Crush the Chaos of Contracting!

20+ years of 'Left-Field Madness' shared by hundreds of contractors from across the US

Information that's both extensive & the embodiment of unique!

This vault of exclusive information will help to keep your construction business ... in business.

Chaos plagues contractors every single day:

  • The owner of a project dies during the project...

  • A contractor buys a home in the next town over - only to find out, after the deal is done and he's moved his family, that it's illegal to run even a very small 'no employees' business from his home...

  • A subcontractor gets 'taken' by a general contractor on change orders...

  • Longtime, reliable customers that suddenly aren't so reliable and quit paying...

  • The general contractor pays for the same material twice because the subcontractor skips town with the first payment...

  • The general contractor lies about who the owners are

  • A customer relies on a labor release form only to find out later (the hard way) that labor release forms are not valid (check your state)...

And those aren't even the 'difficult' scenarios!

If you think chaos can't and won't happen to you then you need to learn very quickly that...

NO contractor is immune to 'Left-Field Madness'

Maybe you won't experience the above scenarios exactly but there are a million and one situations (and then some) that can, and do, go wrong in construction.

If you run your business as if it's sunshine around every corner then I guarantee that you *will* be hit between the eyes with at least one shocking experience.

With *absolutely zero* offense intended, a contractor doesn't have a clue as to what might be waiting for him around the corner.

How could s/he? It's impossible to know what might be waiting around the corner because contracting is not perfect and it's most definitely not predictable.

You must run your business as if bad things *are* going to happen so that you can be prepared *if* they happen.

When the S does inevitably HTF you'll be better prepared than the majority of the contractors out there.

Expect that your customer is going to rip you off!

Now that doesn't mean to *treat* your customers as if they're going to rip you off.

Always *always* treat your customers like GOLD.

But at the same time you need to be prepared for the slugs. That means that you must be prepared to protect yourself even when all looks rosy.

Tip: Your worst customers can become your best. Just treat 'em right even when they're rude. Eventually they apologize (usually) and then they're wonderful to work with.

Don't shrug off processing a document simply because you trust your customer. What if your trusted customer dies and you're suddenly dealing with some legal corporation? I guarantee you the people in that corporation are going to look for every way possible to hang on to as much of the owner's money and property as possible.

With that level of legal professional involved there's no doubt that incorrect or lacking paperwork will translate to no payment.

Don't skip a proposal/contract just because your customer is a relative or a friend. So often those are the types of arrangements that go south - and you're left holding the bag because you trusted.

Don't blow off getting a lien waiver/release form for a payment you made just because you golf with the guy on the weekends. He may have a (nefarious) 'silent' partner...

Then there are the more common issues...

Dealt with on a regular basis and  ** N.O.T. F.U.N. **

  • Bidding methods that have changed so very drastically over the past several years - and are still changing as rapidly as technology does - if you miss the new tech you lose your bids; we all know what happens when you can't win any bids.

  • 7-8-9-10 page contracts, each different depending on the project and your position within that project, with clauses that if you’re not careful will bite you in the bu... um… behind.

  • A rapidly, rapidly shrinking pool of reliable potential construction workers (a common topic at LinkedIn these days).

But the rewards of being a contractor can be plenty

Owning a construction business means that life is no longer as simple as showing up at the office on Friday afternoon to grab your paycheck before sailing into the weekend.

Although there’s so much more involved than when you're an employee collecting a paycheck, life *can* be grand as a construction contractor - you just need an industry insider who will keep you alert to the many gotchas there are.

We all know that the paperwork in construction is horrendous but even as bad as it is it's still bearable.

But... add in a few of those "out of left field" incidents and, depending on how far out in left field they came from, you may be out of business in a heartbeat - but if you let your construction industry-insider help deflect those gotchas you've got a much better chance of keeping your business healthy.

Optimistic Otto vs. Pessimistic Patty

Many people absolutely do not 'do' pessimism, they're optimists all the way and that's okay.

But pessimism is the order of the day when you're a contractor, because of the chaos that abounds.

Optimism can hurt you dearly should you not be able to imagine the absolute worst of the worst that can go wrong on a construction project (I'm not talking job site injuries, I'm referring to legalities).

If you can't clearly imagine the *absolute worst of the worst* of what could happen should a situation go south then you won't be able to prep for it or avoid moves that bring it on to begin with.

You need a construction industry-insider who is skeptical of everything; a 'specialized pessimist' if you will, one who is familiar with and/or can imagine the worst of the worst that can happen in contracting - so that you experience as little of the 'worst' as possible.

Optimistic Otto won't help you - in fact he'll hurt you. He can't see the potential calamities that can befall you when things are going smooth.

He can't even see the worst of what can happen when things aren't going so smooth.

BAM! ... So much for deflecting left field! 

BAM! ... Again from left field!

Um... Yeah... Thanks Otto...

With Pessimistic Patty (or Diane-me-in this case) ;o) you will almost always be able to stop cold those 'incomings from left field'.

Let my pessimism help you to avoid some calamities and reduce the pain of those that do hit.

Bookmark this website and let me be your insider, your Pessimistic Patty/Diane. You won't be sorry, in fact I predict that you'll be delighted!

When I was new to the construction industry I made just about every mistake one could make

It's my 'been there done that' that allows me to know instinctively how to help you.

I was alone with absolutely *zero* experience in the construction world, I couldn't afford an attorney, I relied on my supplier *heavily* to help me to learn the ins and outs, and when legal issues came up (such as questionable clauses in contracts) I just researched as much as I could.

I always told myself that I'd find some way to pay it forward, the fact that my suppliers were so incredibly helpful to me. In keeping with that goal and my effort to bring you the best of the best to help you to avoid the worst of the worst I invite you to...

Meet the Industry Experts!

Since 1996, the time that I started providing support to contractors I've helped many of the newer and smaller contractors to deal with a myriad of issues.

As the laws for the industry become more and more complicated (how is that even possible?) the larger construction companies/corporations are now also coming to me for answers, information, forms, etc.

Access to industry experts is becoming ever more important - in fact it's absolutely vital to the success of your business.

No one person or company can prepare you for the many things that can go wrong when it comes to operating your construction business.

Even with as many scrapes as I've been through myself I'm still shocked at many of the experiences that contractors share with me.

With all of this in mind I approached the above industry experts and all agreed to help you with any questions you might have. They contribute articles and they all have their own websites that you can visit as well.

Until I have individual question/answer boxes for each of them please feel free to email your questions to me and I'll forward them to the expert you'd like to ask and then I'll send the answer to you as soon as it's ready - no charge.

"Hi Diane,

It is so refreshing to find someone who is willing to help just because they can. This is how I try to be also. There are so many people who operate using the old saying, "you can't get something for nothing"!

You really have gone above and beyond my expectations, and I want you to know that I truly appreciate it.

Very best regards,"
Marian Reich

I'm no longer a contractor - now I help contractors instead

Of the many negative experiences we suffered through, there was one that was so devastating that we lost almost everything. We were contracted with a general contractor known as a sub-buster and he definitely was/is.

I was so pi**ed off, and so terribly depressed, over that and everything else we'd been through that I decided that I didn't want to be a contractor any longer - I decided to help contractors instead with all the sh*t they have to deal with.

So here I am whenever you have any questions or need anything. Please don't ever hesitate to contact me. :o)

Thank you!
Diane

Articles you might be interested in...

Let me help you crush the chaos of contracting!



New! Comments

Please enter your comments and questions about this article in the box below.

Psst: Look Who's Shacking Up Together!