Whoever said it would be easy. . .

Set yourself some goals, stay quiet about them and implement them.

Time is the only commodity money can’t buy and we certainly can’t get it back. Choosing how you spend your time and making the most of your time is the most important decision you’ll make.

There are going to be days where you don’t want to show up because you are under pressure or feeling the pinch from deadlines. These will be tough times and tough times are sent to test us and shape who we are and who we become. Embrace these types of days/weeks or even months because in time when you reflect on how far you’ve come, and you’ll see how the tough times made you and your businesses reach new heights from those types of vital experiences.

My advice is blunt, simple and effective if executed. Get up and show up every day. You have to lead by example. If you don’t do it, who will? After all, this is your business and you’re responsible for the results your business produces. You’re responsible for being the leader of your business. You’re the one everyone else is looking up to and aspiring to be.

Looking back on experiences, I wanted to share this particular one here because it’s one that happened to me in the very beginning. Yes, I was fresh (but completely out of my depth) because I had only just started my business but on the other hand, I was diving straight in the deep so to speak and I had two choices. Sink or swim.

I love it when a plan comes together

I had worked very hard to secure a large contract for the design and build of a new health & fitness country club in Cheshire. Our scope of works was the design and installation of the filtration systems on 2 indoor swimming pools, one outdoor swimming, one outdoor spa pool and a wellness pool. As I’ve mentioned, talk about jumping in at the deep end.

Bearing in mind here I was a one-man band. I was the only employee. So, I had done my salesman role by negotiating and securing the project. My next role was to design the pools with the help of an AutoCAD specialist who could produce the necessary drawings along with my experienced input with regards to pipe work sizes, routes, plant and equipment.

Shortly after we finished the design it was time to start on site where my role was to change to installation engineer and project manager procuring materials to install. From start to finish I installed the project with my own two hands and a lot of late nights and weekend working.

In-between this time I was also running the business, answering enquiries diverted to my mobile phone, book keeping and everything else needed to keep the business going. I was living proof of a typical start up business with the owner wearing the many different hats and juggling his roles.

The site installation work took me around 6 months to carry out. As the project was coming to an end and we filled and commissioned each pool, I walked around the project and my thoughts were. . . . I have designed this; I have installed this, and a huge sense of achievement came over me. At this point I had been installing pools for 16 years, but it was always for somebody else and always with a team of people to help me. Something like this gives you confidence and also shifts any limiting beliefs you may have with; can I succeed on my own two feet.

My answer was an overwhelming yes. The reason I wanted to add this story is because as I write this, we have just secured the same project from the same client who is building their second country club. Only this time around the role will be a whole lot different for me which shows the growth and the structure I now have in place from when we did the first project several years ago.

You see, for every role I had to do back then; I now have a structured team of employees in every position to carry out this project with very little input from me. That is progression and all as a result from everything that has been implemented by me that you have read throughout this book. The time frame from back then to now, to get to this stage took 6 years. Seems more like 6 minutes because time flies when you’re having fun right.

I’m not going to lie; these were tough times and a very steep learning curve. I had created a job not a business at the time as I was doing all the job roles which needed 5-6 employees. I knew this wasn’t sustainable but something I just had to get on with.

In the end, all the hard work paid off for both me and also my client. The club became a huge success and I was well underway to being able to pour back in the funds I had made from that project to start building a sustainable company.

On reflection there are some takeaway learning observations here: –

  1. The sacrifice and determination to deliver that project by me.
  2. Working in multiple roles within the business at the beginning.
  3. Gaining vital experience in every role prepared me for the staff I needed for growth.
  4. I learned that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
  5. Business is a process and doesn’t just happen overnight. There are crucial incremental steps and milestones that have to be achieved until the day it all slots into place.
  6. Fake it til you make it works if you have the desire and hunger to deliver on your promises.

And as Hannibal from the great TV show the A team used to say. . . I love it when a plan comes together.

So, it’s good to remember when you’re going through the tough times that there is light at the other side of the tunnel, and when you see the light you’ll then have all the ‘nay sayers’ saying things like, “oh it’s alright for you”, blah blah blah. . .  because they weren’t there in the beginning when you were going through the difficulties and challenges business throws at you. But at least by then you’ll just be able to smile and think to yourself. . . If only you knew.

To be continued ……….