Developing the 6 Domains of Resilience

When you own a remodeling company, the one characteristic that’s the most important to have — in my opinion — is resilience. 

Resilience is the ability to learn from your setbacks and mistakes. Resilient small-business owners learn how to turn mistakes into opportunities. They learn to look past the immediate setbacks and keep their eyes firmly on their long-term goal. 

Essentially, small-business owners must learn to see the forest for the trees and not get hung up on the minutiae. The details of the setback or the finer points of the mistake don’t matter. What matters is how you deal with those setbacks and keep moving forward.  

I recently read an article from an organization called Hello Driven, which identified six domains that have a significant impact on your resilience. Here’s a synopsis. 

Vision

Hello Driven says vision is the most important of the domains. Vision is about your sense of purpose, goals, and personal vision for yourself. This is the most important domain because all other domains are guided by what you want to achieve. 

Having clear vision allows you to be decisive when facing tough choices, and to maintain perspective when facing challenges. What’s important is being specific and clear. The more clarity you have, the easier it is to make decisions — you know what’s important and what’s not. This helps you stay focused. 

Composure

Composure is about regulating emotions when big and little things happen. It’s the ability to be calm when you’re facing conflict or hearing about a sudden change at work. It’s not wasting energy on stuff like traffic jams or inconveniences. Composure in these instances is important because becoming emotional prevents you from thinking clearly and critically. 

Reasoning

Creativity and innovative problem solving is incredibly useful when facing challenges along the way. This is what the reasoning domain is all about — taking action ahead of time to prevent things from going wrong in the first place. In fact, it’s mostly about proactive action. This is like going to the dentist regularly so you won’t need a root canal later. Think proactively through how things may go wrong and take action ahead of time to prevent or minimize impact.

Plus, a high reasoning ability means you welcome a changing environment because you know that it always brings hidden opportunities. By maintaining your composure and knowing what you want to achieve, change is no longer a threat. You can look for things others might have missed, helping you to succeed.

Tenacity

Persistence is the key. Einstein pointed out the importance of persistence for success when he said that “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” In a small business, success is not a given. You need to be willing to work hard and smart and stay with a problem if you hope to achieve something. You also have to realize that mistakes will crop up regularly,  take them in stride, and learn from them. 

Be realistic about your goals. Research shows that those who are overly optimistic about succeeding are less likely to, since they tend to give up at the first sign of trouble. What’s more useful for success is to have a sense of “realistic optimism.” That means you’re hopeful about your ability to succeed, but realize the road will be tough and full of challenges. 

Collaboration

In a complex world, few of us can achieve anything meaningful alone, so it’s crucial to build support networks. These function as a safety net while creating one for others. This is where Roundtables comes in. Participation in the special Roundtables Community can be a major asset in helping you create and maintain resilience. 

Health

Good health means looking after your body through eating right, making time for regular exercise, and getting quality sleep. A healthy body provides a strong foundation for your own resilience so you can focus on your sense of purpose and goals. Good health is not the ultimate goal, but instead enables you to achieve your larger personal vision.

What’s great about these examples is we absolutely have the capacity to build and improve our own resilience by paying attention to each of these domains. Strengthening one’s resilience is a lifelong and ongoing journey. Your efforts here improve your quality of life while directly contributing to the success that you can achieve in business and in life! Here’s to a fabulous future for all of us.

[Podcast] Episode 53: Growing a Company from Stage 3 to Stage 4 with Jef Forward

There are five stages of company growth, according to Judith Miller, one of our consultants and facilitators. Transitioning from Stage 3 to Stage 4 is one of the more complex. It takes a substantial shift in the owner’s responsibilities and skill sets. It can result in a much higher job satisfaction level, financial return, and working much less.

In this episode, Jef Forward explains how he managed this tricky move to Victoria and Mark. It’s a process he planned and implemented over years, and it had challenges and surprises for everyone in the organization.

Jef is a co-owner with his wife, Monica, of Forward Design Build Remodel in Ann Arbor, MI. Jef has participated in Roundtables at Remodelers Advantage for many years, and is now a member of Mentor FOR. Over the last six years, they have had substantial growth in the business and increased customer satisfaction and net profits through a team approach.

Jef talks about how the process has worked for his company, and what it takes to get there. It demanded a great deal of self-reflection on his part, as he moved out of the role of doer to teacher and had to become a better leader. He talks about understanding your priorities and how they might shift, and getting buy-in from your team, including:

  • Your company culture
  • Working the plan
  • Getting accurate feedback
  • Letting people fail, and teaching from that
  • Becoming a proactive, not reactive company
  • Why it’s not all about you
  • And much more…

Regardless of the growth stage of your company, Jef’s got workable advice to make your business and life better and more rewarding.

