Last month we talked about attitude and the importance of having a good attitude as we tackle all of the issues that come our way during the typical day. Since writing that article, I’ve actually been giving some thought to what things we as contractors can do to help us have a positive attitude. There are certainly enough things out there to give us a negative attitude, so I’m convinced that we really need to work hard at having that positive attitude.

I’ve decided that the No. 1 thing we should think about, to keep ourselves positive, is all of the good things we provide to the people for whom we do business. I’ll bet you never stop to think about that. Just look at your records for the last month. How many service calls did you make to repair someone’s furnace or air conditioner in order for them to be able to live in their home and be comfortable?

Even if it’s not a large number, still think about how much you did to help those people. Sure, you could have been in a retail environment and sold them something that might have given them some instant gratification, but how much better is it to actually make them be able to live comfortably in their home?

Do you realize there aren’t many businesses out there that provide as much of a positive benefit to the public as we do? Yet many of us just think of ourselves as heating and/or air conditioning contractors. What about the many installations you make? You remove an old, inefficient, piece of equipment that may not have been installed properly in the first place. Then you replace it with a modern, much more efficient piece of equipment, make the necessary modifications so that the installation is proper, and make sure the customer receives the maximum comfort from this newly installed system. How many items does that person purchase that has as much of an effect on their entire life as that new heating and air conditioning system? Not very many.


For that reason you need to be very proud of what you do throughout your community. I’m sure you can all relate similar stories, but I had two occurrences separately in one day that really put into perspective for me the good that we do as an industry. On the coldest Monday morning of the winter, a tennis friend of mine called and said his furnace had gone out during the night and could we get someone out to service it. Within an hour we were on the job. The service technician found a way to get the old furnace operating, but recommended that we have one of our sales engineers prepare a quote.

Within another hour the sales engineer was on the job running a heat loss/gain calculation and shortly after the deal was consummated. We agreed to make the installation the next morning. This turned out to be fortunate because the temporary fix only lasted until morning. By Tuesday evening the new, efficient furnace was operating.

That same Tuesday, remember, the coldest morning of the year, I received a call from another friend. He has a family with three young children in a more than 20-year-old home they bought last summer. They too had no heat. We went through basically the same scenario, and by Wednesday evening they had a new, much more efficient furnace completely installed and operating in their home.

But for me the real good news came on Friday of that week. First I received a very lengthy letter from the tennis friend thanking me for the quick service, competent people, etc. Then, only a few minutes later, I received a long e-mail from the other friend’s wife saying how pleased they were with everything that had taken place and that they were especially thankful because of their three young kids.

I took a few minutes to put all of this in perspective. Think of how much we did to help these people. But that’s what we do as an industry. We all need to step back at times and think just how much positive we do. I believe if you will take that time, it will really help give you a positive attitude. I know sometimes it’s hard to push aside the day-to-day (or minute-to-minute) problems that need solving. But at some time you need to look at the big picture and be rightfully proud of what you do.

Publication date:04/16/2007