EPISODE 35 – Green & Growing Not Ripe & Rotting
Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Builders Business Success Podcast!
As always, if you’ve never heard this, watch this before, the purpose of the podcast is to address the common and often costly, issues, problems, pain that owners of building business experience running a building business.
Over the years we’ve found that the big majority of those issues are caused by the processes, the thought processes, the mindset that builders have in the building industry which is really cool because there are all things that you can change, there are all things you can control, therefore we can fix the big majority of these problems and help you build a much better building business, that’s more profitable, that’s more enjoyable and you really enjoy going back to work every day.
Because I know I speak to a lot of builders that quite often don’t, they become a prisoner to their business and I guess that’s not the purpose so, we’ll talk about all things improving the building business.
In this particular episode, I’m going to talk about something, that I used to teach over 35 years ago. Used to do a course, a half day course that people would keep coming back to every month and it was called Coach Any Dummy to Succeed Even Yourself.
And one of the Laws of Success that we would teach in that half-day course, was the Law of Never Ending Improvement and I’m not laying any claim to inventing it, finding it, anything like that, I’m just sharing it with you because it can make a profound difference.
A question that we get asked that I’m going to answer in our Q and a section, in this episode is, “How to deal with people who say no, when you say that we charge for proposals.” That’s a pretty common one.
And of course we’re going to cover a personal productivity hack so you can get more done in less time and get more time to do the things that you really enjoy doing.
*Transcription of the show*
As I said, the topic that we’re covering in this episode is a thing called the Law of Never Ending Improvement. And when you’re talking about the Law of Never
Ending Improvement, the way to understand it is you are either green and growing or you’re ripe and rotting.
You’re either green and growing or you’re ripe and rotting. And the whole thing with that is that there is no status quo and I’m gonna address that as we go through.
But that’s fundamentally this Law of Success, it’s the Law of Never Ending Improvement.
The only way to avoid going downhill and getting worse being that ripe and rotting outcome, is to be consistently improving, green and growing.
The challenges that we have, with how we think about things is we want things and we wanna get there fast and sometimes that’s not possible.
We can’t just wave a magic wand and make things change immediately, sometimes we’ve gotta change our mindset, sometimes we’ve gotta learn some skills, sometimes we’ve gotta let some time go by, some water go under the bridge to be able to get the outcome that we want.
So, the key to this is to be constantly moving forward and measuring your forward progress. When we do, make a change, when we do change something in our business and it starts to work really well it gives us a bit of time, freedom. It gets rid of a problem in our business. We then want to stay there.
And what I’ve noticed over the years is, watching builders make improvements and then when they make those improvements, the foot comes off the gas pedal and they stop continuing to improve. And here’s the thing, it’s like taking off on plane.
Like there’s a lot of effort in the beginning and you take off into the air, and you can pull the throttle back a certain amount once you get to cruise speed or cruise altitude.
But if you pull the throttle right off, obviously depending on the plane that you’re in, I don’t wanna get into aeronautics too much but It’ll fall out of the sky at some stage. But even the ones that don’t just plummet like a rock and they glide, eventually they’ll come back down to earth.
So we’ve gotta keep that pressure on at least a little bit every day, every day to keep moving forward. We want to enjoy the benefits forever, that’s the issue. And we simply can’t.
With this Law of Never Ending Improvement, there is no staying where you are, you’re either moving forward or you’re sliding backwards. And often, the change, but in both directions is so subtle that we don’t notice it so we’ve gotta have a measurement system for our improvements.
The worst part of that is, that when we’ve put the effort in to create a change, create an improvement in our business, and then we take our foot off the throttle, we still seem like we’re moving forward because things are still working.
The issue with that, is everything is changing around us, the marketplace is changing, the technology is changing, the prospects and clients expectations are changing.
Everything is changing and if we are not staying at the front edge of that and figuring out what we need to implement into our business, what we need to change, get rid of in our business, after a little while it starts to slow down and you know, eventually you become the dinosaur and it’s a long way back to the front edge of what’s going on.
So we’ve gotta wrap our brain around this whole green and growing or ripe and rotting thing and the only way to avoid stagnation is to be continually improvement, improving. The problem is, that what got us here, won’t get us there.
So I’m gonna sort of unpack a whole bunch of different areas of a building business where this applies, what got you here, won’t get you there. And as I said before, the only thing that isn’t available to us is there is no option to maintain the status quo, we’ve gotta be continually improving.
