I remember telling my husband several years ago that when we got married, I didn’t want to be part of his HVAC independent contracting company and I didn’t want to deal with small businesses on a daily basis because “business was not my thing.” Thinking back on this I have to laugh! Isn’t it funny how we sometimes eat our own words? Now, not only am I married to a HVAC independent contracting company business manager but I’m also working with Service Excellence Training, a company that trains my husband’s independent contracting company as well as other HVAC, plumbing, and electrical independent contracting companies all over North America!
So what about my mentality changed over the course of a few years? Firstly, I’ve realized the vital importance of strong, healthy businesses in America. Todd Liles helped me understand this when I talked to him for the first time on the phone about a possible job opportunity with Service Excellence Training. He asked me about my potential future plans and about my studies in college. I told him that I had majored in Exercise and Sport Science and that my original goal was to go back to school to work in an area of wellness rehabilitation. Then Todd said something profound and it went something like this; “Whitney, what I do can relate to rehabilitation in the human body. If we don’t take care of our bodies we will become sick, weak, and die; the same is true for the inside of an independent contracting company. By training, we are helping independent contracting companies grow in a healthy and beneficial manner.”
Secondly, I now see that business owners and managers inside an HVAC, plumbing, or electrical independent contracting company have a type of reputable commitment and fervent passion unlike many other people in the world of work (greater risks and greater rewards). I’ve seen my husband work extremely inconvenient hours in very uncomfortable environments without so much as a negative comment leave his lips. When I ask him how he does it, he always responds; “Whitney, your attitude affects your altitude.”
While I have a better understanding of the importance of healthy businesses and independent contracting companies I’m now beginning to learn how to manage the stresses that come along with being immersed in business 24/7. I’ve learned quickly that owning your own business is no “8 to 5 job” but it is a lifestyle and a daily investment. These are a few techniques and skills that have helped me thus far:
–Knowing when to “turn-it-off” and rejuvenate— There is a difference between working hard and burning out (although this line can sometimes be fuzzy). I’ve learned that taking some time to refresh and relax your mind and body is important to stress management.
–Make the most of whatever amount of time you spend with your family— This is where quality of time versus quantity of time comes into play. I’ve found that independent contracting company business owners and managers have very limited time and making the most of the time available rather than complaining about time that is seemingly unavailable is the most beneficial for everyone.
–Find a hobby- Participating in a consistent hobby keeps me focused and active outside of work. I’ve always loved to swim but I just recently picked it back up. I’ve even set personal distance goals for myself. Having a hobby has allowed me to see a greater dimension to my life and it works as an escape to deal with stress and take out frustrations in a healthy manner.
–Know when to laugh– Laughter is a natural stress reliever because it automatically lowers your blood pressure. I’ve found that staying focused to accomplish tasks at hand is an important skill but learning when to laugh is also essential. I’ve even had to learn to laugh at mistakes I’ve made so I can go through the process of learning from them. When you take yourself so seriously all the time you tend to become frustrated and bitter because of mistakes you’ve made; but when you learn to accept that you’re only human, you become a more malleable and teachable student. When it comes to life, we are all students!
Another great concept that independent contracting company business immersion has taught me is that “students” (anyone willing and ready to learn) need teachers. Without expert guidance, direction, and training even the most excited student can quickly lose enthusiasm or their inspiration for learning can be diverted in the wrong direction. This is where Service Excellence Training can help. We offer training classes for Sales Technicians, Service Technicians, Client Service Representatives, and Management teams within an HVAC, plumbing, or electrical independent contracting company. The lesson material works to explain important concepts and skills that will increase the sales, leads, and retention for every independent contracting company as well as encourage unparalleled service excellence skills.
-Resource curated by Whitney Stewart of Service Excellence Training.
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