Sunday, March 25, 2012

Where Is Your Bar?

My past blog I shared with you that I am and continue to navigate dark waters in business.  This past season has been rough on me.  I am trying and trying and failing.  But there are two things that I have realized

1.       I have awesome friends and a wonderful family.  My wife first and foremost knows me better than I do.  She knows when I am troubled and she knows what makes me better.  To my wife I am nothing without you and you know that.  You are my universe.  And my friends have been so supportive, particularly one.  I won’t mention names, but I appreciated your blog and your message really impacted me.  Made me realize there are people out there who care.  Thank you friend!

2.       You have to put yourself out there to grow.  Sitting in church today my pastor taught me an important thing.  He said that life get’s you down, you get overwhelmed, but your faith the cross will keep you going.  Normally I don’t get too religious, but this hit me hard.  Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with stuff it is hard to look past what is going on right in front of me.  I need to start doing that more often and believing that no matter what, my trust in the Lord will get me to the next step. 

Now to get to it I think these dark waters I am navigating I put myself here because I set my bar high. I wanted to come off last season and do better, build bigger things, and make things happen, but I didn’t.  I failed and that’s not acceptable in my book. I win, ALWAYS. A common misconception about me is that I grew up with my dad owning his own business so I could just walk right down the path and fall into a position, cake walk.  Not so, I am not built that way.  Everything I did, I did on my own, everything I got, I took.  I was never given a free meal ticket.  Everything I got I earned.  That has led to the mentality I have today. Every night before I got to bed I ask myself did I do everything I could have done today?  Did I work my hardest? Did I play with my boys enough? Can I do more?  What can I do?  I don’t go to sleep without knowing I couldn’t squeeze one more fraction of a second out of the day.   I am not satisfied with a common 9 to 5, I am not satisfied walking the line, I am not satisfied being one of the numbers.  I am better than that.  I drive so hard to be the best and I will not stop until I reach the line.  And when I do I will keep on going.  That’s who I am.  I remember being a kid.  I knew what I wanted to do when I was 10.  I always drew up floor plans of my dream mansion.  Every football game I was the quarterback, every snowball fight I was general.  I lead, I drive, I win.  So I will not stop, I will continue to drive, I haven’t found my way yet, but I’m looking, and I am looking real hard. 

So these blogs I write, I don’t know if they help you.  I hope they do.  I write because I find it makes me feel better.  I post them public so maybe someone walking in similar shoes can get some help and I have nothing to hide.  So if I am helping you, good, stay tuned I’m not going anywhere.  To part I ask you one question, where is your bar?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I am going out of my norm here and blogging twice in a week, but I have something that has been nagging at me for some time and I want to share my story and video to maybe help someone going through this.  This has been a dark winter for me; I have gone through some dark times.  No my dog didn’t die, no my family is ok.  It’s just been dark in business.  I have tried and tried and tried to do right and be better and I felt like I’m getting nowhere.  Now I’m sure for some you have been down that road, but not me.  I’ve never known anything but success, however I think this is the first year that I am transitioning to putting myself out there.  I’m doing more and more to try and get more for the company and guess what I batted .000 this winter.  I failed. And what did I do.  I pointed my finger somewhere else; I blamed other people and things.  It’s taken me some time but I realize it was my fault.  I didn’t try hard enough.  In the end of the day I could have done more, I could have, but I didn’t.  For that and to those I blamed my faults on I am sorry.  It’s me and I will be better.

Now to try and get me out of the funk, besides finding the release in my family, I went to YouTube.  I came across this video and I want you to watch it.  It’s built around sports and leave it to sports to teach you perseverance, but it teaches you one thing.  It’s not about who you are, it’s about what you do.  Now go ahead call me corny, I don’t care…. Go ahead say, “What the hell do you got going on that you need a dumb YouTube video to boost your motivation?” But you know maybe it’s you who are experiencing the same issues I am or maybe it’s you who goes to your job runs your 9 to 5 and goes home accomplishing just the bare minimum.  Well you know what that is not me.  I am not that person.  If you are fine, good for you, but I’m not and like I said if this blog/video motivates one person I’ll be glad because the world needs more movers and shakers in my mind.  We are a society of robots, few dare to break down walls and attack the world head on.  I used to wake up every day and attack the day like war I wanted to go through the day blowing every single thing I touched out of the water.  This winter I was getting blown out of the water and my eyes glazed over.  Not anymore…We all need a little pick me up from time to time and I did.  This video did it to me and I hope this helps you.  Stay hungry my friendsJ

