Be More Like the First Son

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

In Matthew 21:28-32 is a story about a man and his two sons. The man said to his sons, “Go work in my vineyards”. The first son said he wouldn’t go, but then later he changed his mind and went. The second son said he would go, but never did.

Which of these sons obeyed his father?

I would say that neither really did. It is evident that the son that actually went to the vineyard was at least honoring his father’s wishes. In the second part of the story, verses 31-32, Jesus makes a point about our eternal life.

I think this story is also important for the here and now.

Saying one thing and then doing something else is way too common. Sometimes it can be a simple misunderstanding, but more times than not it’s simply lying. We say things that people want to hear rather than the truth.

Not telling lies is one of the Ten Commandments, not to mention several other Scriptures expressing how God feels about lying. When we say one thing and then do something else, it’s a lie.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

This is especially hard for people with a servant’s heart. We want to do everything we can for everyone. Saying no is one of the hardest things there is to do.

Trying to do everything for everyone leads to doing less things well for fewer people. Trying to do more than you have time for will lead to corner cutting and poor quality.

Both sons in this story lied to their father. Who knows why neither one just said what they meant.  The first son’s actions at least spoke louder than his words. So, if you’re going to do one or the other…

Be more like the first son.

How Important Are the Words We Use to the Clarity of Our Message?

I Would Really Like an Answer to This Question!

I’ve written about the importance of providing clear communication with customers through construction proposals in previous posts. Here are a few of them:

            The Bulk of the Communication Responsibility Lies on the Contractor

            How to Build a Better Proposal

            An Overview of the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal

            How to Make Sure You Don’t Overlook Something

            How to Prepare a Scope of Work for a Construction Project

            How to Price a Construction Project Proposal

            How to Put the Pieces of the Construction Proposal Together

We’re currently working on a free downloadable document to help construction contractors avoid common mistakes made when giving customers a price for doing a construction project. I’ve employed the help of some professional digital markers to help me with this. The question that I have has to do with the words used.

I have a first draft written by one of them based on some of my previous writing. At first read I loved it. Then I began to wonder if it was too much for contractors. Will they understand it? As we have continued to work through the digital marketing process it was discussed with others. In every instance there were suggested changes.

Now I’m more confused than ever.

I know that I tend to make things more difficult than they need to be so…I thought I would put a couple of side by side excerpts from the draft and some of the suggestions and let you tell me which you think is clearer and more understandable from a contractor’s perspective…or if I’m once again making this too complicated.


Excerpt 1A:

The 7 Mistakes Contractors Make That Cost Them a Fortune — and How to Avoid Them.

While a lot of construction businesses are really great at providing good services, they get hamstrung by the business side of things.

If you’re like most small to medium sized construction companies, you learned a specific craft that you like doing – and at some point, you decided to start your own business.

If you’re like me, you probably got into this because you’re good at building things…not because you felt like you needed to be an expert in business. In fact, I believe as a contractor you shouldn’t need to get a masters in business to do good work – or have a thriving business that you love.


Excerpt 1B:

The 7 Mistakes Most Contractors Make When Doing Construction Proposals — and How to Avoid Them.

While a lot of construction companies are great at “constructing”, they’re overwhelmed by the business side of things.

If you’re like most small to medium sized construction companies, you learned a construction trade that you like doing – and at some point, decided to start your own business.

If you’re like me, you probably got into this because you like building things…not necessarily to run a business. In fact, I believe as a contractor you shouldn’t need a master’s degree in business to be successful.

Excerpt 2A:

#1: Your customers lack clarity

Confusion is your number one enemy. Crystal clear communication with your customers is critical to your success. And that might sound like a no brainer, or that it’s easier said than done…but this is the biggest failing point in most construction businesses.


Excerpt 2B:

#1: Your customers lack clarity

Confusion is your number one enemy. Crystal clear communication with your customers is critical to your success. That might sound like a no brainer…but this is the point at which most construction businesses fail.

I realize that not all of you who will read this are contractors. That’s okay, I would still appreciate your input in the comments below. If you know some contractors, please forward this to them so that they can give me their perspective.

Any and all feedback will be helpful!

Thanks!