Keep going. Don’t give up. Keep fighting. Rinse, repeat.
In business and life, we constantly face the daily grind. As soon as we get up and drink our coffee we have an entire day in front of us.
If we just see this as a routine, we diminish our potential. Every day is truly an opportunity for us to improve our craft, focus on our goals, and work magic. We can use it to practice discipline if we are mindful of our actions. Unfortunately, too often people approach each day mindlessly. They aren’t intentional about their actions and lose focus of what's possible.
So how do we practice with intention? How do we make sure that we happen to the day instead of the day happening to us?
Practice Correct Principles
The first step to practicing with intention is practicing correct principles.
I use the word correct because the same principles of business success exist at every level. The artisan will masterfully apply the same principles consistently regardless of where they find themselves in the hierarchy. What does this mean? It means that in your business you always offer good customer service, always promise things that you can deliver on, and always make prudent decisions.
You consistently apply the same principles each year whether you are making $60K or $1Million.
The masters aren’t people that employed special tricks or hacks in order to become elite, they are people that practiced diligence and consistency. They practice correct principles every step of the way until they became a habit.
If you recognized that success took the same level of commitment at every step of the way, would you put in the work to be successful?
This is a powerful question. It’s comforting to know that success always requires the same level of exertion and dedication because this helps us understand the effort that we need to put forth. At the same time, it can be daunting if we realize that we aren’t willing to do what it takes to be successful.
Application: What set of guiding principles do you want to use in your business? Are you currently applying these? If not, what needs to change?
- Are you honest with your customers and deliver on your promises
- Do you charge the amount that you are worth?
- Are you punctual?
- Are you thorough?
- Are you investing in the proper commercial carpet cleaning equipment that you need to achieve professional results?
Time Compounds Greatness
If success is a result of correct principles being applied diligently over time, then time is a crucial variable in obtaining success.
Time can either work in our favor or work against us. Time allows the results of our actions to compound, and we get to choose the results.
It’s within the constraints of time that you are able to build a customer base, create meaningful relationships with your customers, and build a brand that is loved and respected.
Are you going to use time for your advantage, or are you going to let it work against you?
Investors use time to their advantage. They know that by investing their money in a company and keeping it within this company that it will eventually generate disproportional returns because of the law of compounding interest.
Your business and life can also generate compounding interest. If you practice good customer service, diversify the services that you offer, provide value, deliver on your promises, etc., you can scale your operations. You can run a multi-truck operation that provides more value to more people, and in turn, makes more money.
Application: Whether you decide to remain an owner/operator or run a multi-truck operation is a personal choice. Regardless of what you decide, your business has to grow. What are you doing with your time to develop greatness that compounds? Here are some ideas:
- Spend time demonstrating your professionalism with customers. Rob Allen, the owner of Truckmount Forums calls this demonstrating a “positive moment of truth”.
- Be punctual and dress professionally. Show your customers that they matter and give them an incredible experience.
- There are also time-saving investments that you should make like investing in the right equipment. Shortchanging yourself on equipment isn’t just an inconvenience to you, it results in providing inferior service to your customers. Get what you need to do the job done right and don’t just try to save a few bucks.
Learning and Growing
Economics makes it clear that the most in-demand professionals will always be the ones that are the most highly trained and skilled.
You can’t apply the knowledge that you don’t have. Correct tools, good chemistry, and good intentions won’t get you anywhere if you don’t know how to apply them.
We live in a world overflowing with knowledge. Because we have access to so much knowledge at our fingertips it’s easy to get overwhelmed or take learning for granted. It’s especially easy to do this when we can search for an answer on Google.
But Google doesn’t excuse us from becoming experts; a simple internet search does not replace the need for you to become an expert in your field of choice. One of the greatest reasons that customers hire professionals is because they expect them to provide expertise and professionalism.
If this wasn’t the case, they would opt to provide their own service.
Knowledge does the following
- Increases customers' confidence in you
- Allows you to provide a variety of services and add additional value
- Allows you to justify charging a particular price
- (If you want to read more about these, read this interview that I did with Steve Johnson)
I’m a huge proponent of education. Being too stubborn to learn is a decision you make at your own peril: if you choose to forego education, the competition won’t.
Application: We work in an industry filled with people that are friendly and highly motivated to share their talents. There are countless social media groups, forums, YouTube videos, resources, and classes that you can take to improve your skillset.
I’m a fan of all of these because they all provide opportunities for growth, but my favorite is IICRC classes. They are taught by veterans in the industry with decades of experience. You get to ask the instructors questions, receive hands-on training in many of the classes, and get industry certified.
Make mistakes, learn from them, and grow
It’s better to make a mistake that you grow from than to not try at all. There are plenty of things that you can only learn from experience.
Experience is the domain of practice and it’s also transformative.
I’m an avid powerlifter, and there’s a huge difference between reading about a workout and actually doing it. There’s absolutely no chance that reading will make me stronger or improve my technique; education will help me know what to do next time I’m at the gym, but it is no substitute for actually performing.
When I go to the gym I get to practice. I focus on my bench press grip, make sure that my lats are extended, and that my legs are anchored into the ground so that I use the power of my whole body in the lift. It’s one thing to imagine what it would be like to do this with 315 pounds, but it’s an entirely different feeling to experience the strain this places on your body.
Over time, my body remembers the feeling of what great form on bench press feels like and learns from it. The same is true for the work you do in your business.
The thought of doing something new or difficult can be anxiety-inducing, but you just have to do it.
Don’t be hard on yourself. Be curious, have a short-term memory, and adopt the mindset of a student.
When you fail, fail fast. There are many others in the industry that have experienced this; you are not alone.
If you’re staying within your comfort zone, there’s a good chance that you’re doing something wrong. Be mindful of your goals, and always strive to push the envelope further in the right direction.
When I’m afraid, I’ve found that it helps the most to maximize my performance on my current tasks. If I think too hard about the coming weeks or months I can drown in anxiety. Situate your mind and concentrate on doing your best work possible today.
A Final Note on Intentional Action
Doing something with intention means that you are mindful of your work and the actions you take in your business; you are accountable for your output.
When you do things with intention everything has a meaning and purpose. You stop doing activities that don’t add value to your life and business. The steps above are a primer to help get you started with doing everything intentionally. Use all of your energy to learn and grow.
I invite you to start working mindfully today. As you’re intentional about what you do, you’ll accomplish your goals, increase your confidence, and make more money!