If that title sounds like a challenge, it is. I want everyone who reads this to think about all of the things that went wrong last year and write them down. Did the weather stay cooler longer that you wanted? Was it a dry spring, or was there more rain than you expected? Did our customers want something last year that we were unable to provide? All of these are things we need to think about if we are going to have a better year than we have ever had before. So get out a piece of paper and write down last year’s spring challenges.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Good. Now that we know what gave us trouble in the past, let’s put some thought into what we can do about it. If you were slower that you wanted to be a year ago, work on some outbound calling plans to keep your technicians busy. If you wrote down that you needed to run more inspections or tune-ups but the weather wouldn’t cooperate, think about what your company can do to take weather out of the equation. If you didn’t have the right equipment on the trucks to accomplish something due to the crazy weather, how will you make sure that doesn’t happen again?

This task doesn’t just fall on you. Make this a part of the entire company’s discussion. Ask for ideas on how you can be better this spring than you were a year ago. If you are going to take ownership of the problems, then make sure you are getting as much help as possible. Again, write all the potential pitfalls down and what you are going to do differently.

And by the way: This applies to every change of season or time of year. Let’s look back at what didn’t go so well and try to improve it. Wash, rinse, repeat. Challenge yourself to stop uttering the excuse, “It’s always this way at this time of the year,” or whatever your variation might be. Declaring that this always happens is just a way of telling yourself that you don’t have to try and fix anything. The lies we tell ourselves are the worst.