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You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
August 12, 2015 7:00 AM CDT

Leading from your position of strength

Full Contact Project Management


Contractors have unique abilities, equipment and training to “see” things that almost no one else can. You can merely look at a set of plans and see, right then and there, if a proposed project will not work – even though it was designed by the expert architect or engineer.

People call you because they want your expertise and your track record. But how do you handle things from a business perspective? What about when somebody criticizes your pricing structure? Do you find yourself becoming defensive, and feeling as if you are under attack or somebody is criticizing your heritage?

You have to remember that you can actually see what nobody else can see. You have a crew that no company around you can match, and a list of pretty impressive projects on your marketing brochure resume.

Remember a line from an old Jim Croce song: “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, and you don’t mess around with Jim.” There has never been a Superman movie or comic book story in which the people in danger were not thrilled to have Superman swoop down and save them. Get this mental picture in your mind, and never let it go; that’s why you charge for what you do.

Your experience is valuable, so much so that you must safeguard it by being jealous of your time and also refusing to acknowledge any mockery that might ever be attributed to you, your company and its craftsmanship. The wall you might build today should be better than the equivalent wall you built 10 years ago, because your skills have improved.

Ten years is a good measuring rod of time, experience and skill. It turns out that 10 years ago, I wrote my first column, ever, in Masonry. Doesn’t seem possible, but I checked, and it was July 2005. A lot has changed, and our skills have grown. So has the way we keep our businesses alive.

Ten years ago, the internet was a gimmick, a fad, a geeky thing that contractors tended to avoid. Today, that’s no longer the case. We count on it, expect things from it, and are surprised when it doesn’t deliver.

For the third consecutive year, I’m privileged to present a webinar for the MCAA. This year, it will be presented in August, but it will not be on my usual subject of project management and leadership. Instead, it will be something equally important, which is how to keep your business alive, functioning and growing. And, a lot of that has to do with how you position and develop your business. Simply, it’s about marketing.

Marketing today is way different from 10 years ago, which is why the MCAA is allowing me to talk on the subject of Cutting Edge Marketing. Be sure and register, and then put Aug. 5 at 10 a.m. CST on your calendar. And, if you’ll allow me, I can summarize Cutting Edge Marketing in one word: video.

The reality is that construction leads today, more often than not, come via the internet. People prefer watching videos (even silly ones), instead of reading informative articles. As a matter of fact, we are close to the point at which 90 percent of all content consumed on the internet is in the form of video. YouTube is now uploading videos at the rate of 300 hours every minute of every day. It is the second-largest search engine behind Google, but ahead of Facebook, and has over 1 billion users. And, more than half of all searches for information are now occurring on mobile devices.

As a contractor in today’s economy, you have to be on top of this new foundation. If you aren’t, you’ll sink. Make sure that, compared to your competitors and your clients, you are the visionary who gets it.

About the Author

Gary Micheloni is a working project manager, speaker, author, consultant and coach. He has severals years of industry experience, including a background as a licensed general engineering contractor. For further information and insight on the Full Contact Project Management approach, write Coach Gary at


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