Not Being Awake at the Right Time, May Mean Missing Something Important

Pulling Our Head Out of the Sand Helps Us to Stay Awake

We’ve all been so tired that we can’t stay awake one minute more. This appears to be the case for a man at Super Bowl LIV. Sporting News editor Karisa Maxwell captured footage of the sleeping man from her spot in the stands at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., during the first quarter.

The man is shown sitting in a seat with his head leaning back against a wall, legs crossed, eyes closed and mouth open. Several football fans can be seen standing up to watch the game in front of him, but he seems unconcerned with the showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Granted, sleeping through the Super Bowl is not life threatening, but the average ticket price for this game was $6400. That’s a pretty expensive nap.

I would hate to pay the price for something like that and then sleep through it.

Life is like this. It has a pretty expensive ticket price and too often we sleep through it.

There was a point in my life when I was asleep and got a wakeup call.

When a scaffold plank broke and I fell, it got my attention. After the accident, I gave some serious thought to my life and how I had been just “going through the motions”. It was more like I was sleep walking than living my purpose.

We need to get actively involved in our lives and not wait to be hit upside the head. It’s much better to figure out what our purpose is before something like this happens.

We have the power to choose if we will go through life asleep or awake.

In Matthew 24:36-44, we’re told the risk if we choose to sleep through life. If we live nonchalantly with our head in the sand, one day we will wake up too late and miss the boat.

I believe that God has a plan for our lives and the time we need to accomplish our purpose. In Psalm 139:16, is says that our days have been determined before we are even born. Only God knows that number.

Finding our purpose requires us to get and stay connected to God through studying His blueprint (Bible) for our lives and talking with Him (praying) regularly. Paying attention to the needs around us and doing something about them. Taking the opportunity to share His plan with those around us through our words and actions.

Our responsibility is to wake up, find our purpose and live each of our days to the fullest.

Your life is more important than a Super Bowl…don’t sleep through it.

How Would Your Balance Sheet Look if God Took an Accounting of Your Life Today?

This is a Question We Should Be Asking Ourselves Continually Every Day

A young man who was working at his first job had made some mistakes. He was called into the boss’s office and demanded an explanation for the poor work and mistakes. The young man began making excuses and blaming other people.

Then the boss pointed out the window and said, “There it goes.” The young man turned to look, the boss said, “It’s a buck flying by.”

Have you ever seen a buck flying by? This is known as passing the buck.

When we are called to account for our mistakes, it’s tempting to “pass the buck”.

President Harry Truman used a well-known phrase, “The Buck Stops Here”. This means that I won’t blame other people for my situation. I will take responsibility for my actions.

We all need to take responsibility for our actions.

In Luke 16:1-13, Jesus tells His disciples a story about a manager for a rich man. The employee had been wasting the rich man’s money. The employee began passing the buck.

Jesus is preparing His disciples for when He is no longer around to watch over them. They will be responsible for sharing the message with the world accurately. He’s warning them that it will be easy to become weak and give in to worldly temptations.

 He was telling them to not PASS THE BUCK.

Like the man in the Scripture who is called to account for his actions, we too will be called to account for our actions. If you were called to heaven today, how would your accounting look?

Have you been a wise manager of your life?

Ten years ago, when I fell and hit my head, I was unconscious in the hospital for three days. While recovering, I asked myself this question. This was a point in my life when I became more intentional about living my life the way God had designed it.

Too often people go through life without seeking or finding their purpose. They meander through life without even looking for their purpose. Or they come up with their own worldly vision for what they want and go for that.

God is the creator of our lives. He has given each of us a purpose. Our lives were designed by Him.

We are given the choice of how we live. God doesn’t force us to live the life He designed.

Imagine a highly skilled architect that designs amazing homes. Everyone wants this architect to design their home. People are willing to wait years to get this designer.

Then, when you finally get to that long-awaited meeting, you hand the architect your own amateur plan. The one you drew on a napkin. Then you ask this master architect to simply approve your design.

