, 6 Rules to Building a Simple, Elegant and Sustainable Service-Based Business, Building Wrestling

On developing YOUR unique expression through business to reflect an elegant simplicity with depth and meaning.

1. Be Nimble

Take a page from the tech startup playbook, and adopt a “Rapid Prototyping” mindset.

You’ve gotta start somewhere, and you won’t know until you take the action, see the results, and learn from real reactions from real people.

Don’t chase your tail in circles, waiting for all those marketing exercises to look perfect. Stop thinking if you get the approval of some business coach, your business will be bulletproof.

Hone in on your genius by doing good work… and see where you excel.

Be willing to pivot. Commit to excellence, not convenience.

Don’t get too attached just because you’ve invested time and money in some training or certification. Everything builds up to a final expression that’s uniquely yours because you’re bringing to the table a one-of-a-kind combination of skills and experiences.

2. Don’t Spread Too Thin

We’ve been told a million and one things we need to “fill the funnel” – the freebies, the tripwire, the eBook, the online course, the big group program, the small group program, the private coaching, and the live event.

When those coaches break up the numbers and show you how to get to “6 figures,” it sounds pretty darn good… if you can do 7 things all at once.

Yet, chances are, you’re not a genius in delivering every single format. You may suck at some and drag your ass on others… people can smell it miles away if you aren’t excited about it.

If it’s just something to check off the list, don’t do it.

You don’t have to fill up every single “rung” of what a “business model” should look like. You don’t have to offer everything everyone is selling.

You need to find the expressions that allow you to be in your zone of genius as much as possible. And get unapologetically good at it.

3. Redefine “Leveraging”

What about “leveraging?” You may ask – because that’s another irresponsible sound byte so many are tossing around.

Irresponsible because it’s defined rather narrowly in most cases and often send us down a rabbit hole.

Think outside “leveraging = 1: many” box in the form of digital products, online courses or group programs.

(Note that you have to invest time and effort to create those content before you even get paid… there’s always an opportunity cost. Is it the best way to spend your time and genius? Have you done the work to make sure you don’t hear cricket when you launch?)

Leveraging can just simply mean that you hone your skills, get amazingly good at it, articulate the value and relevance so you can charge a premium.

4. Forget “Charge What You’re Worth”

This is my big pet peeve.

Don’t tie your self-worth with what people pay you… so disempowering.

I’ve heard coaches being told in whatever training that they’ve to charge some crazy amount per month (even if they’re just starting out)… otherwise, they’re not doing it right.

Stop.

Before we talk number, let’s talk what the number is about.

It’s about what you bring to the table. It’s about how you create meaning and deliver value.

It’s about whether you can say it out loud with confidence and conscience.

Your fee is only as good as what people are willing to pay – and it depends on how confidently and genuinely you can articulate the value, and do good work to deliver above and beyond your promise.

Those who charge $10k a month, and make it worth every penny and more, didn’t start there. They deliver, and they demand a fair exchange for the value they create for their clients.

Get to work. Don’t put yourself on the pedestal. Put yourself in the trenches.

5. Get Out Of the Bubble

All the coaching, programs, and training are putting us in the echo chamber.

It took me almost a year to detox so I can hear mySELF think.

Do what’s right for you. Don’t get sucked into sound bytes and rhetoric.

We’re seeing a backlash to all the sales messages, online courses, and coaching program in this space. When everyone wants to sell you something that sounds just like the next guy, the market gets jaded, skeptical and resistant.

You need to be surer than ever what YOU and your business need at this moment before investing. It’s not “if you’re unwilling to invest in yourself (and whip out the credit card now) you can’t expect others to invest in you” rhetoric – which is selfish, fear-based BS.

It’s not just the money. It’s the TIME and mental space – if you spend time and mental space on one thing, you won’t have it for others that actually matter.

6. Be Honest With Yourself

At the end of the journey, YOU are what matters.

Enough asking your Facebook group buddies how to make your decisions. Don’t be intellectually lazy. Take responsibility.

Most people you meet along the way will eventually fall off – what you do needs to be meaningful to you.

, Group Morale Boosters! 5 Leadership Team Building Activities, Building Wrestling

As a keynote speaker sometimes I get the opportunity to do a follow up leadership seminar at the event. I find team building self development activities really need to be catered to the group or they are a generic time drain.

A good self development leadership activity makes people laugh, think, understand conflict and work together outside of their work context. Here are some fun, inspirational and memorable morale boosters for your next seminar, convention or event:

1. In a seminar, I like breaking down the room based on 4 personality types ( after I have described what they are, characteristics, etc)and than asking the group to solve a business problem by creating a team, based on what personalities they want on it. What will each personality type contribute? How? What will be the drawbacks? In a true Donald Trump Apprentice Style way the problem could be to create an advertising campaign to promote a specific product. The discussion that ensues will help people see how personality styles create conflict and affect how you contribute to a team.

