Okay, so my momma doesn’t really say “life is like owning an Air Conditioning business in Texas”, but you could imagine what it would be like if she did!
December 26th, 2018 – the day after Christmas, and I am sitting in my office reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the New Year. A lot of my thoughts at this time of year can revolve around the fact that our income is low (almost non-existent). It is “winter” in Waco, Texas, which means the temperatures fluctuate between 30 and 75 Degrees, that’s right, Christmas day was 68-Degrees. When there is no stress on your HVAC system, there is no need for repairs. When there are no needs for repairs, most HVAC businesses sit idle waiting for the weather to change.
It is interesting to me that the circumstances around me have so much power to try and determine how I feel about myself. If we have no work to do, then obviously I am a terrible business owner. No work = we are bad at our jobs.
I am thankful for the years of training I have endured to teach me that the circumstances do not determine who I am. We have to look at the whole in order to determine the health and worth of a business (or a person) not the small individual parts. Do I have a lot of work to do to improve the small parts? Of course I do. Does our business need to improve in every category? Sure it does, and that is our focus. But is our business worth less just because we are not busy when there is no demand? Of course not.
Life is similar to running our business. When the demand for our performance goes down, we pause and reflect, and we see ourselves as being “worth less” (worthless) based on our actions or reactions. When we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and all we can think of are the times we dropped the ball (or kicked the ball in anger as hard as we could and sent it flying into the street and then the garbage truck ran over it and flattened it). It is easy to find all of our faults, disappointments and places we just didn’t measure up. But, does that mean a person is worth less because they have some parts that are bruised, broken or not working? Only if we are judging that small part, not the whole person.
If I want my business to grow, get stronger, make more money, etc, should I sit and focus all my time on the negative things we did all year? Probably not going to yield the growth I want. Should I focus on the plans that will allow my strengths to get stronger and minimize my weaknesses? Of course I should. For our business, we are focusing on the key performance indicators (KPI’s) that our industry thrives on. What is my gross profit %? What is my equipment cost %? What average ticket cost do my technicians carry? There are so many more areas to focus on, but we are choosing to focus on the ones we know we can effect immediately. Then we are measuring and tracking our growth weekly.
As a person, should we be sitting around thinking about all the bad things that happened to us, or the bad things we did to others? Not if you want to grow into a different place. You want to live in a better place this time next year? Start working on the things that strengthen your strong parts and identify things you can do to minimize your weak parts. Do not let you weak parts steer the ship.
I am continually learning how to track my KPI’s personally and review them every week. For me, some of the stuff I am measuring looks like this: What time do I wake up? How much time each day do I spend in a quiet place in prayer, worship and keeping a journal of what I am doing? How much time am I on my phone? How long can I leave my phone in another room while I am investing my time and energy into something else? All of those questions can be tracked and reviewed. I have so many more, but I don’t want to bore you.
As we all look forward to a New Year, here are some questions you can reflect on:
Enjoy the day!