This is how most people approach life.

Without any regard to the blueprint God has given us…we ask God to approve our design.

We need to step back and ask ourselves, are we doing the designing or are we building the life that God has designed for us?

At some point we are going to have to answer this question to God.

It’s a whole lot better if we ask ourselves now rather than waiting. If we ask now, then we can start remodeling our lives if need be.

No One Can Make Me Accountable but Me…So Why Aren’t I?

Well, that is the Ten Million Dollar Question, isn’t it?

God has a way of persistently putting things in front of us until we do something about it. That thing that continually shows up everywhere we turn, or that nagging voice in our head.

Accountability is that thing currently.

Just this past week accountability came up in a several different places.

In a mastermind that I’m in, there’s a weekly accountability and for several weeks my accountability hasn’t gotten done. This is unacceptable!

Another was in a digital marketing group that I’m part of. One of the participants suggested that I spend some money on social media marketing, because when she made that financial commitment, she got her webinar done.

What about the subcontractor who installed some ceiling tile several years ago? This past week some of the tiles were starting to come loose. It had been long enough that they could have refused to do anything about it. They didn’t bat an eye…they simply came and fixed it.

Or there’s the situation with, J&J Contracting, a painting subcontractor that is working on staining and finishing nine wood doors. He had the doors stained and sprayed the clear finish with a new spray gun. After the first coat was on, he noticed there were runs. He worked to sand them out…to no avail. He could have made excuses that it was the new spray guns fault, but he didn’t. He is going to spend a sizable amount of money to buy new doors to replace them.

This is what accountability looks like.

My proposal system needs the training that goes with it prepared before it’s ready to be marketed. This project has been dragging out for far too long. This is the mastermind accountability that I referred to earlier.

Why do we let ourselves avoid doing things we know we should do?

For me there are a few different reasons, all of which are in my control to do something about.

There’s fear – being afraid that we’re going to fail, we aren’t good enough, or it might cost too much. What about busy – I don’t have time to do that, it takes too long, and I already have these other things to do. Don’t forget uncertainty – I don’t know how to do that thing; it’s going to require me learning something new.

Now I’m going to start preaching to myself.

Several years ago, I wrote about filtering my life using my core values. There are a total of twelve different ones. I’ve written about all but three…one of those is being accountable. Guess what this post is about. 😊

Ultimately, my accountability is up to me. It is a choice.

It’s easy to put others ahead of myself. This makes my proposal system less important than construction projects…or does it? The question is, how many more contractors and customers could benefit from having my proposal system to use?

Just like in last week’s post about what my time is worth, I applied that new motivation to being more accountable. I ran the numbers and determined my time is currently worth $2.23 per minute or $133.80 per hour.

Looking forward my goal in seven years is to be grossing ten figures, that’s $10,000,000.00. Let’s play with some more math –

  • 224,640 work minutes each year
  • $10,000,000.00 divided by 224640 minutes means that each minute of the workday would be worth $44.52

This is going to get scary…

  • $44.52 x 5 minutes = $222.60
  • $44.52 x 15 minutes = $667.80
  • $44.52 x 30 minutes = $1,335.60
  • $44.52 x 60 minutes = $2,671.20

I told you it was going to be scary!

What does this mean? This means, for me to reach this goal – it’s up to me to get this proposal system out into the world, and this means…to get it out there, I have to get the training ready, this means…it’s up to me!

God has given me a specific purpose.

Bridge the gap between construction companies and customers by providing:

  • Businesses with systems and training to make their companies more efficient and profitable
  • Educating customers in what to expect throughout the entire construction process

Ultimately, it comes down to this…

I’m accountable to God.

What am I going to do about it?

P.S. I got the first draft of the Building a Better Proposal Workshop intro was done yesterday.

Here are the previous core value posts –

We Have a Responsibility to Be Who We’re Made to Be

Why It’s Important to Do “Whatever it Takes”

We’ve all heard people respond to a request with… “whatever” and a roll of the eyes. This is especially popular with kids when they don’t understand why the request has any significance in their life. It was such a common response by one of my daughters that one year for Christmas we got her a throw pillow with the word “Whatever” stitched on it.

