Tag: business

This is a business article I wrote several years ago. No hard hitting tech tips but I still hope you find it beneficial.


“What would you do if you had a time machine.” It’s a question that came up at least 17 times in your first week of 6th grade, answered with the typical “Kill Hitler” and “See dinosaurs” answers. It can be more than a juvenile question if you apply it to your business.

So. Time machine. What would you do?

The rules are that you only get to go back 10 years and in this time machine you can only go back and give yourself business advice. No stock picking or lottery numbers you cheater! that would destroy the space-time continuum!

I wouldn’t go back and instill new skills. Skills can only be developed over time and no amount of information can make you better at something when you don’t have the hours at the grindstone.  I wouldn’t even try to prevent myself from making mistakes, as they are the catalysts for growth in the business.

 

So here are the things I would encourage myself to do differently if I could go back 10 years.  

 

Stop working in isolation

When I first started in business I kept my head down and worked. It made sense to me; there was so much to do and very few people to help me. What I didn’t understand at the time was that insulating myself caused me to become unproductive over time and helped to maintain the false reality that I was the only person willing and able to get the work done.

Over the past years, a wealth of experienced, trustworthy advisors have helped me develop and challenge my thinking in ways that I wouldn’t have imagined in my early days. Resources like business courses, mentorships and mastermind groups have allowed me to see how other people have solved my very same problems.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that “Doing the work” is critical, but it’s easy to get stuck there when you’re a one-person band. Make sure you are building in support right from the get-go.

 

Open up to possibilities

The idea of specialization was strong in me when I first started. I wanted to be clear on what I/we did and DID NOT do so that I wouldn’t lose focus. It’s interesting because in general this trait is a good thing, but the way I practiced it was shutting down opportunities before they even had a chance to take root.

“Don’t respond with negativity.” Your eyes may have just glazed over,  but that was me. My response was always “My concern is…” or “That can’t work because…” Choose responses like “That sounds very interesting” and “Tell me more about that”. By allowing the conversation to proceed without adding in negative comments I have found that we get great opportunities without over-committing.  

 

Stop Being Defensive

I used to be DEFENSIVE about my business. I took every comment and criticism to heart. I still struggle with this, but it helps to know that most people react based on what’s going on inside of them. People are generally not aware of their own “why” let alone yours, and in most cases, they won’t even listen if you tell them. Let them criticize. Respond with an “I can see where you’re coming from,” and let it go.

If I am less concerned about “What I did wrong” and instead I focus on the relationship with the other person: how I can be present with them, serve them, and learn from them. Show you care about a person more than defending yourself, and there is a much better chance that a negative experience turns positive.

At the end of the day, if something doesn’t work out, I know two things: brushing over an offense is almost never as bad as my defensive self would want me to believe it will be, and not correcting the other person will at minimum work out better than if I had let my defensive self “HANDLE” the situation.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently in your career?  

You may not know this, but the HVAC School podcast began before the website. When I started the podcast I never intended to create a website but there was more demand for quick tech tips than the podcast could hold so we started hvacrschool.com

In the same way, I never set out to create a podcast network but here we are. I find that there are more topics than I can fit into one site or podcast so the Blue Collar Roots Network is born to allow other really smart people do what they do best. You can still hear the HVAC School podcast in all the usual spots and it will publish just as often, with all the same great types of HVAC/R training topics, but here are some new options for you.

Building HVAC science is a podcast by Trutech Tool CEO Bill Spohn. The show covers building diagnosis, test and balance, advanced measurement, design and many other important topics to the trade. The latest episode is on IAQ and you can listen HERE. You can also listen and subscribe here.

Service Business Mastery is an in-depth look at what it takes to run a successful service business by successful business owners and managers. The latest episode is on dealing with negative reviews online. You can also listen and subscribe here.

The Tools Pros podcast goes deep into all of the tools of the trade with honest reviews, as well as general discussion about uses and applications for tools. The latest episode is on tool bags and vehicle organization. You can also listen and subscribe here. 

 

— Bryan

 

Scroll to top
Translate »

Daily Tech Tip

Get the (near) daily Tech Tip email right in your inbox!
Email address
Name