Being Intentional in Your Construction Business
Being Intentional – the question
Martin Holsinger, owner of Protractor Podcast and an Internet Marketing Agency recently asked on a social media platform, “What is the one thing you want to be more intentional about this year as we move into spring?”
There were a number of good responses. I contributed an answer. Thought about it some more and added an additional reply. Then, I thought about it even more.
Holsinger’s original question included these words, “the one thing.” So, why was it that I responded twice? Perhaps I had missed the importance of the word “one.” Sorry, Martin. 😔
Being Intentional – the explanation
So, I went on with the thinking, what does “intentional” really mean? I thought I knew. But, as these things go, I wanted to make sure I really knew. And, being the good little researcher I am, I went looking for the answer. You might suppose I would simply pick up the dictionary and put an end to the mindful debate.
I went straight to the people’s choice, my friend (?) google. There were a number of people speaking on the subject. And, if those tallies at the top of the google search page were real, more people had something to say on the subject than I had time to read.
Still, being intentional about my quest, I gleaned a few things which clarified the subject for me. When you set out to be intentional these are the three things which make a difference:
- Have a clear understanding of your purpose
- Focus on what matters
- Take action
With that in mind, I recalled a real-life example I encountered last week.
I was invited to meet for dinner at a happy little pizza joint that is a central location for me and a few friends. We’ve met there before. The promise and the expectation was good food, good laughs, and a good time had by all. While all those expectations were met (eventually) the problem arose in the journey.
And, isn’t that where all problems in our lives as well as in our businesses arise – on the journey?
Only a few miles from home, on the path I usually take to the pizza joint, I discovered the once 4-lane road had been reduced to a 2-lane road.
There were signs. Road Work Ahead. Single Lane Ahead. Merge Right.
The signs are there for us to read as we travel with intention.
No problem. I had given myself a padded time-frame for getting to my destination because . . . well, you never know when there may be a problem (like road construction) to slow you down.
Then, at the corner where I normally turn left the sign was simple. No Left Turn.
No matter how well we plan there will be obstacles and signs which thwart us on our journey.
Again, no problem. I knew of another street ahead where I could turn left and still get to where I wanted to go.
Except the same sign appeared on that street corner too. No Left Turn.
Often on the path to overcoming an obstacle, more obstacles appear.
And, as far as I could see ahead of me were those nasty little orange and white traffic safety cones. Far be it from me to fuss about construction. Yet, I may as well admit, sometimes far is pretty close.
Zinging around in my law-abiding-mind is the recollection of the traffic ticket someone close to me recently received for (yep, of all things) turning left at an under-construction intersection which had an all too visible sign – No Left Turn. Adding to that zinging is my consternation concerning the many happy (or unhappy) travelers who would be trapped behind me if I determined to break the law and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so I could safely make the illegal left turn. Safety first, you know. 😉
While we’re on the go we must make quick decisions which affect others around us.
Turning right on a leftward journey
So? So, rather than wait to see if one more street corner had a nasty little stop-her-from-getting-where-she-wants-to-go No Left Turn sign, I flipped the turn signal to the right. After making a few jogs in the neighborhood, I was now driving straight down the street denied me by the No Left Turn boondoggle of stupid signs.
Occasionally we must make moves which will right the path even when they seem counter-intuitive. I mean, who turns right when their destination is toward the left?
Like I said, I eventually got to my destination, met my friends, talked, listened, laughed, ate pizza, and set off to return home. As I began the journey home, I made the decision to follow a different route in order to avoid the construction zone which had slowed me earlier in the evening.
Learning from the problems and obstacles which pop up on our journey is wise.
Having determined the route I would take home, I put the car in gear and headed out. All went well. That is, all went well until I noticed the amber light set to the side of the road. The intersection at which I would turn left on my journey home was narrowed to one lane and no left turns would be allowed.
Having a sense of humor is paramount to owning a business. Sometimes, no matter how well intentioned you are, road construction is going to mess with your mind and your journey.
Being Intentional in your construction business
To be intentional is to knowingly choose your direction. Where do you want to arrive next year at this time? What about next month? The following list will give you ideas concerning areas where you might need to increase your focus and intention.
- Do you need to improve your construction company’s safety rating?
- Is it time to be certain you are making a profit?
- Is presenting yourself professionally an area where you need to improve?
- Do you need to be better with your people management and delegating skills?
- Is now the time to get a firm grip on which construction related technology will serve your business best?
- Will you need to learn how to better evaluate the risks associated with each potential project?
You get the idea. Determine where you need to be more intentional. Then you’ll be able to focus on what matters. Now, take action.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard
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