Finish Your Work

"Overnight successes always take years."

The Last 5% - Attention to Detail

In the 4th Key (Rough Ins) we just got started.  We started ugly.  Things didn’t have to be perfect because they couldn’t.  we were brand new to this game.  We were just figuring it out.  Winging it.  You know, fake it til you make it.  But as we continued to show up, this gave us the chance to have some work to show for our efforts.  Work that could be viewed and critiqued.  And in the 5th key we began to get some of that feedback.  The initial Inspections showed our weak spots our shortcomings.  We created feedback loops for ourselves, our peers, and our mentors.  We even learned how to appreciate the feedback from the true haters.  Because we must have that feedback for this step in the process. 


Now the 6th Key is to do the Finish Work, to take that critique to heart and use it to make us better.  As we put in the reps, we pay attention to the little things.  These little things will only be noticed by others that are great.  That’s what makes them important.  Greatness recognizes greatness.  Greatness will always be recognized.  Not necessarily always appreciated.  But recognized.  This attention to detail step will provide the next opportunities down the road.  These little details will make you known for your craft for what you do.  What are the little details you have been neglecting?  Break out the dust mop and sweep out the cobwebs.  This principle is drilled into new cadets in the military.  There is a reason why we make our bed.  There is a reason we take the time to shine our shoes. 

In my contracting days, this would always take the form of crown molding.  Most anyone can cut and run trim around doors and baseboards.  There is no talent in a lot of the basic trim installation process.  Don’t get me wrong there are always tools and techniques to make the job easier (as you will read shortly) but a lot of that basic trim work doesn’t take any real skill.  Crown molding, however, is quite different.  I have seen many talented craftsmen who struggled to install crown molding.  Especially stain grade crown.  Every cut and flaw can be seen and is typically quite noticeable to the naked eye. 

Creating Systems – refine your process.  The only way to do this is to put in the reps. 

Over time become known for what you do.  This will provide opportunities to give your work more meaning.  More significance.  Look at Jordan Peterson.  The reason he is so good at verbally eviscerating his liberal opponents is that he understands their position better than they do.   He was a socialist at 14 he knows the literature.  So he can see the flaws.  He has come to a deeper understanding, having taken the time to think things through.  He understands all he positions.  What makes him so formidable is that he has taken the time to think things through.  Sort things out.  He has spent decades just thinking. To understand the importance of the structure of reason.  Answering the why….  Answering to the subconscious.

In your business and personal life, what are some systems you can create what processes can you document to make it easier, scalable or repeatable?


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Specialty Tools – Tools that make the job faster, easier, more enjoyable, easily repeatable.  scalable.

Hone the craft – learn the techniques.  Tricks of the trade.  Little things that make the job easier. More enjoyable.  Satisfaction in excellence.  Feels good to do things right.  Doing things, the right way.  Example of the electrical panel.  All electricians need to be a little OCD.   It helps when Nurses and caregivers have a high degree of openness and empathy.  Engineers need to sci-fi nerds.  Because they pay attention to the details, the back story the irrelevant facts, the background noise.  The clues in the clutter.  The Easter Eggs can be found and should be planted there. 

What are the specialty tools you need to become a master craftsman when it comes to your business, product, or relationships?  How can you apply your quirks or odd behavior to your benefit?

Product or Service You Offer

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Relationship or Personal Area of Your Life

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As you acquire these skills and tools, they will help make you an expert.  They will allow for excellence.  Continue to develop them and continue to look for new and better ways.  Technology is constantly evolving and there is no way to keep up with and the latest fads and gizmos.  Many will not be worth it anyway. 


As you become an expert you will know intuitively what tools and tricks will be beneficial.  Better yet, begin to look for ways you can develop your own specialty tools and unique skill sets that can become either a spin-off business or an opportunity to realize….

Now that you are a master craftsman, and the work is complete.  It is time for the final inspection. Your Certificate of Occupancy.

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© 2019 by Nate G