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Great Expectations

“Great Expectations:”
What happens when they don’t get met?

We all thrive on making and having big plans, big dreams, and big aspirations. Often, children are told that “they can be whatever they want to be.” Whether it is an astronaut, lawyer, doctor, engineer, builder, entrepreneur, architect, or artist, we encourage our children to “reach for the stars”. And we ourselves, through the form of books, movies, and other media outlets are pushed to “pursue our dreams”. But what happens when you wake up and are left grasping and wanting of the visions that visited us during the night?

Happy and sad twinsA recurring issue in our society is in how we deal with our sometimes overwhelming, unrealistic, and therefore unmet expectations. We are constantly bombarded with a notion that “If you don’t achieve this goal or get this product, you’ll never amount to anything or achieve certain things or ever find happiness and peace.” The unwritten and subliminal rules of life are presented all around us, reminding us of all the things we “are supposed to” have or do to be “successful” and HAPPY!   This is NOT to say that there is something necessarily wrong with being a high achiever of success or accomplishing goals. But is there a way to set up feasible expectations for ourselves without feeling like we aren’t doing or getting “enough”?!?!  And then becoming upset from it and then taking it out on those we love or count on to HELP us?


Step 1:
NON ATTACHMENT

Clear away the belief or mindset of “I won’t be happy if I don’t accomplish or “get” this…” Oftentimes, our goals will not serve us well – only because of how LOFTY or rigid they really are! Again, there is nothing wrong with “dreaming big”, but there is a GIGANTIC difference between big dreams and near impossible expectations, especially if it will upset or unnerve you. 

If and when we can let go of the idea that we won’t be happy until we finish a certain (or several!) task(s), we can put more of our productive energy on being present, calm, cool and kind to inspire and lift self and others to find the solutions to easier achieve more goals, even the big ones!

For example, earning a promotion is a reasonable, attainable goal in most cases. Becoming manager within your first two months of service in your career? Alot less likely! There are some things that are not very likely to happen if even just not possible at this time… or within a certain time frame. It is possible that you could become the manager. It is possible that you could finally get that treehouse or shed built in your backyard. (Although the shed would be even faster if you partnered with Perka!)

It is possible that you could write that award-winning novel you’ve always dreamed of. Nearly anything is possible, but it certainly most likely will not be instantaneous. That said whether it takes ten weeks or ten years, it serve us best to make sure that we DON’T base our inner peace and happiness on particular objects or achievements.

Step 2: SMALL CONSISTENT STEPS

Break the goal into “bite-size”, attainable chunks. For example, let’s look at some of the sample goals from Step 1. Building a treehouse? It is a 100% plausible goal. However, building a beautiful treehouse, complete with walls, a kitchenette, and an exit slide? Probably not going to happen fast that is for sure. And not all at once. That’s why we can choose to take it one step at a time, as it comes, methodically, reading ALL the directions (as tedious as it seems), and give yourself and everyone around you plenty of grace. If everything doesn’t happen at once, or over one weekend, THAT’S OK!!! 

Now, let us look at the writing of a novel example (because don’t all us “writers” want to see our names on the New York Times bestseller list???).  Again, like the treehouse, it is attainable. But it certainly won’t happen just like that – nor with our first publication! Therefore we need to set simple, reachable daily goals. In our busy lives, it can often be difficult to find time to sit down and write a large segment. It’s even more difficult if you attempt to do this every day! So, we go with a smaller portion. A chapter a day. Or even just a page or sub story per day. Or even less, like a bullet form outline, if need be. It doesn’t matter what amount you decide to do, as long as it’s consistent.  

Author Robert Collier says “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out!” For larger projects like these, you are only going to burn out your energy (and motivation) if you try to “plow through” large pieces all at once, all the time. It’s more serving in the long run to stick with your small portions. Do it daily, do it well, do it consistently!  Next thing you know – it’s MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Step 3: ENJOY THE JOURNEY

This can be easily overlooked, but remember that the truest path to inner peace and happiness is accepting what American Essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson is very well known for saying it’s not the destination, it’s the journey” that really matters.

