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:

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 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 to see if there are Success Days in your area.

Trust Equity


During a recent business trip with Carlos, one of my IAQ Training Reps, we talked about a subject that he is very interested and involved in, that being the board gaming industry. I know next to nothing about it, yet I was intrigued by its complexity and the number of games and gamers that are involved in this industry. I realized through our conversation that to develop a new game that will be popular with the gamers, that A LOT of time, money, and computer know-how is involved in creating and developing these games. Carlos said that a lot of companies use Kickstarter as a platform. The investment developing these games comes from the gamer investors, and their own money is at risk. The term used to say that a project has met its goal is “funded.” So, if the company raises enough money to meet its funding goal, it’s been funded. Sounds simple enough, yet there is risk involved in the board gaming world to get investment capital. The funding in these games is used to front the production costs of making the game. They use fancy marketing techniques and make all kinds of promises with hopes to deliver a high-quality product in the end. However, over the years, people (gamers in this case) have been burned with subpar production (graphic design, art, components, etc.), broken or unreadable rules, or not delivering a final product at all. This issue creates a little anxiety about backing a particular product so early in the life cycle of the product. To minimize their risk, investors look for companies that consistently deliver on their promises. They call this trust equity.

In the gaming investment industry, trust equity increases and comes into play (no pun intended) as the same companies consistently deliver on their promises. They no longer have that anxiety and will gladly back their next project. They’ve built enough trust equity where some game developing companies get instantly backed, while others struggle to get funded. Now, that equity can diminish if the next project doesn’t deliver.

How can you build this trust equity with your clients? You must consistently deliver on your promise of excellence with the service and products that you provide. This starts with the trust factor being built into your company culture. And it must be consistent throughout your company, from your service technicians in the field to your team members in your office.

Knowing how to build trust with customers is critical in today’s business climate. Going above and beyond for your customers is always the direct route to building consumer trust and a loyal customer base. Failing to do this and build it into your culture will limit your potential.

With social media and instant reviews online, today’s consumers are increasingly savvy, selective, and cynical about their purchasing decisions. Gone are the days of sales manipulation, persuasion, convincing, and winning where the customer is the one being manipulated, convinced, persuaded, and the loser. Our job is not to convince but inform.

Trust equity starts with building your positive reputation in the market. Warren Buffett once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” So, once you build your reputation, you must be consistent with processes, positive attitudes, and always doing what’s in the best interest of your customers is critical.

As a company, we need to tell our story to the public to build a trusted brand. This story should go beyond our products and services and gets the customer to look at our history, passion for service, expertise, certifications, company culture, awards, etc. At the end of the day, YOU are the brand and not the product manufacturer you are aligned with. People need to identify with you and your values so that they are naturally drawn to the same likeness. We want to hang out with people we like and trust, and it’s the same in a business relationship.

Then we must live up to the brand and expectations that we are promoting. Be honest and straightforward with your customers about your products and services. No exaggerated claims that can appear to be pseudo-science or gimmicky. People can see right through the hype, and you will lose their trust. Be clear with your pricing and build value that goes beyond the customer’s investment with you. This is especially true for getting their repeat business and referrals.

Offer great customer service to build trust and loyalty. Hire dedicated team members and consistently train them to a high standard. Train them to have empathy and patience with angry customers and celebrate with excitement with the happy customers. Allow your team to treat customer issues on an individual case by case basis, rather than a canned “this is just how we do it” reply. The goal here is to provide an efficient, professional, and personable experience for your customers. If they feel like your team has gone above and beyond, then they’re far more likely to come back and then recommend you to their friends and family.

If you’re doing things right and building trust equity, then share your successes with reviews online. In today’s world, we are all in the habit of checking reviews before we go to a restaurant, on a vacation, or any other activity. Don’t think for a moment that it is any different in your industry when people are looking for your product or services. Word of mouth recommendations are important, and we trust third-party recommendations and the experience that others have had with a certain business. Reviews help customers make decisions on whether to consider your company to service their needs. Written reviews are great, and getting a few customer video testimonials are even better. So, leverage the power of recommendations by displaying unedited reviews prominently on your website, sharing positive feedback across your social media channels, and responding to reviews quickly and professionally to build trust equity.

