On My Mind
By Bill Loden, ASHI President
Are you making the most of all your tools?
When was the last time you considered the tools you use every day to confront the challenges set before you? As home inspectors, look at the tools you use in the course of your work. There are several that I simply can’t get through any inspection without. My list of critical jobsite tools includes a flashlight, screwdriver, ladder, camera, three light tester, respirator, and coveralls.
I have additional tools I use to further evaluate some conditions but with these basics I can typically inspect most houses and provide a good service for my clients. While these tools may vary slightly for each professional home inspector, I think it is a good starting list needed to do the job.
There is one critical tool that is more important than all the others put together. It is the tool that requires the most maintenance and care and must always be working at its best to make sure you do the best, most professional job possible for every client. This tool only weighs three pounds and comes in a handy, secure carrying case securely attached to the neck.
Yes, I’m talking about your brain. Most of us would think everyone would recognize the need to put this tool to good use in every job. But if you take a look at the “ASHI Postcards from the Field,” you will find ample evidence that some people are using their head and its contents as nothing more than a hood ornament.
Your brain, just like your body, must receive proper care including proper nutrition, exercise, and rest to function at its best. This brings us to today’s topic which is EDUCATION, or exercise for the brain. So what does education typically mean to the average home inspector? Answer: “Required Continuing Education Credits.”
I often hear inspectors talking about getting their required CE hours. They need them to meet licensing requirements or to maintain their certifications. Have you ever wondered why CEs are required? The sad truth is that states or associations must require them or some inspectors would never progress and mature as competent professionals.
This isn’t a condition exclusive to home inspectors; it is a human condition and cuts across all lines of human endeavor. Far too many people are only interested in getting by with the bare minimum in knowledge and effort.
While this may sound like a pessimistic view of the human condition, there is actually some good news here for you if you are interested in a richer and fuller professional experience. It all starts with motivation. You have to want it. You have to be willing and eager to go well beyond the “required” education, and to do this you must feed your mind daily.
You must get motivated and you must stay motivated. However motivation can be difficult. How many of you have made New Year’s Resolutions and worked hard to attain your goals but by about April, those resolutions were nothing more than a fading memory and possibly a reminder of failure.
One of the greatest motivators of the 20th Century, Zig Ziglar, had this to say about motivation: “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”
So how do you maintain motivation on a daily basis? Zig had a way to accomplish this too. It is through what he called Automobile University. As a home inspector you are probably spending 200 to 800 hours a year in your car or truck going to and from inspections. Instead of listening to music or talk radio, listen to CDs and MP3s from motivational speakers and business leaders while driving. You can be inspired and educated during this otherwise wasted time.
I started attending Automobile University several years ago and it has made an incredible difference in my personal, spiritual and professional life. Give it a try. There are incredible audio programs that will both inspire and educate you and you will see a difference in your attitude and your aptitude.
One last quote:
“If you do more than is required, you will achieve more than expected.” Bill Loden