So, the areas in a building business that you may have improved, they may still be a major problem now I don’t know, but I’m gonna go through a whole bunch of areas in a building business that you constantly need to be looking for improvements.
Because what, as I said before, what got you to where you are right now, won’t get you to where you wanna go, you’ve gotta be improving your mindset, you’ve gotta be improving your skills and understanding, your procedures, your systems and so forth. To be able to move to a new place.
Otherwise you get stuck where you are, and being stuck where you are, means you’re actually moving backwards because everything else is moving forward at an ever-increasing pace it seems.
So, what got you to your current place right now with your business is your current beliefs around what is possible. If they don’t change, how on earth can you improve your position? How on earth can you improve anything? If you maintain the same beliefs about what is possible?
I still get so many negative comments through Facebook on what have you about, this whole paid proposal thing. You can’t get paid for proposals, if you ask for money for proposals, you never get the work, you won’t have a business, you never get a customer. That’s such horse shit, it happens all the time.
But I noticed when people come into our blueprint, which is our sort of entry level course and then some of them, evolve and transition into Blackbelt, you can see week by week that their mindset is changing, it’s opening up to them possibilities.
It doesn’t mean that they automatically comfortable with it, it’s hilarious a lot of the times, we have big laughs a lot of the time about the first one, two, three, five times, that one of our members does the presentation and presents the whole concept of being paid for their proposal or the customer investing in a professionally prepared proposal.
And it’s hilarious how many times the guys go, you know, “I just had a knot in my stomach.”
Or you know, “I was shitting bricks.” Or whatever it was but they asked the question and the people went, “Yep” “Come on, that’s fine, that’s okay” And I couldn’t believe it. And I did it again and I couldn’t believe it, and I did it again and I couldn’t believe it.
After a little while they believe it’s possible and after a little while they go, “There’s no way that I would go back to the original way of doing things.” So your belief, around what is possible can hold you back, so we’ve gotta be working on that on a regular basis.
One of the things we talk about in both Blueprint and Blackbelt is a thing called a Personal Success Ritual, it’s a four-step process that we’ve created that sets you up to have the best possible day but it includes eliminating some limitations in your thoughts. It includes, how to build a really quite high quality plan for your day so you can get so much more done than you traditionally do.
And it’s a simple four-step process that gets you to do that. And that whole personal success ritual is designed to take advantage of this Law of Never Ending Improvement.
Where I’m asking the guys to do it every single day. Whether they’re on holidays, whether it’s Easter, whether it’s Christmas Day, you still do your PSI. It only takes a few minutes and it is profound in it’s effect. But it affects everything. You’ve gotta think about the financial measurement and management of your business.
If you keep, the same mindset around what is possible with financial measurement, financial management. Accomplishments, achievements in that financial space, if you maintain the same limited thinking, nothing can change.
So we’ve gotta change our mindset about that. We’ve gotta implement different systems and processes and disciplines. And the thing that we are using in Blackbelt is Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. There’s also for the Aussie Builders. There’s a wonderful book by Katie Crismale-Marshall called Profit First for Tradies.
She’s been interviewed on the podcast. And I spoke to her just the other day so we’ll be doing, so having some more conversations with her, but she has modified that to, suit an Australian trades based business, a building business. Because the profit first system, in its pure form, is really built for the American tax system and so forth. Pardon me I need a cough button, I don’t have one.
Oh yeah I do. Watch. Nothing happened. I’ve pressed the button and you couldn’t hear me. I do have a cough button, I should have used it for that cough. What else? Communication skills.
We’ve gotta be constantly improving our communication skills, because it’s one of the fundamental foundational skills that can be used for everything, for prospects, for customers, for team members, for suppliers, for, any other person you can use improved communication skills to help them to eliminate misunderstandings mistakes, its just, it’s just incredible what you can improve with improved communication skills.
And you’ve gotta understand that you’ve probably had conversations with people and you just haven’t been able to get your point across and you’ve had to agree to disagree or whatever and you go, “That person is just resistant.”
Here’s the thing, there are no resistant people and this is the mindset set shift you need to make to move forward. Is there are no resistant people, it is just that my current communication skills weren’t up to the task with that person.
So you’ve always gotta put the emphasis back on you, your skills, your understanding, your abilities to improve. Time management, how much you can get done in a day.
