How In the World Will I Ever Get My Blog Posts Turned into Podcasts?

It’s Simple Really…Get People to Help Me Build This Dream

Last week I wrote about why I want to turn my blog posts into podcasts. I discussed some of my excuses for putting this off.

The why question is where things start, but if you don’t do something it’s also where things stop. Answering the how question is the next step.

Like anything, if you don’t do something…it’s not going to get done.

Most problem solvers or solution finders think that doing something means doing everything. There’s just not enough time to do everything. This is why the blog posts aren’t podcasts yet.

Back to last week’s post, I told you that I was going to be meeting with Nic at AdWise Creative later that day. We met and things are happening.

Just because Nic is going to help me with this, doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to do. It’s just different things. I don’t have to learn everything about podcasting to get this done. Learning everything takes a lot of time. I will work with Nic, do the things that I do and let him do the things he’s good at.

One of the things I’ve been struggling with since I started thinking about making podcasts out of my blogs is a lot of professional marketers, people that I trust, told me that I needed to use my own voice for this.

They would say…it’s not that hard, you can do this, it will sound more authentic if it’s your voice.

All these things are true. The problem is time. There just isn’t enough time.

So, consequently…there still are no podcasts.

As I’ve thought about this, I began to relate it to construction (imagine that, as a person whose life revolves around construction). The construction process makes total sense to me. It’s like second nature.

Just this past week I’ve had several different situations where people have asked me for help or guidance regarding construction projects.

What’s harder for them is second nature to me

Me doing my own podcasts is the same. It’s like a novice DIYer doing their own construction project. They can do it, but it takes a lot longer and there will be mistakes.

Construction done by a contractor or guidance from an experienced construction consultant will make the project go much quicker and better.

Quicker and better and getting it done sounds like a good plan.

We all have our God given purpose. It’s up to us to focus on that and not try to do everything.

Back to the podcasting. I need to focus on my gifts and strengths and hire others to do the things that aren’t.

At this point it would be better to help people build their dreams by getting the weekly solutions out there…even if it’s not my voice.

Currently the plan is for me to record a short intro and outro for each of the three different areas.

  • Systems and training to help construction companies searching for business solutions be more successful
  • Education and assistance to help overwhelmed construction customers navigate the construction process
  • Sharing lessons for building a better life using construction processes and a Biblical perspective

Nic will read and record the blog post turning it into a podcast. He will take care of the technical “podcasty stuff”. This is both of us focusing on our strengths.

I’m excited about getting these blog posts turned into podcasts. I hope getting the content out there in this audio format will reach more people and help them build their dreams.

Check back to follow along as we move forward in this process of building something new.

Why In the World Would I Want to Turn My Blog Posts into Podcasts?

It’s Simple Really…To Help More People Build Their Dreams

As a society we are moving at a faster and faster pace. This leaves less time to do all those things we’re trying to do and we’re trying to do a lot.

Add to that, the overwhelm of information that’s out there. It’s hard for people to find the time to read no matter how great the content is.

I’ve been writing two blog posts a week now for almost seven years. Even though they’re short, most people don’t take time to read them.

Of the 31 active subscribers, 8-12 people open them regularly…4-6 click and read. That’s a lot of information not being used.

This can be a little depressing.

Granted, I don’t know how many people who aren’t subscribed read them, but still…

Multiple times I’ve considered quitting. It takes a substantial amount of time to write, edit, find pictures and publish each one. I’ve often wondered if I should be spending my time on this.

Here’s the bottom line…if my message helps one person build their dream…it was worth my time.

Early on in my blog posting I talked with several people who told me they simply didn’t have time to read them.

This is exactly why I listen to audio books and podcasts. I can consume content through my tablet or phone while driving or doing other things.

Okay…we agree, an audio version of my blog posts would increase the likelihood more people would get my message.

I’ve thought about this for years but…it’s the time issue again. It’s going to take time to figure out how to do it, learn how to do it, then actually do it. I don’t have time. So, I just put it off.

Putting it off is easier, but you don’t accomplish much by putting things off.

I’ve been talking with Nic Natarella at AdWise Creative about turning my blog posts into podcasts.

Even if I have Nic do this, there are still decisions that need to be made…and decisions take time.

Not to mention I’m a recovering perfectionist and I struggle with wanting things to be perfect.

