The original location of my family’s plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical company was in Rockaway, Queens. My dad, Irving, and my uncle, Morty, started it out of my grandfather’s gas station.
When my two older brothers and I showed up full-time in the business, it was in the 1970s, and crime in the area was rampant. Why did we stay there so long? Inertia.
Well, the decision to move came down and my brothers and I knew we had one chance to get this right, and so when we finally found a place that would be more centrally located to where our client base had moved from the wreckage of where we had been. We also heeded the great advice from our industry guru and great friend, Dan Holohan, when he suggested we use our building to showcase what we do and make it a destination other companies wanted to visit.
The place was spotless and bright and the envy of the industry. I stood in the doorway with Dan admiring our great work when he said, “Al, remember it’s easy to be great one day. The trick is to continue to stay great, day after day.”
What Dan meant was that I had to make maintaining that high standard a priority or it would deteriorate over time. And if it did, I’d have to have a way to get myself back on track, and that way for me was leveraging my systems and checklists. I’ve always remembered this conversation and have seen it play out over and over with my clients during the past 20 years.