Also, on your website, if you don’t have one already, create a “meet our team” page to put names with faces. Show them all the support that they will get, not only from the technician or salesperson that shows up on the call but from all your support staff.

Gaining trust with your customers and prospects should be part of the job description for everyone on your team. You already have products and services that consumers want and need, and hopefully the ability to show how you’re adding value, informing them on problems and solutions, and so forth. However, if you don’t earn the customer’s trust, they’ll probably buy from someone else whom they do trust.

Building trust equity will pay dividends!


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 to see if there are Success Days in your area!

Team Effort

We have all heard the saying that “There is no ‘I’ in Team,” and there is literal and figurative truth to that statement. Your company is made of many departments that need to cooperate and work together for a common goal. If those departments are or become a workplace silo, then the saying “There is no “I” in team” may have a reply of, “Yes, but there is a ‘me.’” Workplace silos occur when your departments fail to share important information between themselves, causing their priorities to become misaligned. So it’s no longer a team effort, but rather a protective controlling department that’s only out for what’s best for their department and not for the good of all.

I believe that creating a culture of having everyone in sync as a team starts with semantics.

Call them a “Team”! If you ask any successful NFL quarterback what he attributes a great win or a successful season to, he won’t answer, “I did this, or I did that…”. He will credit the team effort, especially his offensive line for allowing him to be successful. Yes, there are the exceptionally great quarterbacks that outperform the mediocre ones, yet they still need the entire team effort from the offense, to defense, to special teams to work together as a TEAM, to be successful. TEAM EFFORT!

In the foundation of developing a team, you will need processes and procedures to guide your team members to have instructions on how to carry out their tasks in a team effort manner. Sometimes the words “process” and “procedure” are used interchangeable, yet there are distinct differences.

The difference between a process and a procedure is quite substantial. A process is more surface-level that relates what needs to be done in a certain aspect of the business. It’s used by management to analyze the efficiency of their business and is a series of tasks or methods that are put into practice to create the desired result. A procedure, on the other hand, relates to how a task or method within a process needs to be done. A procedure is much more detailed than a process, as it includes the exact instructions on how the team member is supposed to carry out the job.

At a glance, the two might seem confusing, as they both refer to the same activities being carried out. So simply stated, you can look at the difference between a process and a procedure as “what” versus “how.”

Although that is conceptually how processes and procedures work into a team effort, the next step is to put them in writing so that everyone understands their part as a team member and how their tasks and duties work for the betterment of the entire company and the benefit of all concerned.

In a past career, I was asked by my new manager to show him the process and procedure manual for my department. I kind of stumbled around my words, saying that we really didn’t have things in writing, but we basically all knew what to do and that we were a well-oiled machine. Ha! Well, he didn’t take that as a good answer and asked that I create a process and procedure manual describing each position, their duties, and how tasks are performed. Then he left my office!

Holy cow, now what? So, I called my team members in one by one and we started writing processes and procedures for everything. What a daunting task! After a couple of days of overwhelming my team with this new task while they kept up with their daily duties, I heard the grumbling. This was going to take a lot of time and effort to create a manual quickly. As a young executive, I didn’t question my boss, as I knew having this manual would help me manage the team and give them more structure as well, but I never asked when it was due; I just assumed he meant right away.

A couple of days later, he once again stopped by my office and asked how it was going. With my usual positive attitude, I said, great! I guess he could see it in my eyes that we were struggling with it. He smiled and said, “You know you don’t have to do this all at once; just take it day by day.” And he went on to describe a process and procedure on how to develop a process and procedure manual. (Go figure!)  He said two things that always stuck with me to this day.

  • Get your team involved in taking notes of things they do throughout the day; situations that come up and how they dealt with it.
  • Then, meet with them each day to discuss what happened, how it was handled, and how it might be improved. These notes and discussions will then produce processes with detailed procedures after a final analysis.