I had a conversation about this with my friend Shep this past week. He said it will take some time, it won’t be perfect, but it’s not going to get done if you don’t do it.

He’s right.

So, what are we going to do?

We’re going to move forward.

It’s going to take some time. It’s not going to be perfect. We’re going to do it.

Whether building a building, a business or a life, the hardest part is the early planning. The thing to remember is…it won’t get done if all you do is plan.

I want to help construction companies searching for business solutions and customers who are overwhelmed by the construction process.

I want to help both achieve their dreams by providing businesses with systems and training while educating and assisting customers through the construction process.

Podcasts will be a way for me to help more busy people accomplish their dreams.

I’m meeting with Nic today and we’re moving forward with this podcasting thing.

Disruptions To My Routine Can Really Upset the Apple Cart

After This Past Week…I’m Trying to Get the Apples Gathered Back Up

Something happened this past week that has never happened before.

Since I started writing weekly blog posts in October of 2015…I’ve never missed a week.

When I started, I committed to myself that I would write and post weekly.

The question is…should I still be committed to this?

Commitment is a good thing. We just need to be careful what we’re committed to. Why did I make this commitment? Is it still a valid commitment? Is it worth the time it takes? All questions that need to be answered.

This past week was spent moving some furniture from Salem, Missouri to Spearfish South Dakota for my mother-in-law. This was done to help my wife and her family, who are dealing with a difficult situation.

Life is full of difficult decisions. The question is…what is the highest priority?

This past week it was helping family over posting.

Being a routine motivated person, disruption to my routines spilled apples everywhere. Routine gives me a since of control and I don’t like it when things are out of control. I like things organized.

As I’m gathering the apples back up, I’m asking myself how I can better deal with disruptions in the future? Because I know who I am and how I operate, it’s up to me to decide.

I may need to replace some bad apples with some new ones.

We need to be careful that routines don’t become the reason that we’re doing things. It’s important to periodically step back, review what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.

A cart full of organized apples is no good if we don’t enjoy an apple pie once and a while.

Independence Is a Good Thing…If it Isn’t the Only Thing

Finding Our Balance as We Walk This Tightrope Called Business

As we celebrate our country’s independence on this coming Monday, we need to stop and give thought to what this day means.

John Adams wrote this to his wife,

“This will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

We need to remember that this is so much more than just fireworks, parades and barbecues.

One thing to remember is, this independence wasn’t achieved by one person. There were multiple people involved in getting this accomplished. This fine line of separation and collaboration is a tough thing to stay balanced on.

This independent perspective is important, but not the only one.

We are all part of something bigger than just ourselves.

In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, we are told that our bodies are made up of many parts. “A body isn’t really a body, unless there is more than one part. It takes many parts to make a single body. That’s why the eyes cannot say they don’t need the hands. That’s also why the head cannot say it doesn’t need the feet. God put our bodies together in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable. He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others.” 

The same thing is true in business.

As we approach different situations, we usually consider them from our own perspective. This is only natural because we’re all made in our own specific, separate way.

It’s important to know who we are, where our strengths lie, what we’re good at doing. This is how we’re made and what we’re made to do.

I know that I have a pretty strong opinion about how I want things done in my business. More times than not, this leads to my “get out of my way and I’ll do it myself” attitude.

Trust me…this isn’t the way God designed things to work.

This is not a very good business plan. I need to work on balancing my skills with the skills of others to build a stronger and more productive business.

Balancing independence and delegation is a fine line, but if I don’t, I’m likely to lose my balance and fall off the tightrope.

Remember the reason we’re celebrating and the cost to our independence as you watch the fireworks.

What’s One Thing Missing from Disaster Response?

More Important, What Do We Do Once We Find It?

It’s tornado season here in the mid-west. A few weeks ago, a tornado went through Andover doing a significant amount of damage.

I’ve been involved in disaster response through the United Methodist Church for several years. A couple of the bigger ones I experienced were the Greensburg and Joplin tornados.

Greensburg, Kansas

Unless you’re directly affected or involved, people forget about it once the initial excitement of a disaster wears off.

The recovery and rebuilding after the disaster happens, is a slow and painful process.

I was reminded of this on a much smaller scale with the recent situation of my truck being totaled in an accident that was out of my control. Working with the insurance, determining what I should do, then the process of replacing the truck, has been going on for weeks and will continue for a few more before I’m back in a truck.

