If you have school age children, you probably worry about peer pressure. You know it can be a constructive or destructive force, so you try to involve your children in activities and groups that reinforce positive traits and bring out the best in your kids. What about you? Do you try to involve yourself in groups that reinforce positive traits and bring out the best in you?
Human beings are fundamentally social creatures. We have a clan mentality. It’s instinctive. It’s primal. We draw energy and support from others. This need for a group manifests itself formally in the family unit, in our churches, in clubs, in associations, and in peer groups. It occurs informally in circles of friends. Social media has become a phenomenon because it taps into this need for group affiliation and interaction.
The people you associate with can boost you up, encourage greater performance, reinforce achievement, or they can pull you down, hold you back, and bring out the worst. Associating with positive people will cause you to look at more successful people with an eye towards emulation. They cause you to wonder how you can be more like them, how you can achieve their success. Theirs is a world of boundless opportunities.
Negative people arouse envy and resentment. They cause you to think more successful people must have cheated or had special breaks. They live in a dark, dreary, world constrained by unlimited limits.
The people you associate with and the groups you join are important. You tend to absorb the attitudes and outlooks of those around you. What can you do about it? Here are six ways to tap into the positive power of groups.
HVAC Comfortech is a group of top contractors that forms annually for a week. Comfortech inherently attracts successful contractors. The contractors who are asked to speak are those who have attained success and expertise. Other successful contractors come to hear what they have to say. They want to learn from the best. When you attend Comfortech, you get to hang around with these people. You can learn from them. You can learn how they became successful.
Many contractors attend Comfortech year after year. I’ve personally attended every Comfortech since its inception. I’ve attended every Comfortech Road Show as well. People come back because there’s always more to learn and because it’s impossible to match the boost to morale, outlook, and motivation that comes from interacting with so many successful contractors.
Join a Service Club
Service clubs, like Rotary, Lion’s, Optimist, and Kiwanis, are comprised on community leaders and centers of influence. They are successful people from every walk of professional life who are committed to upholding high standards of behavior and giving back to the community. Associating with these people will bring out the best in you.
Moreover, the people in service clubs are referral machines. They know people. People trust them. If you’re in their service club, expect lots of referrals over time.
Every service club has a website, even if it’s little more than an out-of-date page with contact information. Express interest and you will assuredly receive an invitation to visit. Try several and apply to the one you feel best about.
Join a Networking Group
Empowered by the communications efficiency of the Internet, networking groups seem to be popping up all over. Networking groups are collections of businesspeople who get together purely for the purpose of spreading word about their businesses and learning about others. They’ll help you find people you want to do business with, share ideas from parallel industries with you that you can apply to HVAC, and refer business to you.
Negative, zero sum game thinkers don’t join networking groups. They think they’re a waste of time.
You can find networking groups by doing a simple Internet search. You can also check with the Chamber of Commerce (also a networking group). Many chambers maintain a list of groups in their area.
Join a Trade Association
Joining a national trade association is worthwhile because it gives you a voice in Washington, where mischief makers make mischief. However, it’s the local associations where the rubber meets the road. These are your peers. Generally, the best contractors in the community will support the local association. Rub shoulders with them. Find out what they’re doing. Don’t be surprised when they open up. Successful people do not fear the success of others, even competitors. They know business is not a zero sum game. Your good fortune need not come at their expense.
Local trade association chapters attract the envious as well as the emulators. This is healthy if the envious surrounded by positive contractors and converted. Be careful that you do not get surrounded by negative contractors and converted to envy.
You can find a local trade association through an Internet search. If that doesn’t work, ask your suppliers. Usually, suppliers are heavily involved and supportive of their local trade associations.
Join a Business Alliance
Alliances are not for everyone. However, they are organizations focused on business improvement and best practices. Some are extremely affordable. Others require the same investment you might make for a service truck. Some are business focused. Others are technical. Explore the different alliances to see if one is good for you. Many contractors belong to more than one. As you explore them, be aware that some have territorial limitations that might preclude your ability to join.
Join a Professional Accountability Group
Accountability groups are intimate groups of contractors who share everything. Contractors in accountability groups share goals and objectives. They share results. They share successes and failures. Sometimes they troubleshoot each other’s problems. Sometimes they simply listen. It helps to unload to someone who knows where you’re coming from and can understand. Contractors benefit from accountability groups regardless of size, from start-ups to eight figure machines.
Accountability groups are offered by trade associations and by some of the alliances. Some groups exist independently of an association or alliance structure. A group of contractors got together at HVAC Comfortech or a similar venue and formed their own accountability group.
Associate with the right group and your entire outlook will brighten. Your insurmountable problems will shrink. Your performance will improve. I guarantee it.
For information about the Service Roundtable, HVAC’s largest and most affordable business alliance, or for information about the Service Nation Alliance, the industry’s independent best practices group, call toll free 877.262.3341.