Change Your Perspective
At this point, we’re in June and you’re reflecting on the past few months and thinking, “Wow, what a crazy ride.”
Whether or not you were heavily impacted, it’s crazy how the entire nation kept thinking it was going to end and it kept—or continues—to drag on. We’ve all been stuck on the ride. As a leader, however, it was not the time to have a meltdown or panic. It was time to strategize and react. It’s impossible to tell exactly where we’ll be in June when this comes out, but I know that it will be a new normal.
How many of you have heard “Good habits are created in bad times, bad habits are created in good times?” In other words, when business is good, we tend to overlook certain best practices and when we’re struggling, that’s when we really step everything up and perform to the best of our ability. We should treat every day as though we’re struggling to get business—because we are. We should be performing to the best of our ability every single day.
This entire situation has given me an entirely new perspective and caused me to look at where I could improve and areas that I may have been neglecting because I took for granted that business was good and everything was running smoothly. Let me give you an example. One area I’ve re-evaluated is my staff. Because business across the country was so heavily impacted, many had to make layoffs. That’s the number one call I’ve been getting as a coach. Shop owners are calling me because they’re scared to lose their best people. Now, take a step back and think about the people that you weren’t scared to lose. If they’re still with you, ask yourself why and, if you laid them off, why you needed to wait for a disaster to happen to let those people go.
Many of you are probably thinking, “Aaron, all of my people are great and I didn’t want to and never want to lose them,”—great. But, chances are, there’s another area in your business that you were lacking in before this all hit. Something that maybe you were a little more lax about than you should have been. Maybe it was your customer check-in process, and this one, let me tell you, is something that everyone will need to re-evaluate. Let me explain.
We can’t make the same assumptions that we did before. What we used to do to gain trust was shake a customer’s hand and look him or her in the eye. People may not want to shake hands for a very long time. Now, you need to earn trust over the phone or through email. We have to hustle and push to make it happen now more than ever.
We don’t know what the future holds and that’s scary. But, what if we looked at this from a different perspective and turned it into a good thing. This is causing us to get our stuff together—to push us to the next level. As I mentioned in my last column, I believe this summer will be some of the best times for those in the automotive repair and, for those that are still open, the rush is coming. Taking advantage of this summer will require every bit of our talent and expertise, so start rethinking how you run your business today.
This is an unusual time and a very unique situation that we’re coming out of, but we’ve all weathered bad times—remember the last recession? This is probably not the first bad time you’ve encountered as a business over and, I’ve got news for you, it won’t be the last.
Remember your first days as an owner? Remember the hustle? The drive? Find that again. Change your perspective and treat every day as if there’s a disaster around the corner and stop falling into bad habits.