“The time you want the map…. is before you enter the woods”
~Brendon Burchard (Author + High Performance Coach)
This is a saying from Brendon Burchard (author and high performance coach). He shares that most people run into the woods (metaphorically speaking of course), they wander around, get lost, distracted, scared, get turned around in circles, double back on paths they’ve already taken. Eventually realising that they’re not getting to where they want to be. They’re not achieving what they wanted to when they first went running into the woods. Thats when it dawns on them, that the experience and outcome could have been very different if only they’d started from a space of being fully resourced.
I’ve been reminded of this recently, both with clients and my own personal experiences.
It was picked up at my last service that my car needs new tyres. The price that I was quoted at the time made me fall over. So I politely said thank you, let’s proceed with the service items and I’ll give some more thought to tyres and get back to you. Secretly in my head I’m thinking, that’s ridiculously expensive, surely if I shop around i’ll be able to get a cheaper price.
Through trial and error, I discovered really quickly, that theres a whole other language and knowledge required when it comes to tyre shopping. On the surface, something that seemed so simple when I set out, ended up being time consuming and incredibly frustrating. I was sharing my experience in passing with someone and they effortlessly shared…. You should speak with such and such at X,Y & Z, make sure they quote you on A, B & C because of … I’m sure you get the drift. It was such a simple thing for them to share that knowledge and experience with me, because that’s part of their world, that’s part of the space they play in every day.
If I’d thought to resource myself beforehand, I could have saved myself so much time and frustration. I could have had a more enjoyable experience.
Building or renovating your family home…
is a major commitment on so many levels (financially, on your time, emotionally, mentally) there are a million and one decisions that need to be made, co-creative relationships to navigate. It can feel equally exciting and stressful all at the same time.
It’s understandable that the financial side of things for most people, ends up being the most stressful part of the experience. And so the natural inclination is to look for ways of reducing costs and saving money wherever possible. What I see regularly, is one of the most common ways clients/home owners choose to reduce costs, is be looking at what things they are able to take on and do on their own. Clients and home owners look at how they can reduce the scope of their building designer or architect as a way of saving money.
One of the most common area’s where I notice and have experienced clients doing this, is with taking on the responsibility of applying for their own Building Permit.
Building Permit being required here in Australia for any structural works carried out, or any works that require a registered building professional to do, like a plumber &/or electrician.
It’s one of those things that on the surface, initially seems like a simple enough thing to do. How difficult can it be to engage a registered Building Surveyor, fill in an application form and submit to the surveyor with the documents and drawings provided by your building designer or architect. Easy right.
Ohhh how I wish that were true. And without any sarcasm at all, I’m genuinely looking forward to the day that I’m able to see and experience that. (6mins)
There are so many moving pieces…
to the design + documentation of your dream home or your home renovation. In taking the time to think about it, there’s a reason why in most states in Australia, both Building Designers and Architects are required to be registered through an industry governing body. The same governing body that builders, electricians, plumbers etc are required to be registered with. We are each responsible for ensuring compliance and there are very serious consequences if that’s not done.
Are there things that you can take on yourself during the design and documentation stages or even the construction phases for your dream home? Yes. Absolutely there is.
Heres the thing, if you are taking on the responsibility of tasks, that would normally be done by trained professionals, in order to save yourself money, you’re going to need the map, before you enter the woods
Let me say that again, because I really want this to land….
You are going to need the map, before you enter the woods.
What’s the map? Great question, I’m so glad you asked.
The map for deciding what tasks that you have the capacity to take on…. Would include things like;
- Knowing who the stake holders are.
-will you be liaising with other professionals and if so who?
-are they comfortable and agreeable to communicating directly with you?
-have you had contact with them, do you currently have a co-creative relationship with them?
-Will that hinder communication and progress?
-what are their working hours and do they align with when you’re available?
This is important to have a feel for, because there are going to be alot of moving pieces. There are going to be many different specialist consultants involved. Your project will be one of many that they’re working on. Each project is always urgent and always due yesterday. It helps to have a co-creative working relationship with the key stake holders. Everyone has their own personalities, their own particular ways of working, their own little quirks. Being fully resourced with all of this information, can support you in knowing what questions to ask and how to ask them in a way that you’re receiving the answer you need. It allows you to delicately guide the conversation along the path that avoids going anywhere near the sleeping bears.
- An understanding of what documents are going to be exchanged.
-Do you understand those documents?
-Do you know how to read them?
-Could you explain them to someone else?
-Do you have enough of an understanding that if someone were to ask you questions, that you would be able to interpret the documents and provide the answers?
- Where does the task sit within the overall journey?
-what comes before and after it?
-what things are dependant or linked in with the particular task?
This is important to know because most tasks arn’t independent. it’s a puzzle and all the pieces are intertwined. There might be 4-10 different people working on the same puzzle who are focusing on particular area’s. But you’re still all using the main pool of puzzle pieces in the middle. So what one person is working on, is going to affect what someone else is working on.
There are so many other things I’d add like;
-what’s your knowledge gap? By that I mean the difference between your current level of knowledge VS the level of knowledge necessary to do the task.
-Understanding the pro’s and con’s
-Understanding the consequences of things not going to plan
-What’s the real cost saving?
Ultimately, you want to have as clear an understanding as possible for what it is that you’re getting yourself into. If you’re going to take it on, go into it with your eyes wide open, go into it with confidence, with clarity. Don’t half arse it, be all in and believe in yourself that you have the ability to figure things out if they should not go to plan.