Knock-offs are worse than generic

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” - Dale Carnegie

My passion for training people and increasing the human capital of my community is no secret. If you’ve never seen me speak on this, check out The Nobodies Show or the Marvelous Falls Podcast

I sometimes forget Carnegie’s quote above. Though we’ve built an organization that exploits zero people, I forget that men are motivated by pride and vanity. Though we are painfully generous with our people, they sometimes refuse to do the math with me and leave.

So yet again, I find myself with a new local competitor selling himself as “so-and-so from element7concrete”. Except they are no longer from element7concrete. The secret sauce that makes our builders so fiercely loyal is the consistency, quality, added value of good design ideas, and quality that only comes with a great team.

“Synergy” became a corny word in the late 80s and 90s, but that idea is real. Well structured teams like ours create more value in the world than the sum of the individual contributors because we are arranged in a way that capitalizes on strengths and makes personal weaknesses irrelevant. 1+1+1+1 = 7 here.

If I’m perfectly frank, the rejection of former employees hurts a little. They don’t believe me when I tell them how much you actually net as an owner - even with no “overhead” (no such thing: for instance if you don’t have a Material and Tool manager purchasing and repairing stuff for 6 teams you are doing it yourself, and spending more time than you expect) you don’t get to keep anywhere near most of the money that comes in. Like most construction service businesses, we eek out a 1-10% profit, depending on the month or year. They will learn the hard way, but that doesn’t always mend the relationship. Feelings are often illogical.

So what? The point of my sharing this is to share what really drives me in hopes that you get stoked to make something great, too. The most creative work I can think to do is to make unlikely futures for people who care to make beautiful things. A big “thank you” to the 100+ builders and architects who choose us every time for good reason. They know we are small enough to care deeply about their job and too big to get moody. We have clear values, a clear mission, and we just deliver. No matter what. Thank you for reading. I love you.