Today, for the first time this fall, I put on a hoodie — a Michigan State University hoodie, of course. Go Green! This is significant because the last few weeks, Michigan has hit record fall temperatures in the mid-90s. But, today, it seems as though fall has officially arrived. The kids are back at school, the leaves are beginning to turn, and all is right with the world. But falling back into the fall routine may not always be the best option.

Sometimes, performing the same monotonous day-to-day tasks can lead to a rut. Most of us have been there at some point. For example, I had a conversation with some coworkers not too long ago about how to put a different spin on a topic we’ve already written about repeatedly this year. None of us here at The NEWS wants to write the same story over and over, so we brainstorm ideas. However, there are only so many ways to describe the sales process regarding a smart thermostat, so, we are sometimes left feeling like we are stuck in a rut.


I had the privilege of attending the 14th annual — and first stand-alone — Women in HVACR (WHVACR) conference last month. It was an amazing event. The energy was high, the presenters were on-point, and I left feeling inspired by the strength and the knowledge of the women I met.

Rhonda Wiggins, HVACR instructor at Hennipin Technical College in Minneapolis, and The NEWS’ 2016 Best Instructor Runner-up, gave a technical presentation that was interwoven with personal anecdotes as a female HVAC technician. She talked about her trials, such as being barred from entering homes because she was a woman, to nearly being blown off a roof during Hurricane Hugo.

Wiggins also noted that in her 30 years of experience, she has only met one other female technician, and she only recently became aware of the WHVACR organization.

“I saw a slide on Facebook that said, ‘Sit with winners, the conversation is different,’” Wiggins said. “Well, I’m going to make a new one that says, ‘Join Women in HVACR, because the view is different.’”

Keynote presenter Elizabeth McCormick, a former U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot and motivational speaker, also left a lasting impression. She danced around the room in blue high heels while sharing the story of what led her to become a helicopter pilot and the hardships she faced in training. She also joked about starter husbands, Army recruiters, flight instructors, and more.

McCormick used her life experiences as a pilot to share lessons and offer methods to overcome challenges and accomplish goals.

So, how do you dig yourself out of that rut? Attend an industry event or conference. If that is not an option, consider reading a book. May I suggest McCormick’s “The P.I.L.O.T. Method: The 5 Elemental Truths to Leading Yourself in Life.” If that doesn’t interest you, there are several industry gurus who have authored books. Examples include Mike Agugliaro’s “The Secrets of Business Mastery,” and Rodney Koop’s “Why Won’t They Pay Me What I’m Worth.” Agugliaro is the former co-owner of Gold Medal Service, East Brunswick, New Jersey, and founder of CEO Warrior while Koop is the founder and CEO of The New Flat Rate.

If reading is not your cup of tea, try getting out of the office. Go for a ride along with one of your employees or learn something new by attending a local distributor training. Do something to break up the routine of the day while bettering yourself or your company at the same time. Get inspired about this industry and everything it has to offer.   

Publication date: 10/23/201

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