Overcoming Doubts in Your Decorative Concrete Business

Sep 25, 2023

The other day, I was on a coaching call with a guy who wanted to quit.

He felt inadequate and feared he couldn't possibly catch on to all of the variables to become the decorative concrete professional he wanted to be.

Frankly, these feelings of inadequacy left him feeling like an imposter...in front of a client.

So, if you've ever had those feelings, you're not alone, and it's time to plan how to push through.

Today, we'll share five ways you can push through those moments of doubt and feelings of inadequacy that can make you question your abilities.

So Many Variables

As with any business, there are many variables in decorative concrete.

Let's say you've taken our course and implemented what you learned there. Now your phone is ringing, and you're setting appointments.

Then, like my coaching client, you go out on the estimate and don't know how to solve the hot-button issues you've so skillfully uncovered. And when you walk away without the sale, you feel defeated.

Remember, success is a journey, not a destination.

Five Steps to Overcome Overwhelm

#1. Acknowledge Your Progress

First and foremost, give yourself credit for how far you've come. Reflect on the progress you've made since you started your journey as a decorative concrete professional.

If your website and social media sites are up and running, but the phone isn't ringing yet, give yourself the credit for taking those first steps.

If you're on an estimate and don't know how to solve the customer's issues, don't forget getting on the estimate is a huge step.

If you've completed projects, no matter how small, they all contribute to your growth and expertise.

Celebrate your achievements and use them as motivation to tackle future challenges.

#2. Embrace Lifelong Learning

Keep watching our videos.

Attend a workshop.

Watch technique videos from your supplier and other experts in the industry.

As discussed in this article, connect with other decorative concrete professionals in forums or through joint work.

Reframe discouragement as an opportunity to learn.

Pro Tip: This is for the person new to the industry and the seasoned veteran...never stop learning. We have our favorite guys we watch for the latest techniques and installation tips. But, the more comfortable you get, don't forget to go back and watch the installation videos you watched at the beginning. There may be elements you've overlooked that you can start implementing now that you have more experience.

By continuously expanding your knowledge, you'll become more confident in your abilities and equipped to handle various situations.

However, you can get stuck in the education loop. So stick around to the end of this article because we will give you some tips to avoid that.

#3. Break It Down

Instead of looking at the entire process as one overwhelming challenge, break it into smaller, more attainable goals.

Most techniques you learn from your supplier or favorite expert have you starting from zero, which means a smooth concrete surface ready for decorative applications.

So, when meeting with the customer, I find guys often get stuck in two main areas -- surface preparation and repair work.

To break it down, focus on one aspect at a time, master it, and then move on to the next.

For surface preparation, for example,

  • Determine what is on it now
  • Determine what tools and techniques you need to remove it and
  • Determine if there is anything else that needs to be done to achieve the proper concrete profile to accept the new coating

For repair work, for example,

  • Determine if there are cracks and proper repair required
  • Identify areas of spalling where the concrete cracks and delaminates from the substrate
  • Identify low spots that may hold water and
  • Determine if additional relief joints are needed

Once the surface prep and repair work is completed, you are effectively at zero and ready to install decorative concrete.

If you don't know how to determine what needs to be done in surface prep and repair work, this is the perfect time to rely on your resources, as discussed in this article.

Don't give up here. Permit yourself to know more tomorrow than you do today, and keep making forward progress.

#4. Seek Mentorship and Support

No one becomes a professional in isolation.

Contact experienced decorative concrete professionals or join industry associations to find mentors to guide you through challenges.

Their wisdom and insights can help you navigate getting started and provide reassurance during difficult times.

This is why we started Decorative Concrete Engine in the first place. I know you think you're alone, but many folks started with the same questions and obstacles to overcome.

We hope that through our coaching and courses, you'll get the knowledge, accountability, and overall support you need to stay in the business and achieve your goals.

#5. Embrace Failure as an Opportunity to Grow

This is all about reframing your situation in your mind. And it's an important step.

Many people in our culture today are paralyzed by anxiety and fear, but setbacks and failures are inevitable.

Rather than letting them discourage you, view them as stepping stones to success.

Analyze what went wrong, learn from your mistakes, and implement improvements in your future projects.

Don't internalize your mistakes as if YOU are the mistake.

Think clearly. Take a step back and view the situation as if you are not smack in the middle of it. Remove yourself emotionally from the situation to analyze it.

And if you still can't see it clearly, don't forget step #4 --- seek the counsel of your mentor or business coach.

Failure is a natural part of the learning process, and it often leads to breakthroughs and innovative ideas that make you a better professional.

BONUS: When You Learn Something New, Apply It

While we want you to remain lifelong learners, never forget that education without action is entertainment.

Whenever you learn something new, figure out a way to apply it.

  • If you learn you should call customers back immediately — call the next customer back immediately.
  • If you watch a video on setting estimates — call someone for an estimate.
  • If you learn something new about surface preparation — practice what you've learned.

It almost seems too basic, but it is that simple. You have to have a mindset of being willing to change.

Don't get stuck in the education loop by watching videos and attending meetings but never putting your knowledge into practice.

Don't worry about making mistakes. Perfection is the enemy of progress.

So There You Have It

So there you have it. Five ways you can push through those moments of doubt.

Bottom line: Don't be too hard on yourself.

Remember, every step you take, no matter how small, brings you closer to becoming the professional you aspire to be.

Trust your abilities, be patient, and enjoy the rewarding path toward your successful decorative concrete company.

If you're ready to launch or re-launch your decorative concrete business, we'd love to be your partner for success, whether it's investing in our online course or opting for custom coaching.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tips to launch and propel your decorative concrete company forward. Sign up for our email list below so you never miss new targeted advice for launching and optimizing your decorative concrete business.

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