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








“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy…”  

George Bernard Shaw

Have you ever been so captured by an idea it grabs you by the belt and just won’t let you go?

Have you ever had a concept so completely take over your consciousness it bars the door allowing nothing else in: no room for anything else large or small? Something so profound everything you see, everything you do, everything you think about falls into its orbit and is shrouded in its shadow?

I have, and more than once…

In fact, I have a history of ‘big’ ideas, monumental concepts, and epic projects: some I’ve acted upon and others, sadly, I have not. I started an association of qualified automotive repair technicians in the mid-eighties; a group of consummate professionals who believed in this industry and the craft they had been called to. It was one of the most profoundly satisfying things I’ve ever done. It preceded the emergence of the Internet, as we now know it by just a few years: just enough to allow the costs involved in communicating with our members to cripple our growth.

Whatever else it was or could have been it paved the way for others to follow and made the idea of an international network of automotive technicians seem attainable: almost reasonable.

I’ve written about change and growth, respect and pride to an industry in dire need of confidence and reassurance and tried hard to uphold the highest standards of professional performance as an example of what we could achieve if we were willing to do whatever was necessary to stand at the top of that mountain.

I served as the Director of what was at the time the largest network of professional technicians and shop owners in the country and I continue to write, guide, cajole, coerce and lead perhaps the most talented group of entrepreneurs and craftsmen on the planet – too many of whom take the term “independent” far too seriously, at the cost of ignoring the critical importance of the notion of “interdependence.”

I keep throwing myself against the Temple wall trying hard to elevate an industry and all those who struggle to succeed within it to become somehow more and better because they deserve nothing less – you deserve nothing less – and, because I know no other way. You see I can’t help myself. I think too much and then find myself compelled to act on the continual stream of ideas that flows through my mind.

I do it because I can’t help myself. I do it because it needs to be done. I do it on purpose because it appears that making a difference is my purpose!

I’ve just had another such idea… another epic concept: something new, something else that will allow me no peace, no rest, no respite until I share it. Something I believe – something I know – can and will change not only the industry I serve, but nation I love as well. It is elegant in its simplicity… So basic, so elemental, it should have been obvious to almost everyone and yet it has chosen me to torment.

I will be sharing it with within the next couple of days, hoping we can build the support success will require from across the Aftermarket: capital “A.”

Please watch and listen for the updates that will follow.

Until then, remember this is our nation. It doesn’t belong to the politicians, political hacks or pundits. Its course isn’t charted by ‘talking heads,’ commentators or comedians. The current economic crisis may not be of our making, but the future is ours to chart if we can find the courage.

Don’t abdicate that responsibility. People have died to ensure that sacred privilege. Don’t trust our leaders to place our Nation’s best interest above their own. Too many have already demonstrated they are unable or unwilling. By failing to accept the responsibilities that walk hand-in-hand with citizenship: by our failing to do the hard work necessary to ensure a better future, others have moved into the vacuum that was left and ensured their selfish interests would be served first.

What is best for the individual isn’t necessarily what is best for the Nation. But, when executed properly, responsibly and with justice for all people: what is best for this Nation has almost always been best for everyone.

Thank you for stopping by…

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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