The alternative response is… “whatever it takes”

This is a mission-oriented perspective. It gives us the drive to accomplish our specific purpose. In 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Paul explains his laser focus on doing whatever it takes to share the Message with everyone.

Getting this clarity of focus can be difficult. Too much of the time we go through life saying “whatever”. If we will take the time and effort to determine who we are and what we are here for, it becomes clear.

It’s easy to get sidetracked and off course. We can convince ourselves that we aren’t capable of doing that…look at all our weaknesses and flaws.   

We’re looking for perfect and it doesn’t exist this side of Heaven

Here is a Dear Abby letter that speaks to our unrealistic expectations:

Dear Abby: One of the toughest tasks a church faces is choosing a good minister. A member of an official board undergoing this painful process finally lost patience. He’d watched the pastoral relations committee reject applicant after applicant for some fault, alleged or otherwise. It was time for a bit of soul-searching on the part of the committee. So he stood up and read a letter purporting to be from another applicant.

“Gentlemen: Understanding your pulpit is vacant, I should like to apply for the position. I have many qualifications. I’ve been a preacher with much success and also have had some success as a writer. Some say I’m a good organizer. I’ve been a leader most places I’ve been.

“I’m over 50 years of age. I have never preached in one place for more than three years. In some places, I have left town after my work caused riots and disturbances. I must admit I have been in jail three or four times, but not because of any real wrongdoing.

“My health is not too good, though I still get a great deal done.

“I’ve not gotten along well with religious leaders in towns where I have preached. I am not too good at keeping records. I have been known to forget whom I baptized.

“However, if you can use me, I shall do my best for you.”

The board member looked over the committee. “Well, what do you think? Shall we call him?”

The good church folks were aghast. Call an unhealthy, trouble-making, absentminded ex-jailbird? Was the board member crazy? Who signed the application? Who has such colossal nerve?

The board member eyed them all keenly before he answered, “It’s signed, ‘the Apostle Paul.”‘

Persistence is the key to accomplishment.

Focus on the positive…not the negative and do whatever it takes to fulfill your mission. Paul was clear about his mission and pushed forward doing whatever it took. People with a mission that act on that mission, change the world.

Find your mission…DO WHATEVER IT TAKES…change the world!

The World Is Full of Opportunities

Uplifed hands full of twinkling lights




It’s Our Responsibility to Make the Most of Them



In our humanness we all feel inadequate. We don’t think we have what it takes to do that thing…whatever that thing for us is.

One of Rev. James Moore’s seminary responsibilities was a weekly visit to a hospital. One week he was asked to speak to Mrs. Davis who was scheduled for brain surgery the next morning. She didn’t want to be bothered, but in her condition and with the risky surgery the hospital felt that he should visit her anyway.


In his young, inexperienced, inadequate state, he didn’t think he could do it.

The hospital staff continued to push him until he finally went to pray with her. Things didn’t go so well; he opened the door too hard and it banged the wall, he kicked her bed as he walked around it and then when he started to pray with her…he didn’t know what to say. He stammered around as he prayed and finally after feeling like a complete failure, he left.

He went directly to his professor and told him that he wasn’t cut out for this work, he had just made a mess of things at the hospital and wanted to drop out. The professor said that he was too busy right then, to come back next week and they would talk.

When Rev. Moore went back for his regular scheduled time at the hospital, he was expecting bad news…but he found that Mrs. Davis was doing well. When he went to see her, she explained that last week before he came to her, she had given up. His visit had gone so poorly that she felt sorry for him and this compassion for him, had given her the will to live.

Rev. Moore went on to become a minister, author and leader who impacted thousands of lives.

We don’t have to be perfect; we don’t have to be good; we just have to be willing.


Faith is being willing to get up and go when God gives us opportunities. He doesn’t ask us to do things with talents that we don’t have. Believe in yourself and trust in God.


