When is it Enough?

Written by Steve Mores

How much is enough? Depending on what the “enough” refers to will give us the direction to answer the question based on our opinion. For purposes of this article, let’s discuss financial success and the growth of a contracting business. How much is enough revenue, locations, acquisitions, buildings, techs, salespeople, etc.? This is not a rhetorical question, and there is a wide range of answers depending on your goals and plans. How much is enough depends on how one defines the meaning of enough for themselves.  

 

For some, it may be the pursuit of more money, power, respect, and status. For others, it’s knowledge, giving to charity, doing good, and creating opportunities for other people. If your sole purpose is to get more stuff at all costs, then you will never have enough. Ironically though, you can’t be as charitable and create opportunities for others without the financial wherewithal to do so.

 

As far as financial wealth, most of us can’t even comprehend being a billionaire. Many people think of billionaires, and high-end millionaires for that matter, as greedy people and hedge-fund type folks where it’s all about the pursuit for more money. Yet, most “rich people” got there through years of hard work and starting from a very humble beginning. That’s how I identify with the “rich people” in our service industries. 

 

In a recent article that I was reading, it stated that the minimum someone needs to be relatively happy is $50,000 per year, and the maximum where money won’t make you any happier is $90,000 per year. While that may be true for some, there is nothing wrong with that thought as long as it covers essential needs such as rent, food, and support for family’s needs. Yet, many people have income way beyond this. Their happiness is driven by the opportunities their business creates for others and not the financial status it brings to them. 

 

For me, although I enjoy the income this industry has allowed me to have, money has not been my primary motive. Financial security and safety are important, yet I derive my happiness in business by helping contractors excel in IAQ sales. This, in turn, supports their cause of building a business for themselves, which supports great career opportunities for others.    

 

So, back to dollars and cents. Would you say that a net worth of $80 million is enough? That is considered a pittance to hedge-fund moguls and large mutual fund money managers. Compare that with Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder of private equity firm Blackstone Group, who has a net worth of $12.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Or Abigail Johnson, CEO of Fidelity Investments, has a net worth of $12.2 billion. Or John Bogle, Founder and CEO of Vanguard Group Investors, which is twice the size of Fidelity, who has a net worth of $80 million. Wait! What? Twice the size of Fidelity and John Bogle is only worth $80 million? Is he not a billionaire? Why not? 

 

John Bogle believed that making money in the market should not only be for those with a surplus of money to invest and the funds managers, but for anyone who wants a secure place to create a retirement fund. He founded Vanguard Group in 1976 and is credited with creating the first index fund to allow all people, no matter what income level, to invest in the market. His concept was investment over-speculation, long-term patience over short-term action, and reducing fees as much as possible. The ideal investment vehicle Bogle created as a low-cost index fund held over a period with the dividends reinvested and purchased with dollar-cost averaging. He substantially lowered costs and the exorbitant fees that funds managers were charging. These investments also did not require commissions to brokerage firms and fees to financial advisors; investment banking and legal fees for any mergers and IPOs; and the enormous marketing and advertising expenses entailed in distributing financial products.  

 

This created a new investment vehicle that revolutionized the investment industry to many funds managers chagrin. Vanguard is famous for its no loads, low expenses, and low to non-existent fees and commissions. In January 2020, Vanguard announced that it was dropping commissions on all stocks and options. This lowers the risk and increases the odds in favor of success for the average Joe to accumulate savings for retirement at the expense of massive profits to Vanguard and income to Bogle.  

 

Although Bogle was considered very rich by most standards, it wasn’t all about the money. He could have earned billions more. Bogle’s ground-breaking investment philosophy is about helping investors with low-cost index funds without all of the traditional fees that have lined the pockets of fund managers for years. He said enough, and he wants to ensure that the average citizen can retire with enough.

 

At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, author Kurt Vonnegut tells his buddy and fellow author, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have — enough.”

 

John Bogle’s book Enough was based on this quote. And the most remarkable thing about Bogle is that he created trillions of dollars in value for others and kept relatively little of it for himself. He also was known to give half of his income to charity. He had enough!

 

If Bogle were the traditional fund manager, he’d be a billionaire. His investing brand seems obvious now, but it was unorthodox at the time. When Bogle launched the first index fund available to individual investors in 1976, the industry ridiculed it, calling it “Bogle’s folly.” Bogle was still determined to make it a sustainable reality. Today, Vanguard is among the largest money managers in the world, with $5 trillion in assets, roughly two-thirds of which are invested in index funds today.

