by: Daniel Beaule
A month ago, a record number of attendees gathered at the 2018 Appliance Service Training Institute in St. Pete’s Beach, FL. Steered by the United Servicers Association board members and our own Executive Director Ms. Sarah Brown, the event delivered on the growing demand from the members for advanced business and technical training. It was with great pleasure that I spoke about growing your business and leading your industry during the pre-event training in front of a crowd of 50 entrepreneurs that were hungry to get to the next step. Knowing that 7 years ago I was sitting with you and learning the basics of our trade, I wanted to share some concepts that were important to help me shape my life the way I wanted it to.
Thank you Tim Ferriss!
It all started with the 4-hour Workweek. In 2009, my employer and friend Daniel Robichaud gave me a book to read: The 4-Hour Workweek. A book that invites you to fight the status quo and to design and live the life of your dream. This was a game changer because at the time, when I read it, I understood that I was dreaming of my future as a professional, but not as a human being. It was the first time that I realized that the biggest barrier in our life is ourself. Since then, life happened and opportunities came. Learning to question the status quo helps you open yourself to other concepts or like we’ve all heard before: “There must be a better way…”
Granting yourself time to think
We at Service 2000, my own appliance repair company located in Montreal, Canada, are making a dent in the appliance repair industry. We do it because we free ourselves some time to envision the future, measure what we do good (and wrong) and invest time on improving productivity and happiness at work. It’s as simple a recipe as that. Why then is taking a step back to think so hard to do? Why are most entrepreneurs stuck in their routine, unable to breathe? Is this your case? Let me just refer to another important book in my life that I read around 2010 but really started understanding and applying a couple of years later: Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Here are the seven habits that I invite you to read and sink in:
- Be Proactive: don’t wait for life to fall on you. Study it, its opportunities and challenges, and act upon it. If you don’t control it, it controls you, right?
- Begin with the end in mind. You might have started your business to make money, but there are higher goals. What legacy will you leave, what impact will you have had in your community or even who will buy your business?
- Put First thing first: Are you investing your time where the return is the highest? Are you solving symptoms of root causes? Are you planning to double your productivity over the next year? next five years?
- Think win-win: In this age where finding your key people is harder, are you acting as an A employer who is feeding its people with security, a sense of belonging and a sense of mattering? Are you all making a difference together?
- Seek first to understand then to be understood: because people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care
- Synergize: know your strengths and surround yourself with complementary people sharing your values and learn to work as a team so to maximize your output.
- Sharpen the saw: renew your mental and physical strengths, free your mind, work on improving your knowledge and to become a better person.
These habits were listed almost thirty years ago, yet remain true today. Take a moment and try to figure out your life if you were to put these habits in place. Do you see how you could free some quality time? Do you see how drama, crises generated by a lack or clarity and organization, could phase out of your life? Are you willing to commit to applying one or more of these habits in the next few months? Stepping back to think is like exercising a muscle. First it is hard, but then you get used to it and the benefits will soon outweigh the efforts.