Some Background Info

If you want to brush up on Judith Miller’s stages of growth as discussed in the episode, here’s the article.

For more explanation of the DISC profile and what it can do for your business, listen to Episode 45: Using Tools to Find the Best Talent with Rick Bowers.

Click Here to Listen to Episode 53 >>

[Podcast] Episode 51: Deploying the Elam Ending in Your Business

We’re getting esoteric today — applying a sports concept to business. Not too long ago, Mark read an article and shared it with Victoria about fixing something that’s broken in basketball — the intentional fouls at the end of the game to stop the clock.

Nick Elam is a Mensa member and basketball superfan, who was frustrated by the stop-and-start slog the end of close games as the team behind tried to get ahead by stopping the clock in the final minutes.

In his Elam Ending, the game clock is turned off at the first whistle with four minutes or fewer remaining. The teams then play to a target score equal to the leading team’s score plus seven points. The first team to meet or exceed the target score wins. It effectively stops the need to intentionally foul.

So what does all this have to do with the remodeling business? Fair question.

You may need to change your rules, you may need to change your strategy. When the rules that make your business work start hindering it, what do you do?

Look at the frustration points and think creatively to figure out whether your rules need to change. Maybe your change order process works perfectly until the final weeks of the job, and then it all goes sideways. Think about changing the rules of the game for those changing circumstances.

Let us know what rules or processes you’ve changed or amended through creative thinking. Let us know in the comments. No harm, no foul. See more about the Elam Ending in Sports Illustrated, and here’s a link to The Basketball Tournament’s wiki and how it has implemented it.

Click Here to Listen to Episode 51 >>
 
 

[Podcast ]Episode 50: LIVE from the Extreme Business Makeover in Baltimore

For our 50th episode, we gathered a panel of industry experts and took questions from the audience at the Extreme Business Makeover in Baltimore at the the end of January 2019. It capped off an intense two days of learning, sharing, and networking among the remodelers attending and our Remodelers Advantage team.

In this episode, Victoria and Mark direct the lively discussions with our panel. We were joined by:

We talk profits and payroll, cash flow, the owner’s role in a growing business, margins, staying top-of-mind in your marketing, smart lead qualifying, planning and making decisions on your job sites, and the power of asking “why?”  

It’s an insightful and all-encompassing discussion of how to run your business to get bigger margins, more profits, and creating a real life/work balance. If you missed it, you need to listen to this episode.
 

Click Here to Listen to Episode 50 >>

 

[Podcast] Episode 49: How, Who, and Why to Build a Leadership Team with Steve Barkhouse

You’re not running a successful company unless you have a good work/life balance. But there’s only one way to sustainably grow your company without sacrificing your life, and that’s by having a strong leadership team.

Steve Barkhouse stops by to give Victoria and Mark a crash course in how and why you should have a leadership team — and who should be on it.

Steve is the president and co-owner of Amsted Design-Build in Ottawa, ON. Steve has a well-deserved reputation as a thoughtful, logical, and caring business owner. Steve founded the company in 1989, and it now produces  over $10 million annually. He’s a long-time member of our top-performing Roundtables group, and the recipient of the 2018 Remodelers Advantage Impact Award.

Steve and his co-owner decided to start a leadership team at their owners retreat about a year ago. They researched the different models, and picked the Entrepreneurial Operating System. Steve talks about why EOS was the right fit for Amsted, and also about the other systems they didn’t pick. He details their process, including:

  • The differences between a leadership team and a management team
  • The importance of having a facilitator
  • How they picked their leadership team and got lucky
  • The six benefits of a leadership team
  • How often they meet
  • Who runs the meetings
  • What the agenda is
  • And a whole lot more…

Forming the leadership team was the best decision he ever made. “Outside of joining Remodelers Advantage, of course,” he says.
 

Click Here to Listen to Episode 49 >>

[Podcast] Episode 48: How to Hit Healthy Net Profits in any Economic Climate with Mike Medford Sr.

One of our core principles is that remodeling companies should make a good net profit, after paying the owners an above-average salary. When the economy’s booming, you can get away with a lot and still hit those goals, sometimes by accident. But the goal is to get those healthy net profits consistently, year after year, even in a downturn.

In this episode, Mike Medford Sr. talks to Victoria and Mark about how to do just that. Before seeing the metrics of the Top Ten Roundtables members a few years ago, Mike says his financials were always in flux. But then he took those figures and made them hard targets.