Who knows how many we can help if we will move forward in faith.

The Bulk of The Communication Responsibility Lies on The Contractor






How To Build A Better Proposal



Every contractor, at some time, has had an unhappy customer. This is almost always due to poor communication and/or a lack of understanding. It may have been some small misunderstanding or might have been major enough to result in being fired or going to court.

Several years ago, a partner and I were meeting 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 written proposal.

He asked if this was a problem. My partner told him no, 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 digging, the communication breakdown was uncovered.

The customer asked, “if it was a problem”. What he really was asking was…”is it going to cost more?”.

My partner’s response in reality was, “we can dig the additional 100’, but it will cost you three times as much as the allowance in the proposal”. This isn’t what was said.

Neither individual intended nor expected this to be a problem. It was a simple matter of misunderstanding…a lack of communication.

Communication is, …the exchange of information and the expression of feelings that result in understanding.



Understanding is the tricky part.

Why is it that contractors don’t communicate clearly through concise written proposals to customers? Here are the four main reasons for this:

First is time – It takes more time to prepare a detailed written proposal. We’re already so busy that we can’t keep up and with the limited time we have, we aren’t going to spend it on preparing a proposal.

Second is comfort – I started this company because I loved to build, plumb, wire, pour concrete, roof, etc., etc. The trade is what I know, and I don’t like doing paperwork, I want to go swing a hammer.

Third is knowledge – It’s hard to know how long something is going to take or how much material is going to cost. If I give the customer an approximate price or even better if I can just get paid for time and material, I know I won’t lose any money.

Fourth is no system – When we started the company, no one ever explained the importance of having a business system in place. A business system is the blueprint for building your business. Detailed proposals are one of the foundational pieces needed to keep it from collapsing.

These are four valid reasons for avoiding doing proposals, but…

The cost of not preparing detailed proposals, is far more expensive.

The customer also has some responsibility in preventing construction projects from falling apart and the high cost of poor communication. This whole construction process is overwhelming to most customers and they need to know what should be included in the communication

But the customer isn’t an experienced contractor that does this for a living.

If only there was a process for doing proposals that:

  • Saved time.
  • Could be done by office staff.
  • Didn’t require a four-year degree or twenty years of on the job training.
  • Included all the necessary parts and pieces

What if I told you that there is such a system and you could have it? There is and it’s going to become available in the next few months. Over the next several weeks we are going to breakdown the system, go through the different documents and processes in detail and explain how it works.

Remember that we are the professionals and the bulk of the communication responsibility lies on us.

What Does the Customer’s Piece of The Etiquette Puzzle Look Like?

You Have A Responsibility in This Process Too

The last two Weekly Solutions have been about the missing pieces of the etiquette puzzle, mostly from a business perspective. Today we are going to look at the customer’s responsibility in this.

The customer’s piece isn’t much different from that of the contractor’s.

Customer etiquette to the contractor:

  • Clear vision of the finished project –

Know what you want. This is less about the specifics and more about what you hope to accomplish with the project. A good contractor will guide you through the process of turning your dream into a reality, but you need to know what that dream is.

  • Clear communication –

All good relationships require input from everyone. This starts with clear communication. Be as clear as possible when you share your vision with your contractor. Find pictures of ideas, designs, finishes, color, etc. that you like and share them with your contractor.

  • Ask questions –

If you don’t understand something about the project, ask. This is part of the communication process. Contractors aren’t mind readers. Because they do this work daily, they forget that the customer doesn’t. This can lead to unspoken assumptions by both parties.

  • Share any specific requests –

If there are things that the contractor needs to be aware of while working on your project, i.e. parking, doors to use, thermostat settings, pet arrangements, etc. let your contractor know.

  • Have the job site ready for work to begin –

Unless the agreement with your contractor includes moving furniture, decorations, etc. you should have this done before the crews show up to start work.

  • Treat the contractor the way you want to be treated –

Just because you hired your contractor to do the work doesn’t mean they are machines or slaves. They are people just like you. Treat them with the respect that they deserve.