And if you really get into time management philosophy you can have so much more leverage and get significantly more done in a period of time than you can even conceive is possible.
But you’ve gotta have that mindset shift, you’ve gotta be always working on that mindset.
And it’s not something that I think you can go listen to one podcast episode and I changed my mindset and everything’s different, this really is the Law of Never Ending Improvement.
You’ve gotta be doing something, on this mindset of what is possible every day as well as your skills and the processes that you use to manage things.
That needs to be something that, needs to be looked at every single day. What else, what else, What else?
Team management, team management, the team performance, this is something you may need to buy into if you wanna improve. Team performance is a direct reflection of the quality of the leadership.
Again, instead of pointing out there, we’re looking in here. I need to improve my leadership skills, part of that is communication skills. From the marketing perspective in a building business you need to be constantly refining your understanding of your ideal client. What are their, priorities? What are their concerns?
And being able to feed that back to them. Learning everything, that you learn with your ideal client also causes you to need to refine your marketing messages. And builder’s marketing messages are really, really poor in my opinion. The majority of them are just talking about themselves, and what they’re doing and how they doing it.
And they’re Australian based and. The marketing messages need to enter into the conversation that your prospect is having, that’s an effective marketing message.
Then of course your, the refinement of your qualification process, that needs to be always being refined based on what you’re learning, putting different behavioral hurdles in your qualification process so you end up with better quality clients and getting rid of the people out of your business before they waste your time.
So I’ve covered an absolute whole lot but you can rewind it and you can go back to what I’ve talked about and start to unpack it. And start to choose the areas that you need to apply, this Law of Never Ending Improvement.
But please understand that you’re either green and growing or you’re ripe and rotting, I hope that was helpful.
Q & A
Q and A time, the question that I get asked so often, and I kinda mentioned it a little bit in that previous bit is how you deal with people who say no to the paid proposal.
Many builders don’t wanna change their mindset, don’t think it’s possible, everyday it happens, with Blueprint and Blackbelt. So, you know, we know, for sure and certain that it absolutely works. And the only reason that doesn’t work is well, there’s a bunch of reasons, but one of them is, the builder doesn’t believe it.
So obviously they’re not gonna put the effort in to the process and the skills to be able to make it work. The first thing I say to that question, like how did we do deal with people?
The first thing that I would suggest to you is prevention is better than cure. And that means that we need to change the approach, the conversation, with our prospects right up front.
And by the time you get to the point where you’re talking about a paid proposal, there’s so much trust built and they understand that going down the path that you’re taking them with your process is far better than the standard garden variety path that they see most of the time in the building industry.
So, we’ve gotta get that mindset shift happening. As I said, a couple of minutes ago we’ve gotta learn to understand the priorities and concerns of our prospects and have the skill.
This is a communication skill to be able to feed it back to them, because they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care, that’s an old sales saying but it’s so, so true.
And there’s no point in you talking about how good you are and this, that, and the other and all of that because they need to know how much you care first. And by showing somebody that you understand from their perspective, there is nothing more powerful to build rapport and trust than that.
So learn how to understand the priorities and concerns and feed them back. Tell stories of disaster. There’s heaps of them, you’ve experienced them yourselves, you know other builders that have experienced that where the people have got a free quote and it just hasn’t worked out that way.
The town happens most of the time. It ends up costing a whole lot more or they don’t get what they wanted or thought they were going to get for their budget. And the reason for that is there wasn’t enough planning and understanding and communication upfront.
So you can tell those stories of disaster to say, you can go that way, or you can go this way. And I think that’s the real key to this is you create a pathway for what I call a reasonable person. So the right type of person for your business will take the pathway, if you show it to them clearly. If you’ve demonstrated that you understand from their perspective and care and there’s a pathway to the best outcome.
Or the other pathway is for an unreasonable person and they go, “Well, I don’t care what you say, I won’t be paying you for a quote because I can get it done for free down the track.”
That’s the unreasonable person, and you give them a pathway and they can go the pathway of the unreasonable person which suits you perfectly because they don’t waste your time or they’ll go down the pathway of the reasonable person, follow your process, you’ll give them a great experience, a great outcome, great value and they refer you to other people and all that sort of stuff.
But you’ve gotten rid of those time-wasters, the tire kickers, the price shoppers, the penny pinches, all of that, out of your business.
