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. 


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 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. 


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.


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. 


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. 


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 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.

Ep.30: Building Systems in Production with Brad Hogan

Systems aren’t just for manufacturing or assembling a fast-food burger. There are tasks remodeling companies do every day, week, and month on every job. As your company grows, building systems into your business and production processes to standardize this work is a necessary step to avoid total chaos and wasted time.

In this episode, Brad Hogan drops by to talk systems with Tim and Steve, and how they’ve made a huge difference in how his company works.

Brad’s the Production Manager for Hogan Design & Construction, a full-service  design/build firm  in Geneva, IL, 45 miles west of Chicago. Hogan Design & Construction  works on commercial and residential remodels. Brad started with the company  in 2002 as a laborer. He worked his way up the ranks, becoming Production Manager in 2011, and began developing, changing and implementing the systems that make Hogan Design & Construction the premier choice for remodeling in the western suburbs of Chicago.

The tipping point comes when you have more than one person handling everything, says Brad. Then you have to pin things down. To start, put together an outline of the project, from first contact with the client to the end of the job. Figure out how to repeat successes and avoid the mistakes you’ve had on previous jobs. A good set of systems allows you to track it all to see what works and what doesn’t. Listen as Brad explains how to get started building your own systems:

  • The Top 3 systems you need to implement
  • Being open to changing the processes
  • Talking with your team
  • Getting people to buy in
  • When to allow some flexibility
  • Creating stop-gaps outside the systems
  • Legal issues that may come up
  • Setting expectations for trade partners
  • And more…

It’s all about getting things done, creating structure, and making sensible, repeatable processes. Brad also gives Roundtables a shout-out for making him able to get all these systems tightened up and in place.

Listen to Episode 30 >>

[Podcast] Episode 37: The Art of Effective Communication with Paul Winans

Most work requires more than one person to get it done. Effective communication is essential to the enterprise. Everyone has to learn the skills to communicate effectively. One key is concentrating on what brings you success — in work, with your spouse or partner, and in the rest of your life. Build on that.

In this episode, Paul Winans joins Victoria and Mark to dive in to work on having effective arguments, resolving conflict, and working on listening.

Paul and his wife Nina owned a remodeling company for 30 years, living and working together, selling the company in 2007. Paul continues to work in the industry as a consultant, writer, and facilitator with R/A’s Roundtables.  As a facilitator, Paul works with our members to help them improve every aspect of their communication.

The biggest problem in effective communication happens when people just want to be heard, and don’t take on the responsibility to listen. For entrepreneurs, especially, It’s easy to say you have to listen, but you’ve built your business on others hearing you, and that habit is hard to break.

It takes a conscious and constant effort toward improvement. Paul gives examples and tips for improving your communication skills, including:

  • Focusing on understanding the other person
  • Using “I” language, not “you” language
  • Avoiding verbal attacks, even if they’re unintentional
  • Asking neutral questions
  • Establishing a foundation for decision making
  • Bridging the gap between communication styles and paces
  • How to tell if someone’s just visiting the conversation
  • Why meeting about nothing is good, actually
  • And so much more…


Click Here to Listen to Episode 37 >>


2019 Couples Retreat Workshop

This episode covers a lot of valuable ground, and you have an opportunity to go even deeper as it pertains to working with your spouse. As we mentioned in this episode, Paul and Nina will lead a Couples Retreat Workshop 2019 in Scottsdale, AZ, on February 7-8, 2019.

It’s an intimate group of 15 couples who will learn how to deal with conflict, argue effectively, and set goals for yourselves. The spots are going fast (a reservation was made during the podcast!), so act quickly to take advantage of this incredible resource. Register here!


It’s A Whole New World Out There. Are You Sure You Want To Go It Alone?

Now that the dust is settling, we can all see that our business world has changed and will never go back to the way it was. So it’s up to us to learn how to function in this new world and it’s lots easier when you’re learning along with a group of your peers. One of the ways we’re doing this is through our own Roundtables™ group. Yes, we are part of a group of companies that facilitate peer groups for specific types of business owners:  dentists, optometrists, health club owners, garden nurseries, IT companies and more.

I started this group after experiencing years of our own Roundtables™ and seeing the huge value that our members receive from working with a group of savvy peers. And it’s been SO well worth the investment of time and money!

While everyone works differently, the core business is alike so we are free to pick and choose best practices that will enhance our company’s programs and bring more value to our members. It’s several days of nothing but talking business and learning about each other and our operations. I love it!

And it’s wonderful to hear from our members who feel exactly the same way about us. Here’s just one unsolicited comment:

Thanks Victoria to you and all of your staff for a great workshop. We here at Craftsman Design are really pumped up and had a great meeting with our staff reviewing our notes and making plans for our future. It is REALLY nice to see that the REALITY of your organization meets the ADVERTISING. We are looking forward to the focus and direction that a group like Remodelers Advantage helps give our company!

If you’re ready to stop working alone, we’d love to have you join us. As another member said recently:

It’s no secreat that may of the best and strongest companies in the country are  Remodelers Advantage members.