Learning to love snow

December 14, 2015 -  By
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photo: ©istock.com/lissart

There’s one thing I know for sure about snow—people either love it or consider it a four-letter word, never to be spoken aloud. A friendly server mentioned to me in passing that there was “precipitation not in the form of a liquid” falling on her way to work that morning. She was talking about snow and couldn’t bring herself to use the word.

Even people in the snow business often detest the white stuff. Just thinking about it makes their blood pressure rise. I completely understand where they’re coming from. There are unique pressures with snow that not everyone is cut out for. But the same could be said about being a dentist or a pilot. There are challenges but also many rewards.

My goal is to help snow professionals fully embrace the snow season, even if they would prefer to have nothing to do with it.

Why we do it

I’d like to start with the “why.” The snow business comes with a built-in mission statement: to provide a safe environment for society during winter. For those with a servant’s heart, this mission is a powerful driver of personal satisfaction every night. No amount of cold air, wet toes or sleep deprivation will detract from the mission.

Some snow professionals are less motivated by serving others. They love the sense of accomplishment, seeing a freshly plowed lot and cleared sidewalks. Before leaving the property to go to the next site, they slowly drive the property and admire their work. They often wonder how it can be possible that they’re getting paid to do something so rewarding.

Still others love the still of the night. As they drive down quiet, lonely roads, they’re amazed by the natural beauty of a fresh snowfall. The crunching sound of their tires or boots on the snow brings back childhood memories. Being able to drive without traffic in normally congested areas is an unusual thrill. Soon, the roads will be jammed, and the thrill will be gone. But for now, there’s something magical in the air.

My point is many people find meaning, purpose and enjoyment in the snow business. Perhaps you could join those of us who are in this camp by taking a new perspective.

There are more practical ways to learn to love snow. Snow events are much more enjoyable when things run smoothly. Some of you have never witnessed a smooth snow event, so this is a foreign concept. A smooth snow event is possible only with the development of a systematic snow system where every aspect is well designed and flawlessly executed.

Many of the people who love snow tell me their company’s snow division is the most process-driven and reliable aspect of their overall business. It’s those who haven’t made sufficient investments in their snow businesses who don’t love snow. Frankly, I wouldn’t either if I were in their shoes.

Finally, when you’re learning to love snow, it’s important to be rested, hydrated, well nourished and dry. Good snow professionals don’t mess around. They’re diligent about getting sleep when they can, drinking lots of water during snow events, fueling their bodies with the right stuff and being properly dressed with layers, waterproof clothing and a second set of clothes, just in case. There’s nothing more miserable than being wet, cold, hungry and tired. A bit of planning will save the day.

So, what about you? Do you know someone who doesn’t (yet) love snow? I have a feeling that with the right perspective, a good system and proper personal care he or she could learn to love snow. Do you agree?

photo: ©istock.com/lissart

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About the Author:

Harwood is a Managing Partner with GrowTheBench and Pro-Motion Consulting. Reach him at Phil@GrowTheBench.com. He is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager, NALP Trailblazer, NALP Consultant, and Certified Snow Professional. Harwood holds a BA in Marketing and Executive MBA with Honors from Michigan State University.

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