EPISODE 40 – The Truth About Building Business Norms
Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Builders Business Success Podcast!
As of last week, we started to, not just record the podcast but stream it live to our Builders Business Success Forum.
So, if you’re watching the replay, when the replay comes out, and you’d like to watch this live all you need to do is jump onto the Builders Business Success Forum. It’s a free Facebook group for builders.
And there’s a ton of resources in there. Plus you’ll be able to watch this live, ask questions, or that sort of thing.
If you have never watched, listened to, participated in a Builders Business Success Podcast before, it’s purpose is very straightforward and simple. It is to help builders. Build a much more successful business.
What I mean by success is, for you the building business owner, to have more time, freedom. Which means more choice. To have more financial freedom, which means more choice. And really enjoy what you do, which is I guess what we call meaning, make sure that you really enjoy getting up and participating in your business every day.
The good news is most of the problems in, that are experienced in building businesses. They’re quite common. And they are caused by, the building industry norms.
The processes that most builders use and have used for ages and continue to use. And they’re the sorts of things that we’re gonna be addressing in the podcast.
So, stick around and we will be addressing those things. Last week, we did our first live. And I mentioned, another project that we’re working on. And that is, we’re going to write a second book.
And this second book, let us name hasn’t got a title yet. And if you’ve got an idea for a title, send it through. But, the book is going to be outlining, end to end what we cover, in Builders Business Blackbelt. And so, each one of these episodes, is going to be part of that book.
Today’s episode is all about the introduction for the new book. And why you should listen to me. Why we should even bother doing this. What are the benefits?
What are the things that are going to change in your building business?
So, we’re gonna be covering that.
We’ve also got our standard Q and A.
So I’m gonna be answering a question that is, a current discussion in the Builders Business Success Forum, Facebook group.
So we’re gonna be talking about that question. Or addressing that question.
And of course, we’ve got our personal productivity hack as well.
*Transcription of the show*
The introduction to this book, you know, I guess it can be summed up with, why am I, because why am I doing this? Why did I create Builders Business Blackbelt?
Why do I work so hard in helping overcome these problems? That I see builders and owners of building businesses having, and it affects everything.
Like it affects families. It affects the staff, the team. It affects customers.
It affects a lot of people, when it’s not done right. When it’s not working as well as it could. You might have heard of a chap by the name of Simon Sinek.
A number of years ago, I watched a video of his, some, I think one part of the video might be called the Golden Circles. Another one, he’s written a book anyway called, “Start With Why.”
And there’s a video of a Ted Talk that he did talking about, how most businesses know what they do. And can explain that. Some businesses know how they do it.
They’ve got a system or a procedure or a process. To do what they do. But, very few businesses know why they’re doing it. And he talks about starting with why.
And finding out what your why is. And when I saw that, I went on a bit of a mission to find out what my why was. And it seems that if I look back over everything that I’ve done, ever since, a long, long time ago, it is because, I am driven for some unknown reason. To help people, eliminate, avoid unnecessary pain.
And we need to put up an underline under unnecessary, because I’m a big fan of necessary pain.
Maybe if you make a mistake and you’ve got to pay the price to learn the lesson, that’s fine. But, if we have to keep learning or if we have to keep experiencing the pain, and the pain is unnecessary, I’m not a big fan of that. And I find, you know, my dad was in the building industry, I’ve been in and around the building industry ever since I left high school.
Lots of my friends, obviously a lot of our friends are obviously builders now in Builders Business Blackbelt. They joined as, prospects and became customers.
And now they’re all friends and it’s a wonderful way to do business. And I know the sort of problems, the pain. And the problems, those problems cause within family, within finances and often within health. And so, I am driven to do something about that.
And that’s why we work so hard trying to define what works, what doesn’t work, in a building business that can be implemented and change things for the better. So, here’s the issue with the building industry.
Much of the problems, almost all of the common problems in a building business, are caused because of this shared approach to how to run a building business. These shared ideas of how we should do things. These shared beliefs. Some examples of those beliefs are, all decisions are made on price.
There was a bunch of comments just in the Builders Business Success or on Facebook group, just today and yesterday about, I want to be able to charge for my quotes because, I put so much effort into them. The customers can’t see the value. I wanna do it, but I just feel that I’m not, I’m gonna lose business if I charge for quotes. Or I’m losing business because I’m not price competitive.
So, the fundamental belief there is all decisions are made on price. So, no one will pay for a quote if they can get it for free somewhere else, absolute rubbish. That is a belief that needs to shift. If I’m not price competitive, I won’t get the job. Absolute crap.
Builders Business Blackbelt members, if they are competing at all, and they may be, and they often are. And I encourage them to be the most expensive. They still get awarded the work. It’s, human behavior is all about perceived value. It’s not about price.
