fit for this line of work?
As long as you have a good personable personality – you’re polite and courteous and well-mannered — you'll be fine. You have to know how to make people happy and give them what they want. But don’t promise them the world and give them a county!
Is there a time when you felt your job made a real impact on someone's life?
Not necessarily with a TV install, but I also do a lot of Wi-Fi networking and boosting people's Wi-Fi and things like that. So those are the things that impact people's lives. When it’s 8 o'clock at night and the internet goes out, they have somebody to call. They don't have to sit on hold – and eight out of 10 times I can remedy the problem over the phone. Right now, when lots of kids are being homeschooled, I do feel like I have a positive impact on their lives.
What's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to you after the completion of the job?
They said thanks and gave me a $500 tip.
Since you’re in the business of installing televisions, what’s your favorite thing to watch on TV?
As far as shows go, my wife and I are watching “Shameless.” And I like to play “Call of Duty” on the Xbox.