Everyone’s got horror stories about jobs that they would have preferred not to have done now that you’ve done the job, you know, wish I hadn’t have done that one.
So, prevention is better than the cure with that situation there.
Personal Productivity Hack
So the Personal Productivity Hack is very simple today, it is create a new plan every day.
And that, I know that sounds really simple and simplistic, but I just see it happening so often that there’s just a big list of stuff to do.
And you whip that list out every day and you just keep working on it.
Things change every day, you need to hit the reset button and create a brand new plan for each day, because priorities change each day and you’ve gotta stop and figure out what’s the best plan of attack for this day and where you gonna be geographically and all of that sort of stuff.
Have a new plan every day, rather than just working on, you know, a list and just keep going back to it.
From a psychological point of view, you have some bit of rest spot, a rest.
You kinda of putting everything to the side and starting again at the start of the day rather than whipping that same old list out that kicked your butt yesterday and you’re doing it again.
Always maintain control, start a new plan every day.
Takeaway & Jump On A Call
So what’s the takeaway for this episode?
For me, it’s pretty simple. Make every day a challenge to improve. What can you improve each day? You don’t have to improve all of this but I’d pick at least one, one thing to improve each day.
And it could be a skill, can you do something to contribute to the improvement of a skill? Can you do something to, contribute to the improvement of a system that you may have in the business or a procedure that you may have in the business.
And I think the thing that we need to do every day, is do something to improve our mindset, our thinking, our belief of what is possible.
And as I said, the PSI is, something that I just think is so profoundly effective because it affects everything. When we’re talking about marketing, when we talk about financial management, team management, it just doesn’t matter.
Any part of your business or your life for that matter, the better your thought processes are the better you are able and equipped to analyze things, in a more proactive, productive way.
You’ll always get better outcomes. So, be doing something absolutely every single day to improve your mindset.
The other thing is, we talk about all of those sorts of things in details in past episodes.
So if you wanna catch up on previous episodes of the Builder’s Business Success Podcast, all you need to do is navigate to buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au/blog, and it’ll take you to all past episodes.
If you’re listening to the audio only version you can just go and search for the Builder’s Business Success Podcast in iTunes, Spotify or pretty much any other podcast platform that you’re aware of, we should appear in there.
So if anything that I’ve spoken about today, is worthwhile for you and you wanna implement it into your business, I suggest that you book a call.
And, we’d love to hear about what your challenges are, we cannot help everybody, but we like to at least have the opportunity to have a conversation with you to find out with, find out about, what we do, would it fit you? Is it a fit for you?
Are we the good fit for you? Are you the good fit for us? Is how we do things going to work for you? That’s fundamentally, the conversation that we need to have.
If any of the stuff we’ve talked about on this podcast or previous podcast is something that you would like to implement into your business, I’m positive that we will have a pathway, to be able to put you on to help you implement that into your business as quickly as humanly possible, as cost-effectively as humanly possible.
And we’re always got a focus on ensuring that you get a return on your investment, not so much for the money, because I think the money is the easiest bit. It’s more the time, you’re already busy and we wanna make sure that we’ve got a pathway to get you implementing these ideas that we know that work into your business, but make sure that you’re using your time effectively to do it.
And the best way to do that as jump on a call so we can learn about where you are, what your priorities are, what’s in the way, and we can give you a pathway forward.
So to do that, you can just hit the button underneath this video or, let me just pick that.
Book a call, that’s because him over there with the button, press the button and the slide went off. He didn’t, he’s denying it. He’s going straight for denying.
Anyway, the slides back up so you can go to that website there, the buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au, and there’s some Schedule a Call buttons on there. Hit the button, fill out a form, tells us a little bit about your business.
You can schedule just a real quick, conversation that takes it to a calendar.
It’s literally like a 7 to 10 minute conversation so you can do it anytime during the day, jump in the car, have the conversation, find out whether this is going to be the right fit for you or not, at least you’ll know and it’s a really worthwhile thing to do.
So jump on the website or hit the button underneath this video. Let’s have a chat and see how we can help you move forward.
So I hope this episode has been valuable for you. I hope you’re gonna be able to put some of this stuff into practice straightaway, start to get some results, love to hear your feedback. But that’s it for this episode of Builders Business Success Podcast, I’m Mick Hawes, Builders Business Blackbelt. That is it. Bye for now.