Successful Certified Contractors Break the Habit of Excuses and Denial

You just attended your organization’s big conference, where you spent three days networking with other replacement contractors, who, in your mind are much more successful than you. You listened to certified contractors talking about all the great things they are doing in their contracting companies, how many sales they are making, and how much money they bring in. You asked questions, you listened to their answers and you got inspired. These guys are just like me you tell yourself, I can do what they are doing. You decide I’m really going to make changes this time; things are going to be different when you get back to the office.

We have all felt this way at some point in our business. But for things to change, to truly change, you need to face what isn’t working in your contracting business and in your life. You have to get out of the habit of excuses and denial. Acknowledge the fact that sales have been declining the last three months, or that one of your production crews is always going over budget and receiving more customer complaints. You must realize that you are making excuses for the poor performance of an employee.

It’s easier to pretend that you don’t notice these things because if you’re going to acknowledge them, that usually means you have to do something that makes you uncomfortable. It means that you have to hold yourself accountable, that you may have to confront somebody. You will need to change some policies and that could make you look bad, you may have to command respect from some employees. In other words, you have to get out of your comfort zone.

The fact is If you are going to become more successful, just like the certified contractors you listened to at the conference, you have to commit to finding out why things are going wrong and fixing them. You can no longer maintain your ignorance and defend your position on why you haven’t already made changes.

It’s time to take a hard look at your sales numbers, the way they really are, and not recalculate them to justify your lack of action. Do you need to know what the production output of your bad crew is compared to your best crew? Would everyone in your company be happier and more productive if you replaced the poor-performing employee?

“Doing more of what doesn’t work won’t make it work any better”

– Charles J. Givens

For most people denial is based on fear, they believe that something worse will happen if they stop denying and take some kind of action. Let’s face it; there may be some situations in your business that require you to take drastic action.

However, it may be more productive to choose less extreme alternatives such as counseling an underperforming employee and providing them with more training. You may only switch out one person from your worst producing crew, instead of re-organizing the crew, to improve performance and customer satisfaction. After careful evaluation, you realize your salespeople need to get back to the basics of the 4P Sales Process to improve your sales number and get back to where they should be.

Successful Contractors always face what isn’t working for them.

The good news about facing what isn’t working for you right now is that the more you do it the easier it gets. Plus you start to realize that what was holding you back, that fear, is not real, it doesn’t control you anymore. Then the next time you start to see something happening you will take action immediately.

Start by making a list of what isn’t working in your business and your life. Then ask yourself:

  • Why is it not working?
  • How can we improve it?
  • What do we need to do to improve it?
  • What do I need from others to make it better?
  • What action steps do we need to take?
  • How can I help my team improve it?

Talk to your employees, develop an action plan, then choose one action and do it. After you have completed that one action chooses another and do it. Eventually, you will work through your list.

Successful contractors squarely face the circumstances in their lives and their business, they look for warning signs and then they take the appropriate action, no matter how uncomfortable or challenging it may be. For things to change you must change.