It's Not Business; It's Personal

Years ago when I was leaving a job and sharing my reasons for leaving in a private meeting with the group publisher, he, rather nonchalantly, said, “Christina, it’s just business.” His words surprised me. I had never looked at my career that way before. I got into publishing because it was my passion. I didn’t see anything I did as “just business.” I found joy in coming to work, interviewing contacts, befriending readers and experts, and touring buildings. I never thought caring as deeply as I did about my work was a drawback, but during this exit interview it apparently was.

I was reminded about the “it’s just business” comment while working with Laurie Grant, QR’s managing editor, on the “Special Report,” page 22, about women in remodeling. I realized as the women we interviewed shared the unsolicited details of their lives with us, none of them feel like remodeling is “just business.” It is woven into their lives as tightly as their spiritual beliefs and love for their families. Each of them ultimately has found this personal way to approach remodeling has helped them grow their businesses during a down economy when consumers are more apt to buy from someone they know and trust. Surely, you can glean an idea or two from these inspiring women.

 

Another woman sharing important ideas in this issue is Nancy A. Chillag, a construction attorney with Chillag & Associates PC. Chillag has been a regular contributor to QR for about 15 years and because her business focus is changing a bit, the column on page 16 is her last. It’s ironic the focus of Chillag’s final column is all-important exit strategies. We at QR thank her for her dedication through the years.

Craig Huseby, owner of Huseby Homes LLC, knows the value of making business personal. His column on page 14 is an inspiring story about his firm’s hiring of a teenager who had been in trouble with the law. Huseby has reaped rewards from the hire, not only in the fact that his firm now has a skilled carpenter, but also in that he gave a chance to a boy who may have continued down the wrong path but with guidance and support evolved into a responsible man and valued member of Huseby’s team.

Huseby’s strong sense of teamwork also is showcased on our cover and in “Master Design Solutions,” page 28. His firm completed the complicated project to the praise of our Master Design Awards judges. The judges awarded the project Gold in the Exterior Facelift category, Gold in the Residential Specialty category and Best in Show Less Than $250,000.

 

Ultimately, I think, this issue highlights the importance of putting a part of yourself into everything you do. From my experience and that of the people who shared their stories with us this issue, personalizing your work is a recipe for success. There isn’t a business much more personal than that of remodeling; as NAHB’s Remodeler of the Month Allen Griffin puts it on page 8, remodeling a home means you “… are working with memories and traditions.” Certainly someone who is considering inviting you into their home will see the value your personal touch brings. And when you treat their home with the same care as you would your own, don’t be surprised if that client invites you back again and again.

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