Auto Shop Coaching Blog

The Secret to Finding Success When You’re Feeling Stuck

Never take constructive criticism from someone who has never constructed anything.Dr. George Frazier

“Harry” is a shop owner in your area. One day he’s walking down the street thinking about his dreams, his dollars, and the upcoming decisions he will have to make at his shop.

He’s so focused on his future that he fails to notice that there is a hole in the sidewalk. As a result, Harry falls in the hole!

Harry’s best efforts to climb up result in him falling down! To make matters worse, it’s starting to rain and the water is up to his ankles. (BTW, why does it only rain on the days when you wash your car and fall into a hole?)   

As he looks up, he sees a therapist walking by. “Help! I’m down here stuck in this hole! Get me out!” The therapist sits down and asks, “So tell me, if you knew the answer to get out of this hole, what would it be?”  

They go back and forth for a few minutes until the alarm on her watch makes the following sound: ” beep beep!”

She then says, “I’m sorry, but our time is up for this week. I’ll check back with you next week if you’re still stuck.” And off she goes.

The water has risen to his knees and Harry starts to feel desperate. He looks up and notices a doctor walking by. Harry yells out, “Help! I’m down here stuck in this hole!”

The doctor sits down and asks, “So tell me, can you think of a time when you didn’t have this hole problem?”

After a few minutes of back and forth, the doctor whips out a sheet of paper and starts writing. “Here’s a prescription for your hole symptoms. I’ll check back with you next week to see if you’re better!” And off he goes!

Things are going from bad to worse. The water is now up to his thighs. Harry looks up and notices his friend Fred walking by. “Hey, Fred! Down here! I’m stuck in this hole!”

Fred responds by jumping in the hole with him! Oh, nice move genius! Now we’re both stuck!” said Harry, with a tone of frustration mixed with sarcasm.

Fred’s next words would shift Harry’s perspective: “Settle down! I’ve been stuck in this hole before. Follow me; let me show you the way out!”

By now, you may be thinking, “Cute story Coach, but what does this have to do with me?” Stay with me to discover the secret to finding success when you’re feeling stuck. 

The Hole In Your Sidewalk

Are you currently stuck in a hole? The following scenarios may help you to decide:

  1. You can’t go to the vacation destination you have pictured on your goal poster because YOU are the only writer and the A technician. 
  2. You feel like you’re forced to tolerate tardiness and non-compliance from your employees because you’re short-handed with no qualified replacements in mind.  
  3. You have to tap that line of credit to make payroll because your marketing hasn’t produced more cars and your technicians aren’t finding more on the cars you have. 

If you can identify with any of these scenarios, you are like Harry before Fred came along! The good news is that I am jumping in the hole with you. Follow me, let me show you the way out!

“USE” Your Network

Years ago, I purchased a treadmill. It was a great thing to have. It tracked how many miles I ran, my heart rate, and the average amount of minutes it took me to run a mile.

However, when I went to the doctor, I discovered that I was overweight and that my blood pressure was higher than the norm. How could this be when I had the treadmill?

I had the treadmill, but I was only using it as a laundry stationIf I had been USING it for what it was designed for my health situation would have been better!

YOU have ATI classes, your 20 Group, and the SuperConference all of which gives you a powerful network. Are you USING it for what it was designed for?

There’s someone who will be at your next class who has overcome being stuck at the counter as the only writer. She would be happy to jump in the hole with you.

There’s a member of your 20 Group who has overcome the problem of his employees holding him hostage. Follow him, and he will show you the way out!

There’s someone at the SuperConference (BTW, the Top 12 Shop Owners attend every year!) who is waiting in the hallway and eager to share what she did to improve Gross Profit to the point where payroll was no longer a problem. Since she has been stuck before she can show you what to do.


So, there you have it. The secret to finding success when you’re feeling stuck is to USE your network for what it was designed for. 

When Harry was stuck in the hole, he had to look up to see his friend Fred. He would not have seen the answer to his problem if his head was down.

The hidden lesson in this message is to keep looking up!

P.S. Email to receive my latest Profit Improvement Checklist that will help you dig out of the hole.
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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.