Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Let's Build Back Better Together!

An editorial from Ken Brookings, Aspire’s Founder and Chairman

So how is your 2020 going so far?  Depending on your location and business practices things might range from lots of work but a shrinking backlog to little work and no good way to reach new clients.  Any informed rational analysis indicates things may be on a downward slide for many months. Tired of lockdowns, sick of no access to things to do, deprived of your normal social patterns?  Yep, 2020 has been a disaster for many and unpleasant for most.

However, there is a real upside to this – really.

How many of us can look back at a disastrous turn and now realize it was the best thing that could have happened.  A lot of successful contractors became contractors after losing or leaving their jobs working for someone else. Allow me to use an analogy.

Some of this planet’s most amazing trees can only achieve their true destiny, can only reach their potential, because they have been in a forest fire. The mighty Redwood trees (and many other types of trees) must have the heat of a forest fire to open their cones enough to allow its seeds to germinate. Other trees need the underbrush to be cleared out to become healthy.

Some other trees need other tree types competing for the same rays of sunlight to burn away to allow enough space for the sun to nurture some trees. Its those disastrous forest fires that make possible the lushest and healthy forests and the tallest and most healthy trees.

It can be impossible to see the best path through the woods until the underbrush has been burned off.

So it is with our businesses and our lives. Suddenly we can see, often for the first time, that the path we were following was NEVER going to make our dreams come true. This intersection of pandemic and deep recession can’t be good when it’s happening to us but it can provide the impetus and opportunity to finally embrace changes with purpose and enthusiasm – changes that can serve us for the better for the rest of our lives. Its time to get rid of the old baggage that we have been dragging through our work and personal life.

You have my commitment and the commitment of the entire Aspire team that we will match or exceed your level of commitment to a different future.

There is a somewhat generic strategy that will fit most of you. That strategy is highlighted by these steps;

1. Generate and execute good projects now, regardless of economy and pandemics.
2. Maximize gross margins to make more money with less work.
3. Stay nimble for quick adjustment to the rapidly changing contracting marketplace.
4. Get your team trained on the same mission and trained up to execute their part.
5. Blow the doors off your competition with a superior and disciplined approach to this volatile marketplace.
6. As things stabilize move to your long term, high margin, lifestyle-friendly, sustainable business model.

We’re ready – if you are too then let’s use current events to our advantage and Build Back Better.

Stay safe and prosperous!

Ken Brookings
Founder & Chairman
The Aspire Institute

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Aspire Institute Launches New One-Day Workshop to Protect General Contractors From The Inevitable Economic Downturn… That IS Coming



“Prosper Through the Next Recession” is a one-day advanced business training for residential GC’s in Chicago, IL On April 14th 2020



The Aspire Institute has announced a new business education event exclusively for Residential General Contractors. Prosper Through the Next Recession is a one-day event that will provide a proven, real-world, roadmap for General Contractors to begin the vital process of making the necessary business adjustments now that will insulate them from the next recession.

What Recession?

According to Fred Farris, Aspire’s CEO, “No one can reliably time economic cycles. However, most reliable sources and indicators are clear that we are getting closer to an economic downturn. We are, in fact, now in the longest period of expansion in history. While we all hope it goes on forever, at Aspire, we do not believe hope is the best strategy.”

Bad News / Good News

Anthony Rodriguez, Aspire’s Vice President, adds, “We don’t know when, but the fact is we know its’ coming. The problem for GCs is that it takes at least a year to make the necessary business adjustments that will allow them to prosper through it. The good news is that most of these adjustments are the same adjustments GCs need to make to generate better profits, NOW, during the good times.”

Real World - Been There - Done That - Solutions

The Prosper Through the Next Recession workshop will outline real-world case studies and detail proven strategies and methods that helped GCs prosper through the last recession in 2008 and how to incorporate the 5 Key Lessons learned during that time that will shield a GC business today from potential business damage when the next downturn comes.


Upcoming Workshops In Your Area:


The workshop will be held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel at 1551 N Thoreau Drive N in Schaumberg on April 14th, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The normal price is $295 per company, covering all owners, spouses and senior managers. On behalf of the Greater Chicagoland NARI and the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago, there are a limited number of scholarships available on a first come, first served basis to qualifying businesses. NARI and HBAGC members receive exclusive $145 pricing. Not a HBAGC or NARI member? We have a few $100 early bird scholarships to give out. Call for details. To learn more or to reserve seats, visit www.AspireWorkshop.com or call The Aspire Institute at 888-252-8998.

About: For over 20 years the Aspire Institute has been helping the owners and leaders of small businesses achieve new levels of success. We focus on helping those who are experts in their craft become equally powerful as professional business operators.

Aspire Institute workshops are accredited for six (6) NARI CEU‘s and six (6) hours of continuing education credit for the following NAHB professional designations: CAPS, CGA, CGB, CGR, GMB and GMR.




Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Aspire Institute Launches New One-Day Workshop to Protect General Contractors From The Inevitable Economic Downturn… That IS Coming


“Prosper Through the Next Recession” is a one-day advanced business training for residential GC’s in San Diego, CA on March 24th 2020 

The Aspire Institute has announced a new business education event exclusively for Residential General Contractors.
Prosper Through the Next Recession is a one-day event that will provide a proven, real-world, roadmap for General Contractors to begin the vital process of making the necessary business adjustments now that will insulate them from the next recession.
What Recession?

According to Fred Farris, Aspire’s CEO, “No one can reliably time economic cycles. However, most reliable sources and indicators are clear that we are getting closer to an economic downturn. We are, in fact, now in the longest period of expansion in history. While we all hope it goes on forever, at Aspire, we do not believe hope is the best strategy.”
Bad News / Good News

Anthony Rodriguez, Aspire’s Vice President, adds, “We don’t know when, but the fact is we know its’ coming. The problem for GCs is that it takes at least a year to make the necessary business adjustments that will allow them to prosper through it. The good news is that most of these adjustments are the same adjustments GCs need to make to generate better profits, NOW, during the good times.”
Real World - Been There - Done That - Solutions

The Prosper Through the Next Recession workshop will outline real-world case studies and detail proven strategies and methods that helped GCs prosper through the last recession in 2008 and how to incorporate the 5 Key Lessons learned during that time that will shield a GC business today from potential business damage when the next downturn comes.


Upcoming Workshops In Your Area:


The workshop will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego - Del Mar at 11915 El Camino Real in San Diego on March 24th, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The normal price is $295 per company, covering all owners, spouses and senior managers. On behalf of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), there are a limited number of scholarships available on a first come, first served basis to qualifying businesses. NARI and NAHB members receive exclusive $145 pricing. Not a NAHB or NARI member? We have a few $100 early bird scholarships to give out. Call for details. To learn more or to reserve seats, visit www.AspireWorkshop.com or call The Aspire Institute at 888-252-8998.

About: For over 20 years the Aspire Institute has been helping the owners and leaders of small businesses achieve new levels of success. We focus on helping those who are experts in their craft become equally powerful as professional business operators..



Friday, January 31, 2020

The Aspire Institute Launches New One-Day Workshop to Protect General Contractors From The Inevitable Economic Downturn… That IS Coming



“Prosper Through the Next Recession” is a one-day advanced business training for residential GC’s in Houston, TX on March 10th, 2020


The Aspire Institute has announced a new business education event exclusively for Residential General Contractors.

Prosper Through the Next Recession is a one-day event that will provide a proven, real-world, roadmap for General Contractors to begin the vital process of making the necessary business adjustments now that will insulate them from the next recession.

What Recession?

While a recent Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University report forecasts robust growth in the home building industry in 2019 (Read the full report here) when it comes to economic cycles, nothing lasts forever.

According to Fred Farris, Aspire’s CEO, “No one can reliably time economic cycles. However, most reliable sources and indicators are clear that we are getting closer to an economic downturn.  We are, in fact, now in the longest period of expansion in history.  While we all hope it goes on forever, at Aspire, we do not believe hope is the best strategy.”

Bad News / Good News

Brent Baker, Aspire’s Director of Coaching, adds, “We don’t know when, but the fact is we know its’ coming.  The problem for GCs is that it takes at least a year to make the necessary business adjustments that will allow them to prosper through it.  The good news is that most of these adjustments are the same adjustments GCs need to make to generate better profits, NOW, during the good times.”

Real World - Been There - Done That - Solutions

The Prosper Through the Next Recession workshop will outline real-world case studies and detail proven strategies and methods that helped GCs prosper through the last recession in 2008 and how to incorporate the 5 Key Lessons learned during that time that will shield a GC business today from potential business damage when the next downturn comes.

Upcoming Workshops In Your Area:
The workshop will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Houston Energy Corridor on March 10th, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The normal price is $295 per company, covering all owners, spouses and senior managers. On behalf of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), there are a limited number of scholarships available on a first come, first served basis to qualifying businesses. NARI and NAHB members receive exclusive $145 pricing. Not a NAHB or NARI member? We have a few $100 early bird scholarships to give out. Call for details. To learn more or to reserve seats, visit www.AspireWorkshop.com or call The Aspire Institute at 888-252-8998.

About:  For over 20 years the Aspire Institute has been helping the owners and leaders of small businesses achieve new levels of success. We focus on helping those who are experts in their craft become equally powerful as professional business operators.




Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Aspire Institute to host an Advanced Business Practices Workshop for Residential GC’s and Remodelers



“Where GC Profit Actually Comes From” a one-day advanced business training
in Denver, CO on February 25th



Leading building-industry coach and educator, The Aspire Institute, is presenting a one-day advanced business practices workshop for professional remodelers and residential general contractors on February 25th in Denver, CO. “Where GC Profit Actually Comes From” is the only workshop of its kind, helping professional builders shape their business models to maximize profits without raising prices or increasing revenue and without cutting expenses.

The workshop will address key areas in the professional builder’s business including how different business models affect profitability, differentiating from the competition, attracting the right customers in the digital age as well as finding, hiring and keeping top employees in a challenging hiring market.

