You Have The Tools – Are You Using Them?

cutting sawTable saw, jig saw, circular saw, cordless drill, electric sander – and this weekend I added to my collection: a electric drill.  It was a gift.  Apparently, a girl needs a corded drill in case the batteries die in the cordless drill.


These are the tools I own, but more importantly tools that I know how to use.  I’m still getting the knack of the table saw, but I do pretty good.


I started off lucky – my dad was a diesel mechanic so I grew up around tools and he was brave enough to let me use them by showing me how to use them correctly.  He was also amazing in that he could fix or build anything.  I grew up knowing the importance of two key interdependent ideas:


Have the right tools and know how to use them.


Without one the other is useless.


I think he would enjoy the parallel that I bring to the work I do with my clients.  I employ the same philosophy in giving my clients the right tools and teaching them how to use them in building their business or moving forward in their careers.


But there is still one little piece that is needed:  the desire to actually use the tools.


I am a creative person – I love making and building things in all venues.  In my profession I use words to create, but in my personal life I have build floor to ceiling shelves, put down laminate flooring, tiled and all sorts of crafty things.


I want to build floating shelves for my office, as well as create some sort of storage.  I want to but I haven’t done it yet.  I could say that I haven’t found the right design or template yet; but, honestly, the reason they have not been done is my desire isn’t strong enough yet.


It isn’t a priority.


If it were I would do it.  It is as simple as that.  I have found things that would work but I haven’t done it yet.  Someone could actually send me the perfect shelves and how to and I still would not complete it – yet.  Even though I have the right tools and the perfect plan, until I want to put the work in they just won’t get done.


Once in a blue moon this happens with clients.  We work well together in putting together the right resume and strategy on how to incorporate a solid plan in moving forward and yet they remain stagnate.


Sometimes they come back and tell me the resume isn’t working, and want to know what I can do about it.  It is frustrating, I know.  That’s why it is important at that time to have the talk.


That’s when we review what they have done to use the tools and knowledge that they have.  Guess how many times it is revealed that they are either not using the tools or skipping steps?  You got it.


Having a bright shiny drill is not going to do me any good if I don’t use it or if I use it incorrectly.  More often than not they have it in their mind that because they are holding the drill the shelves will build themselves.


Not exactly.


With anything of value, there is onus on your part.  The value is in the use – you must use it to gain value.  I wasn’t working on any projects when a friend bought a new house.  I took it over there and it has been used many times over for several different updates.  It is now getting used and therefore it is creating value.


Sometimes when we are stuck and not feeling as though we are moving forward in obtaining that right job or client, we need to take a step back and evaluate what actions we are taking; or more importantly, not taking.


Are you not reaching out, are you not tailoring your message to your audience, are you not using all the tools that you have at hand?  You may have launched a great new marketing campaign (about you or your company) but unless you are working it, it won’ work for you.


Get the help you need to get the right tools and knowledge to use them but do not stop there.  The next critical step is actually pick up the drill and put it to use.


Consistent effort and measuring your progress will then get you the results you want.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW


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