House of the Year 2011 — the bar raised yet again!

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I have been involved in RMBF House of the Year competitions since 1994. During that time, my own company has won numerous awards, many of them Gold, along with a National Award Winner.

We continue to enter the competition because of the obvious benefits:
• We get to measure our product against comparable competitors.
• We get a close look at what others are producing.
• We get the marketing benefits available as a result of winning awards.

But, in my opinion, the most important of all is that we get the opportunity to get customers and staff along to a really great night out, catching up with many people we know. In this industry, very few opportunities like this exist.

The marketing and networking opportunities are immense. Winning awards in such an event provides us with the opportunity to heavily market award-winning properties and market our success as an award-winning builder.
This adds real value and can provide a competitive advantage when chasing new work.

There is no doubt that the bar has been raised considerably in the judging of entries. A very good entry would achieve Bronze, an excellent entry would achieve Silver, and an exceptional entry would achieve Gold.

As a winner of a variety of awards over the years, I take my hat off to anyone who achieves awards in this event now because it is very tough to do so.
I believe that Gold status three or four years ago may achieve Bronze today. That is my opinion of how much the bar has been raised. Obviously this a good thing for the competition and for the industry as a whole.

We should strive for, and demand, excellence in everything we do. This competition, exclusive to RMBF members, needs to set a very high, but attainable, standard.
I really look forward to attending the remainder of our regional events and the national final later in the year.

While talking about excellence and achievement, here are just a few more tips from the book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work by Richard Carlson:
• Stop wishing you were someone else: If you’re not careful, you will wish your life away, always wishing you were somewhere other than where you actually are. But you are not somewhere else. Rather, you’re right here. This is reality.
A saying I have heard is “Life is what‘s happening while we’re busy making other plans’’. If you become more immersed in what you are doing instead of what you’d rather be doing, both the nature of your dreams as well as your planned course of action will begin to change.
• Compete from the heart : Competition is a fact of life. To compete from the heart means that you compete less from a desperate or neurotic need to achieve, and more out of a love for what you do.

Competing is its own reward. You are completely immersed in the process, absorbed in the present moments of the activity — the business deal, the sale, the negotiation, interaction, or whatever.
Give it your best effort, compete hard and enjoy every moment — and, if you should lose, be happy anyway. This is competing from the heart.
• Spend 10 minutes a day doing absolutely nothing: Spending a few minutes doing nothing, sitting still, embracing the silence, helps prevent you from falling apart.

It gives you a chance to regain your perspective and to access a quiet part of your brain where your wisdom and common sense exist. It allows your mind the opportunity to sort things out and settle down.

The year is flying by. I hope to catch up with most of you at upcoming events.

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