Warren Buffett, Bill Gates And Bobby Darnell

Naturally, when I sit down to write I try to think of a title for each entry that has ‘headline’ appeal (Makes you want to read more) and is pertinent to the topic at hand. So, I guess I better get busy and explain myself before people start knocking on my door wanting me to invest in the next big thing.

What do I have in common with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates? Is it billions of dollars? No, not yet any way.

What I, you and everyone else has in common with the two richest men in the world is that each day we all wake up and have the same amount of time. Bill and Warren’s days are no longer than yours or mine.

We are in the season for construction where, even in good times, things slow down. ‘Back in the day’ at CMD (Construction Market Data) the time between now and the first of the year saw fewer reports in each weekly issue of the Bulletin. Seasonally, construction slows down due to weather in some areas and the week between Christmas and New Years…things really, really slowed down.

So, here we find ourselves in a certified recession, construction at a near stand still and now we are coasting into the deadest time of the year. What do we do?

I took a call today from a business development person doing a little networking and he mentioned how slow things are on his end as they were wrapping up four projects with nothing new on the horizon. I took a call yesterday from a regional subcontractor who just lost their major client and was really in a pinch. I met with a building product manufacturer this morning and he wanted to know what his sales staff should be doing.

If you have read my blog before, you will know that I am a big believer in (1) everyone in a company is in sales and (2) never stop looking for new ways to do things better, smarter and faster.

In my entry ‘Magic & Sushi – Parts 1 & 2’ I talk about how one should look at situations differently and try to see a new way to get things accomplished, that was the ‘Magic’ part and to be willing to try something new, that was the ‘Sushi’ part.

One of the biggest ‘ah-ha’ moments of my career was about 15 years ago when all the upper level managers were taking a time management course. This was before Palms, PDA’s and Blackberry’s. The course came with a large, leather, three-ring binder, expensive charts and forms which I thought was completely ridiculous. It was almost a ‘Star Belly Sneetches’ kind of thing…for the Dr. Seuss fans amongst us.

Finally, I caved, took the course and got my own huge binder. However, this time, I once again, ‘tasted the sushi’ and loved it. What I learned in that course was, and still is, one of the best investments I have made…even though I did not have to pay for it.

If you find yourself with extra time on your hands, look around for some opportunities to invest that time that will pay off when things pick back up. Take a look at a Dale Carnegie course; create your own leads group; attend a lecture on marketing; see about visiting a local SMPS chapter meeting.

Have a brain-storming session with your staff; get organized; do some ‘spring cleaning’ in December; review your business plan if you have one, get one if you don’t; create an action plan; review your collateral material; update your case study inserts; ask someone to critique your website; hold a contest so see how many ideas you can come up with to save money; give the winner a dinner at your favorite special occasion restaurant, a gift card or just good ole cash.

The thing is, do something! 

Ask yourself this, what is the number one thing your company needs right now? What ever that is…start doing it and don’t stop until it is done. At the end of the day, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, you and I will all go to sleep having had the same amount of time. Finances aside, what separates each of us is what we do with that time.


Bobby Darnell is the founder and Principal of Construction Market Consultants, Inc. An Atlanta based management consulting group specializing in business development, sales, marketing and profitability as well as executive placement for the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry.

Bobby can be reached at bobbydarnell [at] cmconl.com


About the Author

Bobby Darnell is the founder and Principal of Construction Market Consultants, Inc., An Atlanta based management consulting group specializing in CRM, Business Development, Sales, Marketing as well as Executive Placement and Recruiting for the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry.

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