Saturday, February 26, 2011

Love What You Do and.....

I’m so loving what I do right now. As much as I know exactly what I’ve done or not done to contribute to my own economy, I also know that what’s going on or has gone on “out there” certainly has affected my business. Well, I’ve held strong and been patient, not always with grace, knowing that as I continued to know and believe that this all came to pass - it would (pass that is). It has.

At the perfect time I got the most amazing referral and the best client for a rather small job. That job has turned into a major remodel because the crew and myself went into the job with new eyes. We see it with much more gratitude and well, love, than we have in a very long time. I will also say, my crew has so "upped" their game. It's a pleasure to watch.

What I’ve discovered is, we do, indeed, get complacent. When things are rolling along as we think they “should” be we tend to not be as grateful everyday as we can be.

I will also say that it has been my being willing to look at life and my work-life with new eyes and a different attitude. What a difference it makes. Not only in the earning but in the joy of going to work everyday.

I’m so thrilled, not only to be earning myself, but to be living in the solution of what being self-employed means to me - putting others to work.

To know that I’ve contributed to my own increase in earning and put 12 - 15 people to work as well as suppliers and the city where I get my permits makes me know it’s all been worth it.

There’s a bigger story here as with all of us but for now I’ll simply say, keep on keeping on, hang in there and know that better is around the corner if you practice gratitude for life and trust that whatever it is that doesn't always look so good came to pass. Pass to what is up to you. It can be more of the same of way better than you could have imagined. My choice, door #2!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mark Up & Profit

Contractors, I highly recommend (once you’ve moved through my program and gained clarity with where you presently are) Michael Stone’s Profit & Mark-up along with some of his other books. Visit his website at

Michael’s 10 cardinal rules for contractors are:

1. You shall return all phone calls within 24 hours
2. You shall keep ALL appointments, and be on time
3. You shall present yourself to your customers and the public in a professional manner at all times
4. You shall keep your ego in your pocket
5. You shall interview the customer to see if they qualify to buy from you, not if you qualify to sell to them
6. You shall get written quotes on all items that exceed $300 on your estimate
7. You shall determine your correct mark-up and use it without fail.
8. You shall honor your overhead budget at all times, and not spend otherwise.
9. You shall continue your education on a daily basis.
10. You shall take a fixed salary from your business each month.

Homeowners, this is how a contractor will run a business on purpose and you would be wise to check out Michael Stone’s site,, for more insight into how a contractor “ought” to run their company.

Monday, February 14, 2011

7 Commandments to insure a Dynamic Remodeling Experience

Business is always booming somewhere, sometime, some how for someone, it might as well be you - Mark Victor Hansen
1. There is no glass ceiling on your life. The only ceiling is your own limitations.

Be willing to get yourself out of your own way and stop putting limits on your success and your company’s growth. I specifically gear my discussion to contractors; however, these ideas really apply to homeowners as well by giving them an insider view of the bidding from the advice I give contractors. It’s simply that I’ve been in the home improvement industry for over 25 years and know what an obstacle I’ve been to myself so from personal experience - I know of what I speak. Homeowners can be one of the biggest obstacles to a good experience as well.

2. Follow your heart and find your life’s purpose. Demonstrate kindness in all that you do; impatience has no rewards.

If remodeling isn’t your passion, find out what is and do that. I say this from a place of absolute knowing that if you do not love the business of home improvement you will not be able to authentically exercise the patience you need when the rubber meets the road. Not only must you have patience but you must be able to be kind when it comes to “standing up to” a client’s (sometimes) unreasonable demands. Purposeful Remodeling is the only way to achieve the rewards this industry can present to you.

3. Honesty is always the best policy if presented in a loving way. Seek first to understand; if you want to be heard, you must first actively listen.

This particularly applies when you are presenting a bid that you know is higher than the other bids your potential client has received. If you know the bid you’ve presented is exactly what it’s going to take to do the job well and bring an excellent experience to the table, you must be honest about that. You must also remember that listening to their concerns, especially around money, with an active ear is what will help you communicate truthfully about why your cost is what it is.

4. Remain a “target out-of-range.” Insults we hear are not about us – it’s about “them, their fears”.

If you are sitting before a potential client who talks about how bad contractors are or what a horrible experience they’ve had in the past, that is not about you. I would suggest, however, that you really “put your listening ears” on for this interview as you may decide in the long run that they are simply not the client for your company. That is absolutely OK because if you feel that way during the interview process pay attention to what is (most likely) a red flag.

5. Empower those around you to do great things. Set them up for success.

What I mean by this is, listen to the homeowner and ensure them you want this project to be a success as much as they do. Pay attention to their needs and hear what they might expect from you as the contractor. Make sure you discuss those needs and expectations so you set the entire job up for success. This definitely serves you in the long run because you are all about serving them first.

6. Develop a sense of gratitude - for your own good.

Bring a sense of gratitude to the bidding process; gratitude for being able to be of service. Let them know how much you look forward to working on their project (if you feel it’s a good fit). This lets them know you love what you do and aren’t only in it for the money. That happens you know?

7. Learn how to be joyful by doing things that bring you joy, and by being with people who bring you joy.

If you aren’t happy taking on this particular client (if they’ve chosen your company) you won’t be happy during the remodel. If it’s a long project is it really worth whatever the monetary pay-off might be? I will tell you from experience, it’s not. This is the type of project where nothing seems to go right and feels very chaotic; less than joyful if you will. This is NOT the way to come to work every day or get referrals because, trust me, if you feel less than joyful so does the homeowner.
Can’t wait to get started?  Enjoy a booming business and great remodeling experience in 2011 - you deserve it!