Auto Shop Coaching Blog

The Inside Secret To Finding Fulfillment

Be impatient without getting frustrated.Kobe Bryant

You just had ten forklift drivers respond to your State Inspectors ad. Your $$3,000 Google  Adwords campaign only generated a $30 oil change.

Your new “A” Technician that started on Monday still hasn’t come back from his lunch break.

Each of these scenarios has one thing common. They leave you feeling frustrated. This is problematic because it’s impossible to feel frustration and fulfillment at the same time. You’re either experiencing one or the other!

So how do you move from feeling frustrated to finding fulfillment? Basketball legend Kobe Bryant knows the answer.

During a recent interview, he spoke about a frustrating situation he experienced during his first two years in the NBA.

As a first-round draft pick for the Los Angeles Lakers, he burst onto the scene and immediately displayed the talent that led to him becoming a high draft pick.

It was obvious to everyone that he was the best player on the team.  Obvious to everyone, except his head coach.

For two years Kobe played as a second-string player, who only entered the game in a backup role.  His family members expressed their frustrations and complained that the coach was wrong. His friends were frustrated and urged him to schedule a meeting with the owner.

His fans were frustrated and called into the sports talk radio stations questioning the sanity of the coach.  Everyone was frustrated except for Kobe. 

He responded to his situation by asking himself a critical question.  Asking yourself this question, is the inside secret to finding fulfillment: “What can I do to get better?”

I refer to this as the inside secret, because he looked within to find his answers.  Where do you look to find your answers?

By now, you may be thinking: “Cute story Coach, but I don’t even like basketball!   How can I make this work at my shop?”   Keep reading to make the likelihood of your success a slam dunk!

Shift Your Focus

Several months ago, I listened as a shop owner named “John” complained about the three technician candidates who didn’t show up for their employment interviews as scheduled.

I asked John why he thought this was happening, and he explained:” Its these millennials! They just don’t want to work!” 

That afternoon, I spoke with “Joe” who had a service manager candidate who accepted his offer but” no-showed” on his first day.  “Joe, why do you think this happened?” I asked.

To which he replied, “It’s this new generation! They don’t have the work ethic like they used to!” 

During my final call of the day, I spoke with “Bob.”

He told me about the five service advisor candidates that failed to show up for their interviews over the previous two weeks.

Before I could ask why he interrupted me with the following statement: need to do a better job with writing my ads. What I’m doing now is attracting the wrong people.” 

This may be a coincidence, but Bob’s shop consistently ranks in the Top 25 of the ATI Top Shop rankings.  While everyone was blaming “they” for their problems, Bob focused on what HE could do better. 

As a result, Bob has just hired a new service advisor while John and Joe are still looking.    Once you commit to shifting your focus, you will be on your way to finding fulfillment.

What Can You Do To Get Better?

Tired of interviewing forklift drivers? Try asking, “what can I do to get better at recruiting?”

When your expensive marketing campaign results in a single oil change, try asking “what can I do to get better at marketing?” 

When your “A” technician doesn’t come back from lunch, try asking “what can I do to get better with my on-boarding process?”

During his interview, Kobe mentioned that constantly asking himself this question allowed him to improve to the point where his skill became undeniable and the coach had to play him.

If you keep asking yourself this question, your skill will become undeniable and more customers will have to pay you!


So, there you have it. Constantly asking, “what can I do to get better?” allowed Kobe Bryant to move from being a bench warmer to becoming a Hall of Famer.

Shifting your focus in this manner can move you from feeling frustrated to finding fulfillment! 

P.S. Email me at to receive a special worksheet to help you find fulfillment by learning from your failures.

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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.