Finding Screws and More
I recently found myself walking down the aisle at one of the local supply stores trying to locate a means of fastening a shelf to a wall. You know, I wanted some screws or something else that would allow me to attach the shelf to drywall because (of course) the correct shelf placement meant no studs would be involved. Never fails, right? I found something I thought would work – it didn’t – but that is a different story for another day.
More importantly, as I strolled that aisle, I found insight into a construction-related issue. And that is how this article got its title. The corridor I was on was labeled “connectors,” and there were plenty of them. I realized many other aisles in the store also provided connectors.
Almost every construction trade relies on connectors of one kind or another to complete their tasks. Some examples are nails, screws, pipe joints, glue, wire connectors, flux, mortar, adhesive, thinset, and . . . well, you get the idea.
It turns out, you can’t push a piece of drywall up to a series of studs and expect it to stay there without using connectors, pipes don’t just magically hold together, and disconnected wires have no use. So yeah, without connectors, there are no buildings.
Only a few days after my adventure in connector-land, I attended a Zoom meeting, a panel discussion made up of professional advisors, each with a distinct knowledge of a specific field related to the construction industry. They were Rick Harris, Certified Coach and owner of Work Boot Consulting; Karen Palecek, of Palecek & Palecek Law PLLC; Scott Yubeta, VP of Sunflower Bank; and our own leader, Tonya Schulte, owner of The Profit Constructors. They were a lively panel, kind, insightful, honest, transparent, and full of information worth learning.
Perhaps my recent connector-land visit caused me to hone in on the portions of the discussion concerning connections – more importantly, the connectors. As I watched and listened, I realized that each member of that panel was a connector. And as I’ve stated before – without connectors, there are no buildings.
I Know Someone Who . . .
My dad frequently told my brother and me, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” He was speaking more in terms of who gets hired as opposed to who doesn’t. But there are many more layers to the saying that perhaps even he didn’t understand.
For example, if you don’t know all the legal ramifications concerning the contract you’re about to sign, it is a good idea to know someone who does. Or if you’re at your wit’s end, stuck, unsure of your next move, knowing someone with a well-informed understanding of the problem is invaluable.
And there is another aspect of “knowing someone who.” For example, during the panel discussion, Scott Yubeta shared a story of how by inspecting the financial reports a client brought him, he could point out that specific jobs were more profitable than others. The client used that information to help improve his business. Scott connected him to another of his banking clients who produced the materials necessary for the expanded services offered by the contractor. Yes, he was able to say, “I know someone who . . .” Scott is a connector.
Speechless Connectors vs. Human Connectors
Here is an essential distinction between the supply store connectors and the human connectors of the construction industry. When I picked up the wrong connector for my planned task, there were no flashing lights, no kind words, and nothing to alert me to the fact that my choice wouldn’t work.
Each of the human connectors taking part in the panel relayed that they had at one time or another found the need to alert a potential client that the fit was wrong – the desired outcome could not be reached through working together.
The panelists said that when they could not provide the services the potential client was seeking, they often offered suggestions concerning where to get the proper assistance, sometimes giving several names and contact information. These panelists are connectors.
One more example: Karen Palecek mentioned that there are times when someone set on litigation will not be able to proceed because the necessary evidence that should be found in the financial records of the potential client doesn’t exist. Yes, she “knows someone who” can bring the bookkeeping task up to date, someone who may be able to, through diligence, locate the missing evidence. Yes, there is a forensic accounting field, and Karen knows people who practice there. Karen is a connector.
Building With the Right Connectors
Using the proper physical connectors to complete a project at the right time and place is a no-brainer. Using suitable human connectors in the same manner is just as important. You can get more insight into finding those human connectors by watching the panel discussion mentioned in this post.
And be on the lookout for the next panel discussion with expanded information planned for early November of this year. Use “I want in” in the subject line of an email sent to Hello@theprofitconstructors.com, and we’ll let you know when the next panel assembles. If you have questions, please let us know so the panelists can better help you.
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