March and April are a difficult time for many business owners; it is the time of year I call, “the dip.” As winter ends, many people yearn for the renewed spirit of Springtime, yet it still feels distant. The dip is a period when many people – and especially business owners – give up on their dreams, resolutions, and determination. As your coach, I am here to ask you… Please don’t give up!
Recently a body shop owner informed me he no longer wanted to participate in his coaching group. A group dedicated to business improvement and growth. Being in a business development group requires putting in work. It requires setting goals and putting in the action to achieve the goals. What this shop owner was really saying is, “I am so busy being stuck working in my business that I can’t dedicate time to work on the business! This poor fellow has given up on himself and is stuck in a vicious cycle of business reactivity. The saddest part is he didn’t realize just how close he was to breaking through!
You’re almost there!
First comes the dream, then comes the struggle, then comes the victory. The reason so few people live an amazing life of abundance is they give up during the struggle, often only inches from victory.
Take the famous story of R.U. Darby as told by Think and Grow Rich author, Napoleon Hill. During America’s gold rush, Mr. Darby exhausted his family’s life savings purchasing gold mining equipment, hiring a crew, and mining the Colorado gold vein he had secretly discovered. Optimistic from discovering the initial vein of gold, the team soon found themselves frustrated drilling and drilling and finding nothing else. Soon after, Darby gave up and sold all his equipment for pennies on the dollar to a junk collector and with his tail tucked, made his way back home to Maryland.
The junk collector was no dummy. Instead of scrapping the equipment, he hired a geological engineer who advised that the gold vein would pick up again just three feet from where Darby gave up drilling. Just three feet! And, of course, the junk collector went on to find incredible wealth from one of the biggest motherloads in history.
As collision repairers, there are three big lessons contained in the Darby story. First, don’t give up. Second, you must seek an expert to make sure you are doing things correctly. And third, you may need to change your approach a few feet now and then as you seek your motherload.
During the dip of March and April, you may be tempted to give up just like Darby, but don’t do it! While others are giving up, be like the junk collector and find the opportunities that are right in front of you!
Here are a few practical tips to help you through the dip.
- Remind yourself of your compelling vision.
If you feel like you are simply going through the motions without a lot of intention, it is possible you lost sight of your compelling vision. Do you remember how exciting things were when you first started your business or became a manager of a collision shop?
Often, we lose sight of our dreams when we feel we are in a constant fight for survival. Reactivity is the opposite of living each day with intention towards your compelling vision. Take back control by getting clear on the reasons you are in business. Paint yourself a clear mental picture and begin each day reminding yourself of all the awesome reasons you are willing to put in the work.
- Make a declaration.
There is a big difference between a wish and a committed dream. A lot of magic happens when a person makes a committed decision. The United States was formed and persevered through all odds because a group of men created the “Declaration of Independence.” I believe a person can accomplish anything when they make a declaration. There is an element of next level strength when you declare your commitment to be the best at what you do. A committed decision or declaration makes your life choices much simpler by eliminating all the other choices that will lead you in a direction other than your declared mission.
I believe that far too many shop leaders are not committed to becoming the best. They wish, but they don’t declare! Let me ask you this, is there something in your business you know deep down inside is mediocre? For example, do you know deep down that some of your team performs well below their potential, but for some reason you let them?
You should write this down and put it on your desk. “You get what you tolerate.” Perhaps you should make a declaration to create a predictable future and start getting what you want.
- Surround yourself with inspirational people.
If you want to fly like an eagle, why do you flock with turkeys? I love to surround myself with people that inspire me. I don’t mean “yes-people”; I mean people who push you to be the best. People who think positive and love to contribute to the success of the business.
During dips, when a business owner feels like quitting, nothing is as powerful as their social network. I strongly urge you to surround yourself with positive, inspiring people, whether friends, employees or perhaps a Mastermind group of peers who you can trust to push you through when tough times occur.
- Small steps.
You will notice during dips in momentum, people often turn to distraction. Watching television or spending hours on social media is an avoidance technique when you know full well you have a mountain to climb in front of you.
Highly successful people are always staring at mountains, but they are able to move forward successfully by focusing on one small step at a time. If things are tough, or you feel like you have too much on your plate, don’t despair! It happens to everyone. You only need to take one small step in the right direction.
Avoid the tendency to drift into distraction and make a committed decision to take even one small step every day on the tasks that will move you and your company toward the goal. There is no mountain too high for those who are willing to take small steps each day… so let’s get stepping and you will soon have created plenty of momentum to get you out of any dip!
Don’t stay stuck. Reach out when you need help!
As we learned with the story of R.U. Darby, it is entirely possible to work hard and still be drilling in the wrong spot. Don’t give up! Get an expert to offer perspective – you may be only 3 feet away. That is why so many of the greatest body shop leaders turn to Elite Body Shop Solutions for advice.
If you feel a little bit stuck or are ready to give up, our newest online course is full of fresh ideas and strategies to help you get the momentum needed to step into your potential and Dominate the Competition! In the first hour of the training, we focus on helping you build a custom ‘Domination Plan’ and then support your plan with additional education on marketing, production management and adjust some habits to support your growth. Refresh your excitement for the collision repair industry by taking a few hours to focus on your ‘why’ and build a plan of action!