Personal Responsibility as a Builder title on white background with photo of Amelia Lee and Duayne Pearson and Live Life Build Logo

There is no magic bullet.

Taking personal responsibility is the key to creating a successful building business. 

Watch the video now, or read the transcript below.

Time for Change


You can’t keep going around in circles doing the same thing all the time and expect a different result. You’ve got to take responsibility and own it.


Duayne, we work with lots of builders. Lots of different size businesses. Lots of different locations across Australia and New Zealand. Builders doing different kinds of projects, and lots of different revenue levels as well. What do you think is the one thing that a builder needs to do in order to be able to turn their projects in their business around?


Personal responsibility. 

That’s the number one thing that changed me. And a big part of that is I live off the Grant Cardone saying “Nothing happens to you. It happens because of you“. You’ve got to step up. You can’t keep going around in circles doing the same thing all the time and expect a different result. You’ve got to take responsibility and own it.


A lot of builders come to us looking for the magic bullet. Or the templates and the guides, and the literally step-by-step formula that they’re going to need to follow in order to achieve a successful business. And we give builders loads of that information. We give them so many templated systems and processes, guides, all of those kinds of things.  Personal responsibility is so important because all of that is pretty meaningless unless they’re actually going to take responsibility.

You need to make change in order for things to change.


Look, for me it was all about being honest with myself. For so long I was just always telling myself the story that I thought I needed to hear. But the story was wrong. And so being honest with myself, stepping up to the plate, taking responsibility, just owning everything that was going wrong, and changing the story that I was telling myself in my mind was a big thing for me and it’s really how things started to turn around.

It’s A Matter of Priorities


We talk a lot about builders being people pleasers. Really wanting to make sure that everybody’s happy, particularly their clients. They feel that they need to bend over backwards, do all these extra things. I think, too, that builders can get sucked into this sort of case, and it’s not just builders actually, this is society-wide. This badge of “I’m busy”. I know that I’ll have people always say to me, “so how are you going? How’s business? Are you busy?” Like that’s the measure of being successful. Yet, we know that that busy badge can be a trap that actually just gets you stuck in doing the wrong kind of work and spending your time in the wrong ways.


I must admit I fall into this trap a little bit. I really try to avoid the word “busy” now. I can’t stand it. Members of the family and that, the first thing they say when you speak to them or relatives is “you’re always busy”. I might look busy, but I’ve always got time to do more. It’s what you prioritise. 

I think a really important part of all this is a lot of people would see me doing what I’m doing and think, well, it’s okay for him. He’s got all these systems and processes in place. He’s nailing it, look at what’s going on. He’s got multiple businesses. But a really important part to remember is it’s not all me

I’m the one that had to take responsibility and own putting things in place and realising what needed to change in my life and the business. But as that started to happen, I had to get people to help me out with that. And again, that was a big thing for me. Actually having to suck it up and say, “Look, I can’t do everything, I can’t do that.” 

What Are Your Strengths as a Builder?


A big part is:

realising what your strengths are and then focusing on them.

Giving tasks that you’re either no good at you’re slow at, you’re not efficient at. That’s not going to help the business. So employing people, whether that’s a general admin type person or a bookkeeper or whatever it may be. But obviously that’s part of understanding your costs and working those costs in because the first thing people are going to say is that we can’t afford a staff member. 

And again, that’s that mindset of ‘you can’t’, ‘you’re too busy.’ 

You can

You just need to put systems in place to start pricing your jobs correctly. Increasing your overheads, selling your passion, selling your service, attracting the right clients, so that you can get yourself in a better position personally so that everything else around you falls into place.


I think that personal responsibility doesn’t mean taking personal responsibility for absolutely everything that needs to happen in your business. It’s that step of acknowledging that you actually need to do things differently. That you can have ownership of the things you can change, and then you can also have ownership of the things that you need help and support with so that you can get them done properly. 


A big thing for me was realising that I don’t have to do everything. I just need to have an overview of what’s happening so that I can keep control in the business. So, employ people that are on the right page, or the same page as you. Set expectations, and get people into your team to help you so that you can help yourself be a better person, and take responsibility for things. 

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