As we stated previously, you shouldn’t base your happiness on whether or not you’ve completed a list of tasks or acquired particular objects. Anyone can fill out a checklist, but not everyone can pursue it with everyday JOY!  While you were on the journey, you can also gain invaluable skills that can help you in other things, regardless of whether you fulfilled the goal (yet) or not. We are extremely fortunate to now live in a world where “anyone can be anything”.   BUT not everyone is or will be successful, every time.  And often, even if the goal is attained, not successful where it matters most, anyway.

Our typical definition of success requires people to compromise their values, compromise their dreams, or compromise their priorities. We need to remember that it truly is the process that counts! Life can change so quickly; no one really knows what will show up tomorrow, or become of the things we create?

If we focus on what kind of legacy we want to leave, rather than taking shortcuts in order to get a job done faster, we can take the time to get it done right, and that, in and of itself, is an achievement worthy of being called SUCCESS.  Appreciate the little victories. “Stop and smell the roses.” Allow yourself to grow and glow, while remaining poised and flexible! Hard times do happen, and certainty comes and goes. But if you’ve focused on growing and evolving during your journey, it will help you stay open and centered when bigger trouble hits.

At Perka, we whole heartedly know that it is important to be as flexible as possible, preparing for the unexpected, while always moving towards what is best. We understand that times change quickly, and many things are incredibly “up in the air”, especially during these times. But life is short, and time is too precious to spend it worrying or arguing or complaining.  That is why strength and flexibility are two of our core values. It is why we specially engineer our buildings to be up to every safety code in your area and then some. It is why we work WITH you to ensure that your building goals are achieved, realistically, accurately, safely and correctly. We will never cut corners or compromise integrity.  We choose to do things right, by choose to do the “right” thing.  This way, you can know that if all else fails, you can rely on your friends at Team Perka, to flex with you to seek out the most stress free and realistic solutions.  #sssTsss

 There is much in the way of unexpected, unplanned, unpredictable and even un-thought of events these days — it behooves us to remain calm, open, understanding, gracious, compassionate and seek out the next best solution, trusting sincere selfless service and continue to apply the everyday (baby) steps towards GREAT EXPECTATIONS without the pain of being so attached that we actually HURT ourselves and those we love and count on around us.  

As our local Rotary Club President just said in weekly update… 

“Let’s keep our heads on a swivel, be creative, be positive,
and most importantly, be kind and we’ll continue
to make this world a better place one good deed at a time.”

Contact us to find out how to start your journey with us, and know exactly what to expect, including being poised to address all the unprecedented, unexpected twists and turns of 2020!

 

Life Expectancies too short?

Life Expectancies too short?
Expect More with a Perka Hybrid Building!

There are certain things that we sometimes just kind of assume like: “That’s going to last forever… This will never break down… I’ll be able to keep it for a long time.”  Have you ever thought that?

Unfortunately, “they just don’t make ‘em like they used to!”is an axiom that has become pretty literal these days.  Have you heard, if not even experienced, that one already??!! 

Modern things break down very quickly.  And we may have also heard that other old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, Yes?

So, what, if anything, can we actually depend on these days?  What happened to doing things right?

With every passing day – it is becoming easier and easier to admit affirm:   “they just don’t make ‘em like they used to”.

While this may seem like a reminiscent phrase exclaimed by our grandparents, or even great-grand parents, it’s actually quite true.

Some facts: many household appliances used to intentionally be built to last.  It was part of the design strategy.  Now, it seems like every time we turn around, something needs replaced.  In some ways, that is done with purposes…  Like to keep initial costs down.   And be able to prosper from an after market of parts and services, or all out replacement!  It’s sometimes referred to as <<planned obsolescence>>. 

For example, washing machines from the 1940’s and 1950’s are still in existence… and still work! However, fast forward 30-40 years and you’ll be lucky to get 15 years out of your newer washing machine. (The actual average lifespan of a washer is now anywhere from 10 to 15 years.) 

New dryers “live” about as long as their washer counterparts. 

If you’re looking to wash dishes instead of clothes, the average dishwasher will now last only somewhere between 7 and 12 years.

