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The Lessons - Part 1 [Archive] - SOWPub Small Business Forums

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July 22, 2007, 09:44 PM
In my two announcements I said there were Lessons to be had. And without further rambling or delay, here they are in no particular order...

1: Spousal Agreement. My wife was supportive. WE talked about it. She was fine with it. Imagine if it hadn't been the case. One of us would be miserable. But we have a Great relationship and can talk openly and rationally about things.

2: Do a little at a time. All I learned and did over the last 18 months was achieved a little at a time. If you'd said, you need to learn all this material and how to operate all this machinery it would have Appeared like a huge undertaking. But it was all done a bit/little/step at a time. Remember the saying, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". It needs an addendum... "...and it is completed one step at a time".

The Hotsheet website was created a page at a time. The Hotsheets were written one at a time. Some over the course of several days, a bit at a time.

3: What one man can do another can do. This is a Truth I carry around with me and which exhibited itself in my post. There are Many men and women who have already done what I did. Not all of them did Everything I did, but they didn't have to. That they had achieved something individually is Proof Positive another person can do it. And it doesn't matter how Hard you Think the Task is, that someone else has done it, or achieved it, is all the proof you need that YOU can also do it. I saw the proof and Am the proof, to myself and others.

4: Learning is ongoing. Each machine required me to learn the Theory and then How To Operate it. And each Learning was assessed differently. For example, the Excavator had a written test of 134 questions - asked a question and had to write out the answer, no multiple choice - and required a 100% Correct to pass. Seems daunting, doesn't it? But remember, what one man can do another can do. That others had also done it meant I too would be able to do it. Same applied to the practical exercise of digging a trench of a certain depth - no deeper or shallower - and having the Bottom smooth and flat. You can either do it or you cannot. Do it and you pass, don't and you need more work to do. But everything is learned. Our learning is ongoing.

The Code I used to create the Hotsheets website was learned - years ago, but learned nonetheless. I had to Learn to use the software I wrote the Hotsheets in - and learned as I went how to write a hotsheet so it was a Hotsheet and not a Special Report.

5: Contacts are gold. Initially, you know no-one and things are tough. But over time you acquire more and more contacts and can utilize them as you go. Look at my first step... I made use of a Contact I had, to acquire a Blue Card. I was then provided with his Contacts and it continued from there.

For example: When I was building the 11 meter high wall, the drywaller I was working with was getting a dozen calls a day from other drywallers asking if he knew of any work going. He was also calling people and asking for the numbers of others he could get in touch with later on.

In fact, in this industry you see very Few "Positions Vacant" ads. That's because almost all projects are staffed as a result of Contacts. And as a project nears completion some of the guys make use of their contacts and get onto other projects which are just starting, so they always have income coming in. It's how my Construction Friend - the first guy I made contact with - has found work in the 20+ years he's been doing it. Via contacts.

6: ASK for what you want. Whatever it is you want, it needs to be provided by someone else. The Only way to get it is to Ask. I had to Ask my Contact about a Blue Card. I had to Ask his Contact about the Course. I Asked for people he knew - more contacts. And so it goes. I Asked to learn the machines and ask questions during the learning so I could learn more. I Ask contacts about people they might need - now or later. Sometimes I GET for free, other times the GETting comes with a Payment Condition of some kind. Either way, you need to Ask for what you want.

7: Act. You must take action. No amount of daydreaming or wishful thinking will get you anywhere. Only by taking action will you achieve what you set out to achieve. Making a phone call is Taking Action, walking onto a construction site into the site office and asking to speak to someone about working there is Taking Action.

A contact is of no use if you do no take action and contact them. Asking is of no use unless you Act on the result of the asking. All the wishing and dreaming in the world will get you naught. But action - right action - will.

It was Taking Action that saw the creation of my Hotsheets. It was Taking Action that saw the creation of the Hotsheets Website. Taking Action on the things that mattered.

8: Know what you want. It doesn't need to be detailed - which is where I think everyone falls down. But a good General Idea is needed. If I didn't know what I wanted I wouldn't have been able to take action in any direction. By knowing what I wanted I could then look into what I needed to DO - what Action Steps I needed to take - to bring that about.

I wanted to borrow money for investment property without needing to show two years of tax returns. To achieve this I needed a job - hence I now wanted a job. To get a job I needed a Blue Card - hence I now wanted a Blue Card. And so on and so forth. A General Idea of what you want will progressively Force you into the required steps, after completing each step.

I did not know all the steps which would be required. Nor did I need to know them. I would discover them as I needed them. Trying to figure it out before hand could have made it all seem too daunting and the idea abandoned. In this case, less detail of what I want serves a better purpose.

9: Let Go, Don't Care and Go With The Flow. If I had tried to Control my journey it would have been disastrous and quite frustrating. The fact is, I cannot control other people or their actions. I have No Control on their business decisions or anything to do with anything that could be favorable to me, or unfavorable to me. The wheels of projects were set in motion Independently of my knowing. A project exists or it doesn't. It needs staff or it doesn't. Everything that determines my success is out of my control, intrinsically. And so, I Let Go of any idea of controlling anything. Let go of anything I deemed detrimental to me getting to where I was going (the offline businesses for example). And adopted a "Don't Care" and "Go with the flow" attitude.

Obviously I cared - otherwise I would have just sat on my butt and done nothing and let welfare look after me. But I wasn't vested in a particular outcome at the sake of all others. And also adopted a "Never say no to an opportunity because you never know where it might lead" attitude - something you need to do to Go With The Flow.

Some may say, a fish only gets strong swimming against the current. But I'll add, it takes a long time to get anywhere and is a lot of hard work.

So the first offer was excepted. During a quiet week I spoke with another guy who asked if I was able to start right away (an opportunity presented) to which I said Yes. Made some more contacts - the other workers - who gave me some of their contacts. When that job ended, a phone call and an opportunity offered and I was somewhere else again. Going with the flow, letting the opportunities appear as they may or may not have. Always saying Yes to them as they appeared - even the ones that paid a little less.

My journey didn't take Courage. It took a Don't Care attitude. Almost an indifference. A Willingness to Let things come to be.

Continued in Part 2...

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