The next step was to take these processes and write up the details of how each task within the process should be conducted, keeping in mind best practices and beneficial outcomes. Day by day, we kept accumulating processes and procedures, polished them, and within a couple of months’ time, we had a process and procedure manual. It was always a work in progress with additions and adjustments to the manual, yet once we had the basics and the baseline, the rest kept falling into place.

It is very important to get input and involvement from the team members as to how they think the process and procedure should be so that they know that their opinion matters.

As an example, in our industry, let’s discuss the typical service call as a process and procedure. An overall name for this process might be “Service call from curb to collect” and in writing may look something like this:

Service call process – The technician prepares for the call with the proper dispatch information and professional appearance. A proper meet-and-greet and conversation at the thermostat will transition into the diagnostic stage to determine the cause of the problem, and solution options are presented to the homeowner so they can choose what best fits their budget and needs.

Service call procedure – The technician will wear a clean uniform, which may include changing shirts from a previous call, hair combed, and clean-shaven. Park your truck on the street and ask the homeowner if the truck location is okay since you don’t want to block an exit or get any fluids on the driveway. Introduce yourself with the proper company introduction and ask the homeowner to lead you to the thermostat. Ask investigatory and inquiry questions at the thermostat and take notes. Transition to the diagnostic stage with your personalized scripted transition statement and question. Conduct a full and complete diagnostic while involving the homeowner. Give the homeowner three options that involve:

1) What they must do to get the system back up and running

2) What they should also do to prevent it from happening in the future

3) Lastly, what they could do with additional accessories (IAQ) to enhance the performance of the equipment that will produce other benefits to the homeowner.

Let the homeowner choose the best option for them, complete the paperwork, and collect the money for the chosen option. Thank the homeowner for the opportunity to service them and return to your truck for a debrief with dispatch.

By following the day-by-day process and procedure creating method described above, everyone in each department will have a set plan with a track to run on, which will substantially minimize the blame game.

Here is how you know that you will need written processes and procedures:

  • If you have to ask, then you need them
  • If you don’t have them, then you need them
  • If you hear things from team members like, “I do it like this” or “I believe we do it this way” or “I think we should do it like this,” then you need them.
  • When these “I’s” turn into “We” do it this way, then you know you’re getting somewhere!

Highly successful companies don’t just happen. Everyone in every department must know their role and how it helps everyone else with their jobs in other departments. You can’t have workplace silos that don’t communicate with others. When everybody is on the same page singing out of the same hymnal, teamwork becomes fun and rewarding. Processes and procedures are the basis, while execution and accountability are the keys to a successful and enjoyable TEAM EFFORT!


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 to see if there are Success Days in your area!

The Kindness Culture

Three things: A Quick thought – A Story – A Kindness Culture

A Quick Thought:

We all talk about getting our customers to like and trust us. It all starts with genuinely treating people with kindness because it’s the right thing to do. Believe it or not, sometimes kindness is not a given. To some, it comes naturally all the time. It is part of their being. To others, it depends on what mood they are in. And some even need to be trained that it is the right thing to do.

A Story:

Michelle Hogan from our team shared this true story with me recently, from Kinder Brothers International, that I believe illustrates why it is important to act on kindness, as well as show your gratitude and appreciation when you receive it.

In the fall of 1860, the steamship “Lady Elgin” set out with a total of 393 passengers and crew members to make the trip from Chicago to Milwaukee. Just off the shore of Evanston, she was rammed by a lumber schooner and sank. As a result, 279 of the passengers and crew members died. Of those saved, 17 of them were saved by a student at Northwestern University, Edward W. Spence. He made 16 trips all from the shore to the sinking ship and back again, saving the 17 lives.

Because of physical exertion and the coldness of the water, Spence was in shock at the end of the 16th trip. It was reported that as they carried him to the hospital, he kept asking the question, “Did I do my best?” As a result of the incident, Edward Spence spent the remainder of his life as an invalid in a wheelchair.

Fifty years later, Northwestern granted him a Bachelor of Arts degree, not because he finished the classwork – he didn’t. He was awarded the degree because they decided he deserved it. It was at that time the plaque commemorating his heroism was placed on the wall of the old Coast Guard Station at the southeast corner of the campus. It hangs there today.

