Words Matter…

Written by mitch. Posted in Aftermarket, Blog, Consumer, Distribution, General Community, Manufacturing, Personal, Repair Community

We think in images. But, since we can’t all be Rembrandt’s (I’m more a Dali or a Picasso!), we struggle to communicate those images in pictures painted with words.

There is a chapter in the book I’m just finishing that deals with what I refer to as “D” Words.

I think “D” Words are important. So important I’ve been writing about them for a very long time. So long, they found a place in the 8-volume management series I wrote and published in 2003.

But, “D” Words can be sneaky, especially if you ‘string’ a bunch of them together. Especially, when you build an entire chapter around their importance. Which is exactly what I did in the book.

The first four “D” Words I talked about were Desire, Discipline, Determination and Drive.

I suggested these four words (among a few others) are the foundational elements of character: the very core of who we are. And, that Character – an essential “C” Word – is all about the choices we make when no one is looking. When no one is around to witness those choices.

Other than myself and a dear friend who is helping me with the final research necessary to complete the book, our son, Ryan, is the only one on the planet who has seen the manuscript.

He liked it! Really, liked it… But, he did have a question. He wanted to know why I felt compelled to string so many “D” Words, so similar in meaning together.

Like all of his comments, I took his question seriously. So seriously, I eneded up rewriting the entire chapter! I rewrote the chapter, because while similar, these words are different: different enough to make them even more meaningful when used together.

Here’s how I see those differences. But, in all honesty, I’d be really interested to learn how you see them…

Desire, simply stated, is something you want: something you would like.

Think about everyone you know… Think about the human condition… There are things we’d all would like.

We’ve all got desires of one kind or another, both personal and professional.

“I want to run a marathon! I’d like to win the Lottery… I need to take my business to over $1,000,000 or $ 2,000,000 in Sales!

The question is, what do we do with those desires. And, the sad commentary is most of us do nothing more than fantasize about them.

Most of us are satisfied to use those desires to fuel our daydreams and not much else. We’re not willing to take the ‘next step’ and Do the Work!

For Desires to be more than the stuff daydreams are made of: somewhere, somehow, someone has to sprinkle them with a little Action!

Discipline is important. Critical, in fact.

Discipline is the mental toughness it takes to do what has to be done: what needs to be done, even when you aren’t motivated to do it!

But, it also implies negative consequences associated with failure.

Discipline works best when you are motivated, of course… But, it doesn’t have to work that way!

Drive is really all about motivation: selfmotivation. As in, ‘I am driven to fix my business!’ Or, I am driven ‘to break that bad habit!’

Certainly, there are external forces that could drive you to do something. Even, something you don’t really want to do. But, for the most part, when we talk about Drive, we’re talking about the fire in your belly that compels you to do whatever has to be done.

Like most words, Determination can have more than one meaning. But, when I talk about Determination, you can be pretty sure I’m talking about firmness of purpose: about being resolute.

You can have Desire, but without Determination, Discipline and Drive you’ve got another “D” Word: Dreaming.

You can have Determination, but without Desire, Discipline and Drive, your efforts will probably remain unfocused: diffused.

You can be Disciplined, but without Determination, Drive and Desire you just might find yourself wondering, Disciplined to what end!

And, finally, you may find yourself Driven: propelled toward a certain goal or objective, but without Desire, Determination and Discipline, the chances are high your journey will take longer and cost more both physically and emotionally, than it would if all four “D” works were working in concert!

There is one more “D” Word that should be considered in a discussion of “D” Words, and that is Dedication. It just may be the most powerful of all the “D” Words, because it speaks to a critical “P” Word: Passion. Your Passion for whatever it is you are doing. Your commitment to see that task through to completion, regardless.

Regardless of the inconvenience. Regardless of the difficulties. Regardless of the obstacles. Regardless of the cost…”

Words matter… All the “D” Words mentioned above… Along with a bunch of “C” Words like Courage, Commitment, Character, Care and Concern. And, some “P” Words, like the Passion, Principled, Perception and Perfection!

They matter even more when they form the building blocks of a very special “L” Word:  a word like, Leadership!

There! I’ve Gone And Done It…

Written by mitch. Posted in Aftermarket, Blog, Consumer, Distribution, General Community, Manufacturing, Personal, Repair Community, Uncategorized

I’ve taught enough classes on Goals & Objectives to recognize just how important it is to share those Goals & Objectives publically when it’s time to accomplish whatever it is you’ve set out to do.

