Sunday, October 11, 2009

It is time to "Just Do It"

Just Do It

I was sitting in a hotel restaurant in Nashville, at breakfast the Saturday of Comfortech. There were a few contractors who were eating but many had left and were on their way home while there were still two “learning” sessions that day (missed opportunities for them). I was by myself and had finished reading the newspaper; my ears were perked to several of the conversations that the contractors were having with associates at adjoining tables. It was no surprised that everyone that was just overwhelmed by the new ideas that they had received. They were fascinated by the success and growth of Morris-Jenkins Contractor of the year. They focused on the key points from earlier classes and they talked about the different things they learned at the social events from other peers and felt that it provided them with a wealth of insights.

Then it came, after all of the positive they had heard and learned the “Buts” and excuses started. For every good thing they talked about, they came up with a reason why these ideas would not work.

· We are too Small,

· We are too large,

· Our employees won’t change,

· The economy is bad, money is tight,

· We do not have or can not hire a person to do that.

· My customer will not accept those changes.

· Look at their results they are unbelievable, we could never implement that

Time after time I heard a great idea extinguished with a belief of an untruth. People who had spent thousands of dollars to attend this meeting of some the best contractors in country walking away thinking they could not achieve greater success. Have we been listen to the news too long where the negative message is the rule and the positive one is passed off as an aberration?

My favorite was “I am just not ready”. Do you think that the auto dealerships that were closed by GM and Chrysler were ready? My point is change is better when we decide to do rather than when forced upon us.

It’s time to take and Embrace the Nike mantra and “JUST DO IT”.

· You only need one reason to succeed and overcome obstacles and barriers “JUST DO IT”.

· It’s waking up with a focus that anything you believe in or conceive can be achieved “JUST DO IT”.

· Every journey starts with a single step and they do not require large strides “JUST DO IT”.

· Start with small ongoing step or increments to achieve the goal you are looking for “JUST DO IT”.

· It requires endurance and persistence, as life and running a business is a marathon not a sprint “JUST DO IT”.

· Once you start it, you finished it, you set milestones for way points and you hold to own deadlines. If you fail to meet your deadlines you impose on your self, then those you impose on others will be missed also “JUST DO IT”.

· Celebrate the wins no matter how small, no matter who it is “JUST DO IT”.

Change is always difficult, but is more frustrating when it pushed upon us. I had the opportunity to share with contractors last month the benefits of social networking and also some great offerings with based upon “cloud computing” better known as Software as a Service (SAAS). We showed people how to leave behind Microsoft and email servers and get access to products at a fraction of the cost. Professional tools that are now accessible to 3-10 man shop. We also shared how social networking cements a relationship with a client and keeps them loyal. All were pretty nifty things and to my surprise very much unknown to majority of attendees. There are many small steps that can be taken, most at low cost and little effort. Some actually will save you money on software.

This was one idea, but there were ideas on sale person recruiting, Marketing in conjunction with a social cause, Building and system performance, Private labeling just to name a few. You also will have ideas and opportunities pop up at dealer meeting, Local Trade association and even chamber meeting. Do not miss the chance to build your company up to be one step ahead of the competition. Just pick one thing and “JUST DO IT”. After you have that one going well time to “JUST DO IT” again with another idea. In many cases you have nothing to lose as the ideas already have a proven track record.

All this drove home and reinforced what I had seen and heard at lunch the day before. I had sat down with Mark Matteson (author and speaker ) and we had a contractor sit down next to us. We asked him, which was the best class he had attended. He said the one service agreement was great, but he could not implement any of the ideas for fear of losing customers. He stated that when he went to a prepaid service program he thought he had lost 200-300 clients, because he requested payment in advance to get the best price. We proposed that he considered a tiered service contract program, (good, better, best) and explained it to him. To which he said it would not work for him because he was not comfortable with it. Mark then ask him to fold his arms in front of him, ask him to note which arm was on top. Then Mark instructed him to fold his arms again but with the other arm on top. Mark asked him how that felt, the response was uncomfortable, ask him if there was anything that was really different between the two position other than comfort and the answer was no. The point is that you can change, it is not going to be comfortable, it will take effort, and you will make mistakes and sometimes lose a customer. In the long run you can become a better business person and more successful. You have to choose to do what others fail to do. Accept that you have to be uncomfortable from time to time to make the changes.


Best Regards

Matthew R Prazenka

Abacus Business Leaders, LLC

Driving Shareholder Value through Hands-on Leadership

500 Lake Cook Rd. Suite 350. Deerfield, IL 60015

877.412.2228 x1030

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