 

I like to think that we have the same attitude about enough in our service industries as John Bogle did. Albeit at different levels, but enough just the same. The small contractor that runs a profitable company that provides for his family and staff while accumulating funds for retirement and an exit strategy can be very happy and satisfied with enough. On the other end of the spectrum, we have contractors that grow exponentially every year, begin to acquire companies, and expand their reach into other markets and states. Yes, they are obviously accumulating more wealth, yet I find that their main motivation is not money. The money will come, but in conversations with them, I find that it is more about helping other contractors get to a growth position they could not get to on their own and creating good jobs and career paths for others. These empire-builders are also very charitable with their money and share their knowledge and expertise with others. That’s what makes them happy, and it’s enough for them.  

 

A billionaire has the means to obtain everything he or she could ever want in this world, and millions of people may envy their position. But that’s not the point at all. Life is not about the quest for more stuff. It’s about being happy and having enough. You see, the true measure of business, wealth, and life is not how much stuff we can buy and accumulate, rather what we do with the stuff we have during the time we have to use it. In a speech, Denzel Washington discussed wealth and having enough, and he said, “Use it wisely because you will never see a U-Haul being pulled behind a hearse.”

 

Enough IS Enough! 

 

Steve Mores is the Vice President of Training and Sales at Dynamic Air Quality Solutions.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.

Cause and Effect – Finding the Root of Your Business Problems

Recently one of my Regional IAQ Training Reps mentioned that during a manager’s meeting with one of his dealers, they pinpointed some problems in the business that were causing a significant decrease in IAQ sales. It is customary for my training team to meet with our dealers’ management team after our onsite sessions to review and analyze the status of their IAQ sales and their effect on top-line revenue and bottom-line profit. This meeting was especially interesting because this dealer’s IAQ sales were down 17% over last year in a booming market. Consumer awareness about IAQ products is at an all-time high, and our dealers’ sales have increased substantially in the past two years. So why the decrease in IAQ sales for this specific dealer? Some of the reasons were obvious, and others were uncovered during this meeting. An action plan was put in place to affect a positive outcome on future sales.

Whether it’s challenges with sales, marketing, financial, manpower, or whatever, problems have always been part of businesses and will continue to be. So as business owners, we need to continually analyze our business, identify the problems, and understand the underlying causes and the effects that follow when they persist. Once establishing the cause of a problem and its effects, you can then tackle the problem better by proposing viable solutions. To this end, the need to undertake cause and effect analysis is vital for business success. It is necessary to understand the root cause of a problem. Whether it is analyzing why equipment or accessory sales are down or any other business challenges, determining the best methods to solve the problem may include implementing new management policies, changing a process, or even repositioning your team members to effectively achieve desired business outcomes by identifying and addressing the root cause of the business problem faced.

Analyzing these problems involves looking backward to what caused the problem, then looking forward with a plan.

Only about two-thirds of startups survive past their second year in business, and many companies that make it past their second year in business continue to struggle to be profitable. There are underlying reasons why this continues to happen, so it is crucial for your business to survive profitably to discover and understand these reasons. Looking backward into your business to find the root causes of your challenges calls for an analysis of past mistakes and problems. You must identify where these past issues have come from and put a plan together for avoiding them in the future.

Once this cause-and-effect analysis has taken place, it can be used for future planning. Looking forward into your business, this analysis is your basic planning tool to create a better future business outcome than you have experienced in the past.

This becomes a five-step process.

1. Identify and describe the problem. Describe the nature of the problem and how it is affecting your business.

2. Brainstorm with your management team the root cause of the problem. Break it down to the people involved, current processes and procedures, the material used, working conditions, etc.

3. Identify all internal and external causes.
a. You have control over your internal causes since they are mostly operational and employee relationship issues.
b. External problems such as supply chain issues, changing laws, weather conditions, the economy are out of your control but still need to be considered so you can adjust your business practices to account for some of these issues and have as much influence as you can on others.

4. Analyze your discoveries in steps one through three and prioritize what you can control and act on. Decide what action can be taken immediately, list what you have control over, identify where you can implement change, and influence what you can with issues out of your control.

