Do you have a personal mantra? Mine once was “God blesses us through change.” I used to be a self-proclaimed “change junkie,” spending the better part of my life looking for new things to try, new ways to serve, new ways to grow my businesses, new ways to reinvent myself along the way. I read everything I could get my hands on that would help me either learn new things, or learn how to do the old things better.
Today, the remains of those decades of my personal development and serial entrepreneurship are packed into a storage space, crammed with all that once inspired me – everything from self-improvement and business books to ways to rule the world from your couch. It’s also loaded with both memories and piles of files from past enterprises – tax returns, client proposals, trophies and certificates recognizing past excellence.
In other words, the artifacts from more than 30 years of my life are now tightly packed into a 10×15-foot space. It’s all there, safe and sound. And it only costs me $181 a month.
Enter more change into my life – I’m now a happy newlywed (a perfect example of the mantra mentioned above). But my beloved isn’t crazy about the fact that I’m spending over two grand a year on preserving the past when I could be using that money to invest in our much brighter future.
So, I began the process of sorting my past into three piles – keep, donate or pitch. And as I opened that first box of treasures, I saw the baseball I saved from my son’s WABL championship game (WABL stands for West Akron Baseball League for those who don’t speak Akronite). And as I picked up the ball, it fell apart in my hand. The hardball is now jelly. My files are now moldy. My treasures now trash.
Thanks to a tiny roof leak, water got into the storage space, slowly rotting away a past that I have been spending a small fortune holding onto.
For a person who has always considered herself to be an advocate of change, it’s ironic that I’ve quietly clung to and the protected boxes of old ideas, personal effects and outdated inspirations. And now I’m painfully aware that – with a new life in both the tire industry and as a bride – there’s little room for any of it.
Worse yet is the fact that the old ideas (books, papers, and other mementos) I have been physically holding onto were costing me money as they quietly deteriorated and lost value under my nose. Not to mention the time wasted in trips made to fill the space with the old when I could’ve instead put my focus on creating something new.
See any similarities to your own business here?
One of the books I found in those boxes (read from damp, warped pages) was about the psychology of creating positive change. It said that humans love the idea of change for the better – we expect it and hope for it – as long as that change happens without requiring any change in their own behaviors. It’s why people say they want to lose weight while making the same bad food choices. It’s why tire dealers say they want their businesses to grow but keep doing things the same way as always, hoping for different results.
According to research, there are two forces that drive lasting change – pain and pleasure. Motivation is fleeting. Promises made to yourself are easily broken. But knowing that what you do or don’t do has a direct impact on the level of long-term pain in your life can be a powerful driver. It’s why people commit to quit smoking only after a heart attack. It’s why the fresh resolve to lose weight comes only after your beach vacation (after seeing those photos of you – and your belly – tagged on Facebook).
For many of us, living with the pain you know may appear to be a better option than embracing the risk of the unknown. “A bird in the hand…” stems from this ideology. But it’s also what holds us back from our full potential.
Pain takes many different forms.
For instance, ATD has suffered pain from the loss of both Goodyear and Bridgestone’s passenger tire business. As a result, it’s forced them to reinvent and focus on digital innovation to continue to provide value to their customers.
For tire businesses, perhaps that motivation to “step things up a notch” gets momentum when industry consolidation turns a weak local competitor into a mega-dealer threat. Or when you start sending too many jobs to the shop across town because you lack the right equipment to properly service the vehicles coming into your bays.
Think about the pain points around your business.
Is there a great technician who is a pain to deal with, but you can’t afford to lose them or their billable hour rate? Or would getting rid of them lift the spirits of the entire team and increase overall productivity?
Is there a service that you’d like to perform but installing the right equipment would require redesigning the back of shop? Or would you like to get your people certified but can’t afford to have them out of the shop to get the training required?
Over the past several months, Tire Review has been focused on the many changes taking place within the industry. From consolidation to shifts in consumer buying preferences and technological advancements, we do our best to keep you informed of the issues, trends and technologies so you can make better decisions for your business.
Change is coming. Take a lesson from my storage unit – it’s expensive to hang onto things that no longer serve you and add value, protecting a past that is becoming quickly outdated. Don’t let the pain sneak up on you.
To your success,