EZ Scaffold Corp.
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.
Failing to plan is planning to fail
Failing to plan is planning to fail
March 30, 2014 8:00 AM CDT

Failing to plan is planning to fail

Contractor tip of the month


Do you know where you are going? Do you have a plan on how you will get there? Once a goal is set and put in writing, that goal is already 50% accomplished. Your goals are the direction you need. Without a direction, where will you end up? A friend of mine who is a pilot says a plane flies off track most of the time on its way to every destination, yet it always gets there due to the flight plan that was developed. It does this by constantly redirecting itself during flight. We all need our own flight plan or goals. Even though you may get off track at times and feel you won’t make it, your goals will redirect you to where you need to be in the end.

After going through a divorce and moving on with my life, my girlfriend Rachelle’s family has become important to me. Rachelle has a son, Nathan, who is a senior in high school. With his father passed and a growing affection toward him, I asked him about his plans for the future. He was going to college without knowing what he wanted to study. He believed he could work that out later. Basically, he had no plans. I explained to Nathan that statistics show that only those who go to college with solid plans and goals succeed at high levels, while those without detailed goals generally do not. He asked me to help him with his plans and goals. To fulfill Nathan’s request, I wrote him up a format similar to what I have followed during my journey in business and life. I told him to look at these eight separate goals and put his plans in writing.

Spiritual/Life Goals: List five people you feel live within the bounds of honesty and trust which you see as mentors. List three examples of how each of these people conduct their life and treat others. List three examples of actions each of these people exhibit that you wish to emulate.

Educational Goals: What do you want to study? What year do you want to graduate? What grade point average do you want to graduate with?

Financial Goals: What area of vocation do you want to be in? How much do you want to earn per year? How much do you want to earn on a single best year ever? What do you want your net worth to be in one year, five years and 20 years? How much will you save per year to achieve these net worth goals? What type of investments will you make to obtain your goals?

Love/Family Goals: What type of a long term partner/spouse are you looking for? Name three ideal type people that you’d like to be with and the admirable traits they possess. What do you want the relationship to be based on? How many children do you want?

Personal Goals: Do you want to travel? How much? Where do you want to live? What kind of a neighborhood do you want to live in?

Material Goals: What kind of a house do you want? At what age do you want to own your own house? What vehicle do you want to drive? Do you want any boats, planes, or other luxuries and if so, at what age?

Physical Goals: How do you want to look? How do you want to dress? What is your ideal weight? How will you maintain your ideal weight?

Emotional Goals: How do you want to think and feel on a daily bases? What thoughts do you want to program in your mind?

Nathan came back with goals to take business management in college and to eventually take over his mom’s restaurant. With opportunity and a mentor in his mother, he has dived in doing dishes, preparing food and waiting tables at the restaurant. Nathan has gone from unsure of a direction in life to solid plans for his future. With the goals he now has, I believe he will continue to live, work and develop his life in ways that coincide with his goals and, therefore, he will eventually reach them.

Set your own goals. Use the format similar to the one I developed for Nathan, or develop your own format. Once you do that, you have a place to go and are halfway there. Remember, “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.”

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.


Related Articles

More Masonry Headlines

“The MCAA is truly trying to move the masonry industry forward.”

Thomas Cummer
Cummer Masonry, Inc.
MCAA member since 2003

Learn More