It’s Up to You to Get Unstuck

You Have the Power of Choice

There’s a saying, “A rut is a grave with both ends kicked out.” Too often we get in a rut and don’t even realize we’re there.

This is how operating a construction company can be.

Plodding back and forth, doing all those things that need to be done, never looking up to see where we are or where we’re going. If we’re not careful the rut will get so deep that we’ll never get out.

This feeling of being stuck can be overwhelming. If we wait too long to do something, that’s when it becomes a grave, and we give up and go out of business. It’s just not worth it.

I could make more money and work less hours flipping burgers.

Last week, we discussed the difference between being self-employed and being an entrepreneur. The question you have to ask yourself is: do I want a job, or do I want to build a business? It’s up to you to decide which you want to be.

Building a business can be scary; it might not work. We know our rut well and it’s comfortable. Doing business because “we’ve always done it this way” isn’t a very good plan.

This kind of rut thinking doesn’t allow for building dreams.

Changing things just for the sake of change isn’t a good strategy either. Growing and changing is good, but there needs to be a plan.

Building without a plan isn’t a good plan, whether it’s a construction project or a business.

Things that need to be changed and are ignored have consequences, i.e., diapers, your car’s engine oil, furnace filters, toothbrushes, and bad habits.

Change costs time and money…the question is: is the change worth it?

Not changing is also costly. It’s up to you to decide which is more expensive.

You have the power to change if you want to. Change is up to you.

It amazes me how many times I’ve talked with people who do construction from their ruts. They tell me all about how frustrated they are with their business. Yet, even when we offer them a ladder to help them out of their rut…they won’t use it.

I understand. I’ve been there. Change can be scary.

I remember when I’d had enough of the rut. Doing things the way I was, wasn’t working.

It was after my partner, at a previous construction company, hired a consulting firm that things changed for me. They came in to help us with the business part of our construction company. It was expensive, but what I learned was worth every penny and it cost a lot of pennies (2 million to be exact).

The sad part is this is…I’m the only one that used the business tools that they gave us.

I’m still in business and they aren’t.

Just talking about doing something or buying tools isn’t the same as doing it…action is required.

If you or someone you know is tired of trudging back and forth in a construction business rut, then let us give you a ladder to help you get out.

You have the power to do this. It is a choice that only you can make.

If you would like some help getting out of your construction business rut, check out our tools and training, or schedule a free 30-minute construction company coaching call.

Portions from a previous post 4/27/19 

Being Careful to Not Get Stuck in a Rut 

Who Knew That I Was an Entrepreneur?

That Was Never My Plan

Most people in construction would not consider themselves entrepreneurs. They see themselves as self-employed.

There’s not a huge difference between the two, but it is significant.

It’s the difference between working in your business or working on your business.

Someone who is self-employed is earning income from their own business, trade, or profession. This is how most people working for themselves in construction see it. It’s just a job like any other.

Most of them started out working for someone else. They learned their construction trade but not the business. Being self-employed tends to overlook the business part.

Doing business is scary…not to mention most self-employed construction people don’t like doing paperwork. The problem is, like it or not, self-employment is being in business.

An entrepreneur, on the other hand, is someone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of the business. This difference is mostly perspective, and it’s critical. It’s how you see yourself.

It’s about where your focus is. Are you focused on just showing up on the jobsite every day doing construction, or is it bigger than that? This is the difference between having a job and owning a business.

Is what I’m doing just a job or is it building a business?

If we see ourselves as just having a job, the daily rat race becomes overwhelming and is often the reason self-employed contractors go out of business within the first five years. The numbers are staggering.

So if you see yourself as self-employed, what are you going to do to avoid becoming one of these statistics?

The first step is becoming aware. You have to see the problem before you can do anything about it. Then you can decide if you want to keep doing things the way you always have or do something different.

After you become aware of the problem, you need to understand it. This is where things are going to get harder. It’s going to require some research. This is going to take time that you don’t have, but it’s time well spent if you want to stay in business.

