Written by mitch. 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!

Free Fall…

Written by mitch. 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!