2. Another a fun, simple self development seminar team activity, based on improv…. is create a story with a word. Each person in a line up adds a word to make up a story. Some people don’t listen or get nervous and they put in a word that makes no sense and word by word the group tries to make a sensible story. Usually very halarious and great lessons emerge about listening, interpretation, resolving conflict etc. You can create the story around a business theme you are working on to personalize this.

3. A simple and easy seminar activity is to tell two truths and a lie. In rounds of 8, each person tells two true statements about themselves and one lie. The group has to decide which is the lie. A good way to get to know one another and very funny.

4. Balloons are Morale Boosters! Blow up a bunch of balloons of several colours. Have the whole room stand up. The objective is to keep the balloons in the air no matter what, they can’t touch the ground. Seminar participants boink balloons to each other, gyrating around trying to keep them in the air. For variation, ask the group to move the red balloons to the front of the room, the green balloons to the back of the room, etc.

5. What I like about you. A great event icebreaker, Have a flip chart paper for each person with their name at the top. Each person goes around and writes what they like about others on their respective paper. Afterwards, the posters can be displayed at work. It is a great morale booster when people can look up at their positive leadership qualities.

6. First Meeting. Have 3 people on each team( usually 3 men and 3 women on opposing teams). The objective is for each team of three to act in synch as one person. They are to meet the other team and each team is one person, they move together and talk together. Step by step and word by word each team member is looking for clues from one person ( usually a leader will emerge) on when to move, words to say etc. It is hilarious and teaches leadership ( if one person in each team doesn’t take control and lead the other two in words and movement- it is a mess), communications skills, teamwork.

Add more fun at your event with simple, easy morale boosters that build leadership qualities.

, Importance of Character Building, Building Wrestling

“Good character is when your head, heart, soul and hands agree to do the right thing, in the right way, for the right reasons and the combined effort gets the right results in the midst of the most adverse of conditions” – William Cottringer.

Character building has emerged as a hot topic in schools. Now when I mention schools, I don’t mean that it is limited to them, instead this forms a integral part in marriage counseling, sports settings and work settings as well. In a nutshell, it can be rightly said that it has turned out to be a hot topic in today’s world.

But the question that possibly clicks on everybody’s mind is that “What’s so unique about character building or rather why you think it is so important?” Well, one of the prime reasons behind this growing popularity may be because of the fact that it is the chief purpose of our lives. And you will be surprised to know that character building and success are the two opposite sides of the same coin. I know that the entire thing may sound a bit strange but after taking a look at the explanation included below I guess you’ll agree to what I say.

To begin with, you cannot attain your desired thing in life unless and until you possess a good character. Considering this, it can be rightly said that nothing can be more important than character building. If you want to go for a good character building then make sure you:

  • Follow the right ethical and moral values
  • Help others without expecting anything in return
  • Opt for the challenging jobs as they are sure to help you with positive results in the days to come
  • Avoid saying something negative or derogatory about someone
  • Avoid falling prey into your retaliation or obsessing desires even if you have been abused by your classmates or humiliated by your teachers
  • Face challenges rather than stepping back because of the fear of failure

There are quite a few personal values that help a child to develop a good character. These personal values or rather the building blocks of character formation include:

  1. Compassion
  2. Dependability
  3. Optimism
  4. Cooperation
  5. Diligence
  6. Patience
  7. Commitment
  8. Fairness
  9. Perseverance
  10. Courage
  11. Friendship
  12. Productivity
  13. Courtesy
  14. Generosity
  15. Respect
  16. Cleanliness
  17. Kindness
  18. Tolerance
  19. Creativity
  20. Loyalty
  21. Truthfulness
  22. Citizenship
  23. Moderation
  24. Trustworthiness

You can also draw inspiration from good quotes as well as motivational stories with good morals and values. Good character building is of utmost importance as it helps in all spheres of your life. We all know that the main aim of our lives is to learn, develop as well as enhance in the journey of our life for becoming an ideal person and character building is sure to help us in this venture. With the instructions included in this article, you are only a step away from good character building…implement them in your practical life and see the difference for your own self.

, How to Build a Garage: Save Thousands Building DIY Garage Vs Hiring a Contractor, Building Wrestling

Learning how to build a garage is not as daunting as one would expect, well, for detached structures at least. Homeowners who build their own garage can save thousands over hiring a builder who, in many cases, will subcontract to the same construction crews that you can hire. Or if feeling adventurous, or just downright thrifty, one can invite friends over for a few beers over the weekend and put them to work.

