The book’s title may seem like it fits in a specialized niche – business or engineering, perhaps both. While it’s true that reading Engineering Business Success… could go a long way toward helping businesses thrive, it would be unfair for anyone to ignore the appeal of Herb Johnson’s book.
“My mission is to inspire, motivate and encourage,” he tells readers, and that he does, in practical, down-to-Earth ways, and with thought-provoking quotes such as, “There is an old saying: ‘Even if your car gets stuck, you are still on the road.’ ” Apply this in its broader terms not only to business, but to marriage, friendship – life itself – and you get an idea about the book’s potential to help. Johnson started a civil engineering business on his own in 1985, after working in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Today, his company has 100 employees and branches in several cities. The business has been so successful that he’s established a $1 million scholarship program with more promised in the future, at his alma mater, Mississippi State University, to “give back.”
What sets this book apart from most other business books is that it’s conversational and easy to read. This is not a technical book, it’s a book about, as the author says, “How to create the lives we want to live – not let life happen to us.” With the belief that we were all meant to live an abundant life, he sets out to share anecdotes and lessons from his life that readers can hopefully relate to and apply to their own lives.
Think of the times when you’ve called a company to get a quote on something and the person answering the phone, or the one who comes to do the estimate or work, seems rude or not willing to listen to you or explain things. Chances are you either didn’t hire them, or begrudgingly did so but looked elsewhere the next time you needed that product or service. How many times have we all had the aspect of communications (or lack of it) affect our opinion of a business? This is because, as Johnson explains, running a successful business is only one part technical. “The business is more important than the product the business produces,” he says. And the “business” is all about client service and people skills – among employees and as they relate to customers.
If the people skills are there – if the people within the company are happy and they seek to make customers happy – this goes a long way toward making the profits high, as well. To those potential readers who are in the business world, make no mistake. This is not a “warm and fuzzy”, New Age type of book in any way. It just awakens one to the truly important things that lie beyond the nuts and bolts. It certainly supports the theory that one has to be well-skilled at their profession, but raises awareness of another, equally important element that is often ignored.
So many people today are unhappy or dissatisfied in their lives. A vast majority of businesses that begin are out of business after four years. Only 4% of businesses have a revenue of over $1 million yearly. Why not explore the people side of success, with tips from someone who’s put that principle to work?