The BEST Auto Repair Shop Owners Make Decisions without Catastrophizing
Decisions by Rick White, President 180BIZ
Recently I talked about indecision. The key takeaways with indecision were (1) Stop trying to make the right decision and just go for the best decision. (2) Decisions aren't fatal, they’re feedback. (3) Don't make the same decision twice. Now I want to talk about decisions.
Many times, decisions are made in an emotional state. And what that happens, it becomes a reaction. When your decision is a reaction, it always hurts. You will always regret it because you will eventually realize that you hurt yourself, your team, your business, and possibly your family. I ask you to do this instead. Step out of the emotion by asking yourself, “What's real about this? What's the real issue?” Stop catastrophizing. It’s amazing how we fear stack. That's a term I came up with. For example, someone has a low car count, and all of a sudden they think they're going out of business. Such as, “I got no cars. I won’t make any money this week. I won't be able to pay my team. They will leave me. I won't be able to pay my bills. I will lose my business. My kids won’t love me anymore. My wife will leave me. My car will catch on fire and the dog will run away. It sounds like a country song. We do it all the time.
It's really important to give yourself a little bit of room. It's important to understand that you and your business are two separate entities. You are not the same. When your ego is tied to the shop and it’s doing well, you feel like a million bucks. But on the inside, there's that little piece of you that wonders, “What will happen when they find out that I'm an imposter, that I'm not real? I don't deserve this.”
On the flip side, when things go really bad, you take it personally. It's like you are failing. But, you are not failing. The business has an issue like low car count, or I need help, or whatever the case is. We tend to take problems like this and make them much bigger than it is. In other words, instead of saying, “Hey, I need car count. Shop owners tell me that their business sucks. Which is not true.
You are not tied to the success or failure of your business because it doesn't change who you are. You and your business are separate. It's like having a baby. It's yours. You created it. But it is not you. You are so much bigger and better than that. So what I want you to do is step back and get away from it emotionally. There's a great book called Peaks and Valleys. And one of the things that stuck with me with that book is don't ever make a decision in a valley. Get yourself out of the emotion so you can ask yourself, “What's real?” When you ask that question, it's very grounding. If you think, “My business is in trouble.” Ask yourself, “What's real?” And keep digging until you get to the core issue. Once you get to the core issue, it's not this big elephant anymore. It's more real and you can deal with it.
There are two things when it comes to any story in life. There's the content and context. So content is what's going on. The context is in what environment is it happening? You can't make a decision simply on content. Let me give you an example. Your car count is down. That's the content. What's the context? The city is paving the roads out in front of the shop, and no one can get in or out. Oh, <laugh> that makes it a completely different situation. Doesn't it? So not only do we need the content, we need the context. And I'm not saying that just for those of you that are dealing with situations.
There are those of us that care about other people and we want to help. You can't help someone until you understand the context of their content. You can't help until you understand what's going on. Now, if you are talking to somebody about, let's say their car count is down before you can start talking You must deal with all the emotion that's wrapped up in that human being right then and there. Until you do, it's falling on deaf ears. You must ask questions and listen to where they're at. And then reassure them and give them a story. Perhaps a story of when you had that problem, that it's not fatal, and you can fix it. Get them calmed down and more into the logical side of their brain. Then you can start to solve the problem. If you start throwing suggestions out at a very emotional person, it will bounce right off of them like bullets off Superman. It will not work.
So decisions are amazing. Decisions are what move us forward. They are what change our lives. If you are not happy with where you're at right now, make different decisions. But do it outside of the emotion. Understand the content and context. And then get to the real meaning. And that's everything right there. If you have the vision, the destination, you can separate yourself. Don't fall in love with your product. Fall in love with your clients. That makes all the difference in the world.
Thank you so much. God bless, stay safe, have fun, and go make some money.