How Auto Repair Shop Owners Use 5 Steps to Stay Focused
Focus by Rick White, President 180BIZ
What I want to talk to you today about is your FOCUS. The biggest enemy to your business, the biggest threat to your business is not the shop down the street. It's not the dealership. The biggest threat to your business is a lack of focus. Be aware that your focus is scattered. You're all over the place. You have 90 things on your plate that must be done today, right? The urgent, but not so important. Most of those things will not move you forward. Or you have five or six things that are really eating at your business right now that you're worried about. Or there are some opportunities there. When you have that kind of focus, you end up with half-baked plans, if any. And then you're surprised by the results.
When I was a kid, we used to tell this joke. A kid would say, “Mama, Mama, I'm tired of going in circles. And mama would scream back, “Shut up before I nail your other foot to the floor.”: I bet every one of you are suffering from that in some fashion. It’s where you feel like your foot is nailed to the floor. You feel like you're going around in circles, getting dizzy, not getting anything accomplished. And it's all due to a lack of focus. I’ll give you a simple five-step plan to follow.
Step 1 - LIST: Go to a quiet place. You’ll need about 10 or 15 minutes for this. Get a pad of paper and a pen. Always think with paper and pen, as it removes the emotion. Draw a line in the middle of the page from top to bottom. On the left side of that line, write Opportunities as a column heading, and on the right side write Threats. Then I want you to do a brain dump everything that's weighing you down. And it's either going to go in the opportunity column or in the threat column. Whichever column is bigger is going to show you where your focus is. The first step is to LIST.
Step 2 - PICK: Look over your list and prioritize it for the biggest return on effort Prioritize both columns. In other words, your biggest bang for your buck. If I get this one thing done, it's going to have biggest effect on me, my business. It’ll have the biggest positive effect. It could be either a threat or an opportunity. For example, if you feel like one of your techs is ready to leave or is thinking about leaving, that's a threat. It’s a threat because it will leave you short-handed. It’s on the list because you have to sit down and figure it out. Choose your top priority, whichever one is going to give you the biggest bang for the buck. Then go all-in on that one thing. You still have everything else listed, but I want you to go all-in on that one thing. Pretend that there's a whole army coming at you and you must protect yourself and your family. And there's someone getting really close. You have only one bullet. You must be very sure to make that one bullet count. Think in one-bullet mentality. That will help you figure out your highest priority. What's the one thing?
Step 3 – PLAN: Now that you picked the most crucial thing to work on, you must create a plan. Pick five actions that you must take to take advantage of that opportunity or alleviate the threat. I call those five things my “Five to Thrive.”
Step 4 – ACT: After you planned those five things that will help gain that opportunity or alleviate that threat, ACT immediately. Never leave the sight of a decision without taking action. If you don’t take action immediately, then it’s just a dream. It's still a thought. You must put action behind your decisions immediately.
Step 5 – MEASURE & MODIFY: And then measure your progress and modify your plan to stay on track.
In brief, you will list everything out. Pick one and identify your desired outcome. Then plan for that. And take action. Lastly, measure and modify to make sure you are still on track. Pick those five things every day. If you do this one thing at a time, instead of dealing with 30 things and doing a really lousy job, if you do that brain dump and just get everything down on paper that frees your mind. Pick that one thing and you hammer that one thing until it is done. Then move onto your next thing and hammer that down.
This will actually take less time and you will gain more traction. You can’t handle 30 different things at one time. It’s not possible. This is why it takes months and months and months to find help. Why? Because we don't like doing it. We don't want to have to deal with the interview process. We don't want to have to deal with the fear of hiring somebody that isn't going to work out. This can all work, but you've got to deal with that one thing. You must overcome those negative feelings.
The worst thing you can do is keep someone who isn’t performing. You think that they’re better than nothing. Those are the words you say to yourself. When you say that to yourself, you're shooting yourself in the foot. You will put up with sub-par performance while hiring someone else is always out on the horizon. But if you let that person go your pain level goes up. Guess what? It will get better if you take care of it right now.
So, list, pick, plan, act, measure, and modify. That's it. Stay on that one thing.
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Thank you so much. My name is Rick White and that's my just one thing for this week. So thank you very much. And if you love this, you might want to look at our Pocket Business Genius series because it is amazing. It's one live webinar per month and access to the library of recorded webinars of great topics. Our last topic was The Seven Responsibilities of a Successful Shop Owner. The next webinar in January is all about growing your team to grow your profits. So please, if you're thinking about it, do it now because prices going up in January. It’s worth it.
Take care. God bless. Go make some money.
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