Free Fall…

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



I’m not afraid of heights. I should be, but I’m not…

That doesn’t mean I enjoy finding myself perched up above the world so high: feet pressed tightly together, back against the wall, fingers desperately searching for something to grab hold of – anything to grab hold off – on the ledge of an unenclosed aerie somewhere.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

It isn’t that I have no fear of heights or the dangers inherent in falling that precipitates that anxiety… Everyone should experience at least some apprehension when they are getting ready to climb over the railing or step off the ledge. Anything less should be a healthy reason for concern.

I understand that rush of anxiety because I’ve felt it before, more than once.

It isn’t the fear of falling I have to overcome that inhibits me from crawling to the edge of the abyss… It is the overwhelming belief that I can step off the edge and actually fly that scares the hell out of me!

You see whenever I find myself standing on that ledge, looking down with my toes curled tightly over the edge, I not only know I can fly… I can’t wait to prove it!

Realistically, this is not the healthiest of neuroses.  But, rather than allow it to cripple me: to prevent me from ever looking out over some of the incredible panoramas I’ve been privileged to experience; I recognize and embrace my fears, take a deep breath, approach the edge, confront the desire to jump, white-knuckle the railing, and hold on to whatever I can find with every ounce of strength I can muster!

Don’t worry. I’m not crazy enough to step off the ledge, at least not yet. I know I can’t really fly and perhaps more important, I know what would happen if I was delusional enough to try!

I also recognize how important it is to overcome the fear, apprehension and anxiety associated with finding yourself on the edge. More than that, I finally understand just how important it is to put yourself there in order to test yourself: in order to overcome.

If you’re a shop owner you may understand what that really means: to you, your family, your employees, your clients and your community.

When you find yourself standing in the driveway, ready to unlock the door and swing the gate open, you’ve already reached the mouth of the cave and walked out on to the ledge. You’re already poised at the precipice. And, when you step inside, across that threshold, you’ve essentially climbed over the railing and allowed gravity to take its course. You’ve already stepped off the observation deck or the side of the mountain.

Unless you’re expecting the call, you don’t know who is calling when the phone rings. And, unless that client has called, you have no idea what’s wrong with that ’08 Camry that just pulled down the driveway.

The minute you engage you’re in free-fall and unless you are a B.A.S.E.-Jumper and your chute is packed properly, you’re pretty much on your own.

But, that isn’t the real issue, is it? We’re all forced to step off the cliff… Or, that bridge… Or, the antennae or ledge from time to time, aren’t we? We’re all forced to deal with the unknown: the incomprehensible.

If we are reluctant to call it “Life,” we should feel comfortable simply calling it entrepreneurship; or, maybe even just business.

The truth is we can’t move forward without leaning forward, and we cannot lean forward without the risk of falling. The risk is just as real as the fear and both must be conquered before movement of any kind can or will occur.

I’m not altogether comfortable with that, but I am unwilling to forgo the possible wonder and beauty that surrounds us all by surrendering myself to the natural fear of falling or the desire to fly.

Being out there on the edge is more than worth it.

Besides, Free Falling is only uncomfortable if you are continually looking down at the rapidly approaching terrain. It isn’t nearly as bad if you choose to look out and around! And, who knows, if you’re clever enough to have a parachute: one that works, there is no end to the beauty and wonder that’s out there… No limit to what you might see!

If this is your first visit, Welcome!

Thank’s for dropping by… I hope it will be the first of many such visits! Feel free to offer any suggestions or add topics you would like to see explored here. Let me know if you have a specific request for any live or webcasts too. As far as I’m concerned, this is our space and we can pretty much do with it what we want. The only thing I ask for is your participation.

Till then, stay well, take care, make money, have fun and don’t do business with anyone you don’t like. There is probably a very good reason you don’t like them and you don’t really need to find out what that reason is!

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I am a fourth generation, forty-sixy year veteran of the automotive aftermarket: an ASE Certified Master Technician, Service Consultant and Approved Automotive Manager. I grew up in this business with a passion for all things mechanical, particularly those things relating to performance. That passion grew to include all aspects of management, leadership and personal development with a special focus on every day shop operations which resulted in an eight-volume series on automotive shop management published by Cengage Learning and Thomson Publishing. I have been a trade journalist writing to the aftermarket for almost thirty years, devoting my professional life to improving both the image and experience of everyone struggling to succeed in the service industry and I've worked diligently to improve communication and increase understanding between all segments of my industry. This site and everything on it is both an extension and a continuation of those efforts

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