Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Hope in HVAC

This is from my latest Contracting Business Hotmail Column:

It was difficult to understand the voice on the other end of the phone. “I haven’t been able to work for six months,” he said. “My jaw’s wired shut.”

The contractor called me out of the blue after my phone number was listed in a magazine article. I think he called me because he was lonely. He relayed his story. The contractor was involved in a serious automobile accident. His truck was totaled and he wound up in intensive care. After he was released from the hospital he still couldn’t work.

As a single truck operator, he owned a job, not a company. When he couldn’t work, neither could his company. His wife was forced to refer his customers to a competitor. Goodbye customers. Goodbye business. In an instant, this contractor lost his business, much of his wealth, and most of his hope.

The phone call haunted me. Twenty years later I still think about it. At the risk of going “Bill Clinton,” I can still “feel his pain.”

I wondered how other contractors could avoid his fate. The answer to me seemed obvious. Grow! Build a business, not a job. Create a company that can exist without you. Anything else is not really a business.

Read the remainder of the article at Contracting Business.

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