Fire Chasing: 7 Questions to Consider

As a manager or business owner,  trying to get some advice on whether a strategy or service option is right for your business can feel like a difficult process. The development of the internet and social media has provided entrepreneurs with limitless opportunities for immediate feedback from any number of persons presenting themselves as authorities on a given subject. If you go online seeking feedback, you will likely receive conflicting input from the extremes of a given perspective. While there are no dumb questions, there are plenty of dumb answers; so how do you avoid bad advice?

The DYOJO offers Seven Questions to assist you as a manager or business owners to determine whether a strategy or service option is right for your business. These simple questions will assist you to be better prepared to articulate questions in alignment with where you are in your development and where you are trying to go. I believe these questions will help you better determine who can help you on your journey as well as how much credence to give to various sources of input.
Seven Universal Business Questions 
Whether you are growing your career or growing your business, you must always remember one key thing – it’s your DANG journey. No one is going to walk it for you. No commenter on social media, no coach, no consultant, no author, no podcast host, is going to take the direct hits when you fail or feel the wins as deeply as you do when you succeed. While it is smart to seek and take in good counsel on any element of business that may be new to you, I think it is important to consider these seven universal business questions:
  1. Is this legal?
  2. Is this ethical?
  3. Is this the right thing for me?
  4. Do I understand the upsides and downsides of pursuing this strategy?
  5. Do I have the resources to pursue this and/or can I afford not to try (i.e. am I willing to allow someone else to fill the void)?
  6. Who can help me shorten my DANG learning curve on this topic?
  7. If I have sought counsel, does my chosen counsel have real experience with executing on the particular aspect of business that I am considering?
Questioning Controversial Business Tactics 
You will hear many smart people say really dumb things. Often this is related to our shared practice of repeating the platitudes of the day. Something can sound intelligent as it rolls off the tongue while being completely baseless and possibly harmful if applied. These seven questions will help you step back and take a broader view as you work to avoid taking bad advice and harming your business. In the age of fear-mongering, remember that there are differences between strategies that are illegal, unethical, controversial, and safe. Here are a few simple definitions:
  • Illegal: Contrary to or forbidden by law, especially criminal law
  • Unethical: Not morally correct
  • Controversial: Giving rise or likely to give rise to public disagreement
  • Safe: Cautious and unenterprising

In business, many prognosticators want to make controversial items into grandiose arguments over morals or ethics when what drives many of them is their own fears, lack of experience, and failures. I do not promote the idea that anyone should blur the lines with something that is illegal. Business persons should seek out hearty discussions about ethics with their qualified peers. Yet, in the guise of sound business advice, usually for self promotion, the responses to something controversial are too often in the extreme. Pundits within the restoration industry follow the tactics of politicians in making a battle of good versus evil where no deep moral dilemmas exist.

The Questions Applied to a Controversial Strategy 

Recently there have been some discussions, written and in video, regarding direct to consumer fire damage service offerings. You may have heard it by another name, fire damage chasing. Most of the responses that I have observed veer into the realm of indoctrination as opposed to an earnest discussion of the facts related to the topic. While fire chasing can be controversial, I am not hearing disciplined thought leading to the leaps [over logic] taken to reach these predetermined conclusions. Hearsay is not helpful in business or life and should not be promulgated as a diagnostic methodology when advising peers or clients towards a determination for their business.

If you would like to read more on how I applied these seven questions to the topic of direct to consumer fire damage service offerings (“chasing”), please read the article published with C&R Magazine, Industry High Horses: Fire Chasing.

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Jon Isaacson

Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, is a general contractor based in Tacoma, Washington. He is the author of several moderately selling books and the host of the info-taining DYOJO Podcast. Content from The DYOJO aims to help contractors shorten their DANG learning curve.

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