It should be a ‘No-Brainer,’ as there is nothing less at stake than your dreams. So, it’s only reasonable to assume that having an army of people close to  you constantly asking:

“How you doin’ with those Goals & Objectives you said you would have completed by last Thursday?

Everything goin’ OK?

They done yet?”

would be enough… All the pressure any of us would need to move forward.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Not because publicly posting your Goals & Objectives doesn’t work. It does! But, it only works if you do it, and most of us don’t.

In fact, most of us don’t have written goals and objectives at all, and wouldn’t post them publicly if they did! The fear is overwhelming!

I know this from personal experience as I was among the many who could not – Or, would not – bring themselves to share their Goals & Objectives with anyone!

Nevertheless, I’ve decided to post two of my professional Goals here – along with my personal Mission Statement. They are two (2) of the Primary Goals  I shared with my altMBA12 Cohort during my participation in Seth Godin’s altMBA Program, an experience that appeared in the October 2017 issue of Ratchet+Wrench.

 

 

It was an experience that changed my life.

I keep the Mission Statement in my wallet… and these two (2) Goals & Objectives on top of the printer on my desk. I keep them on the printer so I can look at them every time I need to move them in order to print something !

The Mission Statement is a constant reminder of who I am and why I do what I do. It reads:

To benefit, enrich and improve the lives of others by sharing my personal knowledge and experience through my writing, speaking and interactions… 

That’s the bar: the standard I use to evaluate every task, every request, every demand on my time. It’s the standard to which I hold myself accountable. It’s important because of what I’ve been doing with myself over the past four months.

Professional Goal #1

Staying in the game…

To increase my reach as an Industry leader through my writing, blogging, video blogging, speaking, presentations and seminar work.

Professional Goal #2 

Finish Misfire…

Finish Misfire: the management allegory I’ve been “playing with” for years. 

The interesting thing about Goals & Objectives is that they are subject to change depending upon circumstance. At the beginning of the altMBA process I would have told you – as I told all the members of my Cohort – that my Primary Goal, the most important and effective use of my time, the most consistent with my personal Mission, would have been to dive headfirst into filling the pages of this website.

I believed with a perfect faith that’s what I would have to do to best serve my Mission. Then, as I worked my way through the alt process I realized that I had been lying to myself and everyone else. What bubbled to the surface was the realization that the single most important thing I could do: for myself… and, quite possibly everyone else, was complete the book.

As a result of that realization and my commitment to face that fear, I dove headfirst into the cold, lonely, frightening and insecure depths of my imagination and started writing. I approached completing the book with the same obsessive/compulsive energy I bring to just about every project I’m passionate about. And, here’s something I never really thought I’d ever be able to say despite having already completed an 8-Volume Automotive Shop Management series!

With the exception of some “light” technical research and adding a little more depth to one or two of the characters, it’s DONE!

Done to the point I actually allowed two other human beings to read it and tear it apart… But, neither did! Tear it apart, that is!

In fact, they both liked it!

Now, my priorities are to complete the manuscript and then figure out what to do with it: how best to present it to you and the world. That, and move on to Goal #1!

Here’s where you come in…

A goal, written or otherwise, is nothing more than a wish or a dream if it isn’t accompanied by a deadline…

When I finished the altMBA program in late August of this year, my commitment was to have the manuscript completely finished and ready for a professional edit by the end of February 2018. I’ll have the reasearch I need completed by mid-January and then it’s six weeks to the finish line.

I’m writing again… More and more! Writing about the automotive service aftermarket and the repair community, two things I’ve always cared deeply about. But, I’ve also decided that I have things to say about other topics as well, and I’ll be addressing some of those as we move forward.

So, here’s my email address: mitch@mitchschneidersworld.com

If there’s something you have a question about or something you want to vent about: something that’s really bothering you about our industry – where it is and/or where it’s going – Or, anything else… Let me know! Email me!

If you’re interested in what’s happening with the book… Any of my other projects or anything else I’m involved with… Email me!

If you think there is something worthy of praise that needs to be illuminated: something (Or, someone!) that makes you particularly proud of who you are and what you do – Email me!

If you think there is an issue – Something that has nothing to do with the Aftermarket – Something that should be addressed, but hasn’t been – You get it! You know what to do! Email me!

If you feel inspired to write down your own goals and objectives and are willing to be held accountable… Well, then, let me know and I’ll email you!