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Success Leaves Clues: An Automotive Industry Podcast
45 minutes | Jan 13, 2023
From Working In the Fields to Millionaire Shop Owner with Juan Acevedo
There’s a saying that says, “You can’t change your stars” It implies that the family line, situation, or status you are born into will determine what you can accomplish and how far you can succeed. Challenging this notion is the very essence of the American Dream, which declares: “Anything is possible with God, grit, and determination.” Few people I know embody this better than my guest Juan Acevedo of Trustlane Automotive in Salinas, CA. Juan’s story proves that you can accomplish great things despite your circumstances. In this episode, Juan will share his incredible journey and truths you can apply to your life and business. Thanks to our sponsors, Leads Near Me and Shop Fix Academy. They serve our industry and help make this show possible. Learn more about them below. Leads Near Me is a full-service online digital presence provider for automotive repair shops. Let Leads Near Me effortlessly increase your car count by reaching them at 888-953-2379 or by visiting them online at LeadsNearMe.com Shop Fix Acadamy’s sole purpose is to stop the average small business from destroying the average family. Call 615-645-3683 to speak to someone on our leadership team about seeing if Shop Fix Acadamy is a good fit for your shop. Learn more at ShopFixAcademy.com
41 minutes | Dec 30, 2022
Don't Walk Through Hell Alone with Adam Preusser
Sometimes things at our shops take some pretty sharp turns, and sometimes those turns are into a ditch, but other times it’s straight into a canyon! What do you do? Perhaps it's ego, but for many of us, the first instinct is to hide the pain and fear and try to figure it out on our own. When we are alone, stuck in our heads, in fear, and experiencing pain, it’s hard to think and move forward. Years ago, our guest Adam Preuesser of Motor Works in Minnesota found himself in that canyon. In this episode, Adam will share what happened, how he got out, and how that foundation helped him build an incredible multi-location operation and a life of impact. Thanks to our sponsors, Leads Near Me and Shop Fix Academy. They serve our industry and help make this show possible. Learn more about them below. Leads Near Me is a full-service online digital presence provider for automotive repair shops. Let Leads Near Me effortlessly increase your car count by reaching them at 888-953-2379 or by visiting them online at LeadsNearMe.com Shop Fix Acadamy’s sole purpose is to stop the average small business from destroying the average family. Call 615-645-3683 to speak to someone on our leadership team about seeing if Shop Fix Acadamy is a good fit for your shop. Learn more at ShopFixAcademy.com
49 minutes | Dec 16, 2022
Becoming a Resilient Shop Owner Who Can Overcome Anything with Stan Andrewski
Becoming resilient is one of the most critical traits to becoming a successful shop owner, tech, advisor, or anyone else in this challenging industry. In my observation, resilience is the ability to MOVE FORWARD from the traumas, setbacks, and embarrassments from the past. It’s the ability to acknowledge the past but not get stuck in it. It’s looking forward with hope. This trait allows you to overcome excuses, have self-discipline, and have genuine joy in the present moment. Stan Andrewski of Certified Auto Repair in VA embodies resilience. He has overcome a difficult past and found the strategies that allowed him to cultivate resilience and create an incredible life. The clues he leaves apply to anyone trying to move from surviving to thriving. Thanks to our sponsors, Leads Near Me and Shop Fix Academy. They serve our industry and help make this show possible. Learn more about them below. Leads Near Me is a full-service online digital presence provider for automotive repair shops. Let Leads Near Me effortlessly increase your car count by reaching them at 888-953-2379 or by visiting them online at LeadsNearMe.com Shop Fix Acadamy’s sole purpose is to stop the average small business from destroying the average family. Call 615-645-3683 to speak to someone on our leadership team about seeing if Shop Fix Acadamy is a good fit for your shop. Learn more at ShopFixAcademy.com
48 minutes | Dec 2, 2022
What If You Had To Start Over From Scratch? With Glenn Todd
What if you had to start over from scratch? Like one day, you have a shop, and the next day you don’t. Where would you start? What resources would you pull from? -- From buildings, to contracts, to hiring, to marketing — as anyone who’s opened a shop from scratch can tell you… it’s a massive undertaking. This is the situation that Glenn Todd of Glenn’s European Auto Repair in PA found himself in. Glenn pulled on his resources, mentors, friends, and incredible self-discipline to create an almost instantly profitable shop in just months. In this episode, Glenn will share this wild story and, in the process, share some incredible clues you can use in your shop whether you're starting out or are decades in. You don’t want to miss this one!
