Auto Shop Coaching Blog

The Secret to Feeling Empowered

“If you want to make the world a better place, then look at yourself and make a change.”Michael Jackson

Do you spend more time looking out the window or in the mirror? When car count is climbing, the portal screen is green, and profit is in your pocket, the tendency is to look at yourself in the mirror.

For example, if I were reading your mind, I would hear: “The technician I hired, the marketing plan I implemented, and that sale I converted produced these results.”

However, when car count is down, the portal is red, and the sound of crickets has replaced the sound of a ringing phone, the tendency is to place blame by looking out the window. 

In this instance, I would hear, “It’s an election year, the BG reps say the area is slow, and my coach doesn’t yell at me enough!

What would be possible if you always looked in the mirror instead of out the window?

As a mind reader, I know what you’re thinking: “Thanks for sharing Twiggs, but what does this have to do with me feeling empowered?”

I will explain as you read on. But first, let’s deal with your “dirty windows.”

Ideas to grow your businessWant more tips for how to clean those dirty windows, take control, and grow your business? Discover valuable, easy-to-implement ideas and strategies in ATI’s shop owner events. Register today at

Dirty Windows

The story is told of a young wife named Wendy who was looking out of her window one day. To her surprise, she observed her neighbor hanging dirty laundry on the clothesline.

She turned to her husband Harold and said: “Unbelievable! Someone should teach her how to wash her clothes!”

A few days later, Wendy was once again looking out of her window. But this time, she noticed something different.

“Look, Harold, her clothes are clean! Someone must have finally given her a laundry lesson!”

To which Harold replied: “Actually, Wendy, I woke up this morning and washed the windows.”

Here’s the big takeaway: The problem with always looking out the window is that your vision is limited by your perspective.

For example, the real issue isn’t your local area being down. It could be that you’re looking at it through a “dirty window.”

There are two problems with always looking out the window:

  1. You aren’t getting the real picture
  2. You aren’t empowered to do anything about what you see

The neighbor’s laundry situation wasn’t Wendy’s fault. Your local economy isn’t your fault.

You won’t feel empowered to fix something you can’t control.

Now that we’ve dealt with your dirty windows, let’s focus on where true empowerment comes from.

The Source of Your Empowerment

ATI Fundamental #8 reminds us to Take Responsibility.

Here’s the bottom line: Empowerment comes via responsibility.

So, the secret to feeling empowered is to always look in the mirror.

For example, when you take responsibility for your car count, you will feel empowered to schedule exit appointments.

When you take responsibility for your hiring process, you will feel empowered to change your ad that only attracts forklift drivers.

When you take responsibility for your shop culture, you will feel empowered to attend the engagement class, instead of looking at “those millennials” through the window.


So, there you have it. The secret to feeling empowered is to always look in the mirror.

It’s possible that by ALWAYS looking in the mirror, you will eventually see the reflection of an ATI Top Shop Owner staring back at you!

At ATI, we focus on teaching and coaching shop owners on best practices to get the most out of your automotive repair business. Want to learn more? Find an ATI shop owner event near you.

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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.