Learning To Be Flexible
Another successful week for all of you I trust.
I am taking a breather and am in the wonderfully cool climate in the West Virginia mountains. We’ve come here often and the 10 hour trip is almost always routine. Almost. Except for this time!
This trip reminded me how important it is to be flexible. Something that every remodeler has to do every day, usually from the moment they wake up. You have to be flexible when unexpected changes are thrust at you. And from what I remember, that is a constant. You react to it, revise your schedule, deadlines, or financial status. You make the best of it. You become a master shuffler.
I don’t want to make this story too long or you’ll nod off, so I’ll try to condense this version. The unabridged version is about two type-written pages long.
Here’s how it went: We started out about an hour later than usual. The drive to Knoxville, TN was routine. Stopped there for our breakfast bagels and continued on towards Bristol, TN. About half way there we had a blowout on the passenger rear tire. To help you get a clear picture of this, you have to understand that we are in a very small coupe and it is loaded to the gills, including suitcases in the back pseudo-seats (zero legroom). In the back we have a large cooler, several bags, etc. No extra space.
So all of this is unloaded on a very busy, fast interstate highway, the tire is changed and everything was fine. Except for space. We removed a small temporary tire and now had a very wide large tire in the trunk. The short version is that we put the passenger seat forward, put the cooler in the backseat and put a suitcase on it. Flexible point # 1, literally for the passenger – Improvise. Now to find a new tire.
I really have to condense here, because over the span of the next four hours we searched in vain for what I now found out, was a pretty rare size. We stopped for lunch and after that I started searching for a tire store with my size. After an hour of searching a very nice elderly man in a pickup truck and cowboy hat, and his female companion asked if they could help. They noticed that we had been there the whole time they had their meal. He said he’d take us to the Tire Barn about 20 minute away. They might have it. Flexible point #2 – Allow someone to help.
After thanking him profusely for showing us the way, we shook hands and I entered the Tire Barn. No luck. But there was a Goodyear store across the street. I went in and was greeted by a very nice middle aged man. Nope he didn’t have it either. He could tell I was anxious to move on and continue my search (by now it’s almost 4 in the afternoon with 7 more hours of driving through the winding West Virginia mountains ahead). But he insisted on calling someone else. He actually called two places, and yes, one of them had the tires. Yes, plural. We decided we better get all of them changed, which we later found out was a pretty smart move, since one of the other tires was worn on the inside edge.
We waited for over two hours as they installed our new tires and finally they were done. Repacked, we decided that driving much farther would not be very smart. Flexible point #3 – Allow yourself to think outside the box, rather than being dogmatic about how something has to be done.
Everything turned out great. The place we were going allowed us to push the reservations one day forward. We found a new hotel we hadn’t tried before (Marriott Courtyard) and checked in. The staff were some of the nicest I’ve met. Walked down to a nice restaurant, had a great meal, and retired in our new guest room. After a good nights sleep we drove on to our destination.
We reviewed the past 24 hours and realized what helped us through this with the best possible results. When presented with the problem (a flat) there was only one option – fix it. No sense in getting mad or upset. No space for our luggage – find a way to get it all in. No tires in the area – allow others to help and guide you, whether you know the outcome or not. Somehow things can work out for the best.
Well, that’s the weekly wrap-up. A little different, I know. But I hope it reminds you that good things can happen when you keep a positive outlook and make the best decisions you can. Being patient and allowing others to help sometimes is the best way to get what you really want.
Wishing you the best of fortune, Randall
Randall S Soules
Remodeling coach, adviser, and educator
My one-on-one coaching will take your remodeling business to new heights!