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.

Get SMART: Making Your Resolutions Stick

It’s tradition. With all the best intentions, you made resolutions for 2020. Maybe it was personal, to lose weight, quit smoking, work out more, or spend more time with your family. It’s also a great time to refocus on your business, resolving to boost your net profits, save more cash on hand, or hire a new employee.

It’s also traditional that those well-meaning resolutions don’t stick. Most never take hold. It’s possible some of those promises have already been broken, in just six short days. In fact, according to recent studies, about 64 percent of resolutions don’t last past the end of January.

So if you’re still hanging on, or you need to get back on track, there are ways to help you succeed and beat the statistics.

It’s All About You

The first thing to do is to make it personal. Any lasting change you make must come from inside — not from external forces like your spouse or business partner. Making a life or professional change will only work if you are self-motivated. But that doesn’t mean you have to do this in a vacuum. Enlisting others in keeping you accountable can help you stick to your goals.

Get SMART

Our Roundtables members are well acquainted with SMART goals. It’s a system of creating goals that works well in business, and can be just as effective when tackling more personal projects. There are a couple different meanings for the acronym, but for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions, remember these terms:

  • Specific. Set your goal so that it’s clear, concise, and concrete. That’s pounds lost, say, rather than just “losing weight.” Or you’ll have a clear job description written for a new hire by Feb.1.
  • Measurable. That’s the beauty of the specific goal — you build the measurement in.
  • Achievable. Set a goal you can meet, don’t go for pie in the sky.
  • Realistic. It’s a goal that’s within reach, even while doing everything else in your busy life. If you’re starting from zero, saying you’ll go to the gym every day before or after work is just not going to happen for that long.
  • Timely. Set deadlines for incremental and total progress.

Break down your goals into smaller steps. Celebrate your small victories and don’t dwell on a backslide. Keep at it, consistently. Once you’ve changed your mindset, established momentum, and created healthy habits, reaching your goal will get easier. 

And if your resolution in 2020 is to improve your remodeling business…

No better way to get a jump on the new year than attending the Extreme Business Makeover event in Baltimore on January 28-29. Two days of interactive, thought-provoking presentations, break-outs and panel discussions with some of the remodeling industry’s best and brightest.
Click here to register >>

What’s In Your Wallet? Benchmarking Owner Pay

As we race toward the end of the year, it’s time to take stock of all you’ve done this year in your business — jobs completed, those scheduled for 2020, and your gross and net profits, and more. When you look at your own bottom line, you may want to know how your paycheck measures up to what other remodeling company owners are making.

We love metrics and key performance indicators at RA, and we’re dedicated to helping our members make a difference in their business and lives. We survey our Roundtables members twice a year, and one of the KPIs that matters most to you and your family is your take-home pay.

Drilling Down

When we look at owners compensation, we consider all of the money available to the owner. This could be salary or distributions, .and for this metric, we include net profit in the calculation.

We combine these elements because it’s the best apples-to-apples comparison we can make when considering the many ways owners can take money out of their companies.

Our members’ stretch goal for this metric is 20 percent of revenue. So if you produce $1,500,000 per year, your owner compensation goal would be $300,000.

Our top 25 percent of the membership averages 18 percent in owners’ compensation. With their average revenues of $3,100,000, this makes $558,000 available to them. Many will use some of this to add to their savings, or to distribute bonuses to their team.   

Building a Profitable Business

What we found when we looked through the owner compensation data is that, on average, members who have been with us for fewer than six months are earning $94,614 annually. For those who have been Roundtables members for two to three years, income increases to $138,125, on average. And it keeps growing. For those members who have been active for nine years or more, that annual number jumps to $298,864. While compensation rises, they’re also adding staff, and offering competitive wages and benefit packages to their employees.

Most important, their work/life balance improves. Our top members are working 55 hours per week or less, and taking at least four weeks off — and are able to take more than that. They’re working smarter, making more time for their families, and supporting their employees.

As we look back on 2019, that’s what makes our year — that we’ve helped our members make positive changes in their businesses and their lives.

What is Roundtables?

Roundtables is a world-class peer advisory service that brings together smart, motivated remodeling professionals, just like you, to help one another grow.
Click Here for more information >>

The Most Dangerous Thing you Face as a Remodeling Business Owner; PowerTipsTV Throw-Back

As we get into a new year and shed the end-of-year and holiday chaos, we wanted to throw it back to a PowerTipsTV Episode dealing with a hidden danger that so many remodelers ignore until it sneaks up on them. Don’t miss this one!

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As a remodeling business owner there’s a danger lurking out there that often gets dismissed or ignored until it’s too late… Know what it is?

