E-News - What is Your Carrot?

An entrepreneur can have multiple goals and dreams. Most crucial is a passion for what we do, along with a strong desire to succeed. To be a true entrepreneur you must be a risk-taker, a lifetime learner, and someone who may fall seven times but get up eight, time and time again! The only way to recover from failure is to persist in trying for success.

All of the above are very important characteristics, most inherent to entrepreneurial types, something that is just bred in us. Surely, many more traits can be added to that list, but without these as the bare minimum, we stand little chance of being successful. As I coach business owners, I can tell relatively quickly which attributes they are strong in and which they lack in, but one challenge many deal with is keeping their eyes on the prize. What gets you up in the morning, besides the smell of coffee? What do you look forward to each day? If you cannot answer that question anymore, you may have lost your edge. Maybe you go through the daily routine, still with a desire to serve others, empower people, and grow your business, but something has gone awry. Below are a couple things that can happen to any entrepreneur leader and the best way to avoid these snares in the road is to be fully aware of them:

Don’t get too comfortable! I have said many times that it is our job to keep our customers comfortable, not ourselves. Ironically, the only thing we should be comfortable with in growing our business is discomfort. When I moved from my 24x24-garage office to an 11,000 square foot building, my carrot, I definitely took a flying leap out of my comfort zone. That familiar garage was already paid for, and it was insanely convenient, within walking distance right behind my house. I was part of our five-person crew, and we managed to do almost a million in annual business out of that small facility. In fact, it was in that garage that I contracted my biggest job ever. Aimed at movin’ on up, I built and moved into my new building, only to be smacked with reality when the whopping mortgage bill arrived in my mail. It is sure not like it used to be, I thought. Based on that experience and many others over the years, I can tell you that growing a business means hitting milestones every couple of years, and if those milestones do not cause much discomfort, it means you did not take a large enough risk. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, because growing pains are part of the game.

Do not neglect your vision, mission, and the way you do business! Not only will this cause you to miss your carrot, but it will also prevent you from knowing what to do with it if you do happen to get there. If you do not create and work toward a mission, you will be lost, not knowing what you are doing or why. There are many innovative mission statements out there, but at McAfee Heating and Air, ours is:

“Leading in Air Quality, One Home at a Time.”

We are a leader in every area of our industry, and everything we do pertains to air quality. Since most of our customers are residential, our focus is on effectively and thoroughly serving one home at a time. This mission is easy to see and understand, and it works for us and the customers we work for.

As for vision, ours at McAfee is equally simple and clear but also important:

“Our vision is to be recognized as an innovator and leader in indoor air quality and to be a total home environment expert.”

We see our company and leadership as being ahead of the rest, and we’ve proven it again and again. No matter what, we aim to lead in air quality and providing the most comfortable environment for the people who call upon us.

The McAfee Way, which is conveniently printed on wallet cards, consists of: integrity, caring, culture, consistency, innovation, and team. We are proud of this card, which explains who we are and is be used to teach, encourage, or even reprimand when necessary, so that we all keep our eyes on the same carrot. Like everything else we do at McAfee, we are proud of these and passionate about them, and that passion is infectious among co-workers and customers alike, shining through in all we do.

Whether you are a fan of the carrot-and-stick concept or not, there is no denying that it is always the carrot that keeps the horse moving forward. What is your carrot?

Identify what it is and keep moving!

Carry On!

Greg McAfee
Greg McAfee
HVAC Business Consultant