What Did We Expect?

We all go into business with certain expectations. We imagine that we’ll make a lot of money. We expect to work with the best people in our industry. We anticipate that we’ll have scores of frenzied clients, posting to social media, raving about how great we are. And we’re certain that the number of problems that we’ll encounter will be few and far between.

client giving their home inspector a thumbs up

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Until we find out that we’re wrong.

It seems like we’re always having problems. The social media posts aren’t trending in the right direction. We’re not overwhelmed with throngs of adoring customers. We find ourselves working with less-than-desirable cohorts, and there’s not a single person coming over the hill, pushing a wheelbarrow full of hundred-dollar bills.

What’s going on?

Did I miss something?

Did I forget an important step?

Where did I go wrong?

So, we rack out brain, trying to discover where it is we went wrong. There must be something that we overlooked; some simple action that we neglected. If we can only figure out what that one thing it is, we’ll be back on the straight and narrow, heading directly to success.

But it’s never that easy, is it?

All too often, we end up working against ourselves. We become our own worst enemy. As humans, we’re programmed to look for the easy way out. We see it all the time on TV, at the movies, in the books we read and the stories we hear. Just fix the one big mistake, and everything works out in the end.

Tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it.

We like to say that we’re set in our ways, but the truth is that most of us really don’t want to change.  It’s much easier to come up with reasons why we don’t need to change than it is to start the ball rolling.

Face it; it’s much easier to complain than it is to change.

So, if we know that we should be changing, growing, and improving, but we keep finding excuses not to, then the big question becomes:

Why are we surprised with the things that keep happening to us?

What did we expect?

We continue to find reasons to keep our prices lower than our competitors, but we’re surprised when clients keep asking us for a discount on our rates.

We haven’t taken a minute out of our schedule to upgrade our inspection verbiage, so our clients keep calling us for more clarification on what we meant by the statement in our report.

We’d like to move up the ladder and work with some of the more professional real estate agents out there, yet we’re taken aback by the fact that most of them have already chosen their favorite inspector.

If we chose to offer a bottom of the barrel product, doing the least amount of work that’s required, we shouldn’t be surprised to find that we’re working with the dregs of the industry.

If we were in the restaurant business running a greasy spoon, would we be surprised to see our customers coming in wearing flip-flops and a wife-beater? By the same token, if we ran the most expensive French bistro in town, would we be surprised then to find our clients dressed to the nines and on their best behavior?

a home inspector surprised by the success of his business

We find ourselves, all too often, surprised by where the road leads us, puzzled by the way that things work out. But, if we stop for a minute to examine the markers along the route, taking a second to look at the signs, where we end up shouldn’t really be much of a surprise at all.

Most of the time, things work out precisely like their supposed to, even if that means it’s not exactly what we were hoping for.

If you don’t give anything, don’t expect anything. Success is not coming to you. You must come get it.

Marva Collins

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Thanks, Joe

pic of me, Joseph Cook Jr, home inspector