Well doctors often call it “the silent killer” and it’s just that.. it festers and hides and sneaks up on you… It’s STRESS!

As a business owner you’re more at risk than most because of the inherent stress that comes with owning a business (payroll, finances, HR, etc.) and as a REMODELER you have to pile on the added stress of working under deadlines, pressure from clients, problems on jobsites… and the list goes on..

Feel It? Just hearing this list can raise your blood pressure, right?

Check out the stats from WedMD:

  • 75% – 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress can lead to problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, anxiety and more.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a known & recognized hazard of the workplace;
  • Stress costs business in the U.S. more than $300 billion annually.

What about you? What are some ways you reduce and fight stress in your life?

Please share your experience in the comments below.

Movin’ Out: Signs It’s Time to Leave Your Home Office

With work booming, many remodeling companies are in growth mode. If you’ve been working out of a home-based office, it may be time to fly the coop. No one wants to spend money on rent or another mortgage if you don’t have to, but if working out of your home is limiting your company’s growth or infringing on your family’s life, the benefits of moving into a commercial space may well be worth the cost.

No. 1: Zoning or HOA violations

Home-based businesses can get away with a lot when it comes to zoning laws or the rules of your neighborhood if you’ve got a Homeowners’ Association. Most municipalities have laws about things like business signs, percentage of your home you use for business, the sorts of materials you’re storing, and how many employees you have working there. Company-branded trucks, even parked in your own driveway, may be in violation of some neighborhood bylaws.

It’s easy to fly under the radar, but all you need is one nosy — or disgruntled — neighbor to blow the whistle on you and cause headaches.

No. 2: Your business has taken over the house or life

If your whole house has become the office, with paperwork, product samples, and equipment everywhere, it might be time to move out. This is especially true if it’s affecting the lives of your kids or partner. 

The upside of working from home is you can work all the time. But that’s also the downside. If your work is dominating your home life, it’s probably time to put some distance between the two.

No. 3: You need to meet with customers on your turf

If clients meet with you in your home often, it’s probably time to get a dedicated office. Their trust level will go up when they see you have a separate place of business — they perceive it as a more serious commitment and more professional.

No. 4: Kids, especially little ones

Running a business in the same space that your children are playing, or just being kids, is incredibly difficult. This is especially true when they’re infants and toddlers — too young to understand that you don’t want to be interrupted for a half-hour. Even having a small office somewhere other than home will boost your productivity.

No. 5: You get lonely

Some people just don’t thrive working alone — they are the people who need people. If you’re more productive and happier with the energy a communal office offers, you need to put yourself in that situation.

No. 6: Your business is growing

A growing business needs more room for equipment, storage space, and especially employees. Your employees need room to work, and they could be cramped in your home. You also could lose some prospective employees who think there’s something sketchy about working in your basement.

We went through this a few years ago — moving from a home office to a commercial space. The increase in morale and productivity made it clear it was the best thing to do, and well worth the added expense.

Run the numbers ahead of time to be sure you can swing it, and look at starting the new year in a new space. If you can’t afford your very own dedicated space, you still have options other than the local coffee shop. Check into the growing number of co-working spaces available and the different rental packages they offer. It can give you a place to work, either quietly or to enjoy the company and energy of other entrepreneurs, more networking opportunities, and a space to meet with clients.

 

When Did You Know It Was Time?

How about you? When did you and your firm know it was time to “cut the cord” and move to your own space? Any pitfalls or learning lessons? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you!

Tap Your Sales Skills to Make Your Relationship Better

The idea of selling something feels sort of dirty to a lot of people, especially if you’ve been on the wrong end of a heavy-handed salesperson. Getting your arm twisted until you succumb and make the purchase. Promises made that turn out to be empty about the benefits of buying something. Ugh!

But good sales experiences actually help you. Great salespeople make you feel confident and secure in your decisions. And — this is the odd part — much of what makes for success in sales also does so in relationships. 

Open-ended questions

Sales skill: Taking the time to ask open-ended questions makes prospects more likely to let down their guard. Asking clarification questions about the responses the prospect lets them feel their opinion really matters to the salesperson, and that the salesperson is present and listening.

Relationship tip: This is also true in personal relationships. Slowing down and taking the time to deeply understand the other person’s point of view makes you become more attractive to that person.  

People love to tell you how they think and feel about things if you make them feel that you care about what they are telling you.  Follow-up questions are a powerful way to do that.

Slowing down

Sales skill: The best salespeople — the ones who successfully selling big-ticket items — go through the sales process slowly. When this is done exceptionally well the buyer often butts in and says “I’m convinced.  How can I buy what you are selling? I don’t need to hear anything beyond what you have told me.” Bingo!

