Soul-Wise Living
Soul-Wise Living

All I really need to know about this business and life, I learned from Construction Workers.

I was talking with a friend who is a construction worker. We came to realize that what we ‘do’ is so very different but ‘how’ we do it, to be successful, is fundamentally the same. We came from the perspective of our businesses but I also believe these are fundamentals when applied to life work wonders for all. We broke it down and I adapted these lessons to: “ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN” by Robert Fulghum. (adapted from Body-Wise Therapeutics blog 6-9-11 with permission from the author: me!)

Here is a synopsis of our discovery.

The Best Way to Learn is By Doing~~~He started working as an apprentice. He learned his art by doing! I’ve done over 15,000 bodywork treatments and over 500 coaching sessions. They are VERY different from the first time I gave a massage or discussed potential while I was a student. My ‘guinea pig’—who is still a client of mine to this day– can attest to that! Practice….it’s the best way to learn. To be in life, your experience matters.

Learn How to Use Your Tools~~~My friend was introduced to first a hammer and nail and now has all these fancy tools. He still has to use a screwdriver even with all these fancy gadgets. As a therapist/coach, we are given many basic tools in school. I use them still in each and every session. My ‘toolbox’ has grown tremendously. I’m forever surprised at how many people buy new gadgets or how many people go to trainings, to NOT use their new skills. I hear “it’s not comfortable or that technique does not feel right” to that gadget is too complicated” Why buy them? Why get tools? And to be a professional, it is a must. To experience life to its fullest, we must use all the tools we are given.

Get New Tools~~~My friend has crazy new gadgets…I love playing with his laser level liner thing-a-ma-jig. It is VITAL to always be enhancing the tools you have as well as finding new ones. I discovered that coaching works wonders but if you use essential oils (aromatherapy) to bring out the best in people so I went to workshops and eventually became a certified Professional Aromatherapist as well. What tools have you been adding to help you in life?

Not All Tools are Created Equally ~~~ just ask my friend. He has learned that he gets what he pays for…if he opts for a ‘cheaper’ tool, it breaks the first time he uses it. If you want a new tool, you will need to invest in it. I invested in a Feng Shui Practitioner training because I found my clients needed more support and guidance in dealing with stressors and life beyond the massage treatment table. I took a one day workshop and got basic information I could have found on the internet. I got what I paid for. I needed more though and so, I invested more. I went to an Interior Alignment Training which ALSO incorporated shifting body energies & mindful meditation and I found so many of the ‘right tools’ to help my clients. I invested wisely. Life is no different; it requires investment.


Learn From a Master Craftsman~~~ My friend was an apprentice for three years. He learned so much from his master craftsman to have the confidence to go out on his own and become a contractor. Did you ever have a coach in high school who taught you more than the game or a teacher who taught you more than the bookwork? We all need coaches and mentors. If, as in my business, I need more help with a technique, I get more training from a master. If I need more help with growing clients, I hire a mentor. Who is your master craftsman in your life?

Building Requires a Team of Experts/Partners~~~ Building a house or an office complex cannot be done by one worker. It requires a team: carpenters, electricians, plumbers and even building inspectors. One cannot go it alone in this world. Our office has a team of capable partners who each have an array of different ‘tools in their tool belt’ to best support our clients. Too, we have a team of strategic alliance partners (i.e. acupuncturists/chiropractors/nutritionists/wellness coaches) who we can utilize when a client needs exceed what we have to offer so they can achieve maximum health. Who do you have on your team???

Don’t Forget to Plan Ahead~~~you can’t build without a blue print. Every business, indeed everyone needs one too. Being on a ‘hands-on’ medical leave for almost four months, I definitely needed one. If I had not made financial plans years ago, Soul-wise would not be able to expand. Planning ahead not only means having the sight to deal with day to day operations , it has to do with everything from yearly marketing & tax plans, knowing which tools to sharpen and when. It also means having long-term AND contingency plans in place for the unexpected. No, plans do not always go as planned BUT without them you don’t know WHICH road map to choose. How is your planning going?