There are many items to consider while in the early planning stage such as:

Garage size: One car, two car, or even a three car garages can be designed with various sizes, but the lot and homeowner’s budget are generally the limiting factors. Local building codes vary, but typically a structure must not encroach within eight feet of property lines in rural areas and from zero to four feet in city limits. Detached garages must also be set back from other buildings by a minimum of eight feet, but this must be confirmed with local building offices as bodes vary. One important consideration is roof overhang. Eave and gable end overhangs are typically 12″ – 24″ (although less than 12″ is common in windy areas) and must be considered when determining building size and placement.

One method of determining the perfect size is to add 12′ to 15′ of width for each vehicle. If planning to use the interior walls on the sides for storage this will require another two feet of width per side. The length should be a minimum of 22′ and add four to ten feet for a work bench and storage. A two car garage could be calculated as 2 x 12′ +4′ for storage along each wall = 28′ x 22′ long without a work bench. Common sizes include:

1. One car: Common garage sizes include 12′ x 24′, 14′ x 24′, and 16′ x 24′. A length of twenty four feet is pretty much the minimum if you have a full size truck and even with a small or mid-size car there will be little wiggle room at twenty or twenty two feet.

2. Two car: The most common garage size in many states and provinces is 24′ x 24′ because many building codes required an engineered drawing and two inspections by a structural engineer for concrete floating slabs (monolithic) larger than this size. If space is scarce and the two cars are small to mid-size a 20′ wide may adequate, but certainly not comfortable.

3. Three car: There are many three car garage sizes due to more room for numerous designs and homeowners often have larger budgets when considering these larger construction projects. Common sizes are 36′ – 42′ wide by 26′ – 30′ long.

Foundation: floating slab (monolithic) and slab with frostwall are the two most common foundation options. The floating slab is less expensive and easier to build, but often require an engineered drawing and two inspections for larger concrete slabs (i.e. 24′ x 24′). In cold weather climates many contractors install 2.5″ foundation foam under the concrete to reduce heaving during freeze/thaw events. Engineered floating slabs in cold climates usually require this with an addition two feet extending out around the perimeter of the slab.

Adding 6′ x 6′ #10 wire mesh to the slab is an inexpensive method of increasing the floor strength and reducing cracking of the concrete. Most contractors install floating slabs with a thickened concrete perimeter 12″ – 16″ thick around the outer 16″ – 24″ of the perimeter. Adding two rows of #4 rebar will increase the edges. Concrete strength should be a minimum of 3,000psi and many contractors use 4,000 and 4,500 psi as the additional cost is minimal. Another consideration is ordering concrete with fibermesh, and macro-synthetic fiber used for secondary reinforcement of concrete. Local concrete suppliers can provide costs for adding this to concrete. Slab thickness is dependent on the concrete strength and reinforcement designs, however a good rule of thumb is to pour a 4″ or thicker slab.

Frostwall minimum depth is determined by local building codes and is typically 48″ in cold climates and 36″ in more moderate areas. Once the trench is excavated a footing approximately 12″ wide by 8″ thick is formed and poured and a keyway is etched the length of the footing to prevent movement of the concrete wall. The frostwall is formed and poured on the on the footing and anchor bolts are installed in the to attach the walls to the foundation. The concrete slab is then poured to designed thickness. Obviously this foundation system requires more time and expense.

Wall construction: If the garage is going to be insulated now or possibly any time in the future the wall studs size is important as 2″ x 6″ studs allow more insulation that can meet building code requirements (for garages with apartments) than 2″ x 4″ studs. Of course, 2″ x 6″ studs are stronger, which results in a more structurally sounds building.

Walls height: Walls are generally 8′, but 9′ and 10′ walls are common. In city downtown areas there is often a height restriction on structures, such as less than 16′ to the roof peak based on the average height from the four corners measuring at grade. This means that you can get a little extra height if the garage is nestled into a bank with a concrete curb or retaining wall on this end and backfilling to top of retaining wall. Another method to maximize height in these areas is to pour a 12″ concrete curb on the concrete slab perimeter and backfill earth up to the top of the curb and grade away from the structure. This method can gain 12″ of height while still meeting the height restrictions (confirm this will local building offices prior to implementing this strategy).

Garage door placement: The garage doors can be on the gable end or the eave side. A few things to consider:

1. Existing house design may dictate the direction of the roof line. A method to assist visualize this is to take a picture of the house and include the area where the garage will be built. Print two copies of the picture and hand draw in the garage using both the gable and eave options.

2. If the garage will be built in a cold climate the garage doors in the gable end is a better design as snow and ice will slide down the eave end.

