REMODELING's annual Leadership Conference brings together remodelers from around the country including the latest Big 50 class. The two-day program delves into hot topics like social media, remodeling trends, marketing, sales, and client experience through a combination of industry and general business leaders. It makes for a powerful program that I haven’t missed in many years. And it’s at the Ritz Carlton, so the cookies are especially tasty.

If you missed out this year, here are my primary takeaways from this year's event:

1. Remodeling is picking up in most areas of the country and we should expect a continuous, gradual improvement for the next couple of years. (Note to self: There is light at the end of this tunnel, so invest wisely to take advantage of potential opportunities.)

2. If you put food in front of me I will eat it. Breakfast, morning snacks, lunch, afternoon snacks, happy hour, dinner. (Note to self: Get some discipline.)

3. Human Resource laws are complicated – subcontracted vs. W2 employee labor, exempt vs. non-exempt team members, overtime policies, hiring practices, etc. (Note to self. We need to pick two to three specific areas to make sure our business is in line with local and federal regulations.)

4. Social media is about quality, not quantity. Quality as defined by going deep and garnering engagement through one or two platforms rather than throwing content randomly at many social media sites and hoping it will stick. (Note to self: Pick one or two of these sites and focus on quality content.)

5. Bringing incredible energy and passion is transforming. Thanks to Andrew Davis of “Brandscaping” for his passion, for his energy, and for this lesson.

6. Sales tricks don’t work. It’s about giving people good advice in the most effective manner.  “Effective” to the prospect means they can comprehend the advice. “Effective” to the salesperson means the technique is genuine to their style. (Note to self: Explore the variety of sales coaches and trainers, find one that is aligned with my style, and learn effective techniques from that expert.)

7. Sharing through stories is incredibly powerful; especially if they are of the self-deprecating nature. Thanks to Al Walker for his unique combination of levity and depth as shared through stories of his life.

8. Remodelers are great folk. Whether it’s a local competitor or a remodeler whom I’ve never met; the commitment and kinship runs deep. We are in a crazy business but we are surrounded by unbelievable human beings.

Personal growth takes many forms, but its core is about the opportunity for change. Investing time and money in ourselves is the first step in that journey. Personal growth is not going to happen without a fresh perspective. Before you go to bed tonight, find an opportunity to invest in you, make a reservation, and prepare to grow.