Every year by the first week of November Christmas Fever (CF) hits me. Hard. One of the earliest manifestations of CF is the appearance of a list of household projects that all suddenly and urgently need to be completed before Christmas.

This year I had several builders come over to discuss the CF List and quote for the projects, and 2 of them stood out in particular.

The first builder listened to everything I said, and when I was done said “Sure! Whatever you want – we can make it happen” . No matter what I asked for – that was the answer.

The second also listened to everything I said, but he interjected ever so often with gold nuggets like:
“If you put a mirrored cabinet that high on the wall you won’t be able to see your face which defeats the purpose of having the mirror” or
“Are you planning to put your consoles in the TV cabinet? Because if you are you can’t make the door wooden – the signal won’t get through” or even better
“That’s great – but have you thought about …” 

Common sense for him (and maybe for those of you who are more handy), but – huge “A-ha” moments for me.

I know that ultimately everything is indeed possible with time and money. But I’m not a builder. When I envision these projects I don’t let silly things like the realm of possibility and budget encumber my imagination. I just go for it! So when I hire someone it’s not just their labour I’m looking for, it’s their expertise.

It’s all too easy to say “Sure – whatever you want” and do just what is asked, but going the extra mile and giving the added value of your expertise and insight is what builds the relationship and wins the work. 

Really simple, and something I of course knew in theory. But the experience really struck a chord with me – a very timely reminder to take into the New Year!