Auto Shop Coaching Blog

My Biggest Regret as an ATI Coach

“The best time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining.”John F. Kennedy

Imagine me pulling up to your shop in a shiny, black, 2018 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 Coupe. It’s fully equipped to include the 8-cylinder engine, 18-inch aluminum wheels, leather bucket seats, a sunroof, and the leather-upholstered dashboard. As we begin to discuss the car, our conversation shifts to my warranty coverage.

“So, what does your extended warranty cover?” you ask. Imagine if I replied with the following response: “I decided not to go with any coverage since I never had any issues with my last car. As a matter of fact, I plan to call Geico today and cancel my auto insurance plan. I’ve never been in an accident, so why do I need insurance?”

If you were to fill out an ATI Takeaway Worksheet based on our conversation, you would probably write “Coach Twiggs is crazy!” After all, it’s crazy to assume that nothing will ever go wrong with the car. It’s crazy to assume that I will never get into an accident.

It’s crazy to not have a contingency plan in place for such a significant investment. Well, you have more invested in your shop than I would have in my Mercedes, so what does your contingency plan look like?

What is the contingency plan for your shop that would cover you if you were to have an accident? Do you have the necessary “extended coverage” that would protect you if you were to lose your best employee tomorrow?

As you ponder these questions, I feel the need to share with you my biggest regret as an ATI coach, so here it is: It’s that I didn’t push you harder to cover your contingencies.

It’s Personal

I take it personally when my suggestion to “always be hiringfalls on deaf ears, only to have the same shop owner who ignored my advice lose a key person and get stuck working IN the business. It saddens me to see the loss of money and momentum that could have been easily avoided.

I take it personally when I see a shop owner suffer an unexpected medical emergency and have to be away from their shop for six months at a time. My reaction is never “I told you so!” Instead, it’s “what else could I have told you?”

My feeling of regret ends today because I am committed to pushing harder than ever to ensure that you have the necessary extended coverage. My goal is to help you to embrace “The Blue Man Philosophy.”

The Blue Man Philosophy

In 1987 three close friends decided to paint themselves blue and create music together. Their show was a combination of rock music and entertainment. Chris Wink, Matt Goldman, and Phil Stanton formed The Blue Man Group.

They worked in their business for 14 hours a day performing over 1200 shows together. One fateful night, Phil cut his hand using a power tool and was unable to perform. They were forced to create a contingency plan by bringing in a backup blue man to take his place.

This incident gave them the idea to hire their replacements. Today, The Blue Man Group can perform shows in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Long Island simultaneously while the three founding members are relaxing in Long Beach!

It took Phil cutting his hand to get the group members to change their philosophy. What’s it going to take for you to change your philosophy? What’s it going to take for you to start looking for your replacement?

What’s it going to take for you to recruit even when you’re fully staffed? What’s it going to take for you to create contingency plans so that your shop can thrive with or without you being there?


So, there you have it. If you commit to the process of covering your contingencies, I won’t have anything to regret and you will have no reason to feel blue when you unexpectedly lose a key person from your team.

You can use all the extra money your shop produces to buy yourself a brand-new Mercedes Coupe!

P.S. Email to receive a contingency planning template to help you commit to the process.

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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.