Make Sure You Get it Done~~~ construction workers have to work. They epitomize people who have to be on the job and fully functional to meet deadlines at hand and to do it safely. As a business owner, I HAVE to get it done (from the actual client work to the marketing of new clients to all business aspects) My livelihood depends upon it! My college fieldhockey coach said to us DAILY ‎”No Exceptions. No Excuses. No Shortcuts.” (usually preceeded by Hill Sprints!) When Challenged, I remind myself of this to “get it done! ” What would happen if you did not ‘get it done’? What reminders can you create to make ‘getting it done’ inspiring?!

Building Something Worthwhile Takes Time & Energy~~~ a lot of hard construction hours are put in to create a house or home. I was working with a client who was renovating her kitchen….her frustrations ever mounting….what should have been 6 weeks turned to 12 because of an error in the cabinets that were not made to spec. throughout this time; we focused on the FINAL desired outcome. Her thank you note to me said “Without your constant support and the Vision Seed Map we made to look at daily, I’m not sure how I’d have survived.” After that project was complete, I am so often reminded that relationships matter. It takes time to develop a trusting relationship. Too, building something successful does not happen overnight. What are you building in your life that is worthwhile but seemingly taking lots of time & energy?

What Goes Up Can Come Down Without Hesitation And Without Attention~~~Construction workers who pay no attention to where a major support beam goes know this well. Reputations are funny things. If a house comes down because the support beam was mis-aligned, that contractor is not going to have any other jobs. As a coach and therapist, my actions are always ‘ON” If they are seen as anything less than professional, my practice will suffer and, if you work in a group, your actions reflect upon other’s and if your actions are less than stellar all practices suffer. Reputations are precarious things…they take time and effort to build and can crumble at the drop of a mis-placed word or deed. It’s all about the relationship of you and your work; of you and those that surround you. Have you ever been in a relationship where you haven’t paid attention to that someone and they started to feel like they were being taken advantage of? What happened to it? You can build a strong foundation to any relationship but if it is not cultivated it will deteriorate. Are you cultivating the seeds of what you have built?

Don’t Forget Your Hard Hat~~~ For construction workers it’s a safety must. If you are not making mistakes, you are not experiencing life to its fullest. Having a ‘hard hat’ will help you bounce up, brush off and go at it again learning from your mistakes. I’ve learned many life lessons and suppose there are even more to come by (how dull would life be otherwise?). I have created a lot of hard hats

                                 Are you wearing your hard hat? What are your hard hats?

Take time to enjoy the beauty surrounding you~~~ (At the risk of speaking about a stereotype and receiving lots of complaints, I include this. I am by NO MEANS condoning this type of activity AND I am NOT placing any and/or all construction workers in this category especially my friend!) The stereotyped construction worker will whistle at a beautiful woman walking by. This correlates because they do acknowledge beauty. Most, though, think that they appreciate the work they have done as it IS happening in creating a building and step back and celebrate the finished project. One of my past clients came to me with many physical challenges and yet she celebrated her bodies ABILITIES and not disabilities; her bodies beauty instead of it’s flaws. There is not only beauty surrounding us in the vistas we see daily but also within our own homes we call our bodies. Last year, I spent 16 weeks on a walker and 24 using a rehab boot.. I was grateful to be able to spend the time appreciating the beauty of what I COULD do anyway and what I am be able to do now. The bodies ability to heal itself and with guided support (for me, now, at the hands of talented therapists) is awe-inspiring. What beauty do you see today outside and in? Are you enjoying it? Cultivating it? Are you acknowledging the beauty that surrounds you and that you have inside of you?


  1. Ah yes. We are all construction workers building a life and work that supports our dreams. Where is my hard hat?

    Comment by Linda Luke — April 5, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

  2. Linda ~ I have a mentor who often says that owning a small business is a full-contact sport! Hard hat or helmet ~ we all need one at some point or another, yes?! KEEP SMILLNG

    Comment by Laura — April 6, 2012 @ 6:19 am

  3. Amazing how two totally opposites in business have the same and similar duties to running their business. Great post, great information! Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Rhonda Neely — April 5, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

  4. Hi Rhonda! I know ~ my friend is actually a very ‘new age’ carpenter. His outlooks on life often give me a lot of BFO’s (my last post)and enjoy such a perspective. It just goes to show that you can never judge a book by it’s cover!!! Thanks for your comment and KEEP SMILING

    Comment by Laura — April 6, 2012 @ 6:18 am

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