Now that you understand the problem, you will need information and instructions for implementing changes. I know this sounds like a lot, and you may be wondering, is it really worth it?

If it is, then you need to learn these new and different ways of doing business and change how you do things.

If this seems like too much, maybe you should just go back to working for someone else!

If you decide that you want to accept the title of entrepreneur and work on building your business rather than just working a job, then we can help.

At Solution Building we help you make this transition from self-employed to entrepreneur. We have business building tools and training available.

If you have questions about transitioning from self-employed to entrepreneur, you can set up a free 30-minute construction company consultation. It’s up to you. You get to decide if you want to accept the role of entrepreneur or continue working as an employee for yourself.

Ideas Without Actions Aren’t Any Good

To Build the Business of Your Dreams You Must Take Action

“I AM A PERSON OF ACTION.” “My future is immediate. I will grasp it with both hands and carry it with running feet. When I am faced with the choice of doing nothing or doing something, I will always choose to act!” – Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

From the book “The Travelers Gift” by Andy Andrews

For years people have asked me where I came up with the business system and procedures that I use. As I thought about it, I realized that early on my business and life had developed without much intentionality.

I was a dreamer at an early age. I had big ideas and plans for my life. Then there was a portion of my life where I became disillusioned and accepted that my dreams were just that…dreams.

I decided I was just kidding myself the whole time.

Then in 2012 I had “A Life Changing Wakeup Call” and realized that I had gotten sucked into a world of doubt. I had given up and quit dreaming. It can be hard for those of us that are dreamers to turn ideas into action.

After my accident, I began to think about what my life was and what I had expected it to be. I became reenergized about dreaming and about life. It’s great to be excited about life again!

Dreams are just dreams if no action is taken.

Not that my life was terrible before the accident, it just wasn’t what I had envisioned. I had been living without a clear plan, and there was so much more for me to accomplish.

At that point I decided to become more intentional.

I’ve always been a planner but it’s sad that it took a hit in the head for me to realize the importance of intentional action.

When we’re young the tendency is to think that we’ll have all the time we need. There’s no need to think about the future…we’ll get around to that someday. Then one day we wake up and realize life is flying by and we haven’t done those things we wanted to.

You don’t have to wait until you’re smacked in the head to become intentional.

Think of your business as a construction project. It all begins with a dream. You can see the vision of the completed project in your mind. The tricky part is getting that dream out of your head and making it a reality.

Having a plan will let you see if it looks like your dream or not. It’s easier to make changes and corrections during the planning stage, rather than the construction.

After I realized that that my dreams weren’t going to happen without actions, I began to develop business tools and systems needed for building my dream business. It would have been easier if I had some help.

It’s always a good idea to have the help of a professional when drawing out plans and building your dream business. Their experience, knowledge, and skill can save you time and money.

This is why at Solution Building we’re making these tools and systems available to others in the construction industry.

To build your dream business you can’t stop at the planning…there’s more action needed.

Don’t wait to be smacked in the head to get intentional about taking action for building your dream business.

If you would like some help with planning or building the business of your dreams you can schedule a free construction company consultation.

How to Keep Your Business from Getting Out of Balance

Be Careful with Short Legged Tables

Have you ever felt like your business and/or your life were out of balance? It’s a little like a three-legged table with a short leg…kind of wobbly.

I know I have felt this way and sometimes still do. You have probably heard the saying ‘feast or famine’. This seems to be especially true in the construction industry. It refers to the common problem of either having way too much to do, or worrying about how you are going to pay the bills if you don’t get some work soon.

Sometimes this is caused by situations beyond our control. The economy, the weather, or some other external force. More often than not the reason is an “out of balance business”.

Like a table with a short leg.

I wrote about this originally in April of 2016, and it’s a topic that is still relevant. I say this because I’m currently going through one of those times of famine. This is not due to a lack of leads for construction projects. It’s because I’m spending time getting the coaching and consulting for construction companies started.

