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The Entrepreneur's Path: A Statement and Three Questions

Carpentry - Hard Work - Achieve Video

Let’s start with a statement:

An entrepreneur spends the early part of their career being desperately underpaid, so that if they get it right, they can spend the rest of their career being wildly overpaid.

Sounds good doesn’t it? You trade some years being desperately underpaid for being overpaid the rest of the way. But, I bet you noticed there’s a big ‘if’ in that sentence: If you get it right. That’s the hinge on which this home improvement entrepreneur thing swings and it’s a big one. The road is littered with the wrecked dreams of those who started down the path but didn’t get it right. Yet there are plenty who have made it and are making it today (perhaps you’re one of them). So something is setting apart those who make it from those who don’t – and I’m going say right now that ‘something’ isn’t just luck, circumstances, or more hard work.

Last week, we said that an entrepreneur creates their own structure because no one provides it for them. We have to create our life and business so that it works. That means that our business is a jobsite. Like building a house, installing an HVAC system, putting a new roof on – our business is something we are building. This is the critical paradigm shift for the home improvement contractor to make, the Transition from ‘I Do The Work’ to ’I Build The Business That Does the Work.’

Let’s think about our business like any other jobsite for a second: first we look at the problem (where you are), then envision the solution (what you want), and finally make a plan to get it done (how to get there).

So, here are three questions to ask yourself and ask often:
Where am I?
What do I want?
How do I get there?

We’ll go in greater depth on each of these questions down the road, but let’s sketch them out here:
Where am I? –  That’s all about Honest Self-Assessment.
What do I want? – Is about Burning Desire and Clear Goals.
How do I get there?  – Is about having a Plan and plenty of Grit.

What happens if we don’t ask those questions when we’re on the job? The homeowner comes to us and says, “I’m not happy with the work that you did.” Don’t believe me? Let’s say you’re building cabinets for a kitchen remodel. You come in, eyeball where the cabinets are going to go, guess the measurements and leave – that’s not an honest assessment of the problem now is it? You can guess what happens next in this little scenario: You either end up doing the work over – and do it right – or you lose the job.

So, what are you going to do instead? Do it right the first time.

Why not have the same approach to building your business? Sounds like a good idea considering where we started this discussion: If you get it right, you can spend the rest of your career being wildly overpaid.

For some help with digging into these questions, check out Contractor Nations’s “Business Assessment Workbook” on the homepage of this site: www.contractornation.com.

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