Building Solid Foundations

Nov 25 22:00 2001 Michael Angier Print This Article

When it comes to erecting a ... few people would ... ... of ... a strong ... It's ... in building a ... a family or a life.In 2000, we watched many o

When it comes to erecting a building,Guest Posting few people would dispute
the importance of establishing a strong foundation. It's no
different in building a business, a family or a life.

In 2000, we watched many of the dot-coms become dot-GONES. One
of the reasons for this is that these companies were built
without solid foundations. It's not only brick and mortar
companies that need firm footings.

The emphasis today is on instant gratification. But if we want
to build something of value, something that will last, we must
build a foundation that will support our vision.

The quick fix, the quick buck and the quick solution will not
endure. The individual who shoots to the top of his or her field
only to self-destruct is often the victim of not having
solidified the values and the structure to support the stardom.
It takes effort and it takes conviction, but the rewards are
worth it.

Keep Your Eyes on What You're Building
There was once a man passing by a construction site. He stopped
and asked one of the tradesmen what he was doing. The worker
replied gruffly, "I'm laying bricks, can't you see that?" The
man watched a while longer and then asked another worker what he
was doing. "I'm just earning a living," he replied. A third time
the man asked a worker and the response was much different, "I'm
building a cathedral."

No doubt the personal happiness and the quality of the work from
the last man was much better than from the first two.

And what about us? Are we just collecting a paycheck, doing
drudgery work--laying bricks? Or are we building a cathedral?

By staying focused on what we're building and seeing the task at
hand as accomplishing that purpose, we'll gain greater
satisfaction, our work will be lighter, and we'll create more
excellence.

Foundations Take Time
I recently watched a building being constructed. (I must admit I
was tempted to ask some of the workers what they were doing.)
For months, there seemed to be little progress. There was plenty
of dust, lots of activity, but very little evidence that
anything was really happening.

That's because they were building the foundation--the foundation
to support a grand structure. And that takes time.

The engineers, the architect and the owner certainly weren't
standing around saying, "Where's the building? Why can't I see
more progress?" They knew that a majority of the time to
construct the building would be spent in laying the groundwork.

Once the foundation is ready and cured, the rest of the
construction happens at impressive speed. Even mistakes made in
the superstructure can be corrected without too much difficulty.
But faults in the foundation CANNOT be easily repaired and will
jeopardize the entire structure.

And why should what we build be any different? We need to put
strong foundations under our dreams, our businesses and our
relationships. I believe that this is where many people
struggle. They're too focused on the payoff and don't give
enough attention to the hard work and careful planning required
in building the substructure. They want to start putting up
walls and bringing in the business too soon.

And in the end, most fail because there's not the right support.

Every business, every marriage, every cause will be tested. Just
being a "good guy" and "doing the right thing" will not insulate
you from the gales, the attacks and the infestations that will
most definitely occur.

But with a strong foundation, built with good materials, with
painstaking effort, your structure will be one that withstands
all assaults and fully supports your endeavors.

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Michael Angier
Michael Angier

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