These two separate instances reminded me of a problem with rebuilding after large scale disasters and a blog post written by Andy Andrews regarding his personal disaster experience with Hurricane Ivan.

They lived in three different rental houses during the two years following the storm and this was more fortunate than most. The destruction caused by large storms can affect hundreds of miles and thousands of buildings.

In his post he refers to this experience to be like living in a third world country.

Few are wise to the fact that after the initial “clean-up” was completed and homeowners turned to the task of rebuilding, the competition for construction crews began. Oh, there are plenty of construction companies. But in this situation, it is tougher than one might suspect to secure competent, honest, crews who will continue to actually work on your house until it’s completed. Then, there’s the question of “fair price”.

After a hurricane, there is a scent of money in the air and even the companies who agree to work for somewhere close to normal wage rates, usually sign contracts to rebuild or repair twenty, sometimes thirty or more homes at a time.

Individual homeowners are rarely clued into this gambit, however, never knowing they are merely a “ball” to be kept in the air by a skillful juggler. Best-case scenario for a hurricane victim needing extensive home repair? If a partial crew is working on your house one day out of ten, consider yourself fortunate and keep your mouth shut.  Seriously.

Remember, the lure of more and easier money is everywhere and there are any number of homeowners willing to offer your construction crew two or three times the dollar amount you are already NOT getting from your insurance company.

After Hurricane Ivan, there were thousands of homes and businesses in desperate need of rebuild or repair. Thousands. And even with the flood of labor that came in from out of state, there were less than two hundred small and large construction companies working in the area…and not nearly all of them were legitimate.

…when we were in that situation, why do you think it took us more than two years to get back in our house?

Finding legitimate, qualified building contractors in a normal situation is hard enough.

This is a big problem and it needs to be addressed.

I’m going to look into this more over the next few weeks to see if we can figure out a solution to this problem.

How Do We Stop Being Sucked into the Center of the Vortex?

By Knowing That We’re in One and Not Letting it Happen

Life is like a giant whirlpool spinning around at a high rate of speed. It’s constantly working to pull us down, with little hope of ever getting out.

This sounds a little “gloom and doom” doesn’t it?

That is not my intention. Actually, my intention is just the opposite.

You can control where you are in your vortex.

A vortex is a place or situation seen as drawing into its center all that surrounds it and therefore being inescapable or destructive. Sound familiar?

A big part of the problem with this whirlpool we call life, is not even being aware we’re in it. We get started in the slow-moving shallows of our daily routines. We gradually begin moving faster and faster, getting closer and closer to the center.  Then one day we’re so dizzy we can’t see straight. We look up and realize…we’re about to be sucked under.

So…how do we prevent this from happening?

In our mastermind this past week, part of the discussion involved the short sightedness of people…especially those of us who are self-employed. Too often we get so busy in our daily actions we neglect to look around and see where we are.

Or, in our search to be better, we get caught up in the hot new things (app, program, training, etc.) and lose sight of where we want to go and what we want to do.

To have a clear vision of where we’re going, we need to periodically step back out of the fast-moving whirlwind and take a look from above. This view gives us clarity of what’s going on.

Imagine how God sees things as He looks on from Heaven.

It’s a big picture view. We’re so close to what we’re doing that that’s all we see. We don’t see the big picture. We need to get with God and take a look from His location.

This is part of what I use by daily journaling time for. This intentional stepping away from the daily high-speed vortex allows me to see how close I’m getting to the black hole of no return.

It’s less about the content of the journal and more about intentionally stopping and looking up.

Whatever works for you, I highly recommend that you find some type of intentional process for checking to see how close you are to being sucked into the vortex before it’s too late.

How Can I Help People Understand What I’m Saying?

It’s Hard to Get Others to See Things from My Perspective

This sounds a little self-centered, like my perspective is more important than everyone else’s.

That’s not what I mean by “getting others to see things from my perspective”.

I’ve been hearing from marketing people for a long time about the difficulty of getting people to understand what we’re saying. This is often referred to as the “curse of knowledge”, which is when we’re sharing a message with the assumption those who are hearing it have as much knowledge and familiarity with a given topic as we do.

The fact that I’ve been hearing this for a while and am still trying to figure out how to implement it, is exactly what I’m talking about.

This issue resurfaced in a few different places over the past couple of weeks.

