More lessons learned from skydiving (part 3)

Home Column More lessons learned from skydiving (part 3)

Jim Augustus Armstrong—In 2019, I fulfilled a long-time goal to become a skydiver. To date, I have over 330 skydives and am now a wingsuit pilot. This series explores the profound lessons that skydiving teaches about succeeding in your flooring business.

Lesson #1: Make your business and life an adventure

“Same stuff, different day.” We’ve all heard it, maybe even said it. One thing’s for sure: It’s an unhappy way to live your life. I know; I’ve been there. Maybe you’re there right now. It’s easy for our businesses to suck us into a rut where we’re spinning our wheels, working harder and harder but not getting where we want to go. Unfulfilled. Frustrated. Hopeless.But it’s possible to remodel your business so it funds and facilitates an extraordinary life, an adventurous life. I’ve done it. In part, this series is about inspiring you to do it, too. It’s an invitation to adventure. By setting up your business so it gives you lots of money and freedom, you can choose your adventure. This could mean traveling, volunteering, training for a marathon, coaching your kid’s sports team, writing a book or skydiving.

Lesson #2: Do what others are unwilling to do

Skydiving is something most people are unwilling to do, so if you decide to enter the sport you have to be comfortable with being an outlier. This is a powerful business lesson. I’ve been coaching flooring dealers since 2007; in that time I’ve discovered that, while most of them like the flooring business, many are dissatisfied with the amount of money they make and with the amount of control their businesses have over them. I’ve also discovered many of those who are dissatisfied are unwilling to take meaningful action to change things.

Successful owners know that if you want extraordinary results, you must do things that are extraordinary. This means doing what most of your competitors are unwilling to do. No excuses. This often involves marketing differently, selling differently, creating referral relationships with aligned business (realtors, remodelers, etc.) and getting more creative with how you promote and grow your business. It also means putting in the effort to remodel your business so it runs without you needing to be there to babysit it every second. This way you can work the hours you choose, take time off and reduce your stress. It also makes your business a sellable asset.

Scary? Sure. Difficult? Sometimes. Worth it? Absolutely.

Lesson #3: Fear is a signpost on the way to your goal

During my skydive A-license training—and even now—my coaches constantly pushed me to try new things, to develop new skills. This invariably caused fear. But I recognized that the fear was an indicator that I was growing and developing as a skydiver. As you consider implementing meaningful changes into your business, you may get an uncomfortable feeling in your gut. That’s fear. And you know what? It’s a great sign! Fear is the signal that you’re on the right track. When you feel fear, recognize that it’s a signpost pointing the way on your journey to an extraordinary life.

Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. For information, visit

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Sept. 13/20, 2021

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