People default to price, in the absence of any perception of value. So, there was a comment made today, about you know, we deliver a lot of value, but we don’t get awarded the work.
They go for a cheaper price with a volume builder or what have you. And that’s a bit of an issue.
Because, it’s not about the value that you’re providing, that you know that you’re providing. The secret sauce to this, is understanding what represents value from your prospect’s point of view. And delivering masses of that.
That’s when there is a definite perception of value. And people are prepared to pay a premium price. Which I could think of a few more P word to add to that sentence.
But people are prepared to pay a premium price, when they see massive value. Another common belief is good help is hard to find. You’ve got good help, right there.
It’s all about the management, the communication, finding out what your team members want. And what floats their boat. And building, an environment and a culture. That allows them to grow. And get better and take on more responsibility.
It’s like that “Acres of Diamonds” story. That the guy sells his block of land and goes traveling all around the world to try and find diamonds only to find out that, the land that he sold had a diamond mine on it. And the people he sold it to, mined the diamonds and got very rich. Often that’s the case in a building business.
That there are diamonds in your building business. You just need to know how to mine, the diamonds that already exist. Another common belief, make hay while the sun shines. You know, we need to take on work while it’s, you know, it’s there.
Again, it’s a misconception. What we need to do is have, a strategy, a process, that allows us to be consistently getting work and becoming what’s called an oversubscribed business. So, that there is an over abundance of quality clients with quality projects. And you don’t have the capacity to be able to help them all. And that’s a good thing.
That’s a good problem to have. Making hay while the sun shines and taking on all of the work, even though you can’t do it properly, is a bad thing for your business. Another misconception is, because I’m a great builder I’ll have a great building business.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Just because you’re great, like Michael Gerber says in the “E-Myth Revisited.” The biggest cause of small business failure is technician. A technician is someone who is good at the work.
So, if you’re a great builder, the thing that will cause your failure is just assuming, that because you’re good at doing that technical work, you’re good or great at doing the building, that you’ll be great at having a business that does that technical work.
It’s a fatal assumption Michael Gerber says and it’s a massive cause of business failure. Another one, is my product is the quality of our work.
The quality of our build. You’re kind of right, but not quite. Your product is about quality, but it’s not about the quality of your build. That is an expectation of your customer. It shouldn’t be a feature. It shouldn’t be on your website saying, you know, we are quality builders.
That’s like, no one is looking for cheap and cheerful. No one is looking for dodgy brothers builders. Everyone expects the quality of your work to be top notch.
So, it’s not a feature. But your product does, have a hand in quality. But it’s the quality of the customer experience. They expect to have a good quality outcome.
But unfortunately right now, many customers of building businesses don’t expect to have a quality experience. You deliver that quality of experience, and you will stand apart from all other builders. That’s just a small, window into what some of the problems are, that are in the thought processes of builders.
That cause all of the hassle, of being a prisoner to your business. Being stressed financially. And being frustrated with with customers and projects. And things just not going right. Now, I’ve got some good news for you.
The good news is, this is all fixable and it’s all fixable by you. But if we continue to follow, a fundamentally flawed model, we’re going to keep getting the results that we’ve been getting.
So we’ve got to change the model. We’ve got to change how we think, we’ve got to change how we approach things. There were three reasons why most people start a business.
One is, we think that we’re gonna have more time, freedom. We think we’re gonna have more financial freedom. We think that we’re going to be able to choose who we work for or who we work with. And what sort of projects and all that sort of thing. And that’s exactly how it should be, but very rarely is it.
So, the purpose of everything that we do in Builders Business Blackbelt is to help you build a business that gives you time, money and meaning.
Time, freedom, more time, choice, to do things that you really enjoy doing. Financial freedom, so there is no financial stress. And you’ve got more opportunities, because of the financial situation. And then meaning, being able to go in a direction that you really enjoy, going in.
One of the things that I think that most builders, or one of the mistakes is, that most builders make, is that they employ a hope strategy. Hope strategy is the most common strategy I see in building business. You do good work and you “hope”, they will come.
You know, it’s like field of dreams, build it and they will come. Well, maybe they won’t. But, the hope strategy is the thing that is the challenge there. You compete on price and you hope that you get the job.
But, more often than not, you don’t. And if you do, it’s not a profitable job. I mean, a lot of builders hope that they get the, you know, they reduce their price so they hope that they get the business.
I would suggest to you that if you’re reducing your prices and really squeezing your profit, you wanna hope that you don’t get it.
And you’ll end up worse off getting a job that makes you really busy and steals your time and your effort.
And doesn’t pay you for it. Builders do advertising or post on social media, hoping that it gets seen and gets action happening, by the prospect.
Builders build profit into a job and they hope, that that profit is still there at the end of the job. So we’ve got to move away from all of these hope strategies. And we’ve got to put into place, tried and proven strategies that work. Having said that, this is really important because it’s all about testing measure.
