Bunch: Are Your Biases Controlling You?

June 21, 2022

We all have biases. Some of our biases, like those bent toward taking positive action, help elevate us while other biases produce negative states of mind driven by fear that limit our potential. 

Dictionary.com defines bias as "a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned."

We all have biases, which determine how we make decisions throughout our lives. For example, we have preferences on what we like to eat and drink and what we think is the highest and best use of our time. Likewise, we are biased on who we choose as friends and where we get our news.

These biases determine how happy and fulfilling our lives will or will not be.

We each have biases based on our natural giftings; that's why many shop owners would rather  "suit up" and fix cars when they're down a technician than spend time learning how to recruit, interview, and hire a new one. Often, they would rather take technical classes than business management classes. Some even tend to be biased toward certain brands their shops will tool up for and work on, even though it may limit their sales. So what is a bias that may be holding you back?

As a new shop owner, I had the bias to be the best technician and the "go-to" person. I also had the bias that I had to know every customer and review every RO personally, and that the shop would fall apart without me. My personal favorite was "as the owner, I will always make less than my employees." It wasn't until I began hanging around other successful shop owners with well-trained and loyal staff that I saw that things could be different.  

All of us are biased regarding being in our comfort zone, consciously or subconsciously. What I see holding many people back from having a great life and business is spending too much time worrying about how they appear—the physical and/or professional image they want to portray to the public. (Just look at their social media posts if you don't believe me.)

Many people take pride in being busy. I know what this feels like as a recovering workaholic. Busyness makes us feel like we are doing something of value, therefore, we can feel better about ourselves. Hence, having a bias toward the next big idea or project that could keep them busy when what really needs attention are the fundamentals. Busy people do get things done, but it's only when we make time to think that we can come up with new ideas and solve problems. You probably had some great ideas that came to you on your last vacation!

The other bias that holds us back is delaying, or not taking action due to "analysis paralysis."  This goes back to the beliefs we’ve bought into that taking a risk could make us look bad to our peers and our self-image. So, we dwell on every possible negative outcome if we get it wrong. Maybe you tried and failed at hiring a manager to take your place, opening a second location, or growing an apprentice. Don't give up, you need to push forward if you are going to grow your business.  

Successful people learn from their mistakes, ignore their "haters," and move forward. I have definitely learned way more from my mistakes than I ever have from my successes! Unfortunately, I often hear people express how they will "never do that again" and therefore lose out on the potential success they could have.    

Successful people have an action-biased attitude that requires them to accept delayed gratification, behave intentionally, and manage their time ruthlessly. Having an action bias means swallowing your pride, moving forward while you are shaking, and having a knot in your stomach. It means cutting out the things that are stealing your time and creating space to take the action you have been putting off. Studies show that the most successful CEOs make their decisions with only 60 percent of the needed information.

Do you have a bias that makes you think you will lose customers if you charge more? If you need to charge $200 per hour and average a 55 percent margin on parts to make a net profit, it's not too much! NO PROFIT= NO BUSINESS. 

How about one that says marketing is a waste of money. Are you biased that professional training is a waste of time or money? The one I’ve heard lately is that there are no good employees to hire!

I suggest that we all have people in our lives that care about us enough to challenge our biases and call us out when they see us limiting our potential. Do you have that in your life? Do you have accountability? The Lone Ranger had Tonto! Batman had Robin, and Fortune 500 CEOs have their board of directors.

When it comes to being successful in business and life, we must examine our biases, eliminate the ones holding us back, and move forward with an open mind and a willingness to take chances.

The biases, habits, proclivities, and preferences most of us have are not conducive to an abundant and joyful life. Welcome to being human! If we all work to make ourselves better by getting out of our comfort zones and limiting beliefs, the sky is the limit to the success you can have. I can tell you we all need to grow in this area. If you are making progress, you are on the right track, so give yourself some credit! 

Please email me your thoughts at [email protected]

About the Author

Greg Bunch

Greg Bunch is the founder/CEO of Aspen Auto Clinic, a six-shop operation in Colorado, and the founder/CEO of Transformers Institute, a training, coaching, and consulting company for the auto repair industry.

Sponsored Recommendations

Find the right shop management system to boost your efficiency

Find the right shop management system to aid in efficient scheduling, communication and payment processing

Craft a strategic marketing plan

Develop strategies and communicate them to your staff to keep you on track

Establish and track your KPIs: Technician Productivity

WHAT IT IS: Technician productivity refers to the time a technician is available to work measured against the actual time spent working on positive cash flow repair orders. Tracking...

Empower your technicians with the right tools for efficient repairs

Foster a highly motivated and efficient team to get vehicles out the door faster