Mike Medford Sr. has been a home remodeling contractor for over 40 years. In 2007, he partnered with his son, Mike Jr. to form what is now Medford Design Build, with offices in Colleyville and Arlington, TX. Mike Sr. is the president of Medford Design Build.

Mike challenged himself and his team to hit the new fixed targets. He refined their processes, and challenged his team to hit those targets. By the next quarterly meeting, the company’s profits were rising. He talks about how he and his team made it happen, including:

  • Creating a profit-centric culture
  • How net profits will help you beat the labor shortage
  • Focusing your staff on gross profit
  • The importance of open books to the process
  • Setting up a bonus structure
  • Building time in to plan
  • And more…

Mike also talks about getting back to the art of contracting and how important that is to your margins.
 

Click Here to Listen to Episode 48 >>

[Podcast] Episode 46: Onboarding the Most Vital Roles in Your Company with Jackie Shaw

Your accounting is a vital part of your business. You’ve spent valuable time hiring a new accounting staff member. Now what? Too often, owners think the new hire will be able to sit down and get to work with no introduction to processes and policies of the business. This can be a costly mistake.

Accounting is the story of your business in numbers, Jackie Shaw tells Victoria and Mark in this episode. Properly onboarding a new accountant or bookkeeper will keep that story from becoming a tragedy.

Jackie, the founder of Get Organized! LLC, is one of the QuickBooks gurus who support our members — and they love her. She gets paid to clean up a lot of accounting disasters and has seen first-hand how quickly a new bookkeeper can destroy your books. She’s here to help you get the right systems in place so you don’t have to pay anyone to clean up after a bookkeeping hire goes wrong.

“A bookkeeper can kill a database in a week,” she warns. That’s why, Jackie says, when onboarding new hires, they must do everything the same way they were done before, and they need to study prior entries to figure that out. And you have to forbid them from making changes for at least a month. Other things you should keep in mind when onboarding and working with a new hire include:

  • Not making assumptions
  • Experience doesn’t mean competence
  • Why you don’t want your bookkeeper to take ownership of the books
  • The importance of financial SOPs
  • Why accounting can be like an archeological dig
  • And more…

Including the methods you can use to safeguard your company against embezzling. If you thought talking about accounting was going to be dry and boring, then you have to listen to this episode — it’s lively!

Click Here to Listen to Episode 46 >>

[Podcast] Episode 45: Using Tools to Find the Best Talent with Rick Bowers

You know all about the labor shortage, you’re living with it every day. But there are tools that can help you find the right person for the right job — and help you keep them in your company.

Remodelers Advantage has been using a personality assessment tool called DISC for years, and we love it. Everyone on our team completes a DISC assessment, as do all of our Roundtables members— who also rely on them in their own businesses.

In this episode, Rick Bowers of TTI Success Insights, the maker of the DISC test, drops by to talk to Victoria and Mark about how and why to use personality assessment tools in your organization.

Rick’s the president of TTI Success Insights, and the keynote speaker at its show TTISCON. Rick has more than 30 years of experience with talent management tools and has trained people to use effective talent management techniques in more than 30 countries on six continents.

For those who don’t know, or could use a refresher, the DISC profile breaks down personality into four buckets, to see which are more pronounced in each individual:

  • Dominance: The take-charge type
  • Influencing: Outgoing and fast-paced
  • Steadiness: Consistent and methodical
  • Compliance: Follows the rules

There are unlimited combinations, because everyone’s an individual, but taken all together, a person’s DISC profile shows why people do what they do, and how best to communicate and motivate them, says Rick. He takes a deep dive into how the DISC and other tools can help managers and employees, including:

  • The 12 driving forces that motivate
  • Letting the job talk
  • Using the right words for each personality
  • Making space for individuality
  • Building an effective team
  • Importance of debriefing process after hiring
  • Why the DISC can’t be used to excuse a bad behavior
  • Why you’ll only go against the assessment once in hiring
  • And a lot more…

In the remodeling business, it’s especially important to hire the right person for the job, and the team — the wrong hire can mess up your company for years. These types of assessment tools can help you make better decisions, and aid you in understanding how to manage and communicate. How do you use your DISC assessments? Let us know in the comments below.

Click Here to Listen to Episode 45 >>

The X Factor – The Characteristics of a Successful Remodeler

I’ve been with Remodelers Advantage now for roughly a year and a half and as we head into 2019, I continue to work with Steve Wheeler, our Business Development leader, on finding and bringing in new members to our Roundtables groups.

One of the big questions Steve and I discuss often, when looking at ways to grow the Roundtables community, is “What are some of the characteristics of existing Roundtables members and what makes them successful remodelers and business owners?”

