Stop listening to the experts!

It has been a while since I contributed my last blog post. Like most other projects of mine, the one constant that keeps running when other priorities arise is the calendar.

I have been spending a lot of windshield time the past few months, crisscrossing the territory that Northland Buildings covers. I visit our sales reps, management, and also suppliers and customers. The philosophy is that in order to have a bird’s-eye view of the company, I need to get a perspective from the worm’s-eye view.

This year there is a consistent theme. By and large I sense a guardedly optimistic attitude for growth in 2013, albeit with plenty of potential glitches. Not least of the glitches is the winter/non-spring of 2013, generating a significant “community bad mood,” that will get no further mention here to avoid aggravating fresh wounds. Further feeding the angst is uncertainty about drought (less likely in the last month); commodity price spikes for lumber, metals, grain, and fuel; the general state of the economy (are we entering the third consecutive spring swoon?); political uncertainty with fiscal cliffs, sequesters, affordable health care (!), and foreign affairs; not to shortchange bombs, guns, wars and rumors of wars.

In that nugget of guarded optimism I take something real. Most of the people I’ve talked with are hoping for the best but planning for the worst. The media is bombarding us with all things negative, adding to the underlying self-generated anxiety, sometimes to a point of paralysis. There is a blurring the line between news reporting and opinions, most often for monetary or political gain. In spite of this I will quote one of my best friends, “Where would you rather be than right here, right now?” A rhetorical question, maybe, but it hits home. Now is the time to do our best, right here.

I have come to three general conclusions, which may or may not be related:
1 1. Seems like most of my worry-wort time is spent on things out of my control, even though they can affect my life and/or business.
2 2. Talk radio people do not stop talking if and when they do not know what they are talking about. This applies to hosts, guests, and listener/callers. The only reason anybody stops talking is when the time is up. Remember that.
3 3. I have listened to way too much talk radio over the last few months. Some politically conservative, some liberal, some sports related, and some general. The analysis is the same. So why do I keep listening? Good question.

2013 is one third complete and the time if flying. Here’s a mid-year resolution. For the balance of this year I will attempt to focus on that which I can control, and respond to uncontrollable events as best as possible when needed. It is time to take the half-full glass and work with it.

And next time I get behind the wheel, I will turn on some music (if there is no ball game). Happy Spring and Summer!