I struggle with arrogance. I used to struggle with lust, and it made it weird for me to be friends with hot women [also probably made life miserable for my wife]. I’m over that. But I still struggle with pride enough that I overcompensate, and destroy myself for the builders I love and their clients.
What does that have to do with concrete, you, design, or anything else worth caring about? Maybe nothing. Maybe this is the opposite of everything we value. No. It is not. Here’s what’s up: I hope by openly sharing my most embarrassing struggle you feel more inspired and less alone.
Here’s the deal: if you ever commissioned us to make something for you or your clients, it humbles me. I am so grateful for you and your business. I would really, really, really rather not let you down. Problem is you are not alone. Lots of people know about element7concrete now, and I was overcompensating for my ego when I stacked the schedule full of people I couldn’t say “no” to.
My ego would love to work 6 killer hours a day, use our reputation to charge 3X what we do, and make you wait if I’m not ready. A good part of me wants my ego to get murdered. So, I work 18 hours a day, charge the same prices we did in 2006, and have to re-schedule 3 projects a day. This is clearly off the mark.
I wasn’t prescient enough to have a good story ready when you called. I didn’t come with an “aw, shucks I wish we could schedule your project within a month, but we are already jammed up”. I though somehow, someway, we would pull a rabbit out of a hat and do stuff that didn’t add up, and everyone would feel good about it. Problem is this is the real world, and it’s like 95 degrees out there, and my guys have young, growing families and our clients have CC cameras and feel short-changed if 4 guys know out their $1,500 project in 3 hours flat…blah blah blah…we come up short. I hate it. I wake up earlier, train harder, eat cleaner, think better, and work harder and it still doesn’t all get done. I hate it. I am sorry and sick of being sorry. I just want to be better. I hate my imperfections. I hate my shortcomings. I just want everyone to stay stoked. I want to stay stoked myself. That striving is hopeless, though. Balance is the point, not just “more”.
Hope this somehow helps. I love you very much.