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I was floored by a line, this line came rolling out of a friends mouth recently directed at a situation that he found both (hopeful / inspiring) and fatalistic at the same time. “You have the ingredients for success but you are using a recipe for disaster”. The comment was made out of love and concern for a fellow contractor in a private session, but it made me think.

It dawned on me that just like in real life, having the right and great ingredients is not enough.

I’ve reflected upon the best cake in the world was a pile of goo prior to being put into the oven. This lead to my don’t judge me until I say “TA-DA”. It occurred to me that there are three parts to the puzzle.

I, like many people, love to cook and bake so the metaphor is easy to relate to. You can apply a medical metaphor as well. Right medicine /wrong dose, or at the wrong rate of infusion.

  1. Ingredients (The stuff that your thing is made of)
  2. Recipe (Quantities and order or sequence of the ingredients)
  3. The heat (Wether you cook or bake, heat is usually part of the process)


Nothing good happens unless you have good ingredients. Crappy cheese makes crappy pizza no matter what you do to it. Insisting on allowing only great ingredients into your food is paramount. Many things go into what great means. You’ll have to figure that one out. When it comes to the metaphor; integrity, honesty, a strong work ethic, coupled with desire, passion for the thing you are doing.


More cow bell! Anyone who has seen this SNL skit knows exactly what I am talking about. Balance, order, quantity, all of the things that make or break what you are doing. In fact music is a great analogy for recipe too.


I remember that when we were figuring out how to bake pizza. We discovered that the top and the bottom have to come out at the same time. We also figured out that when the heat comes in from the top, the bottom and the middle are the last to get cooked. Fresh ground meats could go on top. Buried in the middle, the darn things would not be exposed to enough heat. (Classic great ingredients / crappy recipe)

The Finished Product

What does it all mean?

It means different things to different people for sure. To me it means that I need to seek balance, understanding and reevaluate often.

  • Make a plan (gather ingredients)
  • Use the plan (create a recipe)
  • Reevaluate what you are doing (feedback loop) You’ve got to taste the results. Just looking at them is not enough.

The path to success is not always a straight line.

It is tempting to become too anxious to make progress. I recently was busted for trying to change the plan (deeming it a failure) when I had not actually been using the original plan I set up. Thank you, point taken.

This is how we build something great at Levco.

    1. Estimate the project with input from the key players.
    2. Sell the project.
    3. Do the job.
    4. Keeping track of every detail as they happen.
    5. Ask all the players for input.
    6. Analyze what really happened.
    7. Capitalize on the successes
    8. Separate yourself from failure.
    9. Learn from and fix the problems for the future.
    10. Repeat.

Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261

If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor please contact me, you’ll be glad you did.