[Podcast] Episode 35: Why You Should Have a Personal Vision Statement with Dave Bryan

A personal vision statement charts your course — in life and in business. If you don’t have one, you might as well be lost at sea when you’re making decisions.

For Dave Bryan, his personal vision statement serves as his North Star, allowing him to plot his course through his life. “There are a million ways in any given day to get knocked off course,” he says. “Everything you do should be in support of your life, and having a personal vision statement can help you stay on the path and keep on track.”

In this meaningful episode, Dave talks to Victoria and Mark about the genesis of the idea for him, how he did it, and gives tips for how you can write your own. Most importantly, he shares his reasons why you should.

Dave president of Blackdog Builders, with offices in Salem and Amherst, NH. After starting his business in 1989, he’s built Blackdog into a strong, consistently profitable business, with several diversifications under its umbrella. Dave is an entrepreneur who is known for the discipline and care with which he runs his company. Dave is also one of our popular Roundtables facilitators, where he shares his story with the groups.

Being an entrepreneur can be lonely, with no one to keep you accountable. Planning your life and using a personal vision statement can help define your goals. Dave’s path to writing his own statement began with the recession in 2008. “It was brutal,” he says. But defining the goals and intentions for his life going forward was a turning point.

You’ll hear Dave’s personal vision statement and learn why he won’t share it in written form. But you have to do the work yourself for your own, he says. Dave covers how to develop your personal vision statement, and what it can do for your life and business, including:

  • Creating a vision board as a first step
  • Why work is only a tool to build your life
  • How far out to plan
  • Working gratitude into your plan
  • What you learn when you look back

With all of the planning and goal-setting you do for your business, you may still be spinning your wheels if you don’t create the personal plan that forms a strong foundation for what you do — and why.

You can learn more about Dave and Blackdog at the website.

Click Here to Listen to Episode 35 >>

Do You Have the One Trait that all Successful Remodelers Share?

There are two types of remodelers in the world: those that are wildly successful and those that are . . . not so much.

Well, over the years I’ve come to realize that there is one trait that the “not so much” group of remodelers are lacking.

The good news is it’s not genetic. It can be learned!

In this weeks episode of PowerTips TV I’ll share what trait you may be missing and how to aquire it. Plus, I’ve got a special offer to help you get over the hump.


  • If you’re not as successful as you want to be;
  • if you want to thrive and not just survive;
  • if you’re ready to get rid of the head trash;

then this week’s episode is for you!


Yes! I want Victoria to nag me every single day!

Okay, you heard her. Many remodelers would do what they needed to succeed, if only they had someone to hold them accountable. So, by filling out the form below you are signing up for 14 straight days of nagging emails from the one and only Victoria Downing! (No weekends off here, this is an intervention!)

BUT, think twice before submitting the form. She WILL demand that you report back to her every day. Are you ready to start working ON your business.


Does Your Company Need a System?

Remodeling Company System“I need my company to be more systematized,” is something I hear from many remodeling company owners. What exactly does that mean and why is it so alluring?

I have been looking with no success for a definition of “system” that addresses what I think it means. The definition that works for me is “a written procedure(s) for a given situation that produces the likelihood of positive predictable results”.Continue reading

Managing for Accountability

You probably feel that you shouldn’t have to “babysit” your employees. After all, the people that have been hired are all professionals. They know what has to be done. They don’t need monitoring, right? Is this a realistic . . .or an effective point of view? Remember, there’s a big difference between being a good manager . . . and babysitting.

Here’s some insights on this issue from one of our long term members:

Dave Bryan, president of Blackdog Builders, is about as hands off a manager as you could get. “As people came on and began taking responsibility for their work, I backed off. I’m not a micromanager at all. They knew what they had to do to get the job done.”

And while he believes this to be true in theory, he found that in practice more things fell through the cracks than he had anticipated. “There were critical elements that just didn’t get done – not because anyone was lazy or blowing it off,” he comments, “in fact it was just the opposite most of the time. They were so busy that certain tasks just dropped off the radar screen – they stopped being a priority and that was causing problems throughout the company.”

So to increase accountability across the board without having his managers forced into the uncomfortable role of policing individuals, David and his key managers created the Weekly Job Jamboree.

This whimsical name camouflages the critical importance of this company-wide meeting, during which all jobs in both the sales funnel and production are reviewed.

“Our goal is to make sure that the priority tasks are really being completed – to be really tight on our procedures as that makes a huge difference in our profitability,” says David.

During the meeting, key information for each job is projected onto a screen for all employees to view. Each salesperson and each project manager reports on the jobs for which they are responsible. “While we try not to single out any one person,” comments David, “at the end of the day, if someone isn’t getting the important tasks done, they are singled out.”

This level of tough accountability isn’t familiar to this company. “Because we didn’t want to radically shift from our core culture of individual responsibility, I tried to make it pleasant and fun and began to soften up on what we were going to discuss,” he says, “But my managers held firm. They said, ‘If we’re going to do it, let’s ask the tough questions and do it right.’ So we do!”

The Blackdog team is finding that their Weekly Job Jamboree, while focusing on the positive and their efforts to do things right, is helping everyone on the team focus on the tasks that insure project success.

This is just one more example of why Meetings are a best practice for the best remodelers around!

To learn more about the best practices that help some companies stand out from the crowd — in customer satisfaction, in building superstar teams, in attracting the best prospects, and in reaching higher levels of profits — then give us a call at 301-490-5620 x106 to find out more about the programs and services we offer.  Whether you are just beginning in the remodeling business . . . or are at the top of your game, searching for peers with whom to interact, Remodelers Advantage can help! Click here and get started today.