We had to change, but the time we spent operating without a plan cost us.

Every industry evolves. Even in the mundane world of lumber and building materials, there have been huge changes over the decades, and change will continue. Think about some of the major chains that fell victim to shifts in the market they didn’t see coming and/or didn’t adapt to.

When you take the time to step back from the day-to-day operations—when you take a look from 30,000 feet, two important things happen: You see things you didn’t see before and you see the relationships among things. That’s the kind of information that allows you to look out over decades, not just the next year or two.

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My business venture has turned out to be both vindicating and humbling. Vindicating because it has proven to me the value of what I have spent a lifetime advocating, but humbling because, for a while, I became the operator who didn’t have time to plan.

I have to admit that it’s made it just a little more difficult for me to criticize those operators who don’t take my advice to plan, revise, and execute. But for their sake, I wish they would. And for my sake, I wish I had.

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