 Last week I shared Stefaney Rants’ blog post, Construction Etiquette. In it she points out customer’s etiquette to neighbors.

  • Inform your neighbors of what is being done and when.  Give them a week’s notice (which is realistic since construction schedules are often hard to nail down) in the form of a letter or informing them in person.
  • Let them know what portion of the property/house is having work done so the neighbors can prepare themselves.  They might need to move their outdoor furniture because of traveling sawdust or can’t leave their pets outside with the loud noise from the equipment.
  • Reassure them their parking spots won’t be blocked if possible and their landscaping won’t be trampled.  It’s also a good idea to suggest they park their cars in their garage in case debris flies around.
  • Offer to give them a tour when the construction is completed.  Everyone loves a good before/after reveal!

I’d never thought about this. It makes sense, this is the way that I would like to be treated if I were your neighbor.

As a contractor I hadn’t thought much about the customer’s responsibility in this. I have always approached etiquette as it being my duty. It makes sense that we each approach things from our own point of view. Problems arise when we forget to consider other’s ideas, wishes and dreams.

How Do You Make Your Dream Become A Reality?

It’s A Choice You Make…Or Not!

It doesn’t matter if you’re dreaming about building a new home, a successful business or a great life, you have to choose to make them a reality. The importance of intentionality to dreams is critical to the outcome.

This week I’ve been working on finalizing the proposal for my niece Hannah’s out of the box home. This is the dream house that is going to be built using salvaged grain bins and some conventional construction. We began discussing this project a year ago. Some will think that’s taking too long. It’s important to realize that dreams don’t magically become a reality overnight. Dream building is a process that requires time.

There are 5 things needed when choosing to turn a dream into a reality:

1st you need to realize that it’s your responsibility. You’re responsible for your dreams becoming a reality. This doesn’t mean that crazy unrealistic dreams will happen (see needs 2 and 3). On the other hand too often we let our own limiting beliefs keep our dreams from becoming a reality. You are the only one who can control your own thoughts. Our thinking dictates our decisions and we are where we are because of those decisions…good or bad.

2nd you need clarity of purpose. I believe our dreams are one of the ways God tells us what His plans are for our lives. If we believe what it says in Jeremiah 29:11, “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” If our dreams are in alignment with God’s plans, then there is no reason they shouldn’t become a reality. God will move mountains to make our dreams real. It’s up to us to be ready to move ourselves.


3rd you need guidance. Often when building dreams, we are going into unfamiliar territory. Whether it’s building your first home or starting a new business, you probably won’t have the experience or knowledge needed. Dream building can be a lot safer and more fun if you have an experienced guide. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t go climb a mountain with out a guide that had been there and done that.

4th you need to act. A dream won’t just build itself, it requires action. This is one of the scariest things about turning dreams into reality. People generally approach action in one of two ways. Either they jump right in without thinking or they don’t do anything while over thinking it. Experienced guidance can help balance these opposing positions and help you to move forward with your dream while minimizing disasters. When faced with doing nothing or doing something you better choose to act if you ever want your dream to become a reality.

5th you need to persist. I think this is the most important one. If you ever hope to get your dream built you will need persistence. There will be disappointments that will cause you to want to quit. There will be times when you are so tired you don’t think you can do one more thing. You can begin to convince yourself that it wasn’t real…it was just a dream. This is the point where most dreams die. Somehow successful people continue moving forward when others quit. Sometimes God see’s fit to give us a wakeup call.

As Hannah and I work together to build this project it will be the building of two dreams, both hers and mine. We will each take RESPONSIBILITY for our part. We will continue sorting things out and finding the CLARITY for the dream. We will accept and give GUIDANCE when and where needed. We will intentionally ACT to keep moving closer to the completion of those dreams. Above all we choose to PERSIST and never quit until our dreams become reality.

If you or someone you know needs help finding solutions for building dreams, contact us in the comment section below.