Lee Matthews, one of the winningest football players, Australian rule football players and coaches, had a great quote. I’m sure he stole it from someone, but I don’t know where he stole it from.
So I’m gonna give credit to Lee Matthews. And he said that basically,” Nothing guarantee success, but there are many things that will guarantee failure.” And what we’ll generally do in Blackbelt is share with you all of the things that we know that will guarantee failure.
That we just know that this won’t work. But, builders continue to go down this track and use these approaches and use these strategies.
And we know it doesn’t work. We do know, that certain things do work. But it doesn’t guarantee success because, you’ve got to implement it. Then you’ve got to refine it.
Sometimes you’ve got to learn some skills, to be able to implement these processes, so they will work. So there’s no guarantee that it will work, until and unless you are prepared to refine your skills, refine your mindset and practice and rehearse.
So, you can’t get it wrong. If you’re prepared to put that sort of effort in, you can guarantee your own success. Because you are basically, going to keep dancing until it rains.
That’s, there was an old joke I’m not gonna go into it. But basically, this tribe that guaranteed that whenever they did the rain dance, it would always rain and their philosophy was that they just kept dancing until it rain. So, it worked every time.
We’re gonna use that same process, with you. That if you are prepared to keep going, asking questions, engaging, implementing things, giving the feedback, going back and refining it to improve, and just polish it. So it works that little bit better.
You will become more and more successful. As we move forward, you know, we’ll be sharing, as I said, what we know you need to avoid. And what we know it’ll work.
But, it’s gonna be up to you. So I’ve just said, to ensure that the implementation of this, is going to work for you. So that’s why, we, you know you need to jump into the Builders Business Success Forum. To be able to ask questions.
So we can help you with your specific situation. Because, we know that things as a general rule don’t work. But there are things that we know that does work and they just need to be molded a little bit for the individual circumstances. What you want and how you wanna work.
So, I hope that’s helpful. And that is what, the next, I’m not sure how many episodes of Builders Business Success Podcast is going to be about unpacking all of those ideas. So we can make this book. And you are going to be part of making this book.
Q & A
So let’s move on to the Q and A.
And as I mentioned at the start, the top of the show, there was a question or a bunch of comments that kind of fell under this umbrella of why aren’t I getting, what I thought I’d get?
Why aren’t I getting the customers? Why aren’t I getting the profit?
Why aren’t I getting the timeframe that I thought I would get? It’s been a discussion in the Facebook group. So I thought I would address it.
The answer, was pretty much all of the above that I’d been talking about. Basically copying a flawed model, is the reason that most builders don’t have the success they really wanna have.
So, what do we need to do? Well, number one, you need to get clear on specifically what you want. We had this incredible goal seeking mechanism, in between our ears.
All we need to do is give it the clarity of what we’re after. And so many people consistently focus and feed their brain on what they want to avoid or what they don’t want.
And unfortunately, that causes you to attract it. So we need to get really, really clear on what you want, rather than what you don’t want.
Another thing you need to do is learn how to prioritize. In the personal productivity hack I’m gonna give you one idea that’s gonna make a massive difference if you choose to implement it. You’ve got to learn how to prioritize.
Stephen Covey was famous for one of his quotes. And he said that, “We major in minor things.” We put major time into minor things. We’ve put major effort into minor things.
We put major money, into minor things. Things that don’t take us to where we really wanna go. And a big part of that is we not really clear on where we want to go. We’ve got a wishy-washy, gray, half blurry idea of where we wanna go, but it needs to be clear.
Once you get clear you can see the pathway towards it. And then the last thing we need to do is just avoid this bloody shiny object syndrome. And trying to find quick fixes and all of that sort of thing. We’ve got to decide where we want to end up, plot a course to get there.
And prioritize all of the actions that are going to move us in that direction, over everything else. We’ve got to give priority to those actions. So, I hope that answers the question.
Personal Productivity Hack
We’re gonna now, get into the personal productivity hack.
And hopefully, that will give you a little bit of a how to, from that last Q and A. So, the personal productivity hack for this episode, is one thing at a time folks.
Over the last few decades there’s been this movement, about multitasking. And there are even “gurus” out there that teach you how to multitask. It is the biggest waste of time there is.
If you want to learn how to waste the time, your time most effectively, learn how to multitask. We are not designed to get results by multitasking. It’s just an absolute fuffy.
We need to do one thing at a time. Plus, we’re wired to be rewarded for our efforts. That’s what keeps us going. When we get a reward for our efforts.
We’re not very good at continuing to put effort in if we don’t see if we don’t get the reward we get quite frustrated. And disappointed and we lose focus and trip over our bottom lip and all of that sort of stuff.
So, I wanna give you an example of what I suggest you should do, to be able to move forward faster. So, I’m just going to give you, sort of a theoretical scenario or a couple of scenarios to explain what I’m suggesting.