First and closet to home is my struggle with getting construction companies to see the value of my Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal system.

The value of this proposal system makes perfect sense to me, but then I developed it more than thirty years ago and have been using it almost daily since then. My “curse of knowledge”.

I’ve shared this proposal system idea with construction companies without much success. It’s frustrating, having been where they are and knowing that it would likely help them.

Why wouldn’t they want to start using it immediately?

The second place that this issue came up was in a discussion with my friend Shep Jordan. He’s in the process of writing a memoir of his experiences with six role models when he was growing up. He hopes to help others see the negative impacts resulting from a lack of good role models in today’s world and the need to do something about it.

It’s critically important for boys to have good role models and for men to be good role models!

The problem is…how to get others to hear what he’s saying? They may hear him and agree, but how does he get them to embrace and implement the ideas that are in his book?

The third place this got discussed was in our mastermind. One of the members is working on a new program and was asking about pricing. As we discussed it, I asked for clarification. With further discussion I realized that this is that same common problem. He was crystal clear about what he was saying…the rest of us not as much.

How can we help people understand what we’re saying?

The other thing we need to realize is that it’s going to take some time to get other people to understand what we’re trying to say.

There’s so much going on in our own minds and the world around us, that it takes a long time and a lot of repetition to break through the noise. It may take years and repeating the message hundreds of times before they even know that we’re saying anything.

Add to that the importance of aligning your message with their need and you have a big hill to climb. The thing to remember is that the hill can be climbed.

As noisy as things are right now it’s amazing that we can get anyone at all to listen to what we have to say.

The thing to remember is…if what we have to share is in alignment with God’s plan then our part is to keep on sharing it over and over knowing that if even one person is helped it was worth the effort.

Putting ourselves back in the position of our target audience and repetition is the way to get them to hear and understand what we’re saying.

And most importantly…don’t give up, keep on sharing.

Having a Business Plan is Crucial to Building Your Best Business

Just Like a Building, You Need a Blueprint for Building a Better Business

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a solopreneur or have a team. If you have been in business for 30 years or just starting out. Regardless of the kind of work you do, the organizational plan for your business is as important as the work you do…maybe more.

Too many people run their business on a wing and a prayer. They just roll the dice and hope things work out

If you own your business and aren’t intentional about the organizational operation of your company, it is likely that you won’t make it past your 5th year. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Just think about the number of businesses that you have seen come and go over the years.

In my 40 years of being in business I have learned a lot of lessons, some of them the hard way. Let me tell you, the tuition for “The School of Hard Knocks” is expensive.

There were times when I got behind on taxes so I could pay bills and times that I got behind on bills so I could pay taxes. Neither of these is a very good business plan. One of my SHK professors once told me, “When you steal from Peter to pay Paul, you make Peter a Paul bearer”.

If you want to avoid the need for a pallbearer for your business…you need a plan.

It’s common for people to start a business without a plan. Generally, someone has learned a trade or a craft and for whatever reason they decide to go into business. Most of the time they have given little, if any, thought to the business operation. They show up every day working hard and then, surprise…you owe some taxes and haven’t saved any money to pay them.

You need a plan, a blueprint for building the business.

There are a lot of similarities in constructing a sound building and a constructing profitable business.

Both need –

  • To start with design plans – the thing that gives you a clear direction of what you want the outcome to be.
  • An architect – the person that can see the vision of what the finished product will be.
  • A solid foundation – the thing that will support you when the storms come.
  • A good framework – the thing that holds everything together.
  • A builder – the person that reads and understands the plans and puts all the different pieces together correctly.
  • The proper tools – these are what allow the pieces to be shaped and fastened together in the right places in the right order.
  • A good team – these are the different people with the different skills and knowledge needed.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in business for years or are just starting out…

YOU NEED A PLAN.

If you or someone you know would like to minimize the time spent attending “The School of Hard Knocks”, then follow or share our Weekly Solutions with people who could use some help with a business plan.

Finding solutions for building dream businesses is what we’re about at Solution Building. If you have questions about business plans, contact us below.

Revised and reprinted from 02/24/18

How Can I Be More Demanding Without Being Demeaning?

The Skill of Walking the Fine Line Between These Two Things

This past week there were a couple of situations that got me thinking about this…again. This is something I’ve struggled with my whole life. It comes down to who I am and who I need to be. Like everything in life there is a balance to be achieved.

