How many of us have heard the line: Fake it till you make it? How many of us have been in texting conversations or email threads that you read over and over knowing full well the person you are trying to communicate with does not have a clue to what they are saying? How does this affect your business bottom line? Do you catch yourself talking out load and complaining the second you hang up your mobile phone and get a sick feeling in your gut? I do.

Tomorrow when you are sitting down having your first cup of coffee make two columns on a sheet of paper. Label the left column “The Real Deal” and label the right column “The Pretenders.” Relax, this will be fun and you do not have to show your list to anyone, but if you want to email it to me I promise I will keep it safe in the Bat Vault.

Now, list the people who fall into these two categories. Let’s start with, “The Real Deal.” This person is generally: self-motivated, reliable, trustworthy, morally sound, clean, and responsible. Let move on to, “The Pretender.” This person is typically: late, full of excuses, blames others, hygienically challenged, not goal oriented, will say yes to you but does not have a clue to what you just said and the list goes on and on.

Once you have your list complete, reorder it starting with “The Real Deal” list. List your top people in your organization that produce profit for your company and for your personal needs. Now list, “The Pretenders” who cost the company to lose profit and do not provide income for your personal needs.

It is time to quantify your lists. How much money is obtained by “The Real Deal” and how much money is flushed down the toilet by “The Pretenders”? You may want to take a break because the truth is about to become black and white.

In a perfect world we surround ourselves with the right people, projects run smoothly and gas costs $.50 per gallon. This is not going to happen any time soon. We have all gone through a down economy and many of us are still feeling the sting but it is time to make adjustments to the design/build industry.

I challenge you as a business owner, manager or employee to stop settling for poor business behavior, excuses and not stepping up because it is easier to take another sip of my Dunkin Donut’s coffee, extra-large, double cream and with four sugars.

Your company deserves better and your clients expect better than how they are being treated today. You might have your act together, but does your team have it together. As an owner you are responsible to wake up the pretenders now. Look at your list. They are costing you money every day, every week and every year.

The spring season is upon us and people will be again calling your office. We all need to make up lost financial ground from the last two years. So, the question is who is going to help you reclaim what has been lost, “The Real Deal” or “The Pretenders”? The answer is obvious, but for most business owners finding and hiring the right people is an extremely painful process.

Outsourcing to reliable companies is a growing trend in our industry. The Internet and hand-held devices have become a stable platform to conduct real business in real time. Look at your list and reevaluate how many pretenders could be outsourced. Push yourself to make the tough decisions, talk to people you trust and take the next step to making it happen. People in your life think you are “The Real Deal” and they count on you to not be a pretender.  

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