As we enter the final month of 2019, I am again amazed at how time continues to fly by. The end of the year is a month away and the books will close and the report cards will be issued. How well did I do? Not just in my business, but in all the orange Homer buckets that hold my life? Work, family, health, finance, etc.
I want to get a head start on closing out the year by getting back on track with the goals and habits that I started the year trying to do, but why is it so damn hard? I know if I don’t hit the new year with momentum, the odds of following through with new year’s resolutions will be slim to none.
I found that setting goals and targets as a general contractor is difficult. I have ledgers full of lofty and imaginary sales goals and growth charts, but have yet figured out a way to stay on target consistently. I know I can’t hit something that I am not aiming for, yet somehow, I think I will find success without this basic discipline. Instead, I drift from project to project, waiting for the winds of chance to bring in my next customer or opportunity. I spend most of my days putting out fires, trying to survive the day and get through another week, which turns into a month and eventually a year. Somehow I find a way to pay the bills, complete a few good projects for the portfolio, make a couple new happy clients and even stash away a few dollars under the mattress.
But I want more!!! Do you?
2020 is a few weeks away and maybe if I share my targets, it might help keep me a little more accountable. So when you see me at the Natick Home Depot some Monday morning you can ask me how it’s going. Oh, and maybe it will help a few of you too.
My sales goal for 2020 is to exceed my 2019 sales by 100%. Yes, that’s not a typo and the reason being, is that I have a possible opportunity in the pipeline for 2020 that could make this happen and If I get the project then it will double my sales from 2019, so I have simply made it my goal. Bear in mind that I have always been a swing for the fences kind of guy. It was 20 years ago in 1999 when I lead all of professional baseball in strikeouts! All or nothing baby!
In the residential remodeling and construction business, sales increases or decreases, year to year by 10% or less, are basically keeping your business at status quo. This business requires massive growth in order to keep you on your toes and constantly challenged. I believe in the adage that you are either growing or dying and since I do not want to do the former, I should attack the ladder with all my might. Shoot for 25% or more! Now that’s exciting and interesting. I’ve committed to put this goal on my whiteboard and stare at it every day and encourage you to do the same. You and I as business owners are solely responsible to keep our eyes on our targets and work every day in order to achieve them.
Ask anyone who has millions of dollars in the bank and a cabin on a lake, but has lost their health and they will tell you that they would gladly trade it all to be well again. I often forget this and take my health for granted EVERY DAY and feel tremendous guilt, when I am reminded of how lucky and blessed I am to have it. I know I can speak for most contractors when I say that we eat too much fast food, drink way too much and get little to no exercise. Most of us are just a heart attack in a box.
I wish I was “that guy” that got up every day at 4:30 and hit the gym and looked like the Rock or Mark Wahlburg, but the truth is that I have NEVER been able to stay on a consistent exercise or diet plan my entire life. I WISH I was that guy, but I’m not and no matter how many times I create my ideal day and diet plan in my f’n notebook I just can’t make it stick. Why???? Because I’m not an athlete anymore or a model for Abercrombie and Fitch and my concrete sub screwed up the pour on Friday, I got in a fight with my wife for the 3rd time this week, my office is a disaster, my kids don’t listen to me, so I drank scotch and binged 3 episodes of Jack Ryan and fell asleep on the couch and I don’t feel like working out today! That’s why!
Here’s what I WISH I could do consistently for my health
- Exercise at least 30 min a day, preferably in the morning
- Cut waaaaaaaaaay back on fast food, sugar and booze
- Loose 25 lbs
- Go to bed at a decent hour
- Someday complete a triathlon- ya, I know I’m a dreamer
Beyond my business and personal health goals I want to be a better father and husband in 2020. I’ve been a husband for 21 years, a father for 17 years and a contractor for 18 and some days I feel like I have no clue how do any of it. Everything is always changing, including myself and I just can’t keep up some days. I blinked and my kids grew up and suddenly I feel old. I know I’m in a new chapter in my life, but I’m just not sure what chapter it is.
Trying to juggle running a construction business and a family is a difficult task and just when I think I’ve got a plan or a system that works, something changes and it’s back to the fetal position, sucking my thumb under the covers. Nevertheless, just like my lofty business and exercise goals for 2020, I want to try to be the kind of husband and father my family deserves, by continuing to fight and claw my way forward in this world and keep showing up and giving it my all. At least that’s the idea.
Please share your comments as well as your goals and targets for yourself and your business for 2020.
Nathan Dishington of Jensen Hus is Design Build Contractor in the Boston area specializing in contemporary building and remodeling projects and dolling out occasional, marginal advice for homeowners and contractors looking to grow themselves and their businesses [email protected]