5. From here, you can develop your plan of action. This plan should reflect proposed solutions to the problem and identify specifically who is responsible for the appropriate action. A point person should be assigned that holds others accountable to stay on task with target dates set to accomplish all implementation.

Although this process may sound time-consuming and laborious, depending on the issue at hand, it can also be fun. Over 30 years ago in my previous career, I worked for a janitorial and maintenance supply company owned by Howard Teidt. Howard used to have occasional problem-solving meetings that he called “Green-light / Red-light” sessions. We were a small company, and he would invite everyone into the conference room for a meeting. In the first part of the meeting, he called the “Green-light” segment. Howard would present a company problem then tell everyone to turn their green light on. This meant that anything goes. We would throw out solutions no matter how serious or ridiculous they were, and he would write them on a whiteboard. Not only did this foster creative thinking, but it was usually fun and hilarious. Once we exhausted the solutions, Howard would yell “Red-light,” then we would all stop and examine the ideas. The funny nonsense ideas were crossed out, and we were left with some great ideas.

As an example, in one session, the company problem at hand was our increased fuel and delivery cost. We had a company policy that if you placed an order by 2:00 pm, we would deliver your product the next day for free. Howard proposed the question: “How can we cut delivery expenses by $3,000 per month?”  “Green-light!” – on the funny side:

  • Fire John, our driver (he was in the meeting…)
  • Sell the delivery truck and save on insurance.
  • Stop delivering and have our accounts pick up their orders.
  • Quit selling so much.
  • And so on…

“Red-light!”

During the red-light segment of the meeting, after we stopped razzing each other, one of John’s ideas (our truck driver) stood out. He said because of our next-day delivery policy to all our accounts that he was driving all over a four-county area every day fighting traffic and racking up miles trying to get to everyone. John said, “Why don’t we map out our deliveries into smaller territories and offer deliveries only on certain days of the week to each territory?” The sales team was the first to object because “that’s a great selling benefit and we can’t change it now. Our customers will object!”

So, we surveyed our top accounts and discovered that no one really cared if they received their shipment the next day or not and set delivery days would be just fine. We implemented John’s plan, and it saved us thousands of dollars on fuel since he wasn’t driving all over our coverage area every day. This even gave John more time to organize our warehouse, solving another problem!

Green-light / Red-light problem-solving sessions can be fun, and they work!

Taken at face value, this is just another problem-solving tool. Still, any problem-solving process takes commitment to conduct the initial exercise, follow through with the implementation of the set plan, and holding people accountable for making it happen. The causes and effects of business problems won’t just go away. Any analysis and planning process is only as effective as the folks involved want it to be and how capable they are of taking the appropriate action to carry it through to its fruition.

 

Steve Mores is the Vice President of Training and Sales at Dynamic Air Quality Solutions.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.

10 Life Lessons from Admiral William H. McRaven

Listen Here!

In his 2014 commencement speech, former Navy SEAL Admiral William H. McRaven offered 10 life lessons to the University of Texas at Austin’s graduating class. Through his experience in the military and basic Navy Seal training, he developed 10 salient elements to help the graduating students understand how they can help change the world as their journey begins beyond college life.

I would encourage you all to watch his full speech. It will be 19 minutes and 26 seconds well spent!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaQZFhrW0fU

This speech is not only profound and entertaining from a man that has accomplished much in his life, but it is also simplistic in nature. He talks about how the little things, when done well, can and will lead to changes in your life, drive your destiny, and in turn, will be a step forward in changing the world. These lessons are very humbling yet develop great character. Whether you apply these to your business, home life, or your life in general, they can have a profound effect on changing your life and the world around you.

After his introduction, he starts with the University of Texas’ motto, “What starts here changes the world.” Then he goes on to put this motto into context for his speech:

“It matters not whether you ever serve a day in uniform. It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your sexual orientation, or your social status. Our struggles in this world are similar. And the lessons to overcome those struggles, and to move forward, changing ourselves and changing the world around us, will apply equally to all.”

Then Admiral McRaven takes a deep dive into 10 drills and exercises from basic Navy Seal training, that although they may seem mundane, and at times brutal or abusive, he took a lesson out of each one and applied it to his journey through his career and life.

 

  1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

Every morning, the drill instructor would come into the barracks for bed inspection. Every bed had to be tucked perfectly and folded a certain way. Although this seemed trivial and a mundane task, it developed a sense of accomplishment to start your day; something you can take pride in a job well done. This task is about holding yourself accountable to start your day on a positive note with a task completed perfectly. The little things do matter, so start your day with something simple with a task completed.