One thing that I’ve learned over my 40+ years in construction is that business is a lot like a three-legged table.

When all the legs are the same length, it helps provide a level, sturdy platform for the company to sit on. When any one or two of them is too short, the table begins to lean. If it tips too far the company will slide off.

It’s never good when a company crashes to the floor.

The three legs of the construction business are:

1 – Sales/Marketing – Searching for and finding customers that you can help by providing your service and/or product through word of mouth, advertising, and awareness. Meeting with potential customers, determining what they want/need and preparing estimates, proposals, and contracts.

2 – Production/Operations – Organizing, scheduling, and maintaining construction projects. Determining who the right people are to perform specific tasks. Knowing the parts that are needed and making sure they fit. Maintaining communication between all parties involved.

3 – Administration/Finance – The preparation of documents needed to communicate, track, and record all aspects of the business. The filling out and filing of income, expense, banking, and tax papers. This leg is one of the easiest for ‘tradespeople’ to neglect. When it gets short, it can really cause the table to lean.

The tabletop is the big picture planning and organizing. It’s what connects the three separate legs. It’s easy to give too much attention to one or two legs and forget the others. This is when the tipping begins.

To get so focused on production of projects that we forget to follow up with a new customer shortens the Sales/Marketing leg.

To get so into preparing proposals that we forget to invoice shortens the Administration/Finance leg.

To work so diligently on tracking expenses that we don’t leave enough time for working on projects shortens the Production/Operations leg.

There is no perfect formula to keep the table from ever leaning.

The most important thing is to realize that it can happen and continually strive to keep the table balanced.

Most of us in construction started out by learning our trade while working for someone else. This is how I got started. The problem with this is that while I learned how to build a building, I wasn’t taught how to build a well-balanced company.

After years of struggling and learning things the hard way, I developed Business BUILDing tools that are great for building a construction business.

Just like any tool, if you don’t use them…things don’t get built.

Having the right tools and using them only goes so far. You also need to continually work to keep the table legs the right length so that the company doesn’t come crashing to the ground.

This is why at Solution Building we offer coaching and consulting to help you keep your construction business well supported and level.  

Now that I’m done sharing this solution, I’m going to get to work on some proposals so that I can lengthen the Production/Operation leg of my construction business!

Trying to Build a New Business

Why Does Everyone Tell You It’s Easy When It’s Not?

Helping people in the construction industry build their businesses has been a real struggle. They say they need a better way of doing things but won’t take the time to do anything about it. They struggle with construction proposals, change orders, payment applications, saving money, communication, etc.

I know because they tell me this all the time. Not to mention, I was there too once so to totally understand.

So why don’t they do something about it?

Because, doing something about it is not a simple thing. I know because I struggled with these same problems in my construction company. Then I decided to do something about it. But what?

I began looking for solutions but couldn’t find what I needed. This involved things like computer software, hiring a consulting firm, etc. Not that any of these things were bad, but they didn’t fix the problems.

This is when I realized that there is no magic solution. It’s going to take time and hard work.

It’s a little like building a building…there’s no computer program you can download from the internet, or it won’t magically appear from a blueprint or some written instructions. It requires time and hard work.

When building a building there’s going to be bumps along the way, it’s not like after the first one is built the second one is going to be much easier. But, with each new project it gets better. The mistakes are reduced, and the process becomes more repetitive with experience. Then at some point it becomes so routine you can do it in your sleep.

It takes time and hard work, but it’s worth it.

This brings me back to the problem at hand – helping people in the construction industry build their businesses.

I’ve been working to get other construction companies to use the business building tools and systems that they have been asking for. I’ve been working on this for years and wondering if I’m supposed to keep trying. Then I think back about the difficult journey of building my construction business and keep going.

Part of the problem, like building the first building, is there’s a big learning curve, and it takes time to learn it.

I realized the other day that this is not just a construction business problem…it’s an every kind of business problem.

