flexiblefullpage - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

billboard -

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Don't let concerns of the moment distract you from thinking about the bigger picture

By Mark Richardson October 30, 2023
Adobe stock
Photo: stock.adobe.com
This article first appeared in the September/October 2023 issue of Pro Remodeler.

Most of you know the adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

We put junk in the attic and stop thinking about it. We avoid the mirror so we stop worrying about our wrinkles. We go away on vacation and stop thinking about the repairs at home.

These are all ways to avoid things we prefer not to stress over.

As a remodeler, there are times when you have so much on your mind that it’s hard to focus on what’s most important: What makes this a successful year or not? What makes you a better business? How are you positioned for the future?

I tend to be very disciplined with time because I want the bandwidth to think about the right topics without all the noise.

As an example, many years ago, as we were growing the business, I began to get more calls from clients about issues with their projects, not a higher frequency of issues).

These problems absorbed more and more of my day and began to affect my thinking. I became overly concerned about the quality of our product. I questioned competency. It would consume me.

One day, I shared this dynamic with my head of production, and we created a simple system. 

When a client called me with a concern, I would tell my head of production. He would then let the client know that he’d address the issue, and if they were not 100% comfortable, they could call me. He’d then provide a brief update in 24 hours. 

I share this story because it allowed me to return to thinking about the important things. While “out of sight, out of mind” has many uses, here are a few simple ways to apply the concept in your business.

1. Fill your day with the important things and there will be less room for distractions that distort your thinking.

2. Know your top three priorities and try to spend 80% of your time on these.

3. Explain to direct reports that exposing you to everything makes it hard to focus on the big picture.

4. Ask others to be your eyes and ears and filter things back to you.

5. Don’t let the small stuff disable you.


This advice in no way suggests that you should distance yourself. I think it is still important to do walkabouts in the office, monthly project tours, random client calls, and pop into team meetings.

The difference is that you need to control your day and not have it controlled by others.

written by

Mark Richardson


Mark Richardson, CR, is an author, columnist, and business growth strategist. He authored the best-selling book, How Fit Is Your Business? as well as his latest book, Fit to Grow. He can be reached at mrichardson@mgrichardson.com or 301.275.0208.

Comments (1)

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
leaderboard2 - default

Related Stories

How to Communicate with Today's Cautious Client

Amid economic skepticism, Americans continue to spend. Now, how can you get them to spend on remodeling?

How this Remodeler Handles Expansion and Contraction Planning

Market contraction and expansion is expected in remodeling. Learn how Medford Remodeling CEO Kourtney Davis preps the company for success either way.

A Blueprint For Business Success

Practices, principles, and processes that design-build businesses and home improvement companies alike share to reach their growth goals

How to Ease Client Fears and Take Control of the Remodeling Process

Industry advisor Mark Richardson offers seven ways to control your client's fantasy of remodeling and, ultimately, minimize their fears and enhance their understanding

3 Things I Learned from a Day with Normandy Remodeling

How Normandy uses numbers to motivate and the power of their showrooms

Making the Decision to Grow a Remodeling Business

Alison McLennan of McLennan Contracting shares the beginning of her journey from $2 million in revenue to $5 million

The Accountability Chart: Better Than an Org Chart

An accountability chart is useful, efficient, and frees up a company leader by providing greater autonomy

Remodeler Tech Stacks 4 Ways

See the approaches and philosophies other remodelers follow in their businesses for better efficiency, growth, and profit

On the Horizon?

A significant percentage of single-family homes sold today are purchased by investment firms­ as rental properties. What does this mean for remodelers in the future?

Avoiding Growing Pains in Your Business

Four remodelers with impressive growth shared expert advice at The Pinnacle Experience. Here's what they said

boombox2 -
halfpage2 -
native1 -

More in Category

native2 -
halfpage1 -
leaderboard1 -