Relationship tip: When wooing someone, taking it slowly is much more effective than moving too quickly. Being a fast-paced person, I have to constantly remind myself to slow down when interacting with my wife Nina. The slower I go and the more focused I am on her and what she’s saying, the better she feels about our relationship. I’m not as good at doing this as I would like to be but I keep on working at it.

Listening, not telling

Sales skill: The phrase, “Telling is not selling,” is so true. When a salesperson offers too much information and solutions that don’t motivate for the buyer, the sale goes nowhere. That salesperson is likely to complain that the potential buyer simply didn’t “get” that what the salesperson was selling was the perfect solution.  

Relationship tip: Listening opens minds and hearts. Like Stephen Covey says in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

By doing so you learn more about your partner, which makes it easier to connect with them.

The challenge is to set aside your natural inclination to want to get your point across. Slowing down, listening and asking clarification questions — while not providing solutions — makes your partner open up.

When that happens, check in and see if they want to hear what your idea of a solution is or if they simply wanted to be heard.

Life is simple and complicated, all at once. When creating or nurturing a relationship, one step at a time with no agenda in mind except to make who you are interacting with feel heard, great possibilities are the outcome, in both sales and life.

 

Want More Secrets to a Healthy Working Relationship?

Paul and Nina Winans will lead a Couples Retreat Workshop in Scottsdale, AZ, on February 7-8, 2019.

Join 10-15 couples who will learn how to deal with conflict, argue effectively, and set goals for yourselves. We have a few spots left so Click Here to learn more & register!

Work/Life Balance: 3 Ways to Stop Staying Late at Work

It’s a pillar of our mission here at Remodelers Advantage… It’s a focus of many discussions at our Roundtables meetings… Work/Life Balance.

Building a successful, profitable business but keeping an eye on how we live our life and being there for our families. Nothing can be more of a red flag than habitually staying late at work. Missing family time… missing your kid’s activities or time with your spouse… or simply time away from the office to take a breath.

A recent article in Fast Company by Elizabeth Grace Saunders caught my eye and had a few great tips on ways to keep your time at work under your control.
 

1. Setting Fake Deadlines & Planning Your Day

Think of it as setting your alarm clock ahead ten minutes so you are never late… As Saunders points out, if you have a report due on Friday, set the deadline for Wednesday and if you can’t get it knocked out, or something comes up, you have a few extra days to finish it without staying past 5 to knock it out.

Take a look at your daily to-do list and identify the tasks that you are more likely to try to tackle at the end of the day, or even into the evening… Do those first. Get them done so they aren’t even there when it’s time to call it a day.
 

2. “Small Tasks Only” Time

Set aside time during the day to knock out small, administrative tasks such as e-mail or submitting reports… those tasks that you might put off until the end of the day that will keep you there once you realize that you’ve run out of time. Saunders suggests blocking off two slots, one in the morning and one later in the day, perhaps after lunch?
 

3. Establish a Departure Routine

This is a great one as it is about establishing predictable behavior. Setting an alarm 30 minutes before your goal departure time and establish a routine of packing things up, shutting down (& saving) work and getting those end-of-the-day discussions out of the way so you are walking out the door and heading home.

It’s okay if work demands an extra hour or two from time to time.. that’s the nature of running a business. However, staying late on a regular basis can be addictive and destructive not only to your business but to your health as well.
 

How do you do it?

You owe it to your employees and your family to always be at your best, whether at work or at home. If you don’t use these three tips above, come up with your own. And let us know… What are some ways that you are able to achieve work/life balance? Any constructive tips or feedback in the comments below would be great!

Work Smart, Not Hard – 5 Ways to Increase Personal Productivity

We are constantly encouraging our Roundtables members to focus on a healthy work/life balance and to avoid the long hours; working late, missing family time and wearing themselves out.

One key contributor to a healthy balance and remaining free from the “daily grind” is to work more effectively on a daily basis… really focusing on how you spend the hours that you are in the field and in the office.

You will be amazed at how many hours of wasted time you will save by incorporating these 5 things into your daily routine
  

1. Control Your Time

If you work in an office or company setting where others can see, share and request appointments using Outlook or Google Calendar, take control on your end by blocking off time throughout your day and week, only allowing meetings at certain times of the day… when it works best for you.

One of the areas you should block time for is e-mail. Constantly monitoring your inbox and responding to every notification can kill momentum on projects and can really contribute to how many hours you spend in the office. Schedule time at the beginning and end of the day to manage your inbox.
  

2. To-do List Triage

Now that you control your calendar, get into the habit of controlling your daily list of tasks… Think of a ER department in a hospital when faced with a busy waiting room; performing triage to determine the order of when and how cases will be handled.

