10 things I learned while fixing a fishing pole at a sheep farm in Elk Creek, Virginia this morning

My family and I are at a house on a sheep farm in Elk Creek, Virginia this week. A little time away from home.

We’ve been here for a couple of days now and this morning my wife (Sarah) and one of our kids (Calvin) went to the pond around the bend, past the creek, and down the meadow (sorry for the extra description, I feel like I have to write a little poetically because we’re on a beautiful farm with hills and meadows.)

Here’s what I learned while fixing a fishing pole:

1. I’m talking about the fishing poles where you can see the string (a ‘spinning reel’ I think they call it.) They’ve become more popular over the last decade and they’ve been nothing but frustrating to me. I don’t know how they work, can’t seem to fix them, and they elevate my blood pressure. This morning one of the poles got all twisted up and I became frustrated.

2. I huffed and puffed and just when I was close to tossing it down and just moving on with the one remaining working pole, I took a breath, slowed down, and DECIDED I was going to figure out how to fix it. Sometimes you have to take a breath and, more importantly, DECIDE that you’re going to work to fix the problem. We can control our attitudes way more than we realize.

3. I had my wife and one of my son’s watching me. That was a bit of a driver for me to step up and figure it out. Not wanting to disappoint those close to you can be a big driver!

4. I wished Phillip (the owner of the 450-acre sheep farm) or one of his farmhands would have driven by while I was struggling with it because I would have asked them for some help. Think about that in your life or in your business – are you to the point that you’re ready to look outside yourself and get help? A quick 5-minute lesson from Phillip would have made the whole thing easier. He didn’t drive by, so I just keep messing with it. By all means, keep messing with things – keep working to improve your situation, but don’t be shy about getting some outside help and coaching. It can lower the pain, frustration, and speed up the improvement and fixing of the problem.

5. Instead of trying to untangle the string, I cut the string, cleared the tangled knots, and started with a fresh string. Keep that in mind as you work to improve things in life/business – sometimes it’s good to start fresh instead of trying to fix something clunky and broken.

6. Before I started trying to dive in and FIX – I stepped back, looked, and examined. Sometimes it’s better to look and study before just diving in. Maybe something like the phrase ‘measure twice, cut once?’

7. I realized my first attempt was wrong and before I got too far, I went back and fixed it. This only happened because I walked over to Sarah and Calvin and looked closely at the working pole. That’s when I realized the string needed to go UNDER and out vs. over and out. Seeing that other example and gaining that bit of knowledge went a long way. Sometimes a little bit of knowledge and/or seeing how it works from someone else can be a huge key to moving you forward.

8. I have knowledge now that I didn’t have before. I have more confidence. I know how to fix it if things go wrong again. That’s powerful. In business, we can go years and years and years without stopping to learn and gain knowledge. Push through frustration and work to gain new insight – it will help you for the rest of your career/life.

9. I’d say the biggest thing that stands out in this little story to me is the part where I stopped whining and made the decision I was going to figure it out. We can change our attitude and turn things around – don’t forget that!

10. What is an area of your business you keep ignoring and/or that isn’t clear to you? Understanding financials? Reading your P&L? How to sell design and project development? How to manage your team in a better way? How to improve your marketing to generate better leads? Pick something, stop whining that it’s too hard (like me with the fishing pole!), and get to work on gaining new knowledge/training.

Anything stand out for you in this story? Please let me know! 

What our Remodelers AutoPilot clients are sending this month

We thought you’d like to see what our Remodelers AutoPilot clients are sending this month. Hopefully, this sparks some ideas on how you can reach out to your previous clients and/or helps you see the value of Remodelers AutoPilot (which you can try for $1)

We decided with everything going on this month, to give a few options to choose from:

1. Our standard email newsletter design and format.

2. Still Able to Complete Work Email – Simplified Format 

3. Focus on Smaller Projects and Handyman Work – Still Able to Complete Work – Simplified Format 

We had many folks try the shorter one, a long-time Remodelers AutoPilot client, Nancy Benson with Bencar Building Systems said:


12 responses so far today.  A couple looking for work to be done; some followed up on proposals sent.


Hope this is helpful to see! If you’d like to give Remodelers AutoPilot a try for $1 – sign-up here. 

P.S. You also get done-for-you social media posts each month (examples from this past month here)

It’s Just Plain Fun

On one of my Remodelers Circle mastermind calls a few weeks ago, we were discussing steps in our process that we could share on social media when Dennis Geham shared something fun they do on some of their kitchen remodel projects: 

“We do this thing, before we put the countertop on, where we hide a little time capsule in an opening behind the cabinets. We get the homeowners and the team involved. We share things specific to who they are, what’s happening in the world at the time, pictures of the team that worked on the project, photos of the homeowners (if they want to add that!), etc. It’s a fun thing and our homeowners enjoy it – great for social media posts too.”

A few reasons why I loved this idea:

  1. It’s just fun!
  2. It’s a great piece of content to share on social media!
  3. It’s a nice surprise for whoever opens it up 30 years from now!

Do you have a similar “just plain fun” idea you implement in your projects? Share below!

Now is the time

One thing that everything going on right now has highlighted for me and a lot of my clients is the importance of our client lists. Your clients are the ones who already know, like, and trust you. They are the ones who, between repeat and referral work, represent a large percentage of your top-line revenue.

Now is the time to be in consistent communication with them. Remodelers AutoPilot clients have been choosing between multiple email newsletter options in the past month. Click here to see the examples: https://clientsatisfaction.wufoo.com/forms/sa3hsyx1ixbg34/ A couple of things for you to take action on:

  1. If you don’t have your client list organized, let’s put some focused effort behind that.
  2. If you have your client list organized and it’s been a long time since you reached out to them – fix that this week.
  3. If you want an easy and affordable to get your list organized and consistently reach out to your list, month in, month out, along with other benefits (done for your social media, group coaching call with me each month) try Remodelers AutoPilot out for $: http://www.remodelersautopilot.com/remodelers-autopilot/

PS – Don’t delay, sign-up today! (That sounds kind of corny but it made me laugh because it rhymes! And it’s true. Don’t put it off if you’re interested)