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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.

10 Business Lessons I’ve Learned

Small Business

Whether you’re a new business owner or have been a business owner for decades there are lessons to be learned at each of the 5 stages of business. The key word being learned. While most owners look for ways to be more profitable, profitability is only one part of achieving a healthy business. A healthy business is one that is profitable, sustainable and enjoyable. When focusing only on profits it’s easy to work at a level that is not sustainable or enjoyable. Those closest to you usually try make you aware of it, but letting you know you’re working all of the time. It’s difficult to build a team with a model that is not sustainable or enjoyable even if it is profitable at first.

I’ve learned many lessons over the years that have helped me build a healthy business, by doing the work. The difference between a successful business and an unsuccessful one starts with the owner’s mindset.  

Lessons Learned by Doing

  • BE OPTIMISTIC – Is the glass hapf empty or half full. Having reasonable optimism helps you realize opportunities and attract positive people. This is about how you show up each day. Starting the day with gratitude helps.
  • MAKE DECISIONS​ – Don’t just talk about the problems. Identify them but focus on the solutions and implementing. Take chances by believing in yourself and the people you surround yourself with. Know that everything can be figured out. 
  • YOUR TEAM IS YOUR BIGGEST ASSET – You’re are only as good as the team around you. Hire smart people and allow them to do their job and own their role. If you find yourself telling them what to do, or doing it yourself, you’re not leading. Take care of them.
  • RESPECT EVERY JOB– Look for the dignity and excellence in every role and part of your business. Every person you connect with is important to your business success. Be an example of professionalism each day.
  • ENCOURAGE DISCUSSIONS – Be open to different ideas. Be approachable. Your way is not the only way. People will be open when they feel valued and heard. Appreciate others.
  • WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS MORE THAN IN YOUR BUSINESS – Understand that in the beginning you are doing it all. Don’t use that as an excuse to not look at the big picture. Busy doesn’t mean productive. A business will grow as the owner grows. Develop yourself both personally and professionally.
  • HAVE A VISION AND A MODEL TO MAKE IT HAPPEN​ – What does the end look like? (Vision is the future) Define your success.) How will we get there? (Model is the framework you use daily) Take time to plan your future. Don’t allow it to just happen.
  • ADMIT AND LEARN FROM MISTAKES – Admit mistakes then learn from them so you don’t keep making them. Know someone that hasn’t learned their lesson yet.  Don’t allow yourself to be the bottleneck in your business.
  • ASK FOR HELP – Develop this skill because it’s a strength. If you surround yourself with good people you will be inspired to be your best. Asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness. You’re not supposed to know it all.
  • MAKE TIME FOR BREAKS – Daily moments to clear your head and longer breaks to get away from the day-to-day. Your ideas and creativity will flow. We all have different versions of ourselves. (Parent, Spouse or Partner) Allow yourself time to use your creative imagination.

As a business owner and leadership coach/speaker, I learn something every day from my team, customers/clients, peers and suppliers/vendors. These insights help me to better serve my team, customers/clients and community. (Subscribe to receive my weekly behind the scenes insight emails.) The relationships I build, fuel me and my continued passion to serve trade business owners, the trade industries and the good people in it. You can do the same for your business.