“I designed this class to explore how simple, small changes in a contractor’s business model can make a substantial difference in how easily profits flow,” said Aspire Institute Founder, Ken Brookings.
After attending the workshop, Harry Poehlmann, owner of Poehlmann Construction, said, “Aspire helped me substantially increase my gross and net profits. If you’re a residential builder, put your doubts aside and attend this workshop with everyone on your business team.”
The workshop will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Denver Tech Center North on February 25th, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The normal price is $295 per company, covering all owners, spouses and senior managers. On behalf of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), there are a limited number of scholarships available on a first come, first served basis to qualifying businesses. NARI and NAHB members receive exclusive $145 pricing. Not a NAHB or NARI member? We have a few $100 early bird scholarships to give out. Call for details. To learn more or to reserve seats, visit www.AspireWorkshop.com or call The Aspire Institute at 888-252-8998.

MORE: For over 20 years the Aspire Institute has been helping the owners and leaders of small businesses achieve new levels of success. We focus on helping those who are expert in their craft become equally powerful as professional business operators.




Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Aspire Institute to host an Advanced Business Practices Workshop for Residential GC’s and Remodelers



“Where GC Profit Actually Comes From” a one-day advanced business training
in Arlington, TX on February 11th



Leading building-industry coach and educator, The Aspire Institute, is presenting a one-day advanced business practices workshop for professional remodelers and residential general contractors on February 11th in Arlington, TX. “Where GC Profit Actually Comes From” is the only workshop of its kind, helping professional builders shape their business models to maximize profits without raising prices or increasing revenue and without cutting expenses.

The workshop will address key areas in the professional builder’s business including how different business models affect profitability, differentiating from the competition, attracting the right customers in the digital age as well as finding, hiring and keeping top employees in a challenging hiring market.

“I designed this class to explore how simple, small changes in a contractor’s business model can make a substantial difference in how easily profits flow,” said Aspire Institute Founder, Ken Brookings.

After attending the workshop, Allen Proctor, owner of Proctor Construction, said, “The Aspire workshop clearly defined where my profits were leaking and showed me the potential to increase my margins by doing things a little differently.  After applying what I learned I’ve increased my margin by 10%, brought cohesion to my management team and greatly reduced the stress of running a residential construction firm.”

The workshop will be held at the Hilton Arlington in Arlington, TX on February 11th, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The normal price is $295 per company, covering all owners, spouses and senior managers. On behalf of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), there are a limited number of scholarships available on a first come, first served basis to qualifying businesses. NARI and NAHB members receive exclusive $145 pricing. Not a NAHB or NARI member? We have a few $100 early bird scholarships to give out. Call for details. To learn more or to reserve seats, visit www.AspireWorkshop.com or call The Aspire Institute at 888-252-8998.

MORE: For over 20 years the Aspire Institute has been helping the owners and leaders of small businesses achieve new levels of success. We focus on helping those who are expert in their craft become equally powerful as professional business operators.




Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Aspire Institute Launches New One-Day Workshop to Protect General Contractors From The Inevitable Economic Downturn… That IS Coming



“Prosper Through the Next Recession” is a one-day advanced business training for residential GC’s in Lafayette, CA on January 28th, 2020



The Aspire Institute has announced a new business education event exclusively for Residential General Contractors.

Prosper Through the Next Recession is a one-day event that will provide a proven, real-world, roadmap for General Contractors to begin the vital process of making the necessary business adjustments now that will insulate them from the next recession.

What Recession?

While a recent Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University report forecasts robust growth in the home building industry in 2019 (Read the full report here) when it comes to economic cycles, nothing lasts forever.

According to Fred Farris, Aspire’s CEO, “No one can reliably time economic cycles. However, most reliable sources and indicators are clear that we are getting closer to an economic downturn.  We are, in fact, now in the longest period of expansion in history.  While we all hope it goes on forever, at Aspire, we do not believe hope is the best strategy.”

Bad News / Good News

Brent Baker, Aspire’s Director of Coaching, adds, “We don’t know when, but the fact is we know its’ coming.  The problem for GCs is that it takes at least a year to make the necessary business adjustments that will allow them to prosper through it.  The good news is that most of these adjustments are the same adjustments GCs need to make to generate better profits, NOW, during the good times.”

Real World - Been There - Done That - Solutions

The Prosper Through the Next Recession workshop will outline real-world case studies and detail proven strategies and methods that helped GCs prosper through the last recession in 2008 and how to incorporate the 5 Key Lessons learned during that time that will shield a GC business today from potential business damage when the next downturn comes.

Upcoming Workshops In Your Area:

The workshop will be held at the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa on January 28th in Lafayette, CA from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The normal price is $295 per company, covering all owners, spouses and senior managers. On behalf of the Diablo Valley NARI, a limited number of scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Diablo Valley NARI members receive special $145 per company pricing. Not a NARI member? We have a few $100 early bird scholarships to give out. Call for details. To learn more or reserve seats visit: www.AspireWorkshop.com or call The Aspire Institute at 888-252-8998.

About:  For over 20 years the Aspire Institute has been helping the owners and leaders of small businesses achieve new levels of success. We focus on helping those who are experts in their craft become equally powerful as professional business operators.