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CB INFLUENCERS: Get Addicted to Winning

Jan. 1, 2024
A culture of winning is celebrating small accomplishments.

Get Addicted to Winning

"No, you can't do it."

This was my personal trainer’s response to my question last January, “Can I lose 15 pounds by March?” She was so confident in her ‘No, it can’t be done’ comment that I couldn’t help but ask, why? 

“Because, I know you, you eat too much cake,” was her conclusive answer. She seemed to know that I wasn’t ready to accept where I was and take the necessary steps to make that kind of change.

Who in your business knows you well enough to give an honest answer about your goals? Perhaps your service manager, business partner or spouse? Who watches you fumble over setting goals each year, only to miss them in the end?  

Did you win in 2023? If you soared past your goals and swam in profits you’re either the top 10% or a liar. With the majority of home service companies reporting a significant loss, as much as 15-30%, it proved to be a less than favorable year. 

So, what do we do about it?  

As my trainer predicted, the months rolled past and I did not lose 15 pounds by March. I didn’t even lose an ounce because I hadn’t accepted the truth of my situation. 

I sat in my failure through April, May, June…and then July came. 

The Power of Acceptance

In July, I don’t know why, but I started to change.  

The voice of Ted Miller III rang in my ear, “Step 3 in creating lasting change, is acceptance.” I’d heard it a thousand times before, but out of his 7-step process, he repeated, “You can’t hit your goals and create lasting change, you can’t get to step 7, until you’ve mastered step 3.”  

Reluctantly, I stepped on the scale and looked at the truth. I wanted to fudge the number like I’d done so many times before. Does it have to be the exact pound? Do we have to be totally honest about our cashflow, our overhead, our spending habits? Acceptance says we do.  

I grabbed a permanent marker and wrote the date on my bathroom mirror then hesitantly, I wrote the exact truth. I accepted my weight on that day and wrote it on the mirror for everyone in my household to see. 

I told no one of my grand plans to lose weight. Instead, I took baby steps and attempted to lose 1 pound every week. I strived only for continual improvement, one step at a time. 

Every Monday at noon, I weighed myself and wrote the new weight on the mirror. Soon, losing a pound a week not only became easy, but it also became addictive. The dopamine, that feel-good chemical in our brains, continued to release, and I was winning.

Year after year, why do we look at the history of revenue and proclaim to our teams, our families, and the world that we’re going to grow our businesses by 10-20%? We say it’s going to be the best year ever, only to feel like a failure at the end of the first quarter when we’re not on track. 

Instead, why not accept the reality of where you are today? 

Make the numbers visible so your team knows where they stand - example, daily truck volume, average service tickets, etc. Identify where you are today and then manage the activities that it takes to get the outcome you want. Step by step, you could watch the average ticket go from $268 to $280. Then enjoy the dopamine as your culture begins to shift into a culture of winning. 

A culture of winning is celebrating small accomplishments. It may start 1 pound at a time, then 17 pounds later you’re on your way to big success. 

Danielle Putnam is President of The New Flat Rate. She is one of our 2024 team of Contracting Business Influencers, a new CB initiative as as we live up to our reputation as the leader in HVACR business management publishing.