And the problem is this, we’ve become an immediate gratification society. We don’t want to wait for anything, and a business is no different.

We’re being over promised on social media and the internet with advertisements telling us how we can buy this thing and lose all the weight we want by next month or make a million dollars in six months, etc., etc.

Don’t believe it…it’s a lie.

I’m not saying these things are impossible. What I am saying is that they are highly improbable. After spending a lot of money and not achieving expectations, people are left disappointed and feeling like failures.

Marketing does a great job of doing what it’s supposed to. It gets you to buy things. The problem is the marketing makes it look easier than it is.

Building a business, like building a building, is not for the faint of heart.

This is why I’m going to tell you right now, if you buy our business building toolbox it’s not going to magically make your business an overnight success. Implementing and learning to use these tools is not magic.

Like any tool, if you buy it and don’t ever get it out of the box, you’ll never learn how to use it. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you through long journey of building a successful construction business, schedule a free 30-minute construction company consultation.

It’s Time for the First Meeting

And Gene’s Not Sure He Can Squeeze It In

It’s Friday, and Gene is in his normal state of overwhelm. He’s supposed to be meeting with John tomorrow afternoon to go over the Building a Better Proposal system, and he doesn’t know how he can fit it in.

There are still so many things that need to be done.

“Maybe we can reschedule,” thinks Gene, “I’ll just give John a call and see about moving the meeting back a week… Okay, that’s enough.” Gene says to himself. “The whole purpose for this meeting is to change things, so that I don’t have to feel this overwhelmed.”

“I’m tired of always feeling out of control.”

A few minutes after noon on Saturday, Gene pulls up in front of the SMR Construction Company office and admires the building. As he gets the pizza out of the truck and goes up to the front door he thinks, “I sure hope I can have a place like this someday.” As he walks through the door John greets him with a solid handshake and a grin as he says, “I wasn’t sure that you would make it.”

“I wasn’t sure either.”, Gene says with a smile. “I came really close to calling yesterday, to see about rescheduling.” “I’m glad you didn’t.”, replies John. “You’ve taken the hardest step in a series of hard steps.”

“The first step is the hardest. It requires a change of thinking and direction.”

“Bring the pizza and let’s go into the conference room.”, John says. As they make their way into the spacious comfortable room Gene thinks back on when they used to have their weekly production meetings in this very room. Looking back, he realizes how much he had taken what John had accomplished for granted.

John hands Gene a plate and they both get some pizza. “There’s water and soda in the fridge like always.”, says John, “Help yourself.” As they set down and start eating John asks Gene, “Why did you start your own construction company?”

“Why do you do what you do?”

Gene sat there for a while chewing his pizza at the same time chewing on this question. “Why was he doing this?” He had asked himself this question a lot, but it was usually a question of frustration, not really looking for an answer.

After what seemed like an eternity, Gene answered, “I really don’t know. I suppose that seeing what you had accomplished, I wanted the same thing.”

“That’s the same answer I would have given if I’d been asked why I started SMR Construction.”, agrees John. “It wasn’t until I realized that to have a successful and profitable business, one that I was running rather than it running me, I needed to make some changes. One of those was to answer that question.”

“The WHY is more important than the HOW. Maybe your why is to make a lot of money, the enjoyment of building, the control that comes with owning your own company, something completely different or a combination of things.”

“Do you love what you do? In your current situation, do you even like it?”

Now Gene has another unanswered question to ponder. Does he like what he does? Life sure was easier when he worked for John. What was it that prompted him to go into business?

John interrupted Gene’s thinking, “Gene, you probably won’t get the full answer to these questions today, and we’ve already been discussing this for a while now. I would suggest that you take some time to think about these questions and dig down deep to find the answers.”

“The answer to these questions is the foundation your business will be built on.”

“Before we run out of time today, let’s move on to the topic you came for, a better proposal system. Here’s an overview of the proposal system that we’ll go over today. These are yours to make notes on and take with you.”

