Problems in Business

Does Every Business Have Problems?

Part 1 – Yea, Obviously

I want to talk about the problems that this business can have.  I wrote this post in sections because I was solving this problem in real time.

For those of you that have been following me for a while, you’ve gotten too see some pretty cool success stories.

You’ve seen videos of our shop ECC and some of the cool things we’ve done there.

You’ve seen videos of our successful students, like Charles here: CLICK ME

But make no mistake about it… those wins don’t come easily.  Even at our level, we still have challenges we have to face on a daily basis.

Right now, our Orlando location is in the middle of completing more than 20 jobs simultaneously.  There is over $120,000 dollars of jobs going at the same time…

You can imagine, that’s a lot of room for error.  For things to go smoothly, everyone has to follow the systems and stick to the plan.  People have to show up exactly when they’re supposed to.  They have to stay on track for the day and report any issues as they can occur.

It’s stressful to say the least.  And as the owner, the responsibility is 100% mine.

Read that again.   And as the owner, the RESPONSIBILITY is 100% MINE.

If a job is screwed up, they’re not mad at the techs… the office girl… nope.  They’re mad at me.

So as the owner you have to be prepared to carry the weight of the responsibility.  When the systems are working smoothly, that responsibility brings with it a ton of freedom.  I’m not the one painting cabinets these days…

I generally have the freedom to do what I want.

Until this week… this week something CRAZY happened, and because of that, I had to step up and find a way.

In fact, I’m still fixing it.  I’m going to go take care of this job so it’s done on time…

Part 2 – The Problem

So here is what happened…

It was 2 am and there I was at the shop spraying cabinets.  I’m not gonna lie, I was pissed.  I pay my teams really well so that I don’t have to do this kind of crap (anything at 2 am is crap).

And I wasn’t even closed to being done.

All I could think about is how much the next day was going to suck.

At 6:00 am Jump out of bed.
At 7:00 am Daily Team Meeting
From 8 am – 3 pm – clients house painting
From 3 pm – 6 pm catch up on all the work I missed while painting
From 6:00 pm until whenever I’m done – paint more cabinets….

And here is the thing.  I don’t mind painting cabinets.  I really love this business.  I love the appreciation customers have when we do great work for them.  But I don’t always love fixing other peoples mistakes.

Earlier that that day, my shop manager reached out to me to let me know the had a big problem.

“The customer just called, and they’re pretty upset.”  That was the text I got.

All I could think was – what could they possibly be upset about?  The job had barely just started…

Turns out, that was the problem.  The job never started.  The guy we had working that job, someone who’s been with me for a long time… just decided he was done.  Didn’t want to show up to work that day.  

Just said, I don’t wanna do this anymore.  No warning.  No Heads up.  Nothing.

It was a jackass move.

Which, honestly, is crazy.  Our lead techs can make up to 70k per year.  Not many contractors can say they earn that much, especially working for someone else.

However, sometimes… you can’t fix crazy.

And that’s part of being an owner…  You can’t fix crazy.  You can’t control people.  You can’t plan for EVERYTHING.  It’s impossible.

You CAN take responsibility.

And I did.  I went and did the work myself.  It needed to be done, and so I did it.

I run a pretty large shop, and so normally… we have one of our newer trainees start working on the job and our shop manager works with them.

It just so happens this week we’ve got almost 20 jobs going on.

It was the perfect storm.

So there I was.  2 am.  Million dollar business owner elbow deep in cabinets.  Doors and drawers as far as the eye can see.  No sleep tonight.

Part 3 – The Solution

Now, rookie business owners will just push the job back… or go apologize to the customer that they’re going to have to wait another week.

Not me. I got it done.

Some things you can’t hire out.  Problem solving will often fall on to you.  When most people imagine an operation that large, they think everything will be done for them.  And most of the time it will.

But that’s the point.  The reason owners make the big bucks… is because they’re the ones that are responsible when IT hits the fan.

They’re the ones that have to stay up til 2 am to finish up cabinets when someone doesn’t show.

They’re the ones that have to FIND A WAY, come hell or high water.

They’re also the ones who get rich.

They get the respect.  They get the freedom to travel (assuming nothing crazy is happening).  They get to make the rules.  They get to be the BOSS.

So my question to you is this…

Do you take that kind of responsibility in your own life?

If you do, you should be running your own business.

If you already do, where can you take more responsibility to make your current business better?

See ya next time.


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