30 minutes | Nov 18, 2022
Redeeming A Relationship with Dad with Veille Arthur
Every son longs to have a good relationship with his dad. Sometimes though, as many, including myself, can attest, that doesn't always happen. Now take that pain, and imagine trying to run a shop together. That's the exact situation that my guest Veille Arthur experienced. For years, Veille and his dad painfully struggled in their relationship and with their shop. Veille was diligent in his pursuit of building the shop into something great while trying to redeem the story of himself and his father.
25 minutes | Nov 11, 2022
How an Unlikely Friendship Became a Triple-Brand Auto Repair Company with Eric Rutherford
This week our guest is Eric Rutherford of Prestige European Auto Service in Florida. This episode explores how an unlikely partnership allowed for the creation of an incredible auto repair brand in Florida. Eric started out as an owner on his own, but then met his business partner, Mike through a very interesting situation (You gotta hear this story!). Eric was a Master Tech, and Mike was from Corporate America. in this episode, Eric drops some incredible strategies which you can use to create a powerful brand of your own!
41 minutes | Oct 21, 2022
From Bartering Repairs for Pepsi to 3 Million in Sales with John Lonas
If you're a tech with a dream to open your own shop or an owner who is not seeing the success you dreamed of, then this episode is made especially for you. Today's guest, John Lonas of Autoworks Service and Repair in Prescott Valley, AZ, has one of the most genuine love for cars of anyone I've met. Sure he has his favorites, but John loves the freedom they create. He transformed this love into a successful career as a tech and then ventured into ownership. He struggled greatly in the beginning, even losing his first shop. On his second shop, many years in, he still found himself chained to the shop, just barely getting by and rarely able to cash his paychecks. At one point, his accountant called his shop the "Titanic." OUCH! John decided this had to change, so he started making critical decisions that dramatically changed his life. In this episode, John will explain what worked for him, who helped him do it, and what life is like now. This episode is truly inspiring.
37 minutes | Oct 14, 2022
The Creation of a Happy and Successful Service Advisor with Ashley Wright
Is it Service Advisor or Service Writer? Either way, it's one of the most critical roles in the shop because if the sales aren't there, the techs don't have hours to turn, and the owner sees no profit. In addition to sales, the Service Advisors or Writers ;) Must be great at multitasking, customer service, logistics, and sometimes even counseling! Great advisors can do these things, create incredible customer experiences all while keeping a smile on their faces, and even have some fun while doing it. I believe those successful in this role aren't just born that way. They bring their natural skills and are fostered by great training and the guidance of a great owner. Today, one of the most successful writers I've met is our guest. Her name is Ashley Wright. I won't mention her shop because some of you may get the idea of trying to hire her. Sorry, she is very happily employed. If you're an owner, you'll learn some inside tips to help your advisors, and if you're an advisor listening, you'll learn some powerful tips and tricks to become a happy and successful advisor too.
27 minutes | Oct 7, 2022
Finding Massive Breakthrough After 16 Years of Complacency with Fred Young
Complacency is a killer. It lulls us into a false sense of security by making us believe that our status quo is good enough or even a safe and prudent place to be. The problem with this mindset is that we shortchange our futures and ignore the possibility that we could be in an even better place. Sometimes it takes being shaken and woken up to see the truth. This happened to my guest Fred Young of Young Automotive in WI. By all counts, his shop was doing fine and cruising along for 16 years, but then he was awakened to the possibility that there was MORE --- more for him, his family, and those connected to his shop. He made some hard choices to break free and become a now growing and thriving business. If you feel like you need to get unstuck, then this is the episode for you!