“Just like the why question for your business, you should answer the why question about proposals.”

“Why do we need to do proposals?

“Gene, there is a huge misunderstanding between construction companies and customers. The biggest part of this gap is poor communication. Even when attempting to communicate clearly, it often goes badly. Let me give you an example.”

“Several years ago, I met with a customer early in the process of building a new home. The customer pointed out that the distance from the electric meter to the house was more than the 50’ allowance, as per the agreement. He asked if this was a problem. I told him it wasn’t a problem. Guess what…”

“It was a problem.”

“The problem didn’t surface until later when the customer was billed for the additional 100’. After some research, the communication breakdown was uncovered. The customer asked, “if it was a problem”. What he was really asking was…”is it going to cost more?”.”

“The response ‘in reality’ was, “It’s no problem to dig the additional 100’, but it will cost you more.” Neither party intended nor expected this to be a problem. It was a simple matter of misunderstanding…a lack of communication.”

The bulk of the communication responsibility is the contractor’s; we are the professionals after all.

If you follow along on the overview, on page 2 you can see the importance of a proposal system and why you need it. Page 3 has reasons for and common reasons against doing proposals. Page 4 is a list of documents included in the system and descriptions of how they work. Pages 5 and 6 are an overview of the proposal system.”

“As we wrap up today, Gene, I would recommend that we schedule some time weekly to work through the proposal system. I know that you don’t feel like you can spare the time, but I would point out that if you want things to be different, it’s going to require you to do some things differently.”

Gene thought about this for a few minutes, “I get excited about the possibilities for my future every time we talk about this. Let’s do it. How does next Saturday sound, same time and place work for you?

“If I don’t commit to doing something different, nothing will change.”

John smiled wide and remembered when he had made this same decision. He was encouraged about Gene’s future and excited to be a part of it. “Remember when you called me a few weeks back and how frustrated you were? And then in the next call we discussed the possibilities for your future? Think on these things and your why as you study the pages from today. When we get together next week, I want to hear about your why, and we’ll go deeper into the Building a Better Proposal system.

“As you go through these pages write down any questions you have, and we’ll discuss them next week.”

If you’re interested in the Building A Better Proposal system that John and Gene are working on, check out Solution Building’s Business BUILDing Toolbox. To discuss how the proposal system could help your construction company, you can schedule a meeting with me here. As always, feel free to post any questions you have in the comments!

What is “Business Clarity” and How Do You Find It?

You Start with a Plan

Once again, Gene was alone at the office late on a Saturday night working to get at least one more proposal done, before going home. He had promised four different customers their proposals this week. If all goes well, he’ll have this second one finished before midnight.

As Gene crunched numbers hoping he hadn’t forgotten anything, he asked himself, “Why am I doing this? I could go to work for somebody else, make more money and work less hours. This sure isn’t how I pictured it five years ago when I started the company.”

“I had no idea that running my own business would be this hard!”

Gene rubbed his eyes and stretched his back and thought, “I must be doing something wrong. When I was working for John at SMR Construction things looked easy. I wonder what he was doing different.”

It’s Saturday, and Gene has been working like crazy all week long. Between production crews not showing up, materials not being delivered on time, cost overruns and computer issues…projects were behind schedule and the company was losing money. Even if he works tomorrow, he’s going to have to disappoint at least one of the customers waiting on a proposal.

“How am I ever going to turn this around?”

When Gene finishes the proposal and looks at the clock, it’s 12:40. It’s already Sunday and he still needs to proofread it, print it and sign it. Something has got to change! “I’ve been leaving home early and getting home late all week. I haven’t even spoken with my wife for days. I’m calling John on Monday to see how he did things.”

First thing Monday morning Gene called John. After a few minutes of catching up, Gene asked John the question that he couldn’t quit thinking about. “John, I’ve been working day and night trying to keep up. When I worked for you it seemed like you had everything figured out. You weren’t stressed even when things didn’t work out as planned. Your customers understood what to expect with their projects and were happy when they were finished. What am I doing wrong?”

