Being Proactive vs Being Reactive
What is being reactive?
What does being reactive mean? Reactive is defined as – Re·ac·tive – showing a response to a stimulus. Or Done in response to a problem or situation. When we drive, we react to certain dangers on the road – a car getting too close, someone cutting us off, or stopping at a stop light.
What is being proactive?
What does proactive mean? It is defined as – Pro·ac·tive – creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened. We are proactive when we plan, when we devise ways to avoid past mistakes, when we keep others informed about how we expect tasks to be carried out.
Why should you care which one you adopt?
That’s a good question. Which method or personality will afford you less stress? Which will cut down on your stress? Which will increase your bottom line? Most importantly, which method will save your priceless time?
What did Bobby D. do?
Bobby D. Remodeler is going through some changes. His typical day involved arriving at the office early, reading his email full of complaints, employee issues, and family matters. The phone would ring, and that was it for the day. From then on, it was ‘React to this. React to that. And on and on.’ This had gone on for years and he was getting burned out. He began to hate the job he once loved. And his free time was almost nil.
The Reactive Comfort Zone
He was in what I call the Reactive Comfort Zone. Why is it a comfort zone when it causes so much stress? Because it also involves no planning. Or a least a minimal amount. All you have to do to stay on top of everything is to come to work and react. React to whatever comes your way. You are taking care of things, you say. You are smoothing out the rough edges. Solving the problems in the field. Keeping your clients happy. How could this not be good?
Pro·ac·tive – creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.
How to change sides
Bobby D. decided that things needed to change. He knew what this was doing to him. Every day the same issue came up and he had to fix it – again and again. His staff was unhappy; some of them were ready to jump ship. He had to quit fixing, and start creating some procedures that eliminated these repetitive issues. He needed to switch sides – from reactive to proactive.
Remember that being proactive means “identifying and preventing potential problems.” From now on he was going to stop and analyze why a problem arose. He was going to actually write down the problem, the issue, and formulate a reasonable solution. He’d write down the solution and finally, he’d tell his staff, or his trades, or his clients, about the process he’d recorded. Whenever the issue arose again, whoever was in charge of that issue, wouldn’t have to bother Bobby D. again. They already knew what to do. This was going to be great.
What happens when you change
Bobby D. was determined to be proactive from now on. He spent time each day writing out procedures to fix problems before they happened. Then he started putting them in a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document. These processes would be his SOP; his bible for his company to refer to.
It took a long time, and it took a lot of disciplined effort to create his SOP, but he did it. His margins steadily increased, he was happier, and his wife and kids were enjoying all the free time they had with Bobby D.
Being proactive is a habit. Do it over and over, and it will be natural. No more starting the day without a plan. No more procrastination. It is time to live intentionally. Intend to improve your life and get back the time you’ve been wasting. Trash the aggravation of the past and live a healthier and happier life. Everyone, and I mean everyone, will thank you.
Wishing you the best of fortune, Randall
This article was written by Randall Soules, remodeling coach, advisor, educator, and creator of the Scientific Remodeling System, showing you better ways to advance your business, raise your profits, and improve your life, through the use of superior remodeling processes. If you would like to discover better ways to run your business, click here. He also provides his uniquely customized one-on-one coaching to a select group of contractors. Feel free to contact us here.
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