 

  1. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.

Divided into groups of six, students had to paddle a rubber boat through rough seas to a specific destination. Each paddler had to be synchronized with the others and work as a team with equal effort from each person in the boat. Going out of sync would cause the boat to go off course. This exercise is about having confidence in others and the importance of a team effort. You can’t do it alone. Seeking help from others, whether it’s friends, business associates, vendors, coworkers, or credible strangers, all can help guide your boat in the right direction through life.

 

  1. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not by the size of their flippers.

Admiral McRaven recalls one boat crew made up of all little guys, 5’ 5” and smaller, and they called them The Munchkin Crew. The taller guys would always make fun of their little flippers. This incentivized the Munchkin Crew to work harder as a team, with a lot of heartfelt energy, and they would routinely outpace and outperform the taller guys. The lesson learned here is that physical stature, or any physical characteristic for that matter, does not determine one’s success. We should respect everyone’s talents no matter their size, ethnicity, race, or social standing and how they can have a positive impact.

 

  1. If you want to change the world, get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.

Throughout each week during training, the drill instructor would conduct a uniform inspection. No matter how perfect the uniform was, the instructor would always find something wrong with someone’s uniform. Whoever failed the uniform inspection for any reason would have to run fully uniformed to the surf on the beach, dive in to get wet, and then roll in the sand on the beach until they were covered in sand. They called this the “Sugar Cookie” drill. Some of the students would get frustrated knowing that no matter how perfect their uniform was, the instructor would always find a flaw. The ones that couldn’t accept this fact never made it through the training. The message here is that life is not always fair. Suck it up and move on.

 

  1. If you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circus.

Every day of training was filled with physical activity. Running, swimming, calisthenics, obstacle courses, and the like. There were minimum times set to complete these exercises, and if you didn’t meet these standards, your name was put on a list to get invited to “The Circus.” This was an extra two hours’ worth of exercises designed to break you down and make you want to quit. Everyone in training made the list at one time or another, yet those that made the list consistently and didn’t quit got stronger and better. This teaches us not to be afraid to fail often, learn from it, work hard, and get better.

 

  1. If you want to change the world, sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle headfirst.

During training, all the students are required to complete a 25-step obstacle course. One section of the course involved using a rope attached to a 30-foot-tall tower and climbing down this rope for 200 feet until you reached the end. There was a very impressive, best record that hadn’t been touched for years until one of Admiral McRaven’s classmates decided to slide down the top of the rope headfirst. This was very dangerous because he had to balance himself to prevent falling to the ground while laying on top of the rope sliding downward. He took the risk anyway and beat the record by half. Go ahead and take calculated risks.

 

  1. If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.

During a section of their training, they had to swim in the water along San Clemente Island, a breeding ground for Great White sharks. The students were made aware of the presents of sharks in these waters and the different species. Night swims were also part of this drill, making it appear even more dangerous. They were told that if they encountered a shark to “stand your ground” and do not swim away or act afraid. And if the shark did get close, to kick or punch it in the head. Easier said than done, but they did it. Admiral McRaven says that we will run into a lot of sharks and bullies in the world, but we should face them down, hold our ground, and deal with them.

 

  1. If you want to change the world, be your very best in the darkest moments.

While training for underwater attacks against enemy ships, the students had to swim two miles underwater at night to an enemy ship with nothing but a depth gauge and a compass to get them there. There was some ambient light, but once they got close to the ship, the ship blocked the little light they had. The divers are expected to swim to find the center of the ship, known as the keel. At this depth and with the ship blocking any light, the diver can become disorientated and panicked. The divers are told to stay calm and composed at this moment and to focus on the job at hand. The lesson here is to stay calm and step up when times are the toughest.

 

  1. If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.

During the 9th week of training, “Hell Week” starts. This is where the students have six days of no sleep and continuous physical activity and mental harassment. Then to top the week off, this is followed by a day in the mudflats. The students were expected to spend 15 hours in a mud swamp in freezing cold while the instructors yelled and encouraged them to quit. They were told that they could leave if only five men would quit. As they shivered from the cold, one man began to sing, and slowly the others followed. As they sang in unison, it lifted their spirits and helped them get through the drill without quitting. Life’s lesson: Lifting the oppressed and those badly treated by authority will give them hope.