That’s the question that almost every business owner asks themselves.

“Know this,” John said, “When I started my business, I was just like you. I struggled to keep up, worked too many hours, neglected my family, was mad at myself for letting down my customers, my family, and myself. I kept asking myself that same question. What am I doing wrong?”

“By the time you were working for me, I had figured some things out. It’s amazing what you can learn when attending the ‘school of hard knocks’. Keep in mind this is the most common process for learning but isn’t the most effective.”

“What really turned my business around was when I found out about Solution Building’s, Blueprint for Building a Better Business.”

Think about how much easier and better a construction project goes when you have a plan. The same thing is true for a business. A plan gives you direction, keeps everyone involved working together, and improves the odds for a successful outcome.

“Gene, if this is something you would be interested in, I would recommend starting with the, ‘Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal’. This is the most important and most neglected part of construction communication. If you’d like I would be happy to meet with you and go through the process and answer any questions.”

“There’s a lot more to the ‘Blueprint for Building a Better Business’, but starting out, you should focus on the proposal system. After you get this part implemented, we can discuss which part of the business blueprint system would be best for you, next.”

After talking with John, Gene thought, “I’m sure glad I made this call. For the first time in a long time, I feel like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t an oncoming train.”

If you struggle trying to keep up with operating a construction business or know someone who does, we are going to be having a free 90-minute workshop for Building a Better Proposal on Saturday, January 6, 2024, at 10:30 CST. Register for the workshop here.

If you have any questions about the workshop or business systems, you can schedule a free 30-minute construction company consultation here.

Procrastination is Not a Good Plan for Making Changes

If Not, Why Do So Many Do It?

This is the million-dollar question. And it actually may be. The amount of dollars lost by procrastinating is costing money and a lot of it.

Decisions have consequences.

Every decision we make every day comes with consequences. Some of those consequences may be good, some may not.

Every day of our lives is full of decisions. It’s like playing a non-stop game of “would you rather”.

Most everyone is familiar with this game in which the players are asked questions that compare two different scenarios and asked to choose which of the two they would rather do. These questions can vary from simple to complicated.

Would you rather…

  • Spend a day in the Sahara Desert or Spend a day at the North Pole
  • Have the ability to fly or Be invisible
  • End hunger or End hatred

This game isn’t any different than everyday life. We are faced with choices every minute of every day. Some of these choices are small and simple, some are important and carry major consequences.

Would I rather…

  • Eat this or Eat that
  • Wear this or Wear that
  • Drive this route or Drive that route
  • Go in debt to buy a new car or Save money and drive something older
  • Take this job that pays well but requires me to sacrifice my morals or Take that job that pays considerably less but allows me to be true to my principles
  • Take the scary step to implement tools in my business that have the potential for success or Continue doing the comfortable things the way I always have with the potential for failure

This week I listened to a Ray Edwards podcast that asked the question, Why People Don’t Change. This comes back around to the question…

Why do people put off doing something that they know would help them be more successful?

Here are a few of the points that Ray makes:

  • Change happens when the pain of not changing is greater than the difficulty of making the change.
  • The fear of not changing is often overshadowed by immediate gratification, making it difficult for people to prioritize long-term consequences over short-term pleasure.
  • To change, you need to make the future pain of not changing more real than the current pleasure.
  • People don’t change unless they associate significant pain with not changing and take ownership of their ability to change.
  • Enjoy the process of pushing yourself to achieve your goals, not just the end result.

Resistance to change is a real problem.

Just consider the situation of someone in an abusive relationship and their unwillingness or inability to make changes when they know that they need to. I’ve never been in a relationship like this, so I’m not claiming to understand this emotionally.

When it comes to business decisions though, I understand them and agree completely with Ray’s points.

Ultimately your business decisions are up to you.

You can continue to procrastinate until you either garner the courage to change…or until you go out of business. It’s up to you.

