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Bunch: Freedom is Not Free

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As our country just finished celebrating freedom and life in America, it got me thinking about an important history lesson. 13 colonies declared independence in 1776. Still, the reality is that independence was not achieved until 1783. The declaration was actually the easy part; a brutal seven-year war was then fought to secure those declarations. Nevertheless, taking action on the declarations is what got us to be the free country we are today.

Whether you call them declarations or goals, you should be making big ones! As June came to an end, I received a few texts. One of my clients was only 25K short of a million-dollar month! We have seen this company double its sales in the last few years. Another client hit $483K in two stores and 26K the first
week open in his third store.

What do these clients have in common? You guessed it; they took massive action to achieve their goals! They backed up their goals with blood, sweat, tears, accountability, training, and dollars! They fought staffing shortages, self-doubt, stubborn bankers, AND a pandemic! While these two clients relied on their coach and their peer group for wisdom and strategies, most shop owners only rely on "hopium" to accomplish their goals. The difference? Those “hopium” owners, if you check up on them years later, are most likely still in the exact same position, or even worse.

The secret is not to go watch The Secret again; it's following through and preparing to go to war! Instead, burn your ships and take a "failure’s not an option" mentality. The real issue isn't that you don't have enough money or that you can't find good employees; it's that you are against you. So be willing, when the rubber hits the road, to do what it takes to build the business of your dreams.

Building a six-figure or even a 7-figure business has its ups and downs. You will even find yourself asking, "If my business is growing, why am I making less money?"

Growth does create complexity. It adds additional expenses, staffing, marketing, and needed business acumen. It means making mistakes, missing deadlines, and experiencing setbacks, which can cause doubt, fear, and insecurity to set in and lock us up. We then are tempted to "fire everyone and start all over."

Anyone that has achieved a level of success in our industry has gone through this; you're not alone!

The coming years in our industry are not going to be easy. Our current and future clients are going to demand more convenience and a higher level of customer service. As a result, we will continue to face staffing shortages and will have to meet the demands of ever-evolving technology.

You can hide under your desk and hope for the "good ole days" to come back, or you can take charge of your future by investing in yourself to be the best leader and business owner you can be. Step one, as fast as you can, take your toolbox home. Being the best technician will not serve you in the future of
automotive service and repair. Step two is to surround yourself with like-minded, success driven, fellow business owners with whom you can share ideas, provide accountability and encouragement, and who will give you the kick in the rump when you need it.

I have seen shop owners rise out of the ashes like the Phoenix and become bullet-proof business owners who now take charge of their own destiny. Tim Swiontkowski of Stellar Autoworks in Plymouth, Minn. is one of those remarkable people. I met Tim when he joined our mastermind group and, at the time, was knee-deep in writing service and fixing cars. About 18 months ago, he lost all his employees and was the only one left in the shop. Lots of people would have thrown in the towel and went and gotten a job.

Not Tim! He dug into his support group and, with the help of his coach, has rebuilt his business to be better than ever. He took time to recruit and train the right team. He invested thousands of hours in building out the systems and processes to run his business effectively. He now works one day a week in his company as the shop continues to break sales records. He spends more time with his family and is now helping fellow shop owners with their systems and processes through my organization.

Tim is a rock star, but not because he is any more intelligent than you. Tim stuck with it and didn't "ring the bell". He did what he had to do and made it to the other side. I tell this story because someone out there needs to hear it; maybe that's you. If so, shoot me an email and let me know. Freedom is not free, but it's worth every dime it costs. Thank you to those who serve our country and ensure our freedoms and for those business owners fighting every day to be the best for your family, your employees, and your communities.

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