While we’re on the subject of kitchen appliances, what about the oven and microwave oven? Ovens last a bit longer, with a lifespan of 10 to 20 years, while microwaves only work well for a mere 5 to 15 years. The short longevity of basic household appliances is shocking, especially when you consider the fact that they used to last for multiple decades!

But why do our parts, pieces, and appliances have such shorter lifespans today?   What corners have been cut?  Firstly, the appliances run off of fancy electrical devices. This means that they have more functions, and these particular components are currently made such that they are much more prone to wear and tear, breakage, and damage. Secondly (and more commonly), companies are also just looking to make more money. They make their parts out of cheaper material, faster with less attention to the details.   It’s often all about the money! 

Because there aren’t very many appliance companies, those that still exist practically “own the market”.  Then the companies that have these pseudo-monopolies that can charge you “an arm and a leg” for each new piece, uncontested by competitors and God forbid there might be some inadvertent collusion. 

So, now, more often than not, it’s just cheaper for people to buy a new machine, rather than purchasing a new part and paying someone to replace the old one.

The things we use (and rely on) every day are usually also made with less durable or resilient quality parts in order to also be lighter, more efficient, more productive, more aesthetically pleasing, etc. And the companies who sell them can make (more) money either way, because they know that consumers need their products for everyday life.  These are considered commodities!  Unfortunately, without a significant cultural shift, one to include providing long term value thinking, it doesn’t look like products will be improving in their longevity any time soon.

We don’t particularly like that.  And we also realize sometimes it’s just better to “BE THE CHANGE” we seek!

So, that’s why Team Perka’s approach to product design is different. 

One of our core values is in doing the “right” thing – by doing things right! 

As Team Perka, we are a more that a family owned business with values that focuses on consciously choosing quality materials, assemble by caring craftsman and delivered with intentional service.  We don’t measure our success on the number of orders we get, we measure it by the number of new friends that we make as teammates and ‘clients’ with intentions to KEEP!

Instead of less expensive components that are sometimes indeed planned with obsolescence, to wear out or break down quicker, our wood and steel hybrid structures are consciously designed with intention to be built to last. 

By the number of multi generation clients that we already have – (i.e. children of existing clients buying from us now 20 and almost 40 years later) we pride ourselves in knowing that clients, AKA OUR FRIENDS, will keep coming back to see us, because they understand the value built into our products and trust us to partner with them on a collective future, building projects for the long haul.

YOUR trust, your satisfaction, YOU and your elation over the quality, ease and resilience of our buildings are our higher priorities. 

And being now a third generation business, we want our Grand Children’s kids to be proud of being part of this legacy.  

PLUS, we are happy to back this intention up with our Perka designed and manufactured Steel Frames 50-year warranty

Our teammates, our family, would be absolutely delighted to assist you and your family with your building plans.

For more information about beginning your next building project with Perka, contact us here. To check out our high-quality steel frames, click here. And don’t forget to keep reading our blog!

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Chasing Perfection, Catching Excellence

Chasing Perfection, Catching Excellence

            In 1959, American football coach and legend Vince Lombardi inspired the Green Bay Packers, and the world, when he said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”

That said, how often do we feel as though we are chasing perfection to no avail. Running around in an endless loop, pursuing something that seems unattainable. And it is exhausting! Many people quickly do realize that perfection is impossible, but they do not like that answer. Instead of looking AT the progress, many just quit altogether. Why do they give up on their goals, and how can we break that pattern?

            Why people quit 1.0: staring at failure. We often catch ourselves looking at everything that goes wrong, and that can be extremely disheartening.  Why don’t we look more to what can go right?  Often it is difficult to set our gaze beyond our failures. We have all heard that old cliche: “Every failure is a new opportunity”. But sometimes, listening or hearing that phrase can be even more frustrating, because we are unable to see what that new opportunity actually is.

The American inventor Thomas Edison said it best: “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  In some situations, if we never find the 10,000 wrong ways, we may never find the one RIGHT way! We must not see our shortcomings as a failure; let us view it as an unusable path. Keep track of your unusable paths, certainly to avoid them in the future, and we will soon be on a certain road to success!

