Develop a No-Nonsense Attitude

The attitude you assume regarding your business sets the tone for all your business relationships. I recommend you set a business tone that expresses

  • you are serious about what you do,
  • you are serious about what you say, and
  • you are serious about what you deliver.

One of my favorite Bible stories is of the young shepherd boy (and future king of Israel), David, as he prepares to fight the Philistine giant, Goliath.

David is called into the tent of the mighty King Saul after announcing that he will answer the challenge to go out to meet this giant on the battlefield. Saul offers to dress the young boy in his armor and provides him with the king’s shield.

It's humorous to imagine the young shepherd, accustomed to the freedom of loincloth and wind, stumbling around as he attempts to indulge his king by wearing all the unfamiliar armor of the soldier. In the end, David throws off the weight and bulk of the unfamiliar armor, strips for battle, goes out of the tent, and slays the giant.

Aside from whatever lessons your minister may wish to draw from this scripture passage, inside this story is an important message for running your business.

To succeed in your business, decide what is important for you and your business to accomplish, figure out how you are going to do it, and then do only those things.

That is a no-nonsense attitude.

Your Sales Attitude

Is it important that you sell the next house you build? Absolutely!

  • Then what are you going to do to make certain that it sells?
  • Do you add features that you know, through market research, your customers want?
  • Are you telling your market about your project even as you are building it?
  • Are you developing an image and a reputation that makes your prospect value a purchase from your company?
  • If the market understands that you are serious about being or becoming #1, and doing what is required to get there, they will reward you with their trust.

Your Sizzle Attitude

Is it important that your buyers understand the nitty-gritty about how you build a house? Probably not.

  • Then don’t tell them unless they ask.
  • Tell them how proud they will be to own it.
  • Tell them about the special stone from your local area you used in the fireplace.
  • Tell them about the special pumps in the whirlpool tub.
  • Tell them about the 30-year roof.
  • Tell them about some other special feature.
  • Give your buyers something they can brag about to their friends.
  • Sell the sizzle and you’ll sell more steak.

Your System Attitude

Is it important that you control your homebuilding process? Of course it is.

  • Have you specified each step of the process?
  • Do you have fixed price contracts with your subs and suppliers?
  • Do you have signed change orders with your customer?
  • Do you understand your financing agreements with your bankers?
  • Do you review the invoices and statements that come in?
  • Do you insist on separate invoices for each project instead of a generalized listing of services or materials for all projects so you can do job cost allocations and where you are on each budget?
  • Approach each aspect of your business with a professional attitude, knowing that you're going to make a profit.

Your Supplier Attitude

Do you know about all the new building materials and methods available to you?

  • Should you know about them?
  • How do you keep up with the information flow?
  • The best way is to rely on suppliers you can trust to inform you.
  • Make it very clear to them that, as part of your business relationship, you expect to be kept informed of new developments and materials.
  • Put your suppliers to work for you.
  • Make them earn their sales by keeping you ahead of all the other builders.

Your Specialist Attitude

Approach your other advisors the same way.

  • Make your legal team understand that it is their job  to warn you proactively about changes in laws that affect you.
  • Your bookkeeper should be working with you to develop the most useful financial decision models.
  • Your accountant should be informing you regarding tax planning strategies.
  • Your insurance agent should let you know about new coverage programs, and should be checking your risks and coverages periodically.
  • Your real estate agent should be alerting you to available properties and what amenities shoppers are asking about.
  • How can your banker or your mortgage representatives help your business?
  • All these people work for you, and they should be earning their fees.


It consists of 

  • determining what must be done, 
  • planning how to do it, and 
  • doing only those things.


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