After my first year as a consultant to the various trades I had worked in (and some I never worked in!), my brothers asked me what I learned and what I felt made the difference between the winners and the losers in contracting.
I told them, “Well, I’ve come to realize we may not be the smartest contractors out there. I’ve met and talked with a load of smart contractors. And what has also become apparent is that what has made us successful vs. those who aren’t typically comes down to our ability to get things done and their inability to get much of anything implemented.”
They were curious, so I continued, “Frankly, many of the contractors I’ve been in touch with or even worked with when I first arrived were in a spiral of holding meetings that turned into more meetings about what should be done to resolve a problem or a challenge. This, in turn, required them to call a friend in the industry and ask them who they were doing business with, they then would feel compelled to ask somebody in a trade association or an online group for their opinion on the subject.
“Pretty soon they were victims of ‘Paralysis by Analysis’…all in an attempt to make sure that what they were thinking about doing would be 100% safe and prudent because somebody else was doing it as well. They were trying to go for ‘Perfect’ instead of ‘Good enough for today. We’ll make it better tomorrow,’…so most but not all ended up shelving the whole idea or scheduling another meeting.”
My good friend who is an industry consultant told me once, “A plumber will try anything new as long as his dad and grandfather tried it first!”
I told my brothers, “What I think we do better than most is we do our basic research, make an investment in time and argue heatedly until the other brothers are convinced or exhausted and then we get done what must be done. We’re all about get things implemented and not overly worried about what everyone else is doing!”
So, do you think it’s a lack of knowledge that keeps you as a contractor experiencing so much stress and so little success? I don’t think so!
It’s your lack of implementation and carry through that makes less stress and more success elusive.
There is no magic bullet! There is no one thing that you’ll read or hear about that will mystically make things change!
What will change your life and your business is the creation of a simple business plan consisting of what your greatest challenges are today. Then, committing to implementing the things you must do to solve your five biggest challenges to fix them once and for all.
It’s all about the implementation. The world is already full of good ideas.
It’s implementation and not needing reassurance on everything you do because that’s a recipe for failure.
To help you get started, I have a simple Excel form that will help you list your Top Five #1 projects (sometimes they’re just good habits). I’ll send it to you if you e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let me know you read about the Top Five #1 projects form in this blog.
But you must create the discipline every week to fixing something on this list. And discover for yourself what this one powerful step can do because it’s all about the implementation.
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