By Caitlin Haffert
The construction industry is a tiny microcosm of life, chock full of knowledge that can be applied to other areas. I’ve been working in the helical pier/construction business for all of ten minutes, but I have already gleaned a few key lessons on life.
1. Take Things in Stride
EVERYTHING WILL GO WRONG.
Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration. But from what I’ve experienced in the construction industry, tish happens. There’s no need to panic. If you go into it knowing anything is possible, you can navigate all those bumps in the road, calmly. Which leads to…
2. Be Patient
Everything takes time. Everyone has many balls in the air. Everyone is waiting on someone else for something else before they can give you that thing that you want. Take a breath and…
3. Plan Ahead
Whether it’s setting up an appointment to pick-up material or ordering material that needs to be made especially for you and then shipped directly, things take time. As with all things in life, the more you can plan ahead, the better. But for those times you can’t plan ahead…
4. Be Open and Problem Solve
At Danbro, we have our own structural engineer, Steve Gencorelli, who spends the majority of his time working on projects and converting other systems into helical pier foundations. What that boils down to is: there is always a way to rework a situation, you just need to be open to the possibilities and think outside the box.
5. Don’t Take Things Personally
Also known as letting it go and going grudgeless. If you aren’t going to take any of the other advice, take this one to heart and hope that everyone else does, too, because if you are dealing with people who aren’t taking the above advice, dealing with them won’t be a feel-good experience. People aren’t always a bed of roses, especially when things are going wrong. The construction industry doesn’t even know what a rose is. So when you are dealing with the unhappy person, don’t let them get you down. And when you’re the unhappy person, remind yourself to start with Number 1 and go from there, because…
6. Change is Inevitable
And exciting! I’m talking innovation here, people. Helical piers have been around since 1912 and have been constantly redeveloped throughout the years. Above grade helical piles? Yup! Patented grouted pulldown miracle? You bet! Saving homes, endangered species, and individuals along the way? Absolutely! Constantly changing, developing, growing, and innovating. Moving life forward with new ideas and applications for a brighter, more interesting future, as it should be.
What life lessons have you learned from the helical pile business and construction industry? How do you apply them to your everyday life? What tricks of the trade continue to keep you in good stead?