            Why people quit 2.0: distractions. Cacophony. Clamor. Din. Hubbub. Pandemonium. Racket. Hullabaloo. They all mean the same thing- “noise”.  #bignoise.  With our typical everyday hustle-and-bustle, it is pretty easy to become distracted. Whether it is due to audible noise, the noise from endless tweets and social media post, or the noise that comes from inside our own heads, we often take our “eyes off the prize” and become bogged down, totally distracted and off course. With everyone, be it our boss, kids, spouse, parents, pets, neighbors, alter ego – constantly needing something, we can mis-use our time that could better be used to focus on our goals. That is why Team Perka is here for you. Perka Hybrid Buildings offers noise free and very affordable building designs, which can be perfect for when you need to work close to home… but not too close.  Structures also known as a “man cave or “she shed” (or how about a “dream destination”, “plan place”, or “house of hopes”), TEAM PERKA is in the business of helping man and woman kind – be safer, happier, healthier and kinder.   

They aspire to be a presence so that you can find your solution to create a space for your private, quiet time to “formulate, focus, pursue and attain your dreams” without or with at least LESS, of the usual distractions and NOISE!  Our favorite goal is to help you attain yours, and we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that your very own space is exactly what you want and need.

            Why people quit 3.0: unwillingness to change/grow. No one likes or ever wants to be told that they are wrong. No one wants to believe that their method is inferior. Most people simply lack the willingness to change. This is a major hindrance in achieving progress. Some people are just looking for perfection, but they do not want to take the time to learn, improve, and to focus on personal advancement. This is an issue that is often rooted in a certain stubbornness and pride; an “I’m just right, you’re wrong, and you can’t convince me otherwise” mindset. Unfortunately, that attitude generally gets everyone NO-WHERE.   If you are willing to listen and can be open to change, while there is still a possibility that your ideas might fail, there is much HOPE there.   To totally refuse to listen to possible ideas and differing perspectives from your peers and adapt, adjust or evolve your ideas to make them the best they can be, will almost certainly guaranty that you will definitely not find any perfection, excellence or happiness for that matter.

If you wish to have a partner to help with building choices, our trained and dedicated advisors also known as Team Perka are here to assist you, to adapt with you and for you.  One of our core values is flexibility. We strive to have flexible personalities, to be able to take whatever comes our way and adapt – roll with the punches; AND similarly our buildings are flexible, able to also change, adjust and adapt in order to suit varying and sometimes forced pivots.

           Why people quit 4.0: fear. This explanation could go on and on. There is fear of failing, fear of what your peers will think, fear of letting others down, fear of letting yourself down, even fear of success.  These, of course, all stem from that goal of and being totally attached to “perfection”.

However, if you “strive for perfection and are willing to catch excellence”, none of these fears can ever dominate. If you catch excellence, you haven’t failed, you haven’t let anyone down, not even yourself.   Of course, the first step to conquering these fears (and to catching excellence) is to begin the journey by SHOW UP to take the first step.  Set your goals, and then figure out ways to achieve them! It may not be perfect. It does not HAVE to be really!  — But it certainly will feel excellent once you’ve begun on the path towards your dreams!  Progress is the key.   Tony Robbins says that the MAIN ingredient to HAPPINESS is not possessions, destinations, or even permanently bliss filled relationships…  it is growth and making PROGRESS towards something!  It is the Journey!!

            At Perka, we want to join with you, to help you, to progress on that path, on that journey as you pursue your goals…  towards an ever evolving better today!   Contact us and let us know how we can be a part of your journey!

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Top Priority

Top Priority

No one tries to “keep up with the Joneses” anymore… do they? “Keeping up with the Joneses” is an older phrase or idiom that means you attempt to base your success on how well you match up with the success of your neighbors. Sounds exhausting (and at times difficult), right? This requires us to take note of everything the neighbors do, see how our lives compare, and make ourselves seem as good (or better) than the folks next door.

Unfortunately, this concept is one that we often practice nearly every day. We are so often tempted to constantly compare… and often attempting to be just a little bit better than that other person. We look around to see how we stack up or at least differentiate from the people around us. Bigger house? That’s one point for me. My kid threw a tantrum, when hers never cries. OK, one point for her. My car is nicer than his; I get another point. The list can go on and on when it comes to comparing.  Sound familiar?

