There are many things that we can do to be more competitive in this new and challenging collision repair landscape. Before we can be successful creating cultures, lean processes, and competing with consolidators, we have to fix one thing first….us. I want to help you become aware of how our mindset…our beliefs and fears are the number one most important thing you could be working on right now! One thing I have learned in all my years in this business is that we all have the power to control our own destinies!

Here’s something maybe you didn’t know…This time right now for many is the best time in history to own a collision repair business, ironically for some it is also the worst! The difference? …Your mindset! That’s right, you don’t need to be a consolidator in order for this to be the best time ever in the history of the world to own a collision repair business; you just need to have the right mindset! Like Henry Ford’s famous quote “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Remember those Successories posters we used to hang in our offices? Maybe some of you still do? I used to have them hanging all over the office at my shop, Luehr’s Auto Body, back in the early nineties. It makes me wonder what it would be like if we really lived by what the quotes were telling us? If you truly took to heart what Ford intended when he said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!” If everyone had literally applied all the information we learned from Successories posters we would all be billionaires! So with all this sage advice available, why do so many of us continue to struggle? One of the biggest reasons I have discovered is fear.

Most of you have probably heard a little bit about fear and how when we were cavemen and cavewomen, it helped us from being eaten by Sabre-toothed predators. When you saw one of these predators that wanted to eat you, it would trigger a necessary response in you called fear so you would feel the emotion, and run to the nearest cave to avoid becoming something’s lunch or dinner. As you can see, fear was a pretty handy thing to have back in those days, but for some reason through evolution we are still cursed with this damn emotion. Some would argue that fear still serves us a purpose, mostly I think fear is just a pain in the rear and keeps people from reaching their god given potential in life. However having said that, the secret to success and happiness probably lies in our ability to change our relationship with fear. In other words, reframe in our minds that fear can be used as a tool to help us recognize opportunities to grow!

We have a tendency to view fear as only a bad thing. If we could view the feeling of fear as a sign that there is an opportunity ahead, wouldn’t you think you could have a different relationship with fear? What if, every time you noticed the feeling of fear creeping up your gut, instead of bolting back into your comfort zone, you headed into the source of the fear? To many of you that seems like backwards thinking. You are exactly right, it is backwards thinking and exactly why so many people fail to achieve their potential and their dreams.

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Here is a small sampling of the ways embracing your fear will help you.

  • You will embrace change
  • You will communicate better and make new friends
  • You will want to learn new things, become curious
  • You will recognize that your ego is an obstacle and vulnerability is freeing
  • You will recognize that the negative chatter in your head is just noise
  • YOU WILL GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY!

Just to be clear, I am not talking about being fearless or doing stupid things that will get you hurt or killed, I am talking about the thousands of opportunities we pass up because we have an adversarial relationship with our fear.

I can teach my clients how to compete with large MSO consolidators by building great cultures and processes that lead to exceptional customer experiences. But as so many have recognized, if you let fear prevail you will not be successful building a successful culture in your shop, you will not have permanent success with your process implementation plans, and you will continue to struggle with your attempts to create a consistent and repeatable customer experience. “Fear is at the root of your problems and if you learn to deal with your fear by creating a different relationship with it, you will find new opportunities and open a new world to yourself you never thought possible.” Make a poster out of that!

For more information on building a successful collision business contact Dave Luehr at david.luehr@elitebodyshopsolutions.com