There are many that we come up with; entrepreneurial, driven, smart, hard-working, detail oriented and successful… but these can likely describe many business owners out there.

What Makes Our Members Different?

What makes our members seek out counsel from others? Meet with their peers in-person and communicate throughout the year? What makes them stay with the Roundtables community for three, five, ten, fifteen years or longer? And more importantly, what makes them some of the most successful leaders in the industry?

In my time here with R/A I’ve compiled an ever-growing list of some of these characteristics and I’ve labeled them as the “X-Factor”… I know, too many Marvel movies over the holidays… and in many instances identifying these personality traits has come from meeting our members face-to-face, whether at Summit, JumpStart or one of our other events.

What is the X Factor?

Hungry: It goes beyond being driven and trying to make as much money as possible… our most successful members are hungry for knowledge – they seek out ways to improve their lives and businesses by constantly seeking out and consuming educational and networking opportunities. They are voracious readers, listen to podcasts and attend networking/educational events. We have members that, when on vacation, will seek out an R/A member in that area, just to grab a cup of coffee and learn more about their business.

Creative: These members are always looking for new and better ways to not only build and deliver remodeling projects, but to market their businesses as well. Looking through our members websites, videos, marketing materials, portfolios, etc. we see cutting edge ideas and firms who are always willing to try something new. Drones, 3D-walkthroughs, Niche events and social media engagement to name a few.

Altruistic: An inherited part of the Roundtables experience is the process of providing feedback and helping other businesses in your group. It’s not a surprise that many of our most successful members are leaders in their respective groups, actively providing feedback, taking the time to review financial data and offering suggestions on ways their group members can improve.

Going further, we see these same members very active in giving back to their communities, whether it is through their church, chamber of commerce or various charities and organizations.

Client-facing: As our members grow their respective businesses they are typically very passionate about their client’s satisfaction and ability to provide a positive reference; the “lifeblood” for a remodeler as our own Mark Harari would say. That focus on client satisfaction never goes away and becomes the foundation many of our members will base their success on.

Quality-focused: Going hand-in-hand with client satisfaction above, the focus on quality craftsmanship and overall project experience for the client is a very common trait among the most successful members and firms. A main aspect of providing quality is a focus on building a solid production department, typically led by a Production Manager and a team of project managers, carpenters, etc. Many of our members have worked with our production “Guru” Tim Faller or enrolled their Production Manager into a tactical Roundtables Group.

Do you have the X-Factor?

Hopefully by giving you a glimpse into the process we use to find Roundtables Members and the characteristics we see among our members we have helped you identify areas in your business that can be developed further or focused on in 2019 and beyond.

If you would like to learn more about Remodelers Advantage and becoming a member of our Roundtables community, please contact Steve Wheeler.

[Podcast] Episode 42: How and When To Hire a General Manager with Aaron Enfinger

As companies experience growth, there are tipping points where changes need to be made. One of those points is when you realize you need additional management for the organization. Many remodelers are considering adding a General Manager, but are unsure how it will work in practice.

The Cleary Company of Columbus, OH, reached this tipping point in the Development Department in the Fall of 2016. The company was changing rapidly, adding staff, and stressing the existing systems in place. Things were getting bogged down. Owner George Cleary promoted Aaron Enfinger from Production Manager to GM to step in the gap. He’s currently wearing both hats while searching for his successor as PM.

In this episode, Aaron talks to Victoria and Mark about his experiences in taking over his new role and what it’s meant for the company. While Aaron oversees the operations, George has more time for business development and long-term planning.

The decision to add an overlay of management was caused by three factors, says Aaron. The staff was stressed by the workload, they were having trouble getting projects through the different phases of the job, and steps were being skipped in previously reliable systems because of the rush to get jobs to production. He talks about what his job entails, and some of the challenges, including:

  • Keeping the owner in the mix
  • How to not overload a GM
  • Managing people outside of your own job experience, like designers or marketers
  • Creating new positions to help streamline processes
  • Why to hire from within (if you can)
  • Working with the owner (or CEO)
  • The benefits of a walking meeting
  • Small picture vs. big picture thinking
  • And more…

As promised in the podcast, here’s the link to Aaron’s appearance on The Tim Faller Show, where he outlined his approach to creating a master schedule to control the flow of jobs through the pipeline.

Click Here to Listen to Episode 42 >>

 

Extreme Makeover: Business Edition

As Mark and Victoria mentioned in this episode, the Extreme Makeover: Business Edition, Jan. 29-30, 2019, is filling up fast — and Super Early Bird Pricing ends this Friday, November 30th.
Click Here for More Information & Registration