Systems and tactics cut Ryan’s work hours in half and doubled the profit margin of his $11-million contracting company, in just 5 years.
4 steps for business leaders to get your life back.
A disciplined priority management formula to allow deep focus and more family and free time.
Strategic analysis and systems to gain a handle on priorities
The power of saying no for high-level entrepreneurs.
Golden nuggets to align long-term goals with short-term actions to ensure success.
Watch Episode 1 of the Contractor Evolution Show
Listen to Episode 1
Read A Summary of Episode 1
Do you feel pulled in so many different directions that at the end of the day you’re so utterly exhausted and feel like you’ve accomplished nothing? Forget “Your business gets the best of you and the family gets the rest of you,” no one is getting the best of you.
Construction is by nature chaotic. It’s so easy to get wrapped up fighting fires that you end up being pulled apart like a chew toy in a dog pen.
At some point, you need to stop. If not, your business, your family, and your social life will suffer, along with your health. Just ask Ryan Steward, owner of RJS Construction in Vancouver. Five years ago, after wrapping up his year-end and congratulating himself for strong numbers and steady growth, he realized it was taking 70+ hour work weeks and all of his family time to get him there. “I said to myself, ‘I can’t grow more if I carry on this way. I’m going to end up getting a divorce.’”
Time to change! What he did next turned his business – and life – around.
Fast forward five years and Ryan works less than 40 hours a week, spends quality time with his wife and two kids, gets to play in nature AND has doubled his profit margin, with a $11 million contracting company and a 25-member team.
Ryan, our guest on this episode of Contractor Evolution, talks to us about the four simple steps that gave him his life back.
Step 1 – The Brain Dump
You know all those thoughts whizzing around in your head? If they keep whizzing with no place to go, your mental health can suffer. Welcome to the brain dump! “The start to be able to schedule your priorities is to get those thoughts out of your head,” Ryan says. “I have a personal brain dump and a work brain dump, and from there I organize my priorities.” Ryan uses his computer to store the information, or, when he’s at home, he leaves his phone alone and uses a good old-fashioned pen and pad. “When you brain dump, there is an instant sense of relief,” he explains.
Step 2 – Prioritize Your Priorities
Your clients need something, NOW! Your onsite PM needs something, NOW! Your office manager needs something, NOW! But Ryan says nothing in construction is an emergency: “If there’s an actual fire, then call the fire service!” Prioritizing means understanding what is most important for you and the organization. “The starting point is knowing what you want to do, not what everyone else is demanding of you. When you’ve figured that out, don’t let distractions get in the way! Once you’ve listed your priorities, don’t get distracted. Finish that item. When you do, you’ll feel better.”
Step 3 – Block Scheduling (Shut The Door!)
This is priority number one! At RJS Construction, when the team is working on something all the alerts are off on everything (yup emails, social media, messaging, all of it) – and 100% focus is maintained. Ryan says, “The first thing I started doing was block scheduling and setting aside time to do that. I tend to do it Monday mornings. I look at the day, week, month, even a year out. Yes, you also have to have the space being in construction to react when necessary as things will come up. Your plan is your best guess, but if you can follow it 90% of the time, it’s a success.”
Step 4 – Spend Time On The Things You Love
Ryan loves to spend time in nature, fishing, skiing, and he especially loves spending time with his family. So how does he not let work interfere? “I have a personal brain dump and that is my main priority. Work is important, but home life is important as well. If your home life is chaotic and messy, that will impact your work. There’s probably a high divorce rate with business owners as they put all their energy into the business and then it derails the whole thing.” When he’s at home, Ryan’s phone is out of the way, because, as we all know, the constant pings are incessant!
We’re just skimming the surface here and Ryan has more amazing golden nuggets in the above episode of Contractor Evolution. Join us to learn how you can fulfill the ultimate contractor dream of nailing that work/life balance!