Two Words You Don’t Know That Might Help Your Business

Contractor ProductivityThere’s a recent article on Inc. titled “The Two Most Important Business Words You’ve Never Heard” that I feel applies to some home improvement companies.

Here’s a sample from the article (check out the article for more in-depth details) that has the first word, with the definition:


Oxford’s in-the-box definitionThe mental faculty of purpose, desire, or will to perform an action; volition. A better in-the-trenches definition, which John McCormack used in his wonderful book Self-Made in America (where I found the word 10 years ago): “The will to succeed that shows up in single-minded pursuit of a goal.” Or in other words, “Get out of my way; I have somewhere I need to be.”

And this is the second word and the definition:


Oxford calls itA wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action. Our in-the-trenches definition: The desire, with no intention of doing anything.

“Wouldn’t it be great if … ?” “Someday I’m going to … ” “I sure hope that … ” It’s all just velleity. You can have a great Purpose, chant at your vision board all day to demonstrate Commitment, and know exactly what one thing you’ll do next to establish your Direction. But until you have Movement, it’s all just wishful thinking.

While those two words are obscure, their concepts are not. When it comes to being a conative person – someone who gets things done – home improvement business owners usually fit the bill. You are entrepreneurs. You wanted to start a business… so you went out and did it.

However, the one big mistake quite a few owners make is they fall back into the “Velleity” mode when it comes to their business. Plan are made, discussions are had, dreams are dreamed… but taking that next big step requires risk, right?

  • What will happen if you take on more work and grow your business?
  • Could opening another location ruin everything?
  • Should we take the time to learn and implement a new technology?
  • Can we stop advertising in the yellow pages and go completely online?

Of course, I’m not advising you to rush off and try every idea you’ve ever had. But on the list of things to do, you probably have one high priority initiative that you’ve been talking about for years but have never done.

Well, as Nike has always said… Just do it.

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