For many in the collision repair industry, last year was a pretty good year. A majority of my clients experienced positive growth over the previous year and are expecting the same for the upcoming year. Despite advancing technologies, MSO consolidation, and other challenges, things are really pretty good for many of us right now. Not to sound greedy, but this is starting to sound a bit complacent to me. As a business coach and mentor, it is my job to challenge collision repairers to step up their game even more!

Playing to Win

Are you playing to win or playing not to lose? This is an important question and here’s why. I feel like many collision repairers due to stabilizing business conditions performed better, but actually left a lot on the table last year when it came to taking their businesses to the next level. This mentality is very understandable in challenging times, but some savvy businesses recognize that challenging times always contain great opportunities! When your mindset is on merely surviving, it will cause you to act a lot differently than when your mindset is on winning!

Goals

A competitive fire will never ignite when we are merely trying to make it through the day. A competitive fire will burn brightly for those that set lofty long term goals. You see playing to win is all about proactively creating the life you want instead of reacting to whatever life throws at you.

The best way you can predict your future is to create it. The best way to create it is through setting goals and making plans how to achieve them. Far too many people simply float through their lives playing the victim and wondering when something good will come their way. Sadly, these victims blame everybody but themselves for their troubles when they unknowingly have the power inside them to create a great life.

One of the most powerful things you can do is to spend a few hours thoughtfully writing out your goals. I recommend writing long terms goals that you plan to achieve in your lifetime, followed by intermediate goals that you will accomplish in the upcoming months and years that will help lead you to your long term goals. Finally I suggest that each day either early in the morning or the evening before, write out your daily tasks that will continually move you towards your intermediate and long term goals. If you do this every day, I guarantee it will change your life dramatically for the better!

Learning

Sometimes we avoid setting lofty goals that involves something we may not fully understand. For example, what if you wanted to write a book but didn’t know the first thing about writing? What if you would love to learn a new language? What if you wanted to open 10 more locations for your collision business, but are reluctant to dream that big because of all the unknown knowledge factors involved in running an organization of that magnitude? You see many of us don’t dream big enough because we use our lack of knowledge as an excuse. I believe that like anything worthwhile in life, we must continually be learning new things and many don’t start on their dreams because it seems too large of a task. I recommend including the things you would like to learn as you are writing out your long-term and intermediate goals. If you break down your learning into bite-sized pieces, you are much more likely to follow the plan and learn many amazing new things that will enrich your life.

Start

When you break down your goals into bite-sized pieces, it seems much more achievable and the likelihood of you starting the project is vastly increased. However, many people still don’t start because they believe everything has to be perfect first. Avoid this trap at all costs! As a perfectionist myself, I have been guilty of this behavior many times in my life. There is a big difference between taking reckless risks and wisely advancing with abandon. A very wealthy friend of mine once told me that on his business ventures his rule of thumb is to get it (the venture) 80% figured out and figure out the other 20% along the way. This rule has served me well in the years since hearing it.

People in Your Life

Are you cognizant of the effect either positive or negative that people around you have on your ability to achieve your potential in life? Are there people in your life that are constantly trying to bring you back down to earth with their well-meaning advice about how to be mediocre? You may want to consider the impact they are having on your life. I am not saying that you need to fire all your friends and get a new wife or husband (although it is sometimes preferable) but it is extremely important that you become aware of how people around you can affect your attitude and ability to dream and achieve the things you truly want in life. Negative people are a major drain and need to be kept in the distance whenever possible. Negative people don’t want you to be successful because it would make them wrong about their own limiting beliefs. And no-one wants to be wrong!

If you surround yourself with winners that also want to see you be successful you will win! I highly recommend associating with winners. There are performance groups in our industry where winners flock to become the best they can be and they help each-other win, because that is what winners do! Also, many of the best of the best have mentors and coaches to help them continually move towards the great things in life. Having a mentor or coach that keeps you accountable is like having a personal trainer that will ensure you meet your goals. I am not just saying this just because it is a service my company offers, but I myself have a coach and so do thousands of highly-successful people in many different occupations.

We all have the power to accomplish anything in life we want, but sadly most people will not come close to living up to their potential. If you will change your mindset, play to win, set goals, learn new things, and associate with winners, you can not only have an amazing 2016, you can have an amazing life too!