EZG Manufacturing
Federated Insurance
Fraco USA, Inc.
Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
Husqvarna Construction Products N.A.
Hydro Mobile, Inc.
iQ Power Tools
Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
Mortar Net Solutions
Non-Stop Scaffolding
Southwest Scaffolding
Tradesmen's Software, Inc.
July 31, 2011 9:00 AM CDT

If You Feel Good, You Can Deal with Everything Else

Contractor tip of the month


One must keep a healthy mind by focusing on “feeling good.”

One must keep a healthy mind by focusing on “feeling good.”
If you have taken a beating, you will never forget the last three years. You are not alone as few contractors have come through the trying economic times on top. One businessman, whose company has survived more than 100 years, told me that if the economy gets worse, we will all be floating down the river together. With all the bad economic news out there caused by things totally out of our control, one must keep a healthy mind by focusing on “feeling good.”

I had a camper on a lake a few years ago. I would take the family there on weekends to get away. A couple of campers down was this 86-year-old man named Olin. Every minute with Olin was a pleasure as he was always smiling. His tremendous disposition caused us all to want to be around him as much as possible. One afternoon, I saw him alone, sipping on a beer, so I walked over and asked him how life was treating him.

Olin replied, “Well, Millie (his wife) can’t get around anymore, so I have to push her everywhere we go and even help her up to use the bathroom. The company I retired from cut my pension way back so funds are tighter. And my swing over there needs worked on. But guess what? I feel good! And, if you feel good, you can deal with anything else this world throws at you.”

Dad always talked about how difficult Grandpa said the Great Depression was. Grandpa would say, “Once you live through hard times like that, you will never forget it. You will also change your spending habits forever.”

Well, I will never forget the “great recession,” either. I sure wish I had all the money I spent on non-essential things, just because I had it to spend at the time.

There was nowhere to hide in the great recession as it affected nearly all contractors in one way or another, and we still don’t know if it is really over. It set me back 15 years, but I do have some really good news to report. If all goes right, I believe I can be back to where I was in five years. More important than the wealth I lost is the fact that I feel good. So, even if I don’t get back to where I was financially, I plan to continue to exercise and take care of my mind and health. That way, I most likely still will feel good in five years.

Do you know someone who appears to have it made in the shade? I can assure you, that person has had his share of hard times, just like you and I have. And, if he really has it made, he feels good, since he’s looking at his difficulties as opportunities. I’ll bet you also know someone who is miserable to be around. That person got that way by crying in his beer, while believing he is a victim and the only one who ever has fallen on hard times.

It has been told that the definition of luck is “when preparation meets opportunity.” Let’s look at what we can do to make our own luck by preparing ourselves to feel good and building a strategy for our futures. Since we won’t be making the same mistakes we did in the past, we can come back much quicker. Sounds like I just got a topic for next month’s tip: “It’s Comeback Time.”

About the Author

Damian Lang is a mason contractor in southeast Ohio and inventor of many labor saving masonry systems and products. Lang has served as the Marketing Committee Chairman for the Mason Contractors Association of America. He is also author of the book Rewarding and Challenging Employees for Profits in Masonry. To network with Damian on contractor tips or tips you have and would like published, contact him at or 740-749-3512.


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