3. Flexibility with the garage doors in the gable end allow height for a future car port.

Roof style: Often the roof style is dictated by the existing house, for example if the house has a hip roof this would be a good option for the garage. If this is a DIY project and the homeowner is building the garage it should be noted that a hip roof is more difficult to build than installing standard trusses. Roof pitch must be considered as well and often this should match the existing house. Roof pitch less than 4/12 (rises 4″ for every 12″ of run or length) is not recommended due to increased chance of water leaks. Higher pitch roofs with certain truss designs can allow for storage, loft, or even apartments above the main level. The most common roof trusses for garage roof design include:

1. Standard Fink: This is the most common residential truss.

2. Double fink: Designed to handle high weight loads for higher snow load requirements.

3. Attic: Common for designs that allow storage above the main floor. Access can be stairs or attic drop-down stairs and the option available may be dictated by local building codes.

4. Scissor: This options provides cathedral (vaulted) ceilings that provides more interior ceiling height. For example, a 24′ x 24′ garage with an 8/12 pitch may have a ceiling height of 12′ in the center and 8′ at the wall. This system is usually weighted against building with regular fink trusses and higher walls.

If this is a DIY garage project don’t forget to order two gable trusses for each gable end. Otherwise two regular trusses will require wood filling for attaching sheathing and siding (not too mention the building inspector may not pass the framing inspection. If insulating the ceiling consider ordering “raised heel” trusses to allow adequate insulation between the wall top plate and the roof sheathing. This is the only way to meet many attic insulation level requirements (i.e. R40).

Garage plans: Once decisions are made on the above items it is time to get the garage plans for the building permit application and the builder. It is important to obtain good quality garage plans that are easy to follow, accurate, and provide a materials list (well, a material list is not important, but it will certainly save a lot of time). There are several websites that offer garage plans create by dozens and hundreds of different company so consistency and quality control are something to keep in mind. There are a couple of companies that do their own in-house drafting and a search of the internet should find these companies. Another option is to hire a local draftsperson to create the garage plans.

Plot (plat) plan: The building compliance department will require a drawing showing (site plan) the lot with existing structures, proposed structure, and property lines with measurements indicating distances between property lines and structures. This can be a hand drawn diagram of a marked up copy of the plot/plat plan. The building department may require a survey to confirm accuracy of measurements for precise garage location requirements.

Building Permit: Make an appointment to meet with a building inspector to discuss the project and submit the garage plans, material list, and site plan to the building department. A building permit may be issued at this time or the building inspector will require a few days to a couple of weeks to review the documents.

, Homemade Solar Panels, 10 Useful Tips For Building High Efficiency Panels – The Power is in the Cell, Building Wrestling

Homemade solar panels can be made in any size with relative ease and little expense by following some simple directions. There are several steps, but the actual work is quite simple.  A solar panel is nothing more than a shallow box that holds individual solar cells linked together into an array, You can save a ton of money by building your own solar panels, but the energy is  collected by the individual cells, so using the right cells is all important.

Solar cells can be purchased either new or used.  Follow these tips and your homemade solar panels should provide years of reliable service.

1) The number and type of solar cells you use determines the amount of power that each panel is capable of producing. Each cell is rated to produce a certain maximum wattage. The combined total of these ratings will provide a reasonable estimate of the finished panels capacity.

2) Be aware of the type and size of the cells you are considering. Type and size indicate voltage and current, respectively. As a rule, higher current is achieved with a larger cell. Total power output is determined by amps X voltage.

3) Efficiency rating describes the amount of power that can be produced per square inch. Newer, more efficient cells can collect more energy than older, less efficient cells. Efficiency is important because it establishes the size of the completed panel, and available roof space could come into place (i.e. producing more power with smaller panels will require less roof space).

4) A panel’s maximum current capacity is limited by the smallest cell it contains, so use matching cells within each panel. Otherwise the larger cells won’t perform up to their rated capacity.

5) New retail solar cells are more expensive. You can get slightly defective new cells and even used ones. Don’t be scared off by terms like “defective” or “irregular”. These are often cosmetic flaws that haven’t passed the manufacturers standards and usually function just as well as any other new cells provided the defect is not too severe. Investigate and test before writing them off.

6) Handle with care! Solar cells are somewhat brittle and thin. Keep them in a safe place until you are ready to use them.

7) As a related item, if you buy on-line or through the mail, find out how the seller intends to ship them.

8) Make sure the cells you buy have tabs on them already. You’ll be glad you did when you realize you’ve cut your soldering time in half.

9) Each cell must be clean and free of film or wax before being installed. Cells are sometimes shipped with a wax coating and this has to be removed carefully.

10) Get a good instruction guide that will show you step-by-step what to look for and where to find the best sources for all your parts. This will save you thousands of dollars in mistakes, bad purchases and lost time. You’ll refer back to the guide again and again as you grow your system and will easily the small amount paid for the guide on your very first panel.