Words: Corey Adams
Do you ever sit around and wonder how someone became successful? What did they do to get where they are? Are they smarter than me? Do they know something I do not? Then when all your rationalization fails, you determine that they were just luckier than you.
I am going to give this one to you straight…it is none of the above.
I have made a game of sorts of studying people. I study myself, my competition, and all the people that are at a success level I wish to be. Through these studies, I have stumbled on a common denominator that may seem a bit too easy but nonetheless is evident. Especially in my most successful subjects.
While mentoring others on the possibility of starting their own businesses, I have heard the first excuse many times. “I couldn’t do that, you are smarter than me.” I unequivocally call cow manure on that immediately. You see, intelligence is relative. Ask a mason about brick, and most likely he will be the smartest guy in the room.
Ask a 13-year-old about what is trending in middle school and bam! They are now the smartest guy in the room. Intelligence is not something measured unilaterally. It depends on the question, and who you ask. Here I am writing articles for almost two years now, and I guarantee that everyone reading this has something to teach me.
The internet explosion has taken away the next excuse. With YouTube, peer groups, Google, and all the other information avenues, there is no longer a stranglehold on information. Successful people do not know something that you cannot find on the internet. Proprietary information is a thing of the past. Go ahead and google how to bid construction work, how to calculate overhead, or the difference in masonry bonds. It is all there waiting to be discovered.
Luck is an opinion and a huge excuse. Skill breeds luck. We all know someone that was born with all the opportunity in the world and squandered it. Were they lucky, or cursed in that situation? Well, it is all how they dealt with it.
Ok, so what is the common denominator that lies in the successful contractors out there? Confidence. Yes, it is that easy. Now, this is not fake confidence, but a real internal belief that you can figure it out. What prevents many from starting off on their own, or a small company from aggressive growth is the lack of confidence or fear.
Confidence is the number one asset that every person should have before trying to move up the life status ladder. Want a business, want a raise, want 30% growth in 12 months? Believe you can. Know what you know, and know you know it.
I guess I would expand the common denominator just a bit. The successful contractors that I have worked with, mentored, been mentored by, and converse with also apply positivity to their confidence. They attack every problem from the jobsite to the boardroom with the same attitude, “we can figure this out, let’s do it.”
It would be a disservice to not alert you to the pitfall associated with confidence. It can become arrogance. The people I have studied all have a confident air about the way they do business, but all would agree that humility is just as important. Confidence can take you high, arrogance can bring you crashing down.
I fought with a lack of confidence for years. I thought I could do it but never made any headway until I believed. Confidence does not come overnight. It takes time. But I will tell you, the thing holding most people back in the world is the lack of this common denominator.