It’s cold. I know, it is Winter in Colorado, what should I expect? This weekend is the beginning of the National Western Stock Show in Denver. For some reason, Mother Nature seems to want to showcase how brutal she can be every year at this time. With last nights temps ranging from -16 to -48 Fahrenheit (-26 to -44 Celsius) here, life gets a tad frosty. And that wasn’t even the coldest it has been!
So, there I was. Snuggled up in my home office over the past few days with a heater at my feet . . . frustrated!
Part of my current business venture relies on the construction of two buildings. One is about 40% complete. The other, a critical storage/office facility, about . . . 2%! Both require warmer weather to proceed (are you listening here Mother Nature?).
The land has been leveled, trenches dug. I am ready for the foundation upon which the building can progress. Slight problem. I can’t pour cement when the ground is frozen. No cement means no foundation, no building, no business. Yeah, trust me, as I wrote out the checks to cover ongoing expenses I was ready to pull out what little (albeit long) hair I have left!
Then . . .
I was passing time as it snowed watching YouTube videos I subscribe to. I came across an update from a man in Australia doing, basically, the same business model we are. And <gasp!> he was talking about how it was too HOT to work! (yeah, I laughed about his – problem – a bit)
As I watched, I stopped laughing. He was talking about how he saw the future of the project, and what steps he was taking to achieve other aspects while he waited. How it had taken two years to get to this point. A point at which what he had already worked so hard to establish, the foundation built over time, that continued to allow him to move ahead. Suddenly, the snow/cold wasn’t my focus anymore. It was how stupid I was!
Yep! I admit it. In my frustration, I had forgotten one of the most important aspects of building a business.
It wasn’t the cement in the foundation of some building that makes the business, but the foundation of the business already built!
Pouring the cement . . .
The foundation that matters the most is the one – poured – over time. Seemingly endless hours of research. Ideas developed only to be discarded and started again. People met, and lessons learned. Ongoing meetings with attorneys, accountants, potential investors, and customers. All this has come – together – to form the foundation upon which I could build as I moved forward on this path.
And it was powered by the knowledge that it could be done. Providing, of course, that I kept building.
Building on the foundation . . .
The work, time and money invested preparing is what allows us to move beyond where we were.
Just as a building can not be built without first making a strong enough foundation to support it, a business can not either. It is this foundation that has enabled me to reach the point I am at today. Solid enough for others to listen, flexible enough to adapt.
Nor does a foundation alone mean the work is done. Yes, you can count on a strong foundation to support what you build, but build you must. The work is not done or going to get easier, it is merely shifting into the next phase. One that relies on what you have done to achieve what you have yet to do.
Now is the time to be laying out the parts and assembling the tools. Double checking to make sure there are no cracks to repair, nothing is missing. Reach out to others that may help jumpstart the process once the time is right. The – real – work, the building, is about to begin, and everything has to be ready.
Thanks to a man drinking tea on a sweltering Summer day in Australia, it will be!
The next step . . .
I had allowed my frustration to limit my vision, which can be fatal in business. Learn from my mistakes, and what I have done right.
- Start now by making sure you are taking the effort to build a foundation capable of supporting what you seek.
- Admit to yourself that you probably don’t know everything needed, no matter where you are on this journey.
- Seek out the resources, and people, to overcome the obstacles along the path.
- Be prepared for failures, as there will be some, and celebrate the successes – no matter how small.
- Reach beyond what you think you can do, and surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.
No, there are no shortcuts. The investment we make in ourselves determines the return. Take the time, make the effort, build it right.
With Sincere Thanks
“The only limits we have are those you impose upon yourself. Remove the limits!”
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6 thoughts to “Pouring Cement – Building The Foundation”
Great real life story with a good lesson learned.
Thanks for sharing it.
Life teaches us much, but only if we listen! I wanted to think I had the answers but wasn’t paying attention to what needed to be addressed. Fortunately, I had someone else in my list of associates that was!
It is so important to work with others, as they may see what you are missing.
Thanks for the comment! 🙂
Awesome post Richard! I love your descriptions. They are so vivid and make reading your post so much more real. I learned about how important the foundation of a business is today 🙂
Welcome back Barbara!
No business can prosper without first establishing the foundation upon which to build. Period.
It is what allows us to move ahead, supports decisions, and shows others our level of dedication to the core concepts. And in this case, saved my butt from a serious self-inflicted problem!
Thanks for reading, and commenting. Always appreciated! 🙂
Awesome post and this is so true – if you don’t have a good foundation for your business – no matter how hard you work, how many hours you put in – it can crumble. Listen to this post and take the time to lay your foundation
Thanks for dropping by and posting!
As I have recently found out, it is not only the projects/business you are planning for today, but what that may grow into that you must build for. You never know when something you did building the foundation can become in need of it!
Build deep, wide, and strong. The benefit of doing so should not be underestimated.