Mr. Know It AllApr 29, 2022
In a world where everything changes so rapidly, you and I can get old really fast. I love to use the car analogy to compare the fast changes we are seeing nowadays.
In a car, the windshield is much bigger than the rearview mirror because the windshield is your direction and the rearview mirror is just for reference. The past should be a reference point for yourself, not the direction where you want to go. And I am going to repeat that:
The past should be a reference point for yourself, not the direction where you want to go!
However, there are people that see that in reverse … these people have a much bigger rearview mirror and a very tiny little windshield. These people are easy to spot and can typically be found saying things like:
“When I was younger, it was way better”
“If I could go back in time…”
“Things are not the same anymore….”
I have to be honest here. It is hard to move out of your comfort zone. Embracing changes and the “new” requires courage and humility.
Courage to step out of your comfort zone and humility to understand that you don’t know everything.
Do you want to see an example of cockiness and arrogance? They are the “I know it all” people..They are the "I know, I went, I did" people….
If you talk about a movie, they have already watched it.
If you travel to ABC city, they have already been there.
If you want to do something, they already did it first.
For those people, there are only two ways of doing things: their own way or the wrong way. Think about it: It is very foolish to think that someone would know everything. This is just an impossible task.
If we narrow it down to our own industry, this phenomenon is evident. I hear this all the time from installers that “don’t need training” because they have been doing this for over 20 years. Oh really?
Twenty years ago, blown-in insulation didn’t exist...
Twenty years ago, motorization wasn’t as popular as it is today…
I could go on and on… But this isn’t something exclusive to installers…. dealers, workrooms and designers should also be included in this group.
I recall a visit with this designer a few years back. She hired me to measure one of those brownstones in downtown Boston. When we were in one of the bathrooms, she said that she wanted shutters for a tiny little window.
I said: “I don’t think this would be the best idea here because of the size of the frames.” Her reply was: “I am not asking for your opinion. Just measure for shutters.” Period.
I could not believe what I just heard. It took me a couple of seconds to process the information and realize that we were just not a good fit because that’s not how I work. I love collaboration and exchanging ideas …
Needless to say, I finished measuring the house and handed her the sizes and said: “We are not a good fit. Please find someone that can work for you because I think we are too different.”
1. I always make a point to attend seminars and training events. It is imperative to do that. Even if you think that you won’t learn anything new, just the fact that you are listening to the other attendees’ experiences is worth the trip. Plus those events are a tax write off and an excuse to have a day out of the ordinary.
2. When I am installing and there is a designer, dealer or workroom in the room, I always ask how they would install the job. More often than not, I learn something new or at least see how they think and if it’s different from my own thoughts.
3. I also take the opportunity when something goes wrong to teach the person who hired me. Whether they are the dealer or workroom or designer. Obviously, I don’t do this in front of the homeowner. If they are with me, I bring them outside and explain the situation.
If I am alone, I take pictures or videos to share with them later. You show them respect and appreciation for their business. It shows that you care about them. I guarantee that the love and respect for you is just as the same if not more.
If they don’t care, it tells you that they are not a good fit for your business and you should reconsider the relationship.
Last, but not least:
4. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Because I drive a lot, I utilize my time to listen to others’ points of view … sometimes from people in the industry and sometimes from totally unrelated speakers. As a matter of a fact, this very topic we are discussing now came from a very famous Brazilian professor with over 2M followers while I was browsing through YouTube.
You see, you never know when or where the inspiration comes from. If you keep your ears and eyes open, keep your ego low and your mind willing to embrace the new, I am SURE you can go far.
And always remember: Never Stop Learning!
Roger (meet me here)
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