If you would like to change, we can help you with that. We have tools for the construction industry available in our Business BUILDing Toolbox. You can learn more about the tools and training here or you can schedule a free 30-minute construction company consultation to get your questions answered.

Why Are People in Construction so Bullheaded?

That’s a Question That’s Going to Take Some Research

Have you ever noticed how stubborn people in construction are? From my experience they are some of the most headstrong and obstinate people you’ll ever meet. Why is that?

This past week in my mastermind we were discussing my friend Shep Jordan’s new book, Step Into Your Legacy. This book is about the importance of young men having good mentors and how good mentors are becoming more and more rare.

In this book, Shep takes you on his personal journey to manhood, guided and mentored by 6 remarkable men whose stories had a profound effect on his life.

Our mastermind discussion was about who the book should be targeted to. Young men who need a mentor or older men who need help with being a mentor?

Of course, the answer is both.

The problem with targeting young men is that many of them don’t think they need any help with anything, after all…they already know everything. This attitude might make it harder to get them to accept help.

This got me thinking…

People in construction are like those young men…they think they already know everything.

One of the recurring discussions I’ve had with people in the construction business over the years is about my business tools and systems. They would say how they need systems like I have. I’ve offered some of these tools to them, and the same thing always happens. NOTHING.

It’s like they are so bullheaded that they’re not willing to make any changes.

They know they need to make some changes, but just won’t.

So why is it that people working in construction are so bullheaded?

When you call someone bullheaded, you’re commenting on their obstinate nature, and maybe implying that they’re not very smart. Maybe you’ve seen bullheaded people act without thinking.

The word dates from the early 19th century, from the idea that a bull charges forward with strength and determination, but without any thought or contemplation.

It’s a little like a dog with a bone or a tennis ball. I know that when we’re throwing the tennis ball for our dog, and she brings it back she will not let go, no matter how long or hard you pull. This isn’t to her benefit, if she’d just let me have it, I would throw it for her again.

Hopefully, as humans we’re smarter than dogs and bulls.

I don’t think that it’s an issue of bullheaded people not being smart…maybe even the opposite.

After doing a little research, here are some traits of being stubborn.

We often think of being stubborn as a negative trait, but being a little hard-headed sometimes comes in handy. It helps you stand your ground and not give in to people out of peer pressure or guilt. It does pay to compromise in certain situations, but you also must know when to stand firm with people.

Here are seven traits of a bullheaded person –

  1. They have a strong will – They don’t hesitate to follow through with something they believe in. If they have a vision, they will accomplish their goals, come hellfire, or high water. This mental vigor pays off because you can’t reach your destination if you have fears about even leaving the driveway.
  • They have resilience – They feel that they must do everything on their own. Nothing got handed to them in life, and they know if they want something, they will have to work for it. However, no challenge intimidates or scares away a stubborn person. They will work 16-hour days if they have to in order to accomplish their goals.
  • They aren’t swayed because of peer pressure – They won’t cave just because no one agrees with them. They’ll make their points, have evidence to back them up, and stand their ground even if no one stands with them. While some people will just go with the herd because it feels comfortable, a person with pride doesn’t let the groupthink mentality affect them.
  • They are passionate about life – They don’t like to back down from a challenge, they have a lot of passion and vigor for life. Nothing seems off-limits or impossible for them because of their willpower and determination to get things done.
  • They have a good work ethic – They have high standards for themselves and enjoy getting the job done, no matter what it might entail. They typically do better working alone because of their sometimes combative nature, but if they can tone it down a notch, working in groups doesn’t present a problem. Having pride in one’s work only becomes a problem when people trample on others or don’t consider their opinions.
  • They resist change – They often have a resistance to change because they like things the way they are. This inflexibility might just be their downfall. Life changes constantly, so having an open mind and a willingness to go with the flow can be a problem for stubborn people.
  • They like to argue to prove a point – Not backing down in a discussion is one thing, but taking it too far sometimes means instigating arguments just for the sake of arguing. Stubborn people have an insatiable need to be right, and they see arguing as a fun pastime.