The Ultimate Gift Card, Be Sure to Use It

We know that God loves us, but can we understand how much? How much He really, really loves us? I mean think about it.

He gave everything for us. He left the peace and comfort of His home in heaven for us. He suffered for us. He died…for us. THIS IS LOVE!They Will Know I Love Them Because…”

When reading Luke 3:1-6 previously, I read the making roads straight and the leveling of mountains and filling the valleys, but didn’t make the connection that it is my responsibility. My responsibility to, “be baptized… Prepare the way for the Lord.” I’m the one that is supposed to move mountains and fill valleys.

But do I have what it takes? Yes I can do this! All things are possible through the Lord, Mark 9:23, Luke 18:27, Isaiah 41:4. We just need to believe and do our part. Satin wants us to think that it’s too big for us to do. This keeps us from doing our part. If we will ignore him and work together we can move mountains with our little shovels.

There are a lot of gift cards given this time of the year. These can be great gifts…if they’re used. Not so much, if they aren’t. There is $44,000,000,000.00 worth (yes that’s billion) of unused gift cards since 2008. The average household has $300 worth lying around. These pieces of plastic aren’t much value if they aren’t used. The same is true with the spiritual “Gift Card” we have been given. If we don’t use it, it will go to waste.

They “Will Know I Love Them Because…” of the “Gift Card” given. Don’t leave your “Gift Card” lying around unused.

Delegating – The Thing I Suck at Most of All

And What I Need to Do to Get Better at It


Okay, today’s confession. I really am not good at delegating. This is something that I have always struggled with. Even though I know that I need to…I don’t. I try. I come up with new ideas and plans and nothing seems to work. I just suck at delegating.

As much as I see and hear about this and was able to find on the internet, it is evident that I’m not the only person with this issue. So, the question is, what am I going to do about it?

I have been searching to see if I can figure out what I’m doing wrong. The conclusion that I’ve reached is that I expect excellence from myself, so subsequently I expect it from everyone else. I don’t think this is asking too much from people who are doing work that I am responsible for. The problem is that I assume everyone already knows what that level of quality looks like without any explanation or training. While visiting with one of my sub-contractors recently and he thought that it was expecting too much for other people to perform at that level. I don’t believe that.

I do believe that even though I may not have been born with the delegating gene, I can still acquire it. I need a delegation transfusion. To get better I must learn more, practice more and do more.


The importance of delegation is supported biblically and by professional leaders. It’s just common-sense that a team of people can do more than one person. My understanding of the need for delegation is nothing new. I know that for me to achieve the things that I’ve been put here for, I’m going to need help. The key to delegating is in the leadership. I need to be a better leader.


There are a lot of things that I need to do to be a better delegator, but starting out I’m going to focus on these things:

  • Explanation – to everybody that I give responsibility to. This includes assistants, coordinators, managers, contract labor, sub-contractors, suppliers, associates, anybody that I expect to do anything. This needs to involve big picture overview clear down to the smallest detail. If I’m going to expect excellence I need to explain what that looks like. This doesn’t mean that my way of doing it is the only way. It just means that the expectations need to be set and explained clearly.
  • Hiring – the right people for the right positions. This is one of those things that to be done right takes some intentional planning and will be an extensive, time consuming process. I’m sure you’ve heard it said that it’s just quicker if I do it myself. This is a very short-sighted attitude and one that I have used too much. When I’m busily trying to get everything done I fall into this narrow-minded trap. A good example of hiring is found at Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeaders’ Best Hiring Practices.
  • Training – the process of asking and answering questions. I’ve never been a great teacher. Not only is this bad for long-term plans, it isn’t fair to those people whom I’ve delegated to. One of the things that I came across while researching delegating was the benefit to those being trained. The possibility to grow and expand. It occurred to me that this is an opportunity for me to serve them.

Being overwhelmed is a common and self-inflicted state of existence. Trying to keep all those plates spinning can make us dizzy.


Share your best or worst delegating examples or delegating questions in the comment section below.