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Women In Auto Care – February 2020

Women In Auto Care

This year’s theme is Performance Driven.

I found my tribe. Women who are building leadership skills that help them grow both personally and professionally. There is a vibe at this event I enjoy. Women from all areas of the auto care industry in one room who are making a difference in the industry. Getting different perspectives of the industry broadens my view. Women sharing what is working and lessons learned helps me as a leader, coach, and business owner.

This supportive group has mentoring available. The value of speaking with someone who has been there and navigated through challenges is valuable.

Each year I look forward to our leadership conference to connect with industry peers and make new friends. Traveling affords me the opportunity to get away from the day to day and experience another part of the country. The takeaways are priceless and I’m always grateful when I come home. Check out Women In Auto Care for more information.

Comment below. If you have questions contact me here.

one word

Leadership and Your Word

Keep It Simple

Small business owner have a lot to focus on. Heres a way to keep it simple. Each year I choose a word that represents what I will focus on that year. This year it’s “Self-Care.”

I’m not big on resolutions defined as (To start or stop doing something) Understand, I thrive on accountability.  I own several businesses and accountability is a must for me because it’s the only way to get my desired results.

The one-word idea was introduced to me a few years ago and since then I share it all the time. It’s my non-negotiable for the year. So, I’m including a self-care activity each day. It could be exercise, reading, getting a haircut, a phone call to a friend or a walk in the park. Something that brings me joy and allows me to unplug for a little while. Self-care includes getting enough sleep.

You see, I love what I do and can easily get immersed in a project or idea and want to run with it. In the past this has led to staying up late and throwing off my energy in other areas of my life. I’m sure we can all relate.

My one word helps me to focus on growing to be the best version of myself to best serve my customers/clients, businesses and my family without burning myself out. It’s more than making a living. It’s about making a difference.

Leadership

Business Owner/Leader Mindset

Most small business owners started as operaters in business. As an operator/technician a to-do list works for the tasks that must get done, but as an owner, you’re responsible for

  • the company’s vision 
  • the company’s brand
  • empowering your team

While many business owners are great at making to-do lists. Not as many have a plan. A to-do list should support a plan and without a plan you feel like you’re spinning you wheels. As a result owners say their busy but, they’re not getting their desired results and wonder why.

Sometimes it’s easier to understand with an example outside of your business. If you want to build a home, chances are you wouldn’t just purchase materials and start building. You would have a plan and revise if needed.

Things to consider

  • Location- Family and work?
  • Size – Growing family or downsizing?
  • Budget – Within your means or get in over your head?
  • Lifestyle – Entertain, hobbies, schools, activities, quiet space?

With a plan you feel in control and confident to go ahead with the build, so why don’t most do this with business ownership?

Many business owners started out doing something we enjoyed and became good at it. Then the idea of business ownership takes over. The challenge is the thing that you’re good at requires different skills from the ones needed as a business owner.

In the past you may have been responsible for an area of business such as production, but as an owner and leader, now you’re responsible for the people who are responsible for production. Even if you have a one-person business, this leadership mindset is needed to grow, otherwise you have yourself a job. If you keep doing and not focus on the planning (strategy), you will find yourself spinning your wheels but not moving forward. I suggest trying the one-word approach to keep you focused and aligned this year. Your team, customers and family will notice that you enjoy your business. You will also feel more in control and confident about the decisions you make. Better decisions will help your bottom line by making your business more profitable and sustainable.

It’s Not Your Fault Until it is.

I had some recent conversations with small business owners. All looking for ways to improve an area of their business. The conversations had to do with Sales, Profits, Processes, Customers or Teams. I thought it was interesting, how the conversations and questions came back to teams.

The fact is you can’t grow your business alone without sacrificing another part of your life.  I’ve seen many make sacrifices in their personal life at the expense of their family to turn their business dream into a reality. 

At some point you realize you need a team. Even if it’s adding one person. The biggest mistake owners make is not focusing on their culture. You start with an ad and then work on getting the systems and processes out of your head and documented. These are important steps by not without defining your business culture. Culture is like a magnet. It will attract the right people and repel the rest. Mastery of your business culture will give your business a competitive advantage by making it healthy. (Profitable, Sustainable and Enjoyable)

I find that most owners look outward to make changes when it comes to their team. They usually mention at least one of these areas they would like to improve.

  • Communication
  • Accountability
  • Motivation

 I challenge you to look at this differently. Start your culture journey by looking within. Small business owners have lots of areas they are responsible for. How you show up every day is your choice.

As Owner and Leader

  1. How is your communication? Not only at work but in life. What do the closest people to you say about your communication style? To have a higher level of communication your team needs to be able to discuss things with you. Talking at people or telling them what to do is not communication. Communication involves listening.
  2. How accountable are you? It’s easy to set goals but having a process to achieve them is very different. It’s easy to create habits when your starting out that end up not serving you, your team or your business.
  3. What motivates you each day? You already know what drives you. Motivation is internal. Don’t focus on motivating others. It’s short sighted and you will be continually looking for the next thing.  Your mission and vision will inspire the right people for your team.

Start with Your Core Values

Write them down and live them each day. At the end of the day look for instances where your core values showed up. How would you rate yourself? How do they show up when you’re under pressure?

Assign Outcomes

Most new leaders or business owners will assign tasks instead of outcomes. By assigning a task, people will naturally come back for the next task. When you assign an outcome, people take on the responsibility to get the job done.

Your business will grow as you, the owner grows.  Whether through podcasts, books, blogs, trainings, articles, accountability partners, mentoring, consulting, training or coaching you will discover the “you don’t know what you don’t know” areas in your business.

You will always be learning and building skills so it’s not your fault, until it is your fault because:

  • You’ve identified the challenge
  • You know how to solve it
  • You don’t act on it

Fear will hold many owners back from implementing and achieving.  Have you ever created a story around your fear, justifying it, while another business owner did what you were afraid to do? We’ve all been there personally and professionally. Don’t allow the thing that is holding your business back, be you.