I fell for it.
I am not talking about being duped, I’m talking about tricks I play on myself to work smarter not just harder.
Matt sells custom kitchen cabinets. He has a retail showroom, and his own shop. He often gets so busy he has to sub out work.
When he subs out work it’s still profitable but he gets grief from his foreman who wants everything to go through their shop. Sound familiar?
Matt and I are working together because he wants to get more in control of his business and stop it from running him.
One of his frustrations is that the people around him are telling him to stay small, think small, and be small.
In one of our last meetings, I reminded Matt of the reality of a manufacturing-based business – that all of us have an unlimited capacity to sell, but a limited capacity to produce.
As business owners we have to think a little bit differently because we’re looking for different results. We’re trying to work smarter not harder. We need to find profitable jobs and keep our crew working. And we need to take care of our families who rely on us to do that.
That’s why I say to myself and the people I work with "I need to play mental tricks on myself …and fall for them every time."
Here are some mental tricks for success. When you see another business owner getting the kind of results you want, it’s good to know that this is what’s going on in the background.
People often ask me for the “Secret Sauce”, or the “Silver bullet”… well - this is it.
It starts with “My Thoughts”. How I think is where it all starts. It’s the same for a pro athlete- if they don’t believe they can make that play or take that shot it’ll never happen. A little trick I use is to say this to myself... "What I say to myself when no one is listening his what the world sees when everyone is watching."
Matt was being influenced by his foreman, who was looking at the world through his own lens. He wanted Matt to think small, stay small, and be small so that their shop did all of the work.
My thoughts directly impact "My Feelings". You might call this going with your gut. That’s why the things I say to myself are so important. You probably hear about positive self talk for athletes and it’s the same for us in business – what we think impacts how we feel about things.
If Matt listens to his foreman, who wants him to stay small, and keep the shop running at 75- 80 percent then he’ll never be able to see a world that looks any different.
So this leads us to "My Actions". Now we’re at a place where what I say to myself (positive self-talk), and how I feel about things (going with my gut) has an impact on my success.
In Matt's case, his action was to stop the feast or famine of up and down of estimating/not estimating based on how busy his shop is.
Now, Matt's actions and his language line up with... "I’m going to keep selling, and we’ll figure out the best way to deliver profitable deals."
You might have seen people who have lined up their feelings, thoughts, and actions in the negative. They see the world in a negative way, they take negative actions, make bad choices, and they get failure as a result. Tragically, you probably see some of the guys in your shop doing this in their lives all the time.
The same holds true when my thoughts, feelings, and actions line up positively. Positive self-talk leads to positive gut feelings leads to me taking actions that lineup for success.
Matt checked his language. He also checked what he was hearing from his foreman. Matt’s job is to keep the shop busy, the guys busy, and keep the profits coming in.
His foreman’s job is to keep his job- so they see the world in a different way.
Results? Matt had his strongest July and August ever, he’s got bookings through to January, his shop is full, and he’s subbing out overflow work. In just two months he’s $140,000 over his profit projections.
All of that by working smarter not just harder.