Bucket List for Contractors

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Have you ever wanted to do something really bad? Go with me to 1975, I was working for Meridian Air Conditioning company in lovely Indianapolis, IN. I was selling residential and commercial HVAC, some new construction, some replacement. But this is not about me. It is about Francis Mulhall. He worked with us as a lead generator. He would run all over town to pick up blueprints, deliver spec books, inquire about new jobs coming up, visited with general contractors, large businesses, guys doing tenant improvement work, in short, anyone who may be in need of a good Hvac company. Francis was a great guy, always had your back, if he could help you, he would.

About the second year of working with him, he shared a life-long desire with me: he really wanted to ride in a blimp! So who doesn’t; they are majestic, quiet, and move with a slow grace. When someone asks, how hard is it to get a ride on the Blimp, here is the official answer. Almost impossible. The website says only to corporate sponsors and government officials.

Francis had the dream, he also had a plan. The Goodyear Blimp came to Indy each year to float over the 500. Francis knew where they docked it, when it came in, how long it stayed. He found out the phone number for Goodyear Blimps, and the local address when they were in town. He camped out, called repeatedly. The call went like this: I want a Blimp ride! The response: are you a government official? If you are one of our corporate sponsors, call the person who works with our corporate team. Francis said I am not in either category, just a guy who wants a Blimp ride.

After the first year, it was easier. He knew when to call, when they were available. And he connected up with some of the office staff.  Remember, this is in the 70s, before internet and cell phones, so it was a lot harder to link up. He learned the schedule of the Blimp, they would make runs over the city for several days before the race. Sometimes they went up with dignitaries, important people. Francis would be sure he was in the vicinity when a practice run was taking off. He would stop by the airport, be available. Francis always wore a coat and tie, which I think was a factor.

A factor in getting a ride on the Blimp. Somewhere about the 3rd or 4th year, he was at the airport where they had docked the Blimp, getting ready to take off again. Francis was talking to a guard, letting him know he was in the system, but probably number 2345, where they would take less than a dozen at a time. Turns out on this special day, someone did not show up. An employee came out, said: are you ready? UH, YES! He got his ride. Said it was magical. Some sound when you take off, but once up in the air, at times it was silent, almost no sound at all. They circled around the city for what seemed like hours, probably only 45 min. Francis was thrilled.

When he shared that with me, he still had his “what an experience” face on. It really meant a lot, as well it should have.

My thoughts today: is there something you have longed to do for some time. We now have a name for these items, call them our bucket list items.   There is even a movie by that title. But I digress.   If you really want it, plan on getting it. Put together a plan; see what it will take, then work hard to achieve that goal. It may be recreational like a Blimp ride. May be focused on business, hitting the next level for your company. Could be personal; lose 15 pounds, bench press 250 lbs. Many of you have received one of my books, just had a distributor rep ask me how the book writing process goes. It goes very slowly, started my first book about 7 or 8 years ago. Actually started 6 of them at the same time, just putting thoughts together in files labeled: Lesson Learned/The Good Stuff/Sales/Never Forget/Motorcycles and so on. Each folder is another book; first two are out, more on the way.

Final note: I had a bucket list item for years, to go to Australia, and have someone pay me to talk. Got that chance about 7 years ago, it was excellent. Will remember that trip for the rest of my life. So today’s article is about setting goals, having those excellent life moments, fulfilling dreams, all the above. Just realize that most of the heavy lifting is up to you. Not many of us will win the lottery; we will have to work for the things we achieve. So start today, make that list, pick out one item to focus on, and put together a plan to achieve it.


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