 

  1. If you want to change the world, don’t ever, ever ring the bell.

There is a brass bell hanging in the center of the training compound, and if you want to quit, all you have to do is ring the bell. No more 5:00 am wake-up calls, brutal drills, harassment, and abuse. Some quit; others stay the course so they can change the world. The point here is that no matter how tough things get in business or life, never give up.

 

Our lives are not as brutal and tough as Navy Seal training, yet simple lessons can be learned from their training tactics that can change our lives and change the world. Start each day with a simple task completed. Find others to help you through life. Show respect to everyone, especially those that we consider different than us. Remember that life is not fair and that you will fail often. Take calculated risks and step up during the tough times. Facedown the bullies, lift up the oppressed, and never give up.

If we all follow Admiral McRaven’s advice and pass it along to others, we can change our business, change our lives, and change the world!

 

Steve Mores is the Vice President of Training and Sales at Dynamic Air Quality Solutions.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.

Luck in Business

As a lifelong Chicago White Sox fan, I paced my living room floor on April 14th of this year, watching the 9th inning of the Cleveland Indians vs. the White Sox. The Sox were winning 8 – 0, so what’s the big deal? Why was I so nervous? It’s just the 9th inning of a regular-season game with an eight-run lead. Well, Carlos Rodón was pitching for the White Sox with a perfect game going into the 9th inning. With another three up and three down inning, Rodón would go into the record books as one of the few pitchers in baseball history who pitched a perfect game.

What made this even more exciting and special was that Rodón suffered from shoulder and elbow injuries, and in May of 2019, he underwent Tommy John surgery. He’s pitched just 42 innings the past two years and wasn’t even guaranteed a spot in the White Sox rotation this season.

I can’t do justice to the play-by-play, so if any baseball fans want to watch the exciting last inning, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxDQocUOvk8

Meanwhile, the first out was an exciting play at first where the batter was out by a fraction of an inch, only confirmed by slow-motion replay. The second Cleveland batter went to a 0 – 2 count, then Rodón hit him with a pitch! There goes the perfect game! Rodón then got the next two batters out and finished the game with a no-hitter.

Was this luck? Obviously not. Luck is winning the lottery. Pitching a perfect game or a no-hitter in the MLB takes years of practice, dedication, and challenges to meet along the way to realize that dream.

I would suggest that the same goes for us in the contracting business. Successful contractors don’t get there by luck. It’s their hard work, dedication, and passion. And after over 30 years of partnering with, training, and consulting with contractors, I have observed several common denominators that most successful contractors have.

 

  • They have a dream and realize it. These contractors have a vision of where they want to be, the type of company culture they want to build and realize it by taking action to make it happen.
  • They have challenges and meet them head-on. Just because you dream, it doesn’t mean that you will not run into challenges along the way. They don’t ignore these challenges and hope they go away. They meet challenges and focus on solutions so they can continue the journey of realizing their goals.
  • They act when opportunities are presented and benefit from them. When an opportunity presents itself to improve or expand the business, they turn that opportunity into a business reality. There isn’t any coulda, shoulda, woulda going on here.
  • They stand by their promises. When they enter into agreements or partnerships with staff, suppliers, or any business relationship, they always fulfill these promises. If circumstances arise that challenge the stipulations of the promise, successful contractors always discuss it openly with the parties involved to arrive at a mutually beneficial solution.
  • They look at business as an adventure. It’s not just a job, rather an adventure that they dare to take. They know they will have struggles, yet they accept this, and it doesn’t deter them from their mission.
  • They are strategic. Successful contractors have a plan and execute it every day. They avoid knee-jerk reactions by having a business plan and make decisions based on set goals and a mission statement. Risk-taking comes into play here, but with full awareness of the likely consequences.
  • They are honest and ethical. Fair and honest decisions are made based on their plan. They treat their employees and customers like family by running their business with a code of ethics that all employees are aware of and are expected to follow.
  • They WOW their customers. They create a company culture where everybody is involved in servicing the customer to exceed all expectations. From the CSRs to the service call and from curb to collect, a first-class customer experience is delivered by all team members.
  • They don’t go it alone. Successful contractors surround themselves with people who are better at specific tasks and duties than they may be. They get the right people on the bus, in the right positions, motivate them, and hold them accountable.
  • They have Faith. And speaking of not going it alone, they have faith in themselves, their team, and God. They prayerfully seek guidance, give thanks, and utilize their God-given talents and tools for the service of others.

