Navigating the Exit Lane

Navigating the Exit Lane

I’ve been in the middle of estate planning the last year or so, and in the summer 2015, purchased some substantial life insurance. It was a hefty premium indeed. The agent bugged me for months, repeatedly showing up at the office unannounced to ask for the order. I finally signed the papers, and can you [Read More]

Let’s Not Forget What Got Us in the Game

Let’s Not Forget What Got Us in the Game

Over the years, I have heard contractors, and for that matter, the many service providers in this industry, say something like, “I’m not interested. That job/customer is just too small for me.” While this can certainly be wise strategy, to me, a decision to exclude work needs to be approached with much wisdom. The reality [Read More]

Trouble in River City

Trouble in River City

Earlier in the week I was meeting with an equity firm we’ve partnered with over the years. They are experienced, and just solid folks. We have worked on several projects together, where they provide the equity to the developer sponsor, and we build the project, sort of like a 3-legged stool. That morning, we were [Read More]

Subject: Email Response Time

Subject: Email Response Time

Before email came on the scene, in many ways we were restricted to communicating during business hours. No one wanted to bother someone with a call to their home phone unless it was a real emergency. Email transformed this notion by giving the sender the option to write at his or her leisure. The receiver [Read More]

Nothing Lasts Forever

Nothing Lasts Forever

Last Saturday evening, it was a privilege to be the guest of NPR Nashville and the Robinson family for the final showing of “A Prairie Home Companion” at The Ryman. (In case you aren’t familiar, it’s the only live music and variety show aired nationwide today, and has been on the air for more than [Read More]

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing

It’s that time of year again. Like clockwork, right before the holidays kick off, I start to worry about work for next year. After all, as a service company in construction, we are constantly burning off work. Every year I take great pains with extensive due diligence figuring out which jobs we will have to [Read More]

Always Thankful

Always Thankful

The holidays are gearing up around here. This week, I walked out to the barn and saw this wreath on my Dad’s old Mustang. It made me think: What if this Thanksgiving, instead of listing what we are thankful for, we focused on who we are thankful for? Even 30 years after his passing, I’m [Read More]

Staying Friends, Regardless

Staying Friends, Regardless

Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of not staying connected when a particular service is completed or comes to an end. Over the years, I have found it pays to stay friends with customer relationships, whether they are high or low in the cycle. To stay invested. I was reminded of this recently [Read More]

When Subtraction Becomes an Add

When Subtraction Becomes an Add

This week, I did something every contractor doesn’t like: I turned down two nice soon-to-start projects. It was painful for me, but the right thing to do. Because of circumstances during the past week, I determined we did not have proper management in place to do a good job for our customer and called the [Read More]

Networking 101, For Conventions and Beyond

Networking 101, For Conventions and Beyond

I’m going to a national convention next week with 30,000 of my closest friends. While preparing, I started thinking about whether I’m selling upstream or working downstream. Whether at a convention or in regular conversation, these are a few things I’ve learned over the years: Make Eye Contact. There is no substitute for this gold standard. Sincerity [Read More]