Off To See The Wizard(s)!

Written by mitch. Posted in Aftermarket, Blog, Repair Community

Headed out to Scottsdale tomorrow for the Automotive Training Institute’s SuperConference 2013. It’s my seventh or eigth SuperConference in just about as many years…

Realistically, it’s become one of my very favorite industry events.

Most events like this held at the kind of places that host an ATI SuperConference would suggest an event that is seventy percent play and thirty percent work, and most people attending industry events like SuperConference will whine and cry about how difficult and stressful the event is and how they “have to go” for work!

splash_index

SuperConference is pretty much the opposite: seventy percent or more work, with just enough play scheduled in for balance. There are world class speakers every morning, break-out sessions and roundtables most afternoons and networking everywhere: uber networking, really.

And, that’s probably the way it should be when you think about it. These are, aftger all, some of the most successful shop owners in the country sharing anything and everything they have to offer as unselfishly as anyone might ever expect!

This particular event is so powerful: so important, I block off the following year’s SuperConference on my calendar as soon as the dates are announced…

That’s right… I’m already thinking about what next year’s event is going to be like and where it will be and we haven’t left for this year’s event yet. You almost have to ask why, and the answer is  simple and pretty straight forward: like every other aspect of my long and successful relationship with ATI, every SuperConference I have ever attended has demonstrated an exceptional Return on Invest.

In other words, I’ve always returned home richer as a result of the the experience… Certainly, richer economically. But, perhaps more important, richer philosophically and maybe even psychologically as well.

So, if for some reason you try to get in touch with me and you can’t; or, you’re wondering where I’ve gone or what I’m doing, please don’t fret. I’m off to ATI’s SuperConference 2013! Off to see the Wizard(s)!  Off to see if I can finally figure out what’s behind that damned curtain after all!

Best Foot Forward…

Written by mitch. Posted in Aftermarket, Blog, General Community, Repair Community

IMG_0829

The best way to accomplish anything is to do something!

What that something is or turns out to be isn’t really all that important. It’s more a matter of breaking the Inertia of Rest: more a matter of no longer allowing yourself to remain satisfied doing nothing or worse yet, doing the wrong things.

That’s obviously a lot harder to do than it is to talk about or more people would be accomplishing greater and greater success even as I write this. But, if you look around… even if you look long and hard, I’m afraid that isn’t the case and it’s not what you are likely to find.

What you are likely to find is resolution, fear and despair. Not the kind of resolution that drives you toward success, but the kind that leaves you resolved to an endless stream of tomorrows not much better your todays and nowhere as good as your yesterdays. The fear things will never get better and the despair that flows out of that horrible wasteland of unfulfilled dreams. That’s why the stories of those few courageous individuals willing, perhaps even anxious to swim upstream are so inspiring.

It’s because they are doing or have done that which the majority of our friends and neighbors, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, are terrified to even contemplate: afraid of failing, afraid of looking foolish, afraid because no one has even thought about doing it before – although, someone probably has. Just, afraid…

Steven Pressfield named this evil, the evil that would have you stall, crash and burn before you ever leave the ground, the Resistance. Seth Godin simply refers to it as the Lizard Brain. It is the cold black wall that obscures your vision and blocks your way.old grunge wall

Breaking through it isn’t particularly easy. Neither is climbing over it. Punching through seems equally impossible. Overcoming the Resistance, defeating the Lizard Brain is work: hard work! That’s why Julien Smith and Chris Brogan refer to the hard work of success as the Grind.

But, hard work, difficult work, tedious, uncomfortable and sometimes even unpleasant work is all too often the only way to achieve the goals and objectives you want, need and expect out of life – this life – your life.

I can address these issues because I have more than a little experience when it comes to throwing myself against that cold, black wall: even a little experience breaking through every once in a while.

I wish I could tell you there is a trick or some magic way to eliminate the Resistance or avoid the Lizard Brain, but there isn’t. These are primal defense mechanisms buried deep in the unconscious mind designed to keep us safe despite our best efforts to do otherwise.

There are tools that can and often make the work of success easier to manage, however. But, using those tools skillfully often requires mastery; and, achieving mastery demands dedication, determination and discipline. So, no matter what you try or where you go you’re back to doing the work all over again.

Consequently, the best way to get the work done is to just start doing it! And, yes, it’s just that simple!

The tools, tricks and devices that are out there are just that. Nothing more. Nothing less.

What you really need to power you forward is a Vision for the future: your future. A Vision strong enough to pull you out of the your past, through the present and into that future. What you really need is courage, the courage and confidence to raise your best foot and move it just one step closer to that better future, because the only way to reach your destination… The only way to get to where you need to be, is to go there.