After looking over the research about stubborn people, I found that there’s more good than bad to being bullheaded. This research makes perfect sense why people in construction tend to be bullheaded. These traits are what are needed to fight daily construction battles.

The important thing is, if you are bullheaded, be aware and understand how to use it so that you don’t just keep charging ahead like a bull in a China shop. You need to be willing to make some changes when it would be good for your business.

Speaking of changes, if you or someone you know is in the construction business, we are currently offering our Business BUILDing Toolbox at a reduced Holiday price of $172. But don’t’ act like a dog with a bone because it’s going up $25 every week from now to the end of the year!

If you have questions about the Business BUILDing tools and how they can help you build the construction company of your dreams you can schedule a free 30-minute construction company consultation here.

How Can I Ever Get Everything Done?

Trying to Spin Too Many Plates at The Same Time Can Make You Dizzy

Maybe you’ve have seen a plate spinning act in some form or another. There are multiple plates spinning simultaneously on the top of sticks. The performer is running around trying to keep things from crashing to the ground.

When I was a kid, I remember watching Erich Brenn perform his plate spinning act on the Ed Sullivan Show. I remember him running back and forth, trying to keep all the different plates spinning at the same time. It was amazing…and a little stressful.

The same thing happens in our lives when we try to do too much.

The number of things we’re trying to get done just increases around the Holidays. I know the last couple of weeks I’ve have felt like I had a lot of plates spinning.

Erich knew what he was doing and had a system for keeping those plates spinning, but it was only sustainable for a short period of time.

Most construction companies operate this way, they’re trying to do too many things at a time. Just like the performer who keeps putting more and more spinning plates up on the end of sticks, we keep trying to do more and more.

There is a limit to how much a single individual can do. We can only run back and forth keeping the plates spinning for so long before they start crashing.

Trying to run a business without a plan or structure just increases the odds for failure.

To build a successful business there needs to be a sustainable process for keeping the plates spinning and this starts with a plan. It’s much easier to share and understand a plan when it’s drawn out. Just like constructing a building can’t be done when the blueprint is only in someone’s head.

Most construction business systems are similar. They consist of the same basic areas of operation.


  • Prospecting for customers
  • Follow up on leads
  • Meet with prospective customers
  • Pricing and Proposals
  • Sales Reports
  • Advertising/Promotions
  • Marketing and Sales Planning
  • Customer Relations
  • Market Research
  • Public Relations
  • Product Development


  • Project Management
  • Project Assignments and Scheduling
  • Productivity Monitoring and Control
  • Quality Control and Documentation
  • Production Team Prep. & Development
  • Communicate with Team Members
  • Project Troubleshooting
  • Inventory Planning and Control
  • Purchasing and Vendor Relations
  • Customer Service
  • Equipment Maintenance and Repair
  • Facilities Maintenance & Repair


  • Computer Systems
  • Team Member Records
  • Team Member Policies and Benefits
  • Office Support
  • Office Maintenance
  • Information Archiving and Distribution
  • Data Processing
  • Communications
  • Contract Preparation
  • Budgeting
  • Invoicing
  • Cash Flow Forecasting
  • Financial Reports
  • General Bookkeeping
  • Accounts Payable
  • Taxes
  • Banking

As you can see here, even just the basics are a lot of plates to keep spinning and there are a lot more to spin than just these. All these plates going around and around will make your head spin.

This is why at Solution Building, we’re making available the Business BUILDing tools and systems that were developed and have been used for years at Timber Creek Construction.

The Business BUILDing Toolbox is currently available at a discounted Holiday price.

There are a lot of plates to keep spinning in a construction business. Why not get some tools that will help you keep your plates spinning?

If you have questions or would like to know more about the Business BUILDing Toolbox you can schedule a free 30-minute construction company consultation here.