When he was 80 years old, Edward Spence was interviewed by Chicago newspaper reporters. They asked him, “What is your most vivid memory of that tragic fall day when the “Lady Elgin” went down off the coast of Evanston?” Mr. Spence’s answer was, “The fact that not one of the 17 people whose lives I saved ever came back to say thank you — not one.”

Amazing! Expressions of kindness, and in this case in a heroic way, should never go unappreciated. I’m sure that Mr. Spence wasn’t thinking of the victims thanking him during this heroic act, yet years later, that’s what bothered him.

This story reminded me of my friends at GEM Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing in Providence, RI. They have built a company culture around kindness, without the expectation of something in return. The difference in comparing their story to the one that Mr. Spence had experienced is that their Random Acts of Kindness® have paid unexpected dividends.     

A Kindness Culture:

I met the GEM Boys, Lenny, Eddie, Larry, and Anthony, owners of GEM Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, several years ago, and I was always impressed by their passion for their business, their community, and growing their company through good will. I recently caught up with Larry Gemma, who, with passion and excitement, detailed his kindness culture.

Larry relates that their employees are all trained on a culture of helping others, not to expect anything in return, but because it’s the right thing to do. Surprisingly, he said that not everyone hired is comfortable with this culture. It takes about a year for a new hire to internalize this to become second nature. “It is embedded in our culture to the point where they eventually don’t even think about it. It just is what they do!”

It all started with their Random Act of Kindness® Card. Their techs and other employees are expected to help others that they observe in their travels that need help or assistance in some way. Then they hand them a Random Acts of Kindness® Card. They are trained to stop what they are doing when they see someone in need, and they don’t need to request permission to do so.


This has evolved into a company culture of kindness, so much so that Larry heads a division in their company that is entirely dedicated to this cause. GEM has too many outreach and good will programs to detail in this article, but here are some of the highlights of the community programs that they have started or are involved in:

  • GEM is a huge supporter of the Special Olympic
  • Founding Sponsor of the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation
    • Gemma’s mother died from breast cancer
    • They started this foundation to help with the emotional aspect of cancer
    • Works with both men and women
  • Flames of Hope Foundation:
    • They were the first to have the RI statehouse light up in pink
      • This is their main fundraiser for the year with over 100,000 people attending
      • This fundraiser and event started small and has grown into their largest event of the year for the community

  • McAuley House – They help underprivileged kids
  • YMCA – they fundraise to send kids to camp
  • Heat for Heroes
    • Just started this year
    • People nominate a vet to receive a new furnace
  • They also hire veterans and help them with applications for their company and other careers outside their industry as well

All these programs and more, along with the Random Acts of Kindness® culture, have made GEM a beacon in the community and the dominant go-to company for install and service in their markets.

I’d like to close with one more interesting story and unexpected benefit that GEM had experienced through building this culture.

Years ago, the GEM Boys and their team were in a marketing meeting discussing getting a catchy company phone number that would be easy for their community to remember. Half-jokingly and half-serious, someone exclaimed, “how about 867-5309!”, the 1981 – 867-5309/Jenny Tommy Tutone hit. (I know you are singing the song in your head right now.) So, they decided to go on a search to see who owned the rights to it. Coincidentally, it was owned by Brown University in Providence, RI. They made a call there to see if they could purchase the rights to the number. The person they spoke with at Brown University said that they never give up their phone numbers. GEM pressed further and found the person in charge of the phone numbers and basically received the same response, but during the conversation, this person recalled that GEM was heavily involved in promoting the Special Olympics. This person was closely involved in the Special Olympics as well and ended up giving the number to GEM, who now use it as their phone number and own the rights to it!

You never know where kindness and good will lead to, but there is no downside.

Thank you, Larry, for your time and for allowing me to share your story.

Creating a Culture of Kindness within your company will have an exponential positive impact on your company and the community. Start small, think big, and help spread acts of genuine kindness in your community. Maybe together, we can make this contagious and spread this much-needed kindness around 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 to see if there are Success Days in your area!