American Painting Contractor Magazine

APCMay16

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AMERICAN PAINTING CONTRACTOR • May 2016 17 Sound Business Management networking groups to make more money, but they stay because there is someone on their side who understands their day-to- day dilemmas. If it were easy to be an entrepreneur and own a business, every- one would do it. I have been amazed at the number of contractors who, year after year, do not improve their performance. Sometimes lack of success is driven by good old-fash- ioned math: Contractors don't charge enough, inaccurately estimate too many jobs or, as their businesses grow, they fail to raise prices to cover overhead. However, upon further investigation, you will discover many contractors have a personal health, learning disability or per- sonality issue that is contributing to their poor performance. Unlike groups I speak to, my networking groups are personal. Participants come back every year, so eventually what gets in the way of their success surfaces. Working with contractors in an inti- mate consulting role, I've discovered numerous cases of sleep apnea that can create ADD-like symptoms, adult ADD, depression, anxiety issues, addictive behaviors like alcoholism and numerous other health problems. It is interesting that almost everyone has some type of issue; but if you work on the assembly line at the local factory or at the post office, you can probably hide these problems much easier than a business owner can. It is also hard to tell which came first, the chicken or the egg. Did the contrac- tor's personal issue cause problems, or did a poor business model break the contrac- tor down over time? Regardless of the cause, if you do not have your head screwed on right, you cannot expect to be successful. FIX YOU FIRST Figure it out. Many of the health issues mentioned above can be genetic. They are medical issues, not craziness. I have seen people lose their business because they were too prideful to wear a hearing aid. Others simply refuse to address their extreme anxiety issues and choose to live a life of panic. If you had diabetes, you would take insulin. Don't let foolish pride get in the way of your success. PAINT BY THE NUMBERS Remember those number paintings you did as a kid? While not perfect or beautiful, you really could not mess them up. In life, just learn to follow the num- bers. Math is science, much like gravity. You can't jump off a cliff and fly, and you can't do work you lose money on. For smaller contractors, you don't need a fancy computer to do job costs. Simply

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