Time management is something most painters struggle with… you are not alone!
This weekend, we celebrated Sylvia’s 6the birthday with a grand tea party where she invited all of her friends. They had a great time eating dainty sandwiches, sipping tea, receiving etiquette lessons, and trying on large, outlandish hats.
When all the girls got together wearing their many hats, it made me think: Most painting contractors wear far too many hats. I know, because owners use those exact words when they complain to me about being stuck and overwhelmed in their painting businesses.
“Brandon, I’d love to focus on (insert problem or opportunity), but I’m just wearing too many hats,” a frustrated owner will tell me.
I’m here to tell you that there are two types of hats. One is profitable, the other leads to poverty. One helps you manage your time wisely, the other steals it from you and offers little in return.
Reactive Hats – These are the hats you wear as you mindlessly and breathlessly react to external stimuli that you have in initiated on our own. Examples of these include rearranging your schedule for a last-minute estimate request, running out to the paint store because someone forgot something, or going out to “touch up” a sub-par job that made a client upset.
Most owners spend their entire careers wearing reactive hats. To a person, these owners do not make very much money, own unpredictable businesses, and feel like everything is outside of their control.
Proactive Hats – These are hats that are worn when you set aside time and self-initiate your own effort to build a system or undertake an activity that permanently reduces a recurring problem or opens up a steady stream of opportunities.
Examples of these activities include reworking your sales system so that it is more persuasive, restructuring your crew meetings to incentivize crew leaders to come un on budget, or calling on your top 100 list of ideal commercials repaint projects.
You see, when an owner wears a reactive hat, he might pay himself $10-$15 per hour – tops. When an owner consistently sets aside time to wear a proactive hat, he can generate thousands of dollars in opportunity or saved income.
Want to know if you are wearing proactive hats enough to see your business change fundamentally? Here is the ultimate test…
Look at your calendar for the next two weeks. Is there a recurring block of time set aside for these activities that is never interrupted? Are you committed to making the changes you should?
Or, do you simply make excuses? Saying, “Well, I would get to all that ‘high-dollar’ work, but I can only do it when there’s nothing else going on. I’m just too busy.”
You see, that’s a mindset of poverty. Wealthy painters FIRST schedule their proactive, high-dollar work. Then, they make room for reactive, low-pay work.
Which best describes you? Need help figure out what to do and when to do it?
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