GPS, Think Weeks, and Impatience…
Read on to learn how workers typically familiarize themselves with GPS systems, why I walked aimlessly around Savannah, GA, this week, and how impatience got the best of me yet again.
I polled my online following to learn more about their experience with GPS. The poll reached 5,000 people in 24 hours, and here are the results:
“Do you run GPS / Grade Control?”
“Do you know how to use the technology to its full potential?”
“How’d you learn to use the technology when beginning?”
Here are some of the top responses:
- “Pushing buttons and see what they do.”
- “Walked through it by a coworker and figured it out from there.”
- “A 2-minute crash course.”
- “A little training and a lot of trial and error.”
- “By looking on YouTube when I got home from work.”
- “Trial and error and ask SITECH when they come on-site once a year.”
- “A quick introduction by the superintendent.”
- “Learned a lot from experienced operators and videos online.”
As BuildWitt grows, my role transitions further from doing to thinking. My contribution to BuildWitt was all photos, writing, etc., but today it's increasingly ideas and future direction.
I schedule quarterly "think weeks" to remove myself from the craziness that is nonstop job site visits, podcasts, and meetings. It's a weird feeling at first to intentionally stop doing so I can think, but now, I couldn't imagine business or life without this time!
I typically run, walk, write, and read. I'm always by myself and do my best to limit any distractions. It's by far some of the most valuable time all year.
For me, location is critical. I've found few places inspire more than Savannah, which is why this town has become my go-to for thinking.
To give you an idea of what I worked on this week, here’s the list:
- Refined my thoughts on our mission.
- Drafted a high-level plan for investment from leading industry technology companies.
- Drafted how I’ll address our team at our upcoming meeting.
- Drafted an entirely new speech for my upcoming engagements this fall.
- Laid groundwork for future international trips.
- Drafted a new social media strategy.
- Considered how we can generate greater value from our photo and video libraries.
- Recorded lessons learned from our ongoing Series A investment round.
- Published a note about investment to our team.
- Recorded lessons learned from what's likely my biggest mistake of this year.
Business Lesson Learned
Regarding the last point in the list above… "Recorded lessons learned from what's likely my biggest mistake of the year…"
I'm not going to explain the mistake in detail, but I will summarize a big lesson from it.
Earlier this year, we took some monster swings. While some landed, like creating a software company seemingly overnight, others didn't.
Why? I believe we were skipping steps. We wanted the easy button. After drinking too much of our Kool-Aid, we fooled ourselves into thinking we could skip right to "go" and collect our $200. That's not how business, or life, works.
In reality, we have to earn the right to do big things in the Dirt World.
Everyone's always out for the quick fix. We wanted fast growth and respect. I watch contractors seeking the magic potion for their workforce issues... Whatever it is, there are no shortcuts.
Now that we've finished our slice of humble pie, we are focusing on what's right in front of us. By continuing the growth of our marketing business and scaling BuildWitt Training, we will eventually earn the credibility we need to execute at the next level. Hard work pays.
This week on the Dirt Talk podcast, I spoke with Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas about mental health and suicide in the construction industry.
While it’s a serious conversation and gets deeply personal, it’s a conversation I feel the industry needs to hear frequently. The top industry for suicides isn’t something to shrug off… It’s time to get involved and make the changes necessary.
If you enjoyed the first Canadian vlog, I’ve good news! This week, we published a few more featuring oil sand mining operations, underground work, and Komatsu’s new Super Dozer. I hope you enjoy them!