Auto Shop Coaching Blog

How to Experience Victory in the Valley

"The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it."Lou Holtz

There’s a story of a traveler who was on a journey from one village to another. As he was walking, he noticed a monk tilling the ground. He asked the monk the following question: “I’m traveling from the village in the mountains to the village in the valley and I was wondering if you knew what it was like in the valley?

“What was your experience in the mountains like?” asked the monk.

“Terrible!” replied the traveler. “I’m glad to get away from that place! The people were unwelcoming and rude. They don’t take kindly to strangers!”

“I’m sorry to tell you, but I think your experience will be the same in the valley,” said the monk. The traveler hung his head and went his way.

Several months later another traveler was headed down the same road and came across the same monk. The traveler posed the same question: “I’m coming from the village in the mountain and headed to the village in the valley. What’s it like in the valley?

“What was it like in the mountains? Asked the monk.

“It was great!” the traveler replied. “Everyone treated me like family and welcomed me with open arms. I’m sad to have left.”

To which the monk replied, “I think you will find it much the same in the valley.”

The monk offered a different perspective on the same place because he recognized the following truth: You take yourself wherever you go!

You may feel like you’re headed for a “valley” as you journey toward your shop goals. Stay with me to discover what you need to understand to experience victory in the valley! But first, here’s an example from your world.

Ideas to grow your businessDiscover valuable tips and strategies for how to experience victory, improve your bottom-line, and grow your business. Register for ATI’s free webinar.

An Example from Your World

By now you’re probably thinking: “Great monk story, Twiggs, but what does this have to do with me?”

Since you haven’t met a monk who was tilling the ground lately, allow me to share an example that hits closer to home.

Back when I was a district manager, I had a location in Northern VA, where “Sam,” the store manager, struggled to keep the shop staffed.

His motto must have been, “Always Be Shorthanded,” and he consistently complained that there weren’t any good people in his area. Sam spent most of his days working in the bays instead of on the business. (Sound like anyone you know?)

Unfortunately, I had to promote Sam to the title of “Customer,” and replace him with “Barry,” a manager from another location. Within three weeks of Barry’s arrival, the shop that was always understaffed was now fully staffed.

Barry had to create a waiting list file for additional applicants because he had more qualified techs wanting to work than he had room for!

The location that I pulled Barry from was fully staffed when he left but was chronically understaffed when he first took over, proving that the area was never the problem. He took himself wherever he went!

Now that we’ve established the real source of the problem, we’re ready to discuss what you need to understand to experience victory in the valley.

Own the Problem

Here’s what you need to understand to experience victory in the valley: If you’re failing to achieve a specific result at your shop, there are three possible reasons.

  1. There’s something you don’t know.
  2. There’s something you know but aren’t doing.
  3. There’s the combination of not knowing what to do and not doing what you know that’s impacting you.

Let’s use Sam and Barry as our example. Unlike Barry, Sam didn’t know to post a “Career Opportunities” banner in front of his building. He knew he should dedicate at least 30 minutes per day to hiring-related activities but he didn’t do it.

The combination of now knowing what to do and not doing what he knew, kept him in the valley. What’s keeping you in the valley?

It’s important to answer this question, because you may be one implemented idea away from experiencing success.

Your one idea may be found by attending SuperConference. Your one idea may be identified by attending your next ATI class. You may find your one idea by actually doing what your coach suggested on the previous call!

The bottom line is that you won’t feel motivated to seek the solution until you own the problem.


As I close, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that the three reasons for failure each have you in common. The good news is that owning the problem can take you on a journey from a mountain of frustration to the valley of fulfillment.

When you become the problem and the solution you will experience victory in the valley!

For more tips on how to achieve specific results and run a productive, profitable shop, check out our free webinar.

Print Friendly
Related Articles:
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.