 

I’m sure you can add to this list based on your personal experience or from your observations of other successful people that you know. But I would venture to say that “Luck in Business” isn’t on your list either.

Meanwhile, back to baseball. In the movie A League of Their Own, manager Jimmy Dugan, played by Tom Hanks, has that famous (or infamous) line, “There’s no crying in baseball!” Well, while there may be some trials, tribulations, and tears along the way, “There’s no luck in business!” Luck is an abstract concept that can become a physical reality with hard work, determination, passion, and a plan. You must make luck happen; it’s not a given.

Good Luck!

 

Steve Mores is the Vice President of Training and Sales at Dynamic Air Quality Solutions.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.

Count Your Blessings

We all have heard the expression: “You should count your blessings.” This phrase is used in several different contexts. Someone may express this sentiment when something good happens to you: “That’s great news; you should count your blessings.” When something upsetting happens to you: “I’m sorry to hear that, but it could be worse, you should count your blessings.” Or even when something bad happens to someone else: “It’s so sad what happened to them, we should count our blessings.” There are even certain times of the year when we are asked to stop and think about all the things that make us happy or bring us joy.

Every fourth Thursday in November, we celebrate Thanksgiving, which is when many of us count our blessings. Yet do we need to wait for a holiday to give thanks and count our blessings? Is this just a saying, or should we really take it literally? I would suggest that when we count our blessings, we note all the wonderful things in our lives. Write a list, a gratitude list, if you will that helps us to appreciate how good life is and read it daily. Start your day out with gratitude!

It’s better not to take our blessings for granted or wait for a holiday to celebrate them. When we take something for granted, we tend not to appreciate it. So, let’s take a step back and consider what a blessing really is.

In our secular world, a blessing is considered something that brings us happiness or helps us somehow. To religious people, a blessing is approval and help from a higher source, that being God. A blessing can also be a sign of approval when someone permits you to do something. “You have my blessing to do so…” Counting all these blessings is important. It shows that you are grateful and are expressing a feeling of appreciation or thanks. When we count our blessings, we can say it like this: “I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for my health.”

Other forms of “blessings” are expressed as “the little things in life” or the “small blessings,” “a mixed blessing,” or a “blessing in disguise.”

Let’s say you get angry because your car won’t start, and you start thinking of all the negative ramifications it may cause. But then you stop for a moment and think, “Well, at least I have a car. I should consider myself lucky and give thanks for small blessings.”

Another small blessing is a fun thing known as “Pay it forward.” Paying it forward is expressed when the beneficiary of a good deed is repaying the kindness to others instead of the original benefactor. Paying someone’s toll or buying a cup of coffee for the person behind you is a common example. Small acts of kindness, like paying forward, can really make someone’s day and can be added to their gratitude list for the day!

Not all blessings are that simple and easy to recognize. Some are more complex than others, like “mixed blessings.” A mixed blessing is something that is both good and bad. For example, being a rock star can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, they are treated as a celebrity with special perks, benefits, and financial rewards. On the other hand, they may lose their privacy, be more susceptible to addictive behavior, and feel pressured to produce that next hit song to keep their status. In the case of mixed blessings, focusing on the good and avoiding the bad can be a blessing in and of itself.

Another type of blessing is what we call “A blessing in disguise.” It is a little more complicated than a mixed blessing can be. This is where the blessing is hidden or “disguised” in a bad event or situation that we may have experienced. It refers to something that at first appears to be bad or unlucky but is actually good.

For example, someone losing their job turned out to be a blessing in disguise when it forced her to start a business that became very successful and that she loves and is passionate about.

As you can see, there are many types of blessings that we can be grateful for every day. Yet sometimes, it’s hard to focus on these blessings when we are bombarded every day with predominately negative news. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned with local, national, and worldly events. We can’t just bury our heads in the sand, but it gives us all the more reason to count our blessings!

So, this does take some effort and deliberate concentration on the good in our lives and the world around us. Whether the blessings are small, mixed, or disguised – they all count! And while this may all seem elementary, I thought we could all use a reminder to count our blessings. I know I do!

 

Steve Mores is the Vice President of Training and Sales at Dynamic Air Quality Solutions.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.