Let Me Inspire You to Owner Build

May 18, 2020

I get a lot of people telling me, "I am not sure if I can be my own general contractor."

I then ask a very basic question, "are you an American?"

They typically say "Yes."

Ok, then do you know what it means to be an American?

They remain quiet, the email never comes, or they never reply back on facebook or some other social media. So, I am left with needing to remind everyone what it means to be an American. 

A true American begins with asking one simple question, how does that work? Everything we see, whether it's an electric motor or an ice cream maker, a true American asks, "how does that work." They do not ask "what" things are, they ask "how" things work. The difference is huge.

We can build a house with the second question but you can't with the first question. When we ask what things are we leave the answer open for an authority to tell us. The second is all up to us to find out. When we ask how things work our freedom is still ours. When we ask what things are, we have to assume what we are being told is the truth. 

When we ask how things work, we can see it in action. We see the system. We see the process. Building a home is all about knowing the process, how things work individually, and how they come together. We do not need to know what everything is. We just need to know how it comes together. 

While in college, I fellow student wrote a very interesting metaphor. It went something like this...

A young man approached a very old and very wise guru, one of the wisest men in the world. "Where is success?" he asked. The guru looked him in the eyes, but not a word. Instead, he pointed down a little worn, obscure path. Our young man quickly ran down the path and out of sight. 

Soon shouting, screaming and thudding was hear, followed by a "SPLAT!" a time later the young man returned to the guru, beaten, worn, bleeding, his clothes disheveled. When he regained his composure he said, "That was horrible! Please tell me, where is success!"

Again, without speaking a word, the old man pointed down the same path. "Okay," said the young man. Then, with careful consideration and preparation our young hero headed down the path. 

Soon, there was a crashing, a bashing, a bleating, a pounding heard. The screams and cries were hideous. Then came a thudding, an incessant 'SPLAT.' A long time later the young man returned. He crawled on his belly, pulling himself along on fingers and toes. His head was bloody, ear torn off, eyes blackened, clothes in rags and hair pulled out. 

For a long time he just sat upon the ground. Finally he said, very weekly, "This isn't working. I'm not having any fun. Please speak to me. Please tell me, What is success?" 

The old man looked at him and replied, " On the other side of SPLAT."

Building your own home is not on the other side of SPLAT, but we need to be ready for it none the less. We can do this by asking "how" things work. How to budget. How to find good work. How to organize, how to schedule, and how to manage a lot of people. Start asking how and you can avoid the SPLAT! This is what it means to be an American. 

 Do not fear being an owner builder, it's an American thing to do. 

 See howtobuildyourownhome.com for help. 



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