Auto Shop Coaching Blog

How to Become Unstoppable

“The only real failure is the failure to try.”Deborah Moggach

What is really stopping you? As I reflect on this question, I’m reminded of a story that was written in the book Go For No, by Richard Fenton.

Fenton tells the story of a Chicago Insurance Company struggling to sell policies.

The typical agent was only selling two policies per month and the executive board was getting desperate. The CEO decided to call in a well-known sales consultant to help them improve.

After spending thirty minutes reviewing reports and talking with the agents, the consultant communicated the following message to the leadership team:

“Your people aren’t making enough sales calls!”

Sensing their disbelief, the sales guru asked them to participate in an experiment. Each agent would spend the day in a randomly assigned territory selling door to door to new prospects.

When the potential customer answered the door, the rep was only allowed to say: “You don’t want to buy life insurance today, do you?”

At the end of the day, they met back at the office to report their results.

Even with their subpar sales pitch, each agent sold at least one policy! Each rep visited sixty prospects and was rejected an average of fifty-nine times, most with doors slammed in their faces!

Their day was a complete waste, right? Guess again.

The consultant used these findings to prove each seller needed to experience fifty-nine daily failures to achieve their goal of one sale per day!

What was really stopping the sales reps? Pay close attention to the next sentence because the same issue may be impacting you:

It was their perspective on failure that blocked their success.

Once you have the correct perspective on failure, you become unstoppable. By now you may be thinking, “Thanks for sharing Twiggs, but what does this have to do with my shop?”

Well, keep reading because, like the door to door insurance salesmen, I will be on your street soon!

Ideas to grow your businessWant more tips for how to embrace your struggles and fill your bays? Discover valuable ideas and strategies in ATI’s free webinar Beyond COVID—A 5-Step Plan to Rapid Recovery.

Embrace the Struggle

Think about that shop owner in your 20 group whom you admire. We’ll call him “Mike.”

You see him on stage at the SuperConference celebrating his success. You hear the other members in your group congratulating him on his results.

When Mike announces that he’s opening a third location, you feel envious.

As you take a sip of Gatorade, the following thought crosses your mind: “If I could be like Mike.”

What you don’t see is the struggle that led to these moments. For example, you don’t see that day when his best technician left for the competitor.

You don’t see that day when Mike ran the employment ad for a state inspector, and only the forklift drivers applied.

You don’t see that day when he spent $1,900 on a new acquisition mailer that resulted in a $19.00 oil change.

If you aspire to become unstoppable, just look up the words “struggle” and “success” in the dictionary. As you turn the pages, you will see that you get to “struggle” before you arrive at “success.”

Most people see someone who appears to be successful and attempt to become like them. When they encounter the inevitable struggle, they stop.

If you embrace the struggle, you can become unstoppable.

Embracing the Struggle at Your Shop

The Center for Creative Leadership has what they refer to as the 70-20-10 rule of leadership development.

They conclude that 10% of a leader’s development comes from courses and books 20% from mentors and networks.

But 70% of a leader’s development happens because of on the job challenges and experiences!

Here are some examples of common on the job challenges along with what you can do to embrace the struggle:

Hiring: Commit to the specific number of interviews you will do each week and stick to it no matter how many unqualified people you speak with.

Car Count: Commit to executing a set number of follow up calls per day no matter how many voicemails you get.

Fleet Acquisition: Commit to a set number of companies you will contact each week and stick to it no matter how many rejections you receive.

Estimate Presentation: Commit to presenting the complete estimate no matter how many times you hear, “I can get that cheaper down the road.”

Refusing to give up when you face these challenges will result in developing into an unstoppable leader.


So, there you have it. Embracing the struggle is the key to becoming unstoppable. You can make more “dough” if you Go for No!

For more tips on how to embrace today’s struggles and plan your shop’s comeback, check out our free webinar Beyond COVID—A 5-Step Plan to Rapid Recovery.

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Eric, the Accountability Coach, is an Executive Coach at ATI and has coached since 2009. Eric came to ATI having managed over 60 different automotive repair facilities and having supervised over 500 employees at a given time. He loves seeing members progress beyond what they thought was possible and improve their shop to the point where they can leave for weeks at a time and come back to a business that's better than when they left.