Someone once told me “things always change.” Truer words were never spoken. As the Democratic Party prepares to take control of the House and Senate, some people are celebrating while others are filled with fret and concern.

Change can be good or disastrous. Hopefully, this political change will encourage both parties to start working together and put an end to the pointless partisan bickering. Both Republicans and Democrats are good people and ultimately care about the overall welfare and security of the United States. I am sure our neighbors to the north in Canada are also hoping the U.S. policy makers can get along better.

I think the primary lesson we should take from this last election is that whether we like it or not, “things can and will change.” This goes for our personal and business life, as well; after all, we are not statues and must accept the inevitability of change. Sometimes, you can decide to make a change and other times changes are forced upon you.

I recently had a major change in my life and after 11 years with the Northwest Wall and Ceiling Bureau, it was time for me to leave. Major changes can be scary, confusing and exciting. I had to deal with the many feelings of leaving good friends and working with great people against the excitement of new challenges and opportunities. The recent election and my personnel career change got me to think about how much change each of you face in the wall and ceiling industry in the course of a career.

Contractors, manufacturers and dealers all have to make decisions about a change at some point. Changes may come in the form of company expansion, new products or a shift in company structure or procedures to stay viable, flexible and competitive. Call it opportunity, a new challenge or merely survival. Those who think things will always stay the same are most likely doomed to stagnate and ultimately fail as the competition races past them. As business owners, managers, and sales people you are best advised to keep one eye on the current situations and the other eye on the future. It is debatable as to what is the most difficult part about change in the future: The ability to recognize the need for a change or the courage to implement that change. This is where wisdom comes into play.

Making a change merely for the sake of change is usually not a smart move and relies more on luck. Self-examination should be the first step in the decision process prior to making a change-more accurately honest self-examination. The first part of honest self-examination is to evaluate and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. I have never met anyone who could do it all and had no weakness. Honest self-evaluations should also include your family life, office situations, ultimate goals and aspirations. Change usually comes with some sacrifices and you have to ask yourself are you ready to make the sacrifice to make that change work? The sacrifice could be more time investment on a new project or customer service. It could also be investment to launch and market a new product or service line.

If your desired change is starting a new contracting business, the sacrifice to your family to ensure survival of a new business may be more than most people can and should endure The same can be said of product development. Honestly evaluate your new product. While it may sound exciting to you and the in-house research department, launching it may not be practical in the real construction world.

I read an old Buddhist quote once that has always stuck with me and I would like to share it: “May I have the courage to accomplish what I can. May I have the patience to accept what I cannot accomplish and may I have the wisdom to know the difference between the two.”


Hello readers,

I just wanted to pass along a short note introducing myself. I’m Mark Rutkowski, and I am the new editor ofWalls & Ceilings. I’ve come to the magazine after 14 years with Heritage Newspapers, a chain of weekly papers just south of Detroit.

I’ve realized very quickly that John Wyatt, my predecessor, did an excellent job withW&Cand that he is very well respected. He’s been a big help to me already, and I’m hoping to make the transition as seamless as possible while maintaining the excellent reputationW&Chas throughout the industry.

I’m looking forward to working with all of you. Please feel free to e-mail me atrutkowskim@bnpmedia.comif I can be of any help.