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Technology is something we all take for granted.  Technology exists all around us, yet for some technology is ignorance.  Technology can be a machine or a tool, but it also comes in the form of ideas, processes, and innovations.  It tends to be the ideas and processes that people have a hard time adjusting too.  When you see the latest and greatest tool at the hardware store it is easy to make the impulse buy and upgrade.  But when a person develops a new idea, it is hard sometimes to make that “impulse buy”.  Why?  Sometimes its risk, sometimes it’s the fact you can’t see the monetary gain, most of the time it’s the simple fact that it may change the way you have been doing things for years and years.  Is that bad to think that way no, there is the risk it will fail, but the other side of the coin is the technology succeeds and benefits are skyward.  I have found that in this industry some people aren’t investing in the technologies needed to take us as an industry to the next step.  There seems to be this stagnancy that most will blame it on not having the money to take risk.  Others will not want to shake the dice, but it was that dice rolling that built this country from the ground up.  So I really encourage those in the position to listen and “invest” in the new technologies.  They exist every day, but we are muting them out.  Take the time to unplug from the negativity in the news and tune into to something positive…FORWARD THINKING!!!  Everyone has thoughts every once in a while and those are the technologies that need to come out and no one should have fear of bringing these thoughts to the surface.  It is these thoughts that could save your company thousands of dollars or make your company thousands of dollars.  So please for the sake of the industry invest and stay hungry. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Man Next To You

Every year about this time I start to get ansy for the next construction season.  Now is about the time the phone starts ringing, bigger contracts are getting secure, and things start moving again.  The one thing I take for granted from time to time is the guys that work with me.  Everybody from the the delivery team, to the production team, to the mainenance crew they do a fantastic job and sometimes that get's overlooked.  This is not a blog to suck up to my guys.  The purpose of this blog is to direct the attention of those that work in a team environment and take for granted the man next to you.  I enjoy everyday I come into work and talk to everyone about everything.  It's nice to hear when someone has a baby on the way, or acheieved something, or even spent the weekend on the couch doing nothing.  I don't care, I enjoy hearing stories.  If you got a story I want to hear it and you know, I think more managers, bosses, owners should be that way too.  I have been on both sides of the coin and still to this day I enjoy someone asking me "hey what did you do last night" or "how was your weekend."  It really makes you feel good.  I have seen too many days where you get lost in big projects and it's like Ok get to work, work, work, work, and go home.  You get lost and derail, forget the man working next to you is are real human being and maybe he had a bad night, maybe he wants to talk, but you get lost and ignore him.  Take the time out of every day to just talk to everyone, it makes a difference.  So in all this is not a suck up, even though my guys rock ;), I just think with the upcoming construction season we can all use a lesson in being human.  Take the time to talk to the man next to you, you may learn something, but you may just make the day of the man you're talking to.  I wish you all luck this season! Stay safe, stay strong!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Good Times, Good Friends

Fresh off my recent trip to Florida for the NPCA Precast Show and fresh off my presentation on Social Media I thought I'd blog about my experience.  First thing I learned quickly...traveling with two kids under the age of 5 is a nightmare.  I don't recommend it, but hey they are just kids.  We made it down there and all throughout the trip I was able to relive my childhood by riding on roller coasters with my mother in law and watching my boys in awe as they meet and greet their favorite Disney characters.  It was very special for me.  All fun aside, the NPCA did a wonderful job this year.  You can still tell by the trade show floor that the economy is still down, but the staff did a great job making the show what it is.  One of the things I hold dear to my heart is the relationships I have formed and am still forming with the NPCA staff and other NPCA members.  At a time during the show I was invited into the "backroom" of the NPCA and I got to mix it up with some of the NPCA staff I never knew.  I had a blast with all of them and it made it me realize how lucky I am to part of such a fantastic organization.  On the plant tour I met a new precaster from Mississippi and am learning new things from him and growing a new relationship with him.  So for me the Precast Show is all about the networking.  That is why I go, that is why I am part of the NPCA.  I feel like I'm member of a big family.  A family that is not quite as special as my personal family, but they are just as giving and I hold the relationships I have just as close to my heart.  So Kirk, Claude, Roland, Bob, Ty and everyone else thank you so much for another memorable trip.