Auto Shop Coaching Blog

How to Achieve a Positive Outcome in a Negative Environment

"Turning pro is a mindset. If we are struggling with fear, self-sabotage, procrastination, self-doubt, etc., the problem is we are thinking like amateurs.”Steven Pressfield

How do you achieve a positive outcome in a negative environment? To answer this question, it helps to understand the concept of home-field advantage. In the sports world, teams that play in front of their home crowd, have a better chance of winning than the visiting road opponent.

For example, in the National Football League, a study found that the home team has won 58% of all games played since 1990.

Playing at home has a positive impact on individual performance as well. Fantasy studied a sampling of average quarterbacks and found that those playing at home scored 22.4 fantasy points per game compared to the road player score 18.15. Why is this?

Home represents a supportive and familiar environment. Players on the home team receive encouragement from the crowd.

The visiting players begin in an unfamiliar hotel room, ride on an unfamiliar bus to an unfamiliar stadium where 70,000 spectators are cheering their failures and cursing their success.

Imagine yourself getting “booed” and cursed out at your service counter on Friday by an angry crowd, each time you go to present an estimate. Your estimate conversion percentage would probably be lower on that day, in comparison to the rest of the week!

It’s easy to understand why a player’s performance would dip when playing a road game right?

Well, consider this: the last six super bowl winning quarterbacks were studied, and it was concluded that they averaged the same amount of fantasy points when playing a road game as they did at home.

Their results remained the same no matter where they played.

By now you’re thinking, “Well Duh! The Super Bowl Winning Quarterbacks are more talented, and that’s why they play better on the road.”

I’ve discovered that it’s not that simple. Read on, so you can learn how to achieve a positive outcome for your shop, in a negative environment. 

Revisit Your Routines

What really separates an average performer from a great one? In his book Talent is Overrated, Geoff Colvin writes about a group of researchers who were looking to answer this question.

They focused on a sampling of violinists at The Music Academy of West Berlin and studied the data that was collected on them over the years.

After analyzing the findings, they discovered that the levels of intellect and musical aptitude between the average and great performers were similar.

The difference was found in their weekly routines.

The great performers practiced by themselves for 24 hours per week, compared to the average violinist who practiced for only 9 hours. 

Whether we’re talking about violinists, quarterbacks, OR SHOP OWNERS, superior routines are what separates the average from the great performer.

Examples from Your World

A discouraging environment can have a negative impact on your self-confidence, making it easier to embrace self-doubt.

The top shop owners have superior routines which allow them to maintain their positive outlook. These routines improve their competence, and competence builds confidence.

For example, the back to school time-frame can feel like a discouraging environment. The Top Shop Owners remain confident because they have superior routines in place to schedule the next appointment.

Losing a key employee can create self-doubt. The superior routine of always hiring breeds confidence in the face of adversity.

News of an incoming hurricane can take the wind out of your sails! The routine of saving 2% of your weekly sales into a business savings account, will win you the cheers and encouragement of your accountant!


So, there you have it. If your days at the shop are starting to feel like a “road game,” the solution is to revisit your routines.

This will improve your confidence and position you to achieve a positive outcome in a negative environment!

P.S. Email me at to receive a checklist of routines that will result in a gross profit improvement in any environment!

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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.