27 minutes | Sep 30, 2022
Becoming a Compelling Leader with Jay Huh
Becoming a compelling leader unlocks doors to moves that others simply can’t make. Moves like successfully expanding your shop during a global pandemic or growing the revenue by nearly 50% two years in a row. This is exactly what my guest Jay Huh of Carmedix in North Carolina, accomplished. In this process, he discovered four major keys to leading a team to greatness. In our interview, Jay will tell his important story and share the keys he discovered. If you want to be a better leader, this episode is for you!
48 minutes | Aug 19, 2022
Coming out of Addiction and Creating a Thriving Shop with Chris Knuth
It seems if you do just a little research, we can find that addiction is a prevalent trait in many business owners and high-performers. Left unchecked, addiction can create subtle and not-so-subtle problems with our shops and make it hard to live life on life's terms. The good news is that there are solutions and paths we can take to overcome these vices and create a life of wholeness, health, and power. Today's guest, Chris Knuth of Star Motors European Service in CA, will share his journey from being addicted and stuck to recovering and thriving. As you'll learn in the show, part of his journey was to start an incredible non-profit called APAC ATI, which works to solve the technician shortage and change the industry. If you'd like to learn more, here's the link: https://apacati.org/
43 minutes | Aug 12, 2022
Taking Complete Ownership for Our Mistakes with Joe Valind
In shop ownership, sometimes we make big mistakes, experience massive failures, and are presented with incredible challenges. Some of these can hurt a little, but some can create massive pain for us and those connected to us. As leaders in our shops, these circumstances are ultimately our responsibility. This episode's guest, Joe Valind of Auto Saftey Center in WI has experienced the full weight of this concept firsthand with a bad business deal that almost closed his shop. In this episode, Joe will share the intimate details of what happened and, more importantly, how we came out on top.
28 minutes | Jul 22, 2022
The Bank Called Your Note… Now What? with Jonathan Ortiz
"Your note has been pulled." Those are some pretty scary words to hear for almost anyone. The thought brings up many questions: What would you do if that happened to you? How would you survive? Would you lose your shop, your house, your way of life? How do you come back from that? This scenario happened to our guest Jonathan Ortiz of Foreign Affairs Auto in Florida. Not only did he and his family fight and survive through this situation, but they are also now completely thriving. On today’s show, Jonathan will share his incredible story on how to make it through when life tosses you something you can’t control.
23 minutes | Jul 20, 2022
Replay: Breaking Free From Old Identities with Michael Rosenberger
Today is Friday, July 29th, and NEXT WEEK I’m grateful to be a part of the annual Shop Hackers conference in Nashville TN. If you’re attending that conference, please come and say 'hi'! Because of the conference this week I’m reposting one of our top episodes for anyone who’s not heard it. FYI, there won’t be a new episode next week, but on Friday 8/11, and going forward, I’ve got some incredible interviews in the pipeline that I can’t wait for you to hear. This week we revisit my conversation with none other than 26-year industry veteran and Ratchet and Wrench cover star Michael Rosenberger aka "The Berg". Michael started in the industry literally sweeping the floors in his dad's shop. Through a series of big moves, painful blows, and incredible lessons, he now owns 2 great shops in Texas. In the episode, he shares how we broke free from old mindsets and became the owner he needed to be. This was an incredible interview.
20 minutes | Jul 15, 2022
Visiting Shops Across America with Nate Winston
After being in the automotive industry for a while now, one word that comes to mind for me when describing us is COMMUNITY. Though it seems individualism ranks high in the traits of most of us, I’ve experienced that those in our community are incredibly willing to help one another out when called upon. But, how do you ask for help? How do you engage someone you want to connect with, and why is it so important to do that anyway? Our guest, Nate Winston, co-owner of ECP Auto Repair & Service in Ohio, will answer these important questions for us. Nate has made a splash this year on Facebook by visiting nearly a dozen shops and recording his experiences through Facebook Lives. His recordings not only show his experiences, but they set an incredible example of what being in a community can look like. I enjoyed this interview and getting to know Nate… you will too.
