When I show up on a jobsite to meet a client, I have choices to make on how I present myself, my conscious decision to be polite and respectful. Did I show up on time, did I greet them politely and respectfully? These are very small examples of the choices we have in regards to our business.
Our choice of how we do things, why we do things, what we are in control of are the culmination that sums up our business and life. Think of anything you have ever done and anything that has ever happened to you, what choices did you make that put you in that exact position. In business, the choice to show up, to communicate effectively, to become a better business person than you were yesterday - these are all choices that impact your business.
What I ask is you think about all the individual choices you make throughout each day and analyze why you made the choices you did? In this particular case, let's just concentrate on your construction business.
I have spoken to many contractors all with similar issues - my customer won’t give me any space, I can’t find any work, I am over budget on my job, I can’t find good employees and on and on. Every time we feel the world is stacking against us, the blame is easy to spread around. The choices we make every day will either have a positive or negative affect on your business (and life).
No one forced you to sign a contract with a difficult customer, that was your choice. You had the choice to set better customer expectations, lay out exactly how the job is going to progress, how everything is going to look, to nullify any unwanted surprises in the customer’s eyes. Did you show up every time you said you were going to show up (I repeat this particular choice because it is a number one complaint I hear again and again)? Did you explain why time lines were going to be pushed out to your customer? Did you seek help or stubbornly repeat the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result)? The choices you make in your business will have a direct affect on the success of your business. That sounds straightforward, then why do we hear about the same mistakes by many different contractors?
Having a choice does not mean the choice will be easy. Some of the worst choices we make in regards to business are products of our own personal issues, whether it be a case of laziness or resentment towards a client. How many times have you wanted to tell your client to screw off, get bent and storm off the jobsite? I have definitely been there and made choices that added flames to the fire. Those choices did not help me or my business. The cool collected contractor with a clear head will win out everytime. We will help you make the choices that make your business better.
The Choice and Path
The championship game is here, I have settled into the defense ready to start. Our opponents have worked just as hard as us to get here. The trudging of the soccer season have left both teams battered, but sheer determination gives our lungs breath and our muscles movement. The game starts and immediately my brain begins breaking down the play and strategy of our opponents. My goal is to make sure they do not get a goal, it is up to me and the defensive line to read the strategy of the enemy. We have choices that we make every second of where we need to be on the field, whether to engage the opponent with the ball or shadow his movements to let them make the mistake.
A moment of press against our goal, one versus one - I’m standing in the way of my opponents glory. Every choice I make in the next few seconds will either mean our team giving up a goal or a defender just doing his job. The sun is perfectly positioned to blind me, the cheering and yelling of the sidelines catch my ear, but my focus is only for my opponent in front of me. He decides he is going to try and dribble the ball around me - picking up speed as he tries to push the ball around me and go for goal. The choice is made, I position myself to cut off his run and I am just able to push the ball away from him towards my fellow defender to clear our lines.
The tide turns as the attacking half of our team receives the ball on their half, I move the defense up to half field to support the offensive. Our forward has the choice to either pass the ball to create space around the other team’s defense or take a shot. The forward takes a couple touches on the ball dribbling through the short cut grass, the sun still blinding. A choice of chance enters his mind and he winds his leg back to strike the ball with all he has. A furious connection from his foot unleashes the ball almost hard to follow through the air. The opposing goal keeper’s eyes light up as the ball heads towards the back of his net, with a leap of faith he reaches out and narrowly pushes the ball up over the crossbar. Almost, but almost is not good enough, it never has been in any sport. I am given the choice to hold back on my defensive line or go attack the ball on the corner kick.
Attack, there is no choice I’d rather make than to attack the ball as it sores near the opposing goal. Our best and most accurate set piece man signals with one arm that he is ready to engage. I spend a few moments working my feet, bobbing back and forth anticipating the play to come. There is no other option but to win, this is the championship. I hear the hard breathing of players all around me as the ball sails from the corner towards the six yard box - I am already in motion, running through basketball like screens, my jersey being grabbed to pull me back. My legs and momentum carry me through and my eyes never leave the ball flowing through the air. A bunch of my muscles and a jump into the air carries me into a collision course with the ball, with my forehead my aim is true as I connect with the ball. A second of stillness after the ball leaves my forward and movement in the back of the net, all is realized. My teammates immediately sprint towards me and I am left only to run away before they smother me. A goal in a championship game no matter what level is a moment of pure bliss, nothing else matters.
After my head is collected and my teammates have patted me on the back enough to leave a bruise, the two opposing sides line up again. The other team can choose to either accept what has happened or come at us with everything they’ve got. Their eyes tell all as their dead set determination stares back at us. We know the game is not over and we will have to fight to the very last second of the game.
The championship was a choice, we showed up that day and chose to be champions. Every little choice during the game, every moment of perseverance that guided our choices we made to win. The choice to be there, to prepare mentally and physically, to stare down your opponent with all the courage you can muster and then choose the absolute, which is total victory.
Note: The Choice is always yours - Sustainability, community improvement, everyone wins together, social responsibility.