To be able to get back to this just do one thing at a time. Focus on one thing and give it your all. And then move to the next thing give it your all.
So, imagine that you’ve got 10 projects. And each project, needs what we’ll call, five units of effort to complete that project. So you’ve got 10 projects, 10 projects I’ve done it where I put five fingers up. And we got 10 projects. And each project needs five units of effort to complete it. Let’s say each day, you’ve only got five units of effort in you.
That you’ve only got five units of effort to give. Scenario one, is that you give one unit of effort to each of these 10 projects. Okay? And then you go back and give another unit of effort. That’s the way that most people do things.
They kind of spread themselves and they give a bit of effort here and a bit of effort there and a bit of effort here. What I’m suggesting, is go for deal two. Scenario two. And that is to, give all of your five units of effort today, to one project. Okay?
So, if you were to do that, what would be the outcome? Deal one versus deal two. Or scenario one versus scenario two. How long will it take you to get a win?
To get a reward for your effort with scenario one. Well, if you’re putting in one unit of effort, the 10 projects, it’s gonna take you 10 days, before you get your first win.
But if you were to put all five units of effort, over two days into one project, you’ve got one project done and dusted.
You have a win, you have a result, you have a reward after just two days. And here’s the thing, that winning and accomplishing, gives you energy. When you’re putting effort in and you’re not seemingly getting any closer to the outcome, to the reward, it drains energy away from you.
So, personal productivity hack for today, is figure out what are the highest leverage projects, areas, that you can put effort into. And make sure you prioritize, those actions.
And that effort every day, over and above everything else, you will feel more in control. You will get more energy. You will make more progress faster. Do not multitask. So I hope that makes sense.
Takeaway & Jump On A Call
What’s the takeaway from this episode?
You need to have a strategy that’s focused on what you want with a prioritized approach. Pretty much that’s what I’ve said in that last productivity hack in the Q and A.
And if you have a strategy that’s focused on what you want and you have a prioritized approach that will be a hope strategy every single time. We’ve got to move away from hope strategies. And we’ve got to have a well thought out strategy that’s focused on what you want.
So, we’ve got to get clear on what you want. And the other part of the takeaway is just please stop looking for the quick fix. If you keep looking for the quick fix, you kind of hypnotizing yourself into believing that it exists.
Every so often, you might be really, really lucky and something works. But, that was based on luck. Stop looking for the quick fix. Figure out where you wanna go, where you wanna wind up.
Figure out the strategy. And prioritize that action to get there. That will work. Looking for a quick fix will not. So I hope this has made sense. I hope this has been valuable for you, this podcast episode.
For me, when I’m on the other side of this, learning inspires me. But often, it leads me to more questions. I get inspired but I go, well, you know will that work for me? How can I make that work for me?
Will it work for me in my situation? And that’s fair enough. Maybe you’re thinking that as well. So if you are, I’d love you to reach out to us. Okay? We can, and we do help people just like you, owners of building businesses every single day.
So, we’d love you to book a call. All you need to do is, press the button under this video. If you’re watching the video replay on our blog. If you’re listening to it, the audio only you can navigate to Buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au.
And there’s some schedule a call button there. If you’ve been watching this live, after we’re finished I’ll put a link in the comment section. So you’ll be able to click that and book a call. So, we just hit the button. Fill out a little form. Tell us a little bit about your business.
And then we can schedule a real quick call, to find out what would make the biggest difference to you. And point you in the right direction, right direction as soon as possible.
To get you what you want, how you want. So, it’s not about doing it our way to do, it’s figuring out how we can help you, with what you want and how you want it. Let’s see if we can make that work. So, it’s just a real short phone call.
There’s nothing to buy. It’s just, a real quick phone call to point you in the right direction. Based on where you are now and where you want to go. So, I hope that’s helpful. Hit the button. Let’s have a conversation.
Let’s get you moving in the right direction. And eliminate this pain, this unnecessary pain from your business. So, that is it for this episode of Builders Business Success Podcast.
One last thing, because I forgot it. And I should’ve said it all the way through this bloody podcast, is if you’re watching it live, in the comments I’d love you to put, “hashtag live”.
Just so I can find out how many people watch it live. If you’re watching the replay, I’d love you to put in the comment, “hashtag replay.”
So, we can find out how many people are watching the replay. How many people are watching us live? We talking to you again, 10:00 AM, Tuesday, next week.
That’s Sydney time or Eastern, it’s not daylight savings anymore. Just normal, Eastern Australian time, whatever you call. Sydney time, let’s call it that, Sydney, Melbourne time.
So, see you again next week. 10:00 AM, Sydney, Melbourne time in Builders Business Success Forum live.
I’m Mick Hawes, Builders Business Blackbelt. That’s it. Bye for now.