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Ten Keys to a Great Life

Sept. 17, 2020
Never stop learning. Never stop growing. When you stop growing, you begin to stagnate and die.

As a plumber, you work in one of the greatest professions in the land. But, do you live a great life? Not a good life, but a great one? Here are ten keys to a great life as a plumbing contractor.

1. Be a Lifelong Student

Never stop learning. Never stop growing. When you stop growing, you begin to stagnate and die. There is always more to learn… about plumbing… about business… about people… about history. Lifelong learning results in lifelong growth and a great life.

2. Believe in the Goodness of People

If you are in business long enough, you will encounter a customer who tries and maybe, succeeds in taking advantage of you. Undoubtedly, you will encounter an employee who will betray you. They are exceptions. They stand out because you were wronged. If you allow them to affect the way you see others and the world, you will wrong yourself far worse than the bad customer and faithless employee. Believe in the basic goodness of others and look for it. It is there and when you discover it, your faith in mankind is strengthened. Faith in others is necessary for a great life.

3. Work on Relationships

Business is built on relationships. In fact, everything starts with relationships. When it is your time to leave this world, you do not want to be surrounded by piles of cash like Scrooge McDuck. You want to be surrounded by family; family with whom you have great relationships. Work on your business relationships without ignoring your family relationships. Great relationships make for a great life.

4. Be Optimistic

Optimism is a choice. If you look for reasons to be pessimistic, you will find them. If you look for reasons to be optimistic you will find those as well.

At present, we live in a screwed-up world with everyone but the Swedish panicked over a virus. The economy was crippled by the government. No one is traveling. Few are eating out. There are riots in our biggest cities while the same cities are letting criminals out of jail and defunding the police. What in the world is there to be optimistic about?

How about the fact that plumbing was declared an essential service and never shut down? How about the fact that you continued to work? How about the fact that it looks like the economy is poised to come roaring back? How about the fact that homeowners are much more interested in water filtration and purification these days? How about the country becoming aware of the threat of China to our economy, jobs, quality of life, and national sovereignty before it became too late?

There is plenty to be optimistic about if you look for it. Pessimism leads to a life of scarcity. Optimism leads to a great life.

5. Find Win/Win Opportunities

The world is not zero sum. There is not a loser for every winner. It is possible to grow the economic pie. It is possible to find ways for everyone to win.

People who go through live with a zero-sum mindset are constantly fearful of being taken advantage of. People who find win/win opportunities are more successful over time and live happier, even great lives.

6. Emulate Successful People

If you want to become successful, associate with successful people. Study the successful and learn what they do that you do not, then emulate them. Avoid the envy trap, which leads to misery. Practice emulation, which leads to success and a great life.

7. Be a Joiner

A great place to find successful people is in groups. These range from your local service or civic club to the chamber of commerce, networking groups, and contractor associations. Do not overlook the national best practices groups, which are peppered with the best plumbers in the nation, all of whom are willing to help others in their groups. Joining groups helps you develop more of the relationships that lead to a great life.

8. Seek Ways to Enhance Value

The revenue a plumbing company receives is a direct reflection of the value it delivers to society. Boost revenue by boosting the value you provide. A company’s profitability is a reflection of how efficiently the company delivers value. Constantly seek ways to build on the value you provide through new or existing products and services to existing and new customers while also seeking ways to do it more efficiently. In this way, you will grow the top and bottom lines of the business as you increase the value of your impact on the world, leading to a great life.

9. Be a Good Financial Steward

Being a good financial steward means understanding your numbers. As Service Nation Alliance Business Coach, John La Plant puts it, the numbers will speak to you if you are willing to listen. Managing your business finances is a part of efficiently operating the company. It will improve profitability.

Some of the profitability should be reinvested in the future growth of the business. Some should be shared with the team. Some should be returned to the owners to reward them for putting capital at risk.

Good business financial stewardship is meaningless without good personal financial stewardship. Your business can be a source of wealth for you and your family if you manage the money it throws off wisely.

The ultimate financial windfall comes from building a business that can run without you and sold for millions. There has never been a better time to sell a good business than right now. Do not doubt that you can do it if you try. Dream big dreams for a great life.

10. Give Back

You benefit from a great industry and a great country. When you reach the point, give back. Give back by mentoring others. Give back by financially supporting the causes and institutions that are important to you. You cannot live a great life as a misery. You must give something back.

Register now for the Service World Expo September 22-24! It has gone virtual, features 44 different presentations, and a trade show with a virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D experience that makes it more like a trade show in a video game. Best of all, it is FREE to attend. Register now at

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