Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

I got that Little Voice That Says NO feeling – and each times I got burned

Contractor Marten read Steve's Maxwell's column called 'That Little Voice That Says No' and tells us how that voice has saved him from a world of trouble.

Our tools editor Steve Maxwell has an opinion piece in the current Canadian Contractor (arriving in subscribers’ mailboxes in the next few days – watch for it). It’s called, “The Little Voice That Says No!” It’s about that “something’s not right” feeling you sometimes get in your gut when you quote on a job with a brand new client. 

Well, Steve’s not the only one who knows that off-kilter feeling. So does Marten, of Dutch Touch Construction, who wrote us this post about it…

“When I first started my own company I wanted to take on the world and do every job I could find. I had that “Little Voice That Says No” feeling a few times where I thought this person is too weird but took on the job anyway. Each time I got burned. It took a few times to figure out but now when I meet someone I think is a problem I will walk away, think, and then contact the person later and say thanks but will pass on that project. Working for free is easy when it is on your terms but hard when it is on someone else’s terms. Could tell you several stories.”


Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories

1 Comment » for I got that Little Voice That Says NO feeling – and each times I got burned
  1. I think all of us in the construction business have had that negative gut feeling about potential clients, but have ignored the signals.
    One thing that I was taught years ago, that has helped me immensely , is to ask the question of a potential client ” Have you ever built before and how did it go for you?”
    In short order, the potential client will tell you their fears, past experiences, and what they think of the construction industry.
    One of my best examples happened a number of years ago.
    We were building in an active new subdivision and a potential client came over and asked us if we could give him a price on his new build.
    It was a substantial house and of course I said sure.
    Then I asked “the question”.
    His answer was- “Yes” he had built new houses twice before.-
    I asked- How did that go for you?
    He answered- I had to take both those “bxxxxxxs” to court.
    I replied- Sorry to hear that, so when you get your finished plans give me a call and I can put some numbers together.
    When he called back a couple of weeks later and I said I was booked.
    He burnt the contractor who took on the contract for a substantial sum of money.
    By the way, he was a lawyer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.