Auto Shop Coaching Blog

The Greatest Predictor of Shop Owner Failure

“Predictions are explanations in reverse.”James Carse

In 1991, a group of psychics joined forces to start The Psychic Friends Network. Singer Dionne Warwick was the host of this popular show that used infomercials to attract its customers.

By 1994 the show had aired over 12,000 episodes and was generating $125 million per year! By 1998, the company had declared bankruptcy with $26 million in liabilities and only $1.2 million in assets!

I guess the psychics didn’t see this in their future!

Journalist and former telephone psychic Stephen Glass gave the following explanation for the failure of the Psychic Friends Network:

“They just didn’t change the product enough. If you look at other networks, they do ads focusing on the lottery, on romance, or on work. They just kept re-packaging and re-spinning the same product that only focused on the psychics.”

ATI Fundamental #18 teaches us to Embrace Change. I believe that the greatest predictor of failure is the failure to change. Don’t believe me? Answering the following questions may change your mind:

  • Did you call a taxicab to pick you up from the hotel?
  • Did you go to your local Blockbuster Video this weekend to rent a movie?
  • Will you be standing in line waiting on the new Blackberry phone to come out?
  • Have you shopped your local Montgomery Wards Auto Center to compare labor rates?

Thanks to my psychic powers, I can predict that you will answer no to each question! All four entities either became irrelevant or nonexistent because they failed to change.

What do you see in your future? Keep reading to uncover the two steps that can help you overcome The Greatest Predictor of Shop Owner Failure. 

Ideas to grow your businessChange is hard. Discover valuable, easy-to-implement tips and strategies for change in ATI’s shop owner events. Grow your business and improve your bottom-line. Register today at

Take an Honest Assessment

The first step is to take an honest assessment of your current results in specific areas of your business.  

Remember, if you continue to do what you’ve been doing, you will continue to get what you’ve been getting.

For example, if the technician ad you’ve been running is only attracting the best forklift drivers in town, it’s time to change your ad.

Re-packaging and re-spinning the same ad won’t help!

What about car count? It may be time to revisit your idea of not exit scheduling if your current car count improvement plan isn’t working.

Lastly, let’s look at your pricing. If customers are calling the local napa parts store, and complaining to them that they can get parts cheaper from you it may be time to raise your prices!

Change is the only constant in business. If you embrace it, I predict great things for your future!

Leverage the Power of Peer Groups

If you were given the choice to either change or die, which option would you choose? The answer isn’t as obvious as you think.

In 2005, there was a Fast Company magazine article titled, “Change or Die,” that presented studies conducted with two groups of heart patients. Both groups were warned by their doctors to change their lifestyle in order to live.

After twelve months, 90% of the patients in the first group reverted to their old lifestyles, even though they were facing the threat of death!

In the second group, 77% of the patients had successfully maintained their lifestyle changes over time.

Why did the two groups experience different results after receiving the same warning?

The second sampling of patients had leveraged the power of peer groups. They formed special groups that met on a regular basis to discuss their progress, struggles, and challenges. They consistently encouraged each other to stay on track.

The conclusion of the study was that your chances of maintaining change are seven times greater if you leverage the power of peer groups.

Are your goals and dreams facing the threat of death?

I challenge you to take the following steps to maintain lasting change:

  • Stay in contact with the like-minded shop owners you meet while attending ATI classes.
  • Make the time to attend your 20 Group Zoom calls and in-person meetings.  
  • Seek out mentors at the SuperConference who have made the lasting changes that you aspire to make.
  • Instead of making that parts run, meet with your ATI Coach on a weekly basis to discuss your progress, struggles, and challenges.

You will grow faster if you associate with a fast company! Leveraging the power of peer groups is key!


So, there you have it.  If you take an honest assessment and leverage the power of peer groups, you can overcome The Greatest Predictor of Shop Owner Failure.

Unlike the Psychic Friends, I don’t need a network to predict your future. All I need to see are your daily habits and your willingness to change.

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.