However, comparing ourselves to others isn’t always wrong or undeserving… if we’re comparing the right things and in the right “way”.  Like doing so with a certain admiration, to learn from and GROW!   What we shouldn’t compare, especially with any attachment or competitiveness per se, are our families, our finances, certain personal life choices, even relationships, etc. We don’t always have control over the things our families do, some of the choices we can get forced into, or the adversity we may encounter. Besides, those perfect Instagram posts and family photos don’t show everything. Those are typically just ONE moment in time…. 

In reality, almost everyone has uncomfortable, messy, less-than-perfect moments that sometimes lasting days, weeks, and those moments, those photos rarely end up being posted.  Do they?  We shouldn’t compare material things either: things like houses, cars, finances, possessions, etc. If we keep looking at those things, we’ll always find someone who has it just a little bit nicer or “better”. Those collations can often disappoint, in one way or another.

This begs the question: Is it ever OK to compare? The answer is “yes”. However, this has to be done in a healthy, constructive way. As earlier mentioned, it isn’t serving to look at other people’s lives and wish that ours looked more like theirs. But it can be constructive to observe other people’s behavior or personalities: the way they act, think, and speak. By observing others without judgement, we can learn from their consequences, accomplishments, and appreciate the differences while respecting their strengths. We can work to figure out what they do well, and if it fits, apply that to our own lives. To practice this kind of healthy comparison doesn’t produce jealousy, bitterness, or longing; it produces kindness, understanding, appreciation and a mindset of growth or evolving.

If you have read this far, you’re probably curious as to why we’ve been talking about collation and “keeping up with the Joneses” (or any other families who happen to live next door to you).  What does this have to do with buildings?  Well, it’s because of Perka’s dedication to our customers: to YOU.  The products and services we offer are part of the bigger picture goal of wanting to make our world better… To serve man and woman kind! 

So, guess what? We are not concerned with your neighbors.  We are not “worrying” about what others are doing.  It matters not as to whether their house is nicer, whether their car is larger, or whether they have more social media followers than you or us. Our number one concern is you. You, as you. You, with a lived-in house – a well-used vehicle or children filled with abundant enthusiasm and energy. (Although, if your house is a bit cluttered, as in lacking in space, well, Perka Hybrid Buildings can be a great choice for adding storage, extra room and or functionality. – Just saying.) 

More than supplying you with high-quality, well thought out building and structure solutions, we want to provide you with the best possible stress free service that will earn your trust and help you find the right solutions for YOU.  

And as to comparing?  We will definitely do that with you.   We will compare quality and type of the structure.  Is it Steel?  Or is it Wood?  Or is it Hybrid?  Is it pre-designed? We will look at how the buildings are produced?   Are they pre-fit to eliminate headaches on the job site, or are they sent to you with a WISH and a HOPE that they will fit? We will indeed compare so that you know that you are getting a 50 year warranty from a business that has been around long enough to re-assure you that they are not going anywhere!  We will compare to make sure your choices meet the minimum requirements you would expect to protect you and your family – like strength, and affordability, like flexibility so you are not stuck with a never look back decision.   Like ease & simplicity so that you don’t get all lost in the jargons and the attempts at “BS to impress”! And we will compare to be sure you realize the building you choose is resilient to withstand whatever challenge or adversity that sometimes LIFE just throws at us!  The unexpected.   The unplanned for.   The unpredictable. 

We aim to be robust, resilient and remarkable at the very least…  Because with TEAM PERKA, YOU are our highest priority. Not the Joneses. You. Your goals. Your dreams. Your aspirations.  Your SAFETY.  Your future…  To find out how you can begin a project with your very own trusted building adviser and Happy Perka Teammate, contact us here.

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Farms, Food, and Finances

Farms, Food, and Finances

All of us with Team Perka really LOVE OUR FARMERS! Since our founder “ET” began way back in 1981, rooted in his own humble beginning as a son of a farmer, men and women of the earth’s fields always held the highest stature in our eyes! We just can’t exist without our food supply chain… and they are right at the ROOT of it all – (puns intended!)

