Bigger is not always better.

Why my Business has Stayed Small for 34 Years.


In business and in life you can’t have it all.


To survive and thrive you must prioritize your time, your effort, and your resources.


I am often asked why DDB has remained such a small business for 34+ years?


It’s not like the business hasn’t had numerous opportunities to grow and diversify into different segments of the building industry. Or that DDB doesn’t have an excellent reputation or has lacked quality projects and amazing clients.


So, what gives?


My business has always been an extension of myself and I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit of a control freak. But the main reason for DDB staying the size it is - My priorities.


For me it’s always been about achieving balance in work and in life.


“Living well means spending time on things that matter. Living poorly means spending time on things that don’t matter. Wisdom is knowing the difference. Mark Manson


From 2016 to 2020 I had a great business coach. I went to him to help me grow my business so that I could pull back from the day to day running of DDB. After a year or so of coaching it was working. The size of the business had doubled, and I was taking more time off work. For a while it looked like everything was going great guns. But then some cracks started to appear. A few of my key employees were not working out and important things were being missed on our building jobs. I was not sleeping, and my anxiety level was through the roof.


Then COVID struck and everything changed…


The only thing that mattered was survival and staying safe.


Three years on and I look back at the pandemic as a blessing in disguise.


It forced me to re-evaluate my work, and my business and to decide what really matters moving forward. I realised that having a big business and making lots of profit had never been important to me and what really matters is job satisfaction and the health and happiness of my family and my employees.


The main takeaway from all this pontificating is that to succeed at anything you must know what your priorities are and make decisions accordingly.


I’m happy to share that my main priorities are.


  • Putting family before work.
  • Putting client satisfaction before profit.
  • Working directly with clients instead of taking on more projects.
  • Buying real estate instead of buying business assets.
  • Quality and enjoyment rather than growth and profit.


Time for one of my all-time favourite quotes.

“Running a business is like skiing, the goal is not to get to the bottom fastest. The goal is to have a bunch of good runs before the sun sets.” Seth Godin – (I’ve been waiting to use this quote for years!)


The secret to knowing what your priorities are is, you guessed it, self-awareness.

Knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are and knowing where your values lie. And if you are lucky enough to have an obsession that makes priorities much simpler, all you need to do is be true to it.


Fear and procrastination are the enemy of implementing your priorities. In the end having priorities only have significance if you put them into action.


“You can’t do everything, but you can do one thing, and then another and another. It’s better to make a wrong choice than not at all.” Unknown


Thanks for reading,

Stay safe and decide what you want.


Share this via share via facebook share via twitter share via Google Plus share via pinterest share via email

Website Security Test