32 minutes | Jul 9, 2022
"You're the Problem!" with Todd Baldridge
What if you found out all along you that YOU were the problem that was causing your shop, or even your life to not be where you wanted them to be — that you were the source of your own discontentment and frustration. I feel that so many people run from such a thought because honestly, I think when we acknowledge that we have that much power, it would mean we have to take responsibility and change. It was this train of thought that transformed today’s hero, Todd Baldridge owner of Buckeye Complete Auto care in Columbus OH. Todd owned his responsibility in his situation and it changed everything. This revelation propelled him to create a thriving shop where his team loves working there and his customers have to fight over parking spots just to get in. There are so many great nuggets in this great interview.
38 minutes | Jul 1, 2022
How to Build a Successful Family Business with Doug Hillmuth
Building a business from nothing, growing it into a family empire, and then passing it on to your kids. It’s the full circle. It’s the dream. It’s the goal that so many shop owners have, but how many actually get to see it happen successfully. This episode's guest is Doug Hillmuth, co-founder of Hillmuth Certified Automotive in Maryland. Doug actually accomplished the dream. In this episode, he'll share how he did it. If this is your dream too, then this is THE episode you need to listen to.
48 minutes | Jun 24, 2022
From Angry and Burnt Out to Thriving with Joe Stokes
Angry, burnt-out, and stuck. Those are some words that would describe where Joe Stokes found himself years ago. He was an incredible tech, made good money, and by all counts lived a good life, but he was miserable. He was angry. He was burnt out. His state became unbearable. He found himself forced to make a choice to either give in to the despair or somehow find a way to break free. Luckily, Joe found the way out, and in this powerful episode, he'll reveal how he did it and call you to do the same. Joe Stokes has been in the auto industry for 20+ years. He is the District Manager for EuroFix, AutoFix, and Mike's Auto in Nashville TN. Joseph’s Reading List Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson Radical Candor by Kim Scott The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink, Leif Babin The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu The Like Switch by Jack Schafer The Ultimate Jim Rohn Library by Jim Rohn The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey Leadership & Self Deception by The Arbinger Institute How to win friends & influence people by Dale Carnegie Who not How by Dan Sullivan Crucial Confrontation by Kerry Patterson Motive by Patrick Lencioni The 5 dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni Leadership 2.0 by Travis Bradberry How to do the work by Dr. Nicole LePera The Tao of Seneca by Seneca/Tim Ferris Exactly What to Say by Phil M Jones
33 minutes | Jun 17, 2022
The Long Journey to an Overnight Success with Ashleigh Civitello
During my years in the industry, I’ve heard many stories of how owners started their shops. Of those, there are a few stories that come to mind of owners that seemed to have almost overnight success with their new shops. While these stories can be inspirational, more commonly those that observe the overnight success may miss the power of the journey that was traveled to actually get there. In this episode, we’re going to pull back the curtain on one of those stories. Our guest is Ashleigh Civitello of Simply Euro Automotive Repair in Castle Pines CO. Ashleigh opened her shop during the pandemic, but had cars from day one, and achieved profitability within 90 days — by all counts an overnight success. In this powerful interview, Ashleigh will share the journey she went on and reveal the clues that allowed her to have such success. And here’s a hint… it was not an overnight journey.
30 minutes | Jun 9, 2022
The Power of Becoming Less Important at Your Shop with Will Dunford
Are you an owner or manager who feels ineffective, overwhelmed, or stuck in "Mom/Dad Syndrome" at your shop? Or do you struggle to get your team to trust and listen to you? If so, then THIS is the PERFECT episode for you. And frankly, even if you think you’ve got it figured out in this area, this is still a great episode and worth your time. Being an incredible leader was a learned skill for guest, Will Dunford… but it’s one that he now excels in. Will is the regional manager for the Atlanta market for the Simply True Auto Group. In this powerful interview, you’ll learn how to get your employees to finally trust you and lead them to create a win-win situation for the shop and them personally.
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