Auto Shop Coaching Blog

How to Achieve the Impossible at Your Shop This Year

“Anything is possible if you have the right strategy.”

Have you ever been asked to achieve the impossible? There’s a story of two sons who were asked by their father to rebuild a brick wall in front of his business. There was only one problem: the sons were twelve and nine years of age!

The twelve-year-old was designated as the project leader, and he and his brother went to work. A year and a half later, the wall was completed! Years later, the oldest son shared the following details to explain how he and his brother achieved the impossible:   

“You don’t try to build a wall. You don’t say, “I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built.” You don’t start there. You say: “I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. And you do that every single day, and soon you’ll have a wall.”

The twelve-year-old grew up to become someone who achieved the impossible on a regular basis. You may have heard of him, some guy named Will Smith, who has starred in films that have grossed over $2.8 billion dollars!  He achieved the impossible one brick at a time.

His success was due to shifting his focus from the solid wall to the single brick. Now, you may be thinking, “Cute Story Twiggs, but what does Will’s wall have to do with me?”

It has everything to do with you.

As you embark on 2018, hiring the right technician may seem impossible. Leaving your shop without the profits leaving with you may seem impossible. Growing your car count after raising your prices may seem impossible.

If you aspire to achieve the impossible, the key is to fall in love with the process. But here’s the problem: focusing on the process doesn’t guarantee that you will achieve your desired outcome.  

So the question becomes, how do you fall in love with the process when the outcome isn’t guaranteed? Keep reading and you will learn my two-step plan.

1. Find Your Motivation

“What’s my motivation?” This is a common question that is raised by actors like Will Smith while preparing for a particular role. The actor wants to find out what’s driving their character to pursue the goal that’s written in the script. The actor knows that he can own the role once he knows why the character wants the goal. 

What’s your motivation? You can become successful at achieving your goal once you know why you want it.

For example, after asking yourself why you want to hire a general manager, you may discover that the desire to be free to attend your daughter’s soccer games is what’s driving you. You’re tired of always having to say, “Daddy’s has to work today.”

This desire for freedom will drive you to refresh your employment ads each week. This desire for freedom will drive you to conduct at least one interview per week.

This desire for freedom will drive you to network with your vendors and tool reps. By finding your motivation, you can fall in love with the process and achieve the impossible!

2. Focus On “Becoming”

Last week, I was speaking with Jessica, the service manager for Cobb Tire, located in South Carolina. We were talking about setting goals and achieving the impossible. She told me that she lost 160 pounds in 2017 by following a strict diet and exercise process. 

“How did you stay motivated to follow your routines?” I asked. Here’s what she said. “I knew that by achieving the goal I would become unstoppable because nobody could tell me that my other goals were impossible!” She kept pressing forward because she was motivated by who she could become in the process of pursuing what she wanted.

What are you focused on becoming? Let’s say you have a goal of finding and keeping the right technicians at your shop this year. To accomplish this, you commit to the process of interviewing at least one person per week. This time next year you will have interviewed 52 technicians.

When it comes to hiring, you would become unstoppable. Nobody would be able to tell you that finding technicians was impossible because out of 52 attempts, you will have found at least one! You would also have several candidates in your Rolodex waiting to come work for you!


So, there you have it. By finding your motivation and focusing on “becoming,” you can achieve the impossible at your shop this year. If you focus more on the process than the outcome, you can build a great shop, one brick at a time!

P.S. Email to receive a listing of The 7 Biggest Blunders of Goal Setting, so that you know what NOT to do in 2018!

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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.