Janet Gets a Pep Talk

Knock knock!

Janet glanced at the clock. It was still only 7am. Who could it be at this hour? She tried to shake off the insecure thoughts as she walked to the front door so she could put a happy, public face on.

“Mike! Come in. Coffee? Why didn’t you just come around back?”

“Good morning. Yes, the usual, you always have good coffee. I wasn’t sure if you were dressed to receive, yet.”

Janet laughed at that and glanced down at her cut offs and baggy T. “You have a point there. At least I’m decent today. Let’s sit out back.”

“This really is a little piece of paradise you have here.” They both looked around at Janet’s garden. Janet smiled to herself thinking Mike didn’t know much about gardens if he couldn’t see the neglected plants that needed weeding and deadheading. Those delphiniums needed to be moved into a sunnier spot and the day lillies needed to be divided again.

Mike looked at the neglected plants and tried to remember the last time he had seen Janet’s garden look this bad. It was still beautiful and it was peaceful. “We haven’t talked in a few weeks, Janet, and I wanted to see how you were doing with your business growth.”

“Oh, you know, things take time.” Mike just looked at her. He wasn’t letting her off the hook that easily. “We have more work than we can handle and the two crews are going steady. Maggie is ready to step up to take over ordering the materials and maybe some of the team building. She has great ideas, but it feels like things are coming too fast. I haven’t had time to figure out what to do.”

Mike smiled. He knew exactly how she felt. “Change is hard. It means letting go of the way things were. Most people experience feelings of loss. Odd isn’t it. but true. People also have feelings of loss of control. It’s not unusual for people to go on binges of some kinds as a way to gain that control. Some people will pull back and try to make things the way they were, but you can’t go back. You are going to experience all kinds of strange feelings.”

“So, it’s not just me? I’m not unusual?” Janet joked.

“Oh, Janet, yes you are unique, but what you are feeling is not unusual.”

“Sometimes it feels like I haven’t done anything at the end of the day. I don’t always know what I should be doing. I should let Maggie do more. I should mentor her. But then what do I do? On the other hand, I know I should design systems to make the business run better, but I’ve never done that before. See what I mean. I can spend whole days trying to figure out what I should be doing, all the while doing busy work that I don’t need to do.”

Now Mike was outright laughing. He gave Janet a hug. “Congratulations, you have graduated from self-employed roofer to business owner. You can do this. I know you can. I know it, because you grasp what needs to happen. Running a business is pretty straightforward and it’s not rocket science to make a very good business. But it’s not easy and the hardest work will have to be done in your head. You do know what has to be done and you have the ability to do it and to learn how to do the parts you don’t know, yet. As many businesses as there are in the world and as many millions of roofing companies there are, yours is still unique because it’s yours. Even though all those businesses are similar, you can’t take their experiences and know for 100% certainty that you will get the same results and that is scary. Know this, Janet: you will get YOUR results. You will get out of it, what you put in. Your business will be awesome because it’s built by you. You need to square with the fact that you won’t always know how it will turn out, but you will always be able to manage it. Now, go and do what needs to be done.”

Janet wiped away tears. She took a deep breathe, squared her shoulders, looked Mike in the eyes and said, “Thank you. That is exactly what I needed to hear. I CAN do this. Have a great day, Mike. I have work to do.”

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  1. Tools Today – Tool Blog» Blog ArchiveA little piece of paradise » Tools Today - Tool Blog

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