It takes the application of your heart, your brain and your courage to transform your well-designed plan into reality.

As a kid, I remember the whole family watching the movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” whenever it would be on TV. Being from New York City, Kansas, let alone Oz, was a little tough to relate to. They both seemed like foreign countries. I mean Oz was pretty cool even when I watched it with my brothers and sisters in black and white. Imagine how cool it was when we actually saw it for the first time in color.

Beyond the movie, I was mesmerized by the story of good and evil and the journey to the promised land of Oz. I do admit that as a little kid, I was terribly frightened by the Wicked Witch and her flying monkeys. Even when they first meet the Wizard of Oz, he had a foreboding giant face and a booming voice that were all too scary to me.

Just as in life, what’s scary at first can become a lot less scary when we peel away the facade or, in this case, look behind the curtain and see for ourselves that the Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz was nothing more than an ordinary man who used a big screen projection and a voice amplifier.

But the Wizard did have the great power of insight. He could see what others were not able to see within themselves.

You’ll remember that the movie ends with the now-exposed Wizard helping the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion and Dorothy see that what they were seeking from him was what they had inside themselves all along. All they needed was an experienced mentor to help them look inside and believe in themselves.

I’m no Wizard, but I’ve been blessed with the ability to help people look inside and discover (to their pleasure and mine) that they already have the heart, the brains and, most importantly, the courage to take control of their business and, ultimately, their lives.

All they needed was a mentor to help them look inside and believe in themselves.

Don’t believe me?

You’ve Got It: Well, first of all, I know you have all the heart you’ll ever need. No way you would have started this journey without a lot of heart. You’re passionate about what you do, and your intentions to help others be warm, cool, safe or comfortable are made of pure heart.

Secondly, I’ve found that contractors have all the brainpower they’ll ever need. We as an industry have to study, get licensed and constantly keep up with all the products out there that are constantly changing. Knowledge is all around us and it has been for a very long time. Today, there’s nothing we can’t learn with our limitless access to the Internet, DVDs, books, workshops and consultants. These tools can bring us all the education we’ll ever need on how to run a successful business.

Finally, I know you have courage. It took a load of guts to venture off in your own business when you could have stayed at your old job, received a steady paycheck and slept well at night. You’re nothing but courageous.

So why aren’t you as successful as you’d like to be? It takes more. As a business mentor, I have one more thing to do and that’s to help clients use their hearts, their brains and their courage to execute a sound business plan.

For one thing, you must create and follow a well-designed plan - a sort of yellow brick road - to make sure you’re heading in the direction that provides the success you seek.

The bad news for all of us contractors is that our journey will be every bit as tough as the one the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion and Dorothy had to endure. The good news is the journey can be every bit as rewarding as theirs. But you have to believe. You have to keep working hard, and you need to see your goal long before you can ever reach it. For Dorothy and friends, it was traveling to Oz. What goals are you seeing out there?

It takes the application of your heart, your brain and your courage together to transform your well-designed plan into reality. To help your journey get started, you need to see the goal as if it already has been reached. This will help you picture what it will look and feel like when you reach your Oz and get the success you wish for.

For Dorothy and friends, they talked about, sang about, dreamed about and pictured vividly in their minds what it was going to be like when they’d get what they had wished for.

Getting to meet the Wizard was only part of the journey they had to endure to execute their plan and get what they wanted. Think about what you want and look for more reasons you’re not achieving what you’re wishing for.

And stay tuned for Part II in next month’s column.