Perka Hybrid Buildings can be used almost anywhere around the farm yard or even in the fields, as farmers have been one of our most valued clients over our near 40 year history.

Unfortunately, and it is sad to see, farmers are struggling right now. There are a lot of questions surrounding farmers and the food they produce. People are ever more curious to know where their food comes from… how it is grown, and then where is it going!? Fear not, O wise ones who read this blog. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the main questions about what’s happening in the food industry.

Farmer looking at his big farmLet’s begin at the farm, the actual source of our entire food supply chain. (No, it’s not the “store”!!) Farmers are currently being forced to eradicate months’ worth of work because the demand for their services is not as the same and therefore not as timely as it once was and therefore not as “great”.

But wait… if anything, shouldn’t their demand be greater? One might think that at least the same if not even more people are still hungry and possibly even without supplies or access now than they were before quarantine/shelter. Schools have been shut down, and most restaurants are only open for a drive-through or curbside pickup. People are eating at home more often.

Food that goes to restaurants and schools is packaged much differently than food that gets distributed to the public. Meat, cheese, fruits, and vegetables are transported to restaurants in much larger quantities than that same cuisine being bought at a grocery store. The problem is, sadly for the moment, is that the farmers don’t have the capacity or resources to package their own goods, and much food has been left to rot. That said there have been some bright lights standing out in the darkness of current uncertainties as we try to figure this out.

dairy cattleOne Pennsylvania farmer, Mr. Ben Brown, came up with an alternative to dumping the milk from his many cows. He was fortunate to have access to equipment that would allow him to process the milk himself. He worked long and hard to make sure he wouldn’t have to waste an ounce of his milk… even if that meant waking up at midnight to continue bottling. His farm opened up for people to come buy his milk, and he sold out in a matter of hours. Pretty inspiring, isn’t it? Thankfully more of those sort of pivots are happening as we speak!! In our home town here of St. Joseph, MO – people have organized a FREE farm to family distribution by volunteers to GIVE AWAY the food that might otherwise get wasted. They meet in our shopping center parking lot – three times a week and cars line up to take fruits, vegetables, dairy products they can use or pay forward themselves.

The next link in our “food chain” is the processing plants. What’s happening there? Unfortunately, over 14,000 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to meat processing plants across the United States. It seems that it has been difficult to maintain social distance and take other safety precautions when working in a processing plant. New measures have been slow to implement. If any sick person continues to work at such a place, they not only expose their co-workers, but potentially anyone who eats the food that may have been handled by the sick person. As such, companies like Tyson Foods, https://www.tysonfoods.com/ Smithfield Foods https://www.smithfieldfoods.com/, and JBS https://jbssa.com/ have closed one or more of their plants around the country. Since these processing locations have closed, farmers have had no way to slaughter and distribute the meat they produce; millions of animals have gone to waste.

So as we see this happening, we also see that there is by no means a shortage of food; there is only an insufficiency of processing and handling. Because of the causal difference in a lower supply and still the same demand, meat prices have skyrocketed, and we may not see as much of certain foods (the healthier kind) on the shelves at the grocery store in the coming months.

Rustic Silverware

And this brings us to the final link in the food supply chain: you. The consumer. The “eater”!! What can we do to help your local farmers?

Wherever you can, buying locally grown food, like from the people who supported Ben Brown – can make a huge difference – right up front.
Also, we can mindfully choose to follow recommended quarantine protocols, so that we can aid in mitigating and hopefully ending the spread of COVID-19; if there could come a day. sooner than later, where we can confidently say that we have contained the spread (till safe medicine is available) this will most definitely help our farms and food industry bounce back sooner.
And if you decide to plant some of your own fruits and vegetables while you’re more at home these days with more telework and certainly less travelling, we would love to help you with any possible building add on needs! Perka’s hybrid buildings work well for greenhouses, crop storage, or any form of agricultural, farmer, rancher needs.
If you are interested in more information about the food shortages in America, check out these related articles: Tyson, pigs, vegetables, plants closing.
And, as always, for more information about Perka buildings, contact us. We’d love to help you as and if you embark on your new or next food, farming and financially friendly adventure!