Take on the most critical first, and it might just be a piece of a larger project, but prioritize it before all-else. If you don’t, it will be the thing you try to do before you go home for the day and the next thing you know, it’s 8:30pm and you missed your kid’s soccer game.

Next, knock out the short-term, smaller tasks on your list. You will show progress more quickly and that will help clear you to work on more important tasks in the afternoon. Again, the goal here is to avoid getting into the late afternoon with remaining tasks that you are more likely to stay late to finish.
  

3. The 40-Minute Meeting

I think we’ve all been conditioned to schedule meetings on the hour and it becomes our default length of time to meet… maybe we’ve all been using online calendars too long.

So, we schedule an hour meeting, knock out what we need to do and then spend 20-30 minutes chatting about the game last night, or where we’re going this weekend.

Try setting meetings for 40 minutes for the next 2 months, instead of an hour… see how many hours you can rescue by staying on task and limiting meeting time to tasks at-hand.
  

4. Eliminate Distractions

One way to effectively use your time at work is to minimize distractions; which can come in many different forms.

Smartphones can be a great tool for communication and productivity, especially in the field, but can be a huge distraction as well. If you must keep it with you at all times, use notification settings to limit buzzes, beeps and rings that can bring all momentum to a halt while you check your phone for the latest fantasy football draft update… Sound familiar?

Internet / Social Media / News – It’s tough to avoid the influx and pervasiveness of media, news and social media interaction… but it can be a “time-suck,” as our kids would say. There’s plenty of time on weekends and evenings to catch-up on the latest news, sports scores and Twitter wars; Set a strong example for your team by limiting personal use of office and field computers with that type of activity.

E-newsletters – Managing your e-mail inbox can be tough enough, but wading through a sea of old newsletters that you no longer read or that provide no value to your business can make it a heavier task. Use a personal e-mail address for all non-business e-mail newsletter or promotional subscriptions and then take some time during your next lunch break or two to clean out your inbox, hitting the “unsubscribe” link on any newsletters or promotional offers that no longer apply to your business.
  

5. Embrace Technology but Don’t Go Overboard

Business owners who don’t make the investment in technology for their companies can spend countless hours wrestling with tasks that can be automated easily using equipment and resources currently available.

Conversely, we see owners who have to purchase and implement every product or app on the market and then actually spend more time trouble-shooting their systems instead of building their business.

Look at investing in resources that make sense for your business and focus on those that will allow you and your team to work more efficiently.

Tablets or Smartphones for field personnel, updated computers with Dual monitors for your office staff to work more effectively with as well as applications such as Quickbooks and Buildertrend to increase efficiency.

Get up to speed on problematic programs. If you struggle with business programs that you use often enough, like Outlook, Excel or perhaps Quickbooks, take the time to learn more about how to use these resources. The more comfortable you feel using these tools, the faster and more effective your work will become.
  

Thoughts? Feedback?

Any tips you can share? What are some ways you or your team work effectively? What are your challenges? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Most Dangerous Thing you Face as a Remodeling Business Owner

As a remodeling business owner there’s a danger lurking out there that often gets dismissed or ignored until it’s too late… Know what it is?

Well doctors often call it “the silent killer” and it’s just that.. it festers and hides and sneaks up on you… It’s STRESS!

As a business owner you’re more at risk than most because of the inherent stress that comes with owning a business (payroll, finances, HR, etc.)

and as a REMODELER you have to pile on the added stress of working under deadlines, pressure from clients, problems on jobsites.. and the list goes on..

Feel It? Just hearing this list can raise your blood pressure, right?

Check out the stats from WedMD:

  • 75% – 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress can lead to problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, anxiety and more.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a known & recognized hazard of the workplace;
  • Stress costs business in the U.S. more than $300 billion annually.

What about you? What are some ways you reduce and fight stress in your life?

Please share your experience in the comments below.

And, if you haven’t subscribed to PowerTips yet, please hit the button at the end of this video.. right after the bloopers…

Thanks, and I’ll see you next Thursday.

[Podcast] Episode 01: How to Create a Valuable, Sellable Company with John Warrillow

For our first episode of PowerTips Unscripted, we’re thrilled to have John Warrillow as our inaugural guest. John is the author of Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, and in this episode he shares tips on how you can build a high-value company. Even if you’re not thinking about selling today, you can’t afford to turn a blind eye to the process.

Topics covered include:

  • Action steps to developing a sellable company
  • The hub-and-spoke manager vs. the apple picker
  • The Switzerland structure
  • How to sell “air”

Plus, John helped us kick-off our “Lightning Round” and “Five Words of Wisdom” segments. All that and more for our first episode. Enjoy!

Click Here to Listen to Episode 1