The difference between a rut...and a grave

Publish Date: 
Feb 20, 2013
By Tory Hornsby

IT'S MARCH ... can you believe it? They say time flies when you’re having fun. If that’s true, then I must be having a blast!

I believe this will be a great year of growth for the industry. Are you ready?

Have you put yourself in the position to get your portion of that growth?

In order to maximize every opportunity that comes through the door, you have to be ready. Do you have a sales plan, a training plan, a marketing plan?

By now you should have specific goals that are committed to in writing — for yourself and for your dealership. If you don’t, it’s not too late. As the old saying goes: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is right now.

Visualize what being successful in 2013 means for you. Write out your goals, understand what it will take to hit your goals, and then start running in that direction. Avoid the ruts and keep on pressing.

But some ruts are so powerful that you don’t even realize you’re in them. Ed Lemco called this “getting caught in the swirl.” Ever felt like you should have worn suspenders and a bright red hardhat to work because all you did all day, all week or even all month was put out fires?

The late John Wyckoff wrote a book for the industry called Mind Your Business. You must mind, or pay attention to, all of the details of your business. If you’re not paying attention to your business, it’s like a ship at sea without a captain — everyone’s just floating along, waiting to see what happens. Lots of dealerships are on this course right now. So if you find yourself showing up to work and reacting to your day, you are stuck in a rut that is difficult to get out of. But you can and need to get out of it.

The key to getting out of a rut is taking action. Do something. Even if you make a mistake. In fact, if you haven’t made a big mistake in a while, it’s a sign that you’re already in or headed toward a nasty rut. Without action there is no change, and without change you cannot improve in business or in life. In taking action you always run the risk of making mistakes, but there is nothing wrong with making a mistake — as long as you learn from it.

I’m reminded of a quote by Colin Powell, and whether you agree with his politics or not, pay attention to what he says here: “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” (Continued)