Both situations had to do with sub-contractors.

First was a wood fencing project. The customer had some fence boards but not enough. I ordered out more than enough boards to finish the project.

I get a text from the sub, telling me that we need more fence boards. I assumed that I had mis-figured. I let the customer know that there is going to be another material delivery. Customer tells me to not forget to use the ones that they had. I called the sub. He tells me that there weren’t any fence boards there. I go by the job site and there they were…right where they were when I showed them to him.

Back to the question…How can I be more demanding, without being demeaning?

I think the sub just got focused on the stack of new fence boards and forgot about the others.

The problem is that this oversight cost me. I now have boards that were the customer’s and I can’t return them. They will need to be stored in a shop that is already overcrowded.

How should I handle this so that the sub understands and shares in the responsibility, without demeaning them?

Some people wouldn’t have any issues in deducting this cost from the sub. But this might cause the sub to not want to do future projects and it can be hard to find qualified subs.

Second was the hanging of some sheetrock on a small project that was being done by a painter. I went by to check on things and the piece of drywall that was installed…was installed wrong. They had a cut edge rather than the finished edge in the middle of the ceiling.

I had him take it down and turn it around.

In both of these instances I was uncomfortable saying anything and I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about the fence boards.

Ultimately both come down to clearly explained expectations.

Explaining specifics on individual projects as well as overall expectations.

I have high expectations for myself, I assume that everyone else has this same level of expectation…not so.

Because of these differences I need to be hypervigilant in explaining and communicating what I expect. This will require more time and effort on my part and I’m already running short on both.

One of the things that makes this balance hard to find is that everything is different for everyone. What is reasonable for one person might be hurtful to another.

The thing I need to remember is that ultimately, my responsibility to the customer is more important than the feelings of the sub.

This doesn’t mean the sub isn’t important. It means the sub and I are supposed to be working together to fulfill the dream of the customer. Not fighting each other to see who can take advantage of the other.

It’s not supposed to be a competition.

I’m still not sure exactly how I’m going to be more demanding without being demeaning…but I’m going to work toward accomplishing that.

How Can Movies Improve Your Business Plan?

This is Assuming That You Even Care How Your Business Turns Out

Once again today’s conversation originated from our mastermind. This week we we’re presented with a question to answer.

From the perspective of an entrepreneur, what’s your favorite movie, and why?

Any of you who know me, know that I’m a movie fan. As I considered this question, there were a lot of movies that came to mind. My favorite movie is The Polar Express…but this isn’t a movie about business.

As I considered my favorite movies from an entrepreneurial perspective, something began to stand out…

Every movie is full of lessons about both business and life.

There are a variety of movie genres, story lines and qualities of movies, but as I think back over the movies I’ve watched, all of them are nothing less than lessons for living.

And what is business other than living?

Some of these lessons are things we should do…some are things we shouldn’t.

As I thought about movies and lessons, I remembered writing about Christmas movies as a life plan. The more I thought about movies from an entrepreneurial perspective, the more I realized that The Polar Express had a lot to say about business as well as life.

If I operate my business using the Polar Express business plan, it will be a great ride.

If you aren’t familiar with The Polar Express, it’s about a young boy who is beginning to doubt the reality of Santa Clause. He’s woken up by a loud noise in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and finds the Polar Express parked in front of his house. With some hesitancy he boards the train.

He then embarks on a ride with other kids to the North Pole. Along the way they’re faced with obstacles to overcome and situations to celebrate. Through his diligence and the help of others he makes the trip successfully. After this journey he is reassured and believes.

This sounds a little bit like business, doesn’t it?

Like in the movie, we have to decide if we’re going to get on the business train or not. If we don’t, that particular train won’t ever come by again. Once we make the commitment, we need to stay on the ride to the end.

Business and movies are both full of difficulties and situations that may or may not be direct results of things we’ve done. Either way, we have to deal with the situations that we find ourselves in. Like the boy on the Polar Express, it’s great to have the support of friends and colleagues when the ride gets rough.

Too often our belief waivers. We don’t know if we should get on the train or not. This probably isn’t the right train.

But something is prodding us to get on.

This is God telling us to go for it. Get on the train. Enjoy the ride…all of it. The good and the bad, the ups and the downs.

Ride that train and the things you will experience will be amazing.

But it requires that you get on the train and believe.

Get on and enjoy the ride!