Episode 51 – Cars, Coaches, and Learning with Mike and Ann Watkins

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It’s always a pleasure to talk to people that have gone through the process of transitioning to the next level of growth in their work. It requires different thinking, different coaches and mentors, and new ways of viewing the world.

Mike and Ann Watkins have worked together to continue to build a business that started with one mechanic that drove around fixing cars and marketed using small strips of paper with his telephone number on it. Now, a few shops into the process, the Watkins continue to aim higher and offer up their best work.

Join into this episode where both of them show different viewpoints and insights that show how there are so many ways to pursue your best work.

Episode 51 Show Notes

Episode 51 Transcript

This is Rebecca Clark Episode 51. Cars, Coaches and Learning with Mike and Ann Watkins. This’ll Podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk when you have a title called Move Your Desk? I feel it’s important to bring people on the show periodically that have moved their desk that have made changes in their career or if stepped out of the career and got into a side gig and really went through that process of change. But it requires a lot of learning and thinking about things differently. And so I think it’s very interesting to talk to people who have gone through this in a meaningful way in their life toward demonstrating that it’s possible, but also to give those that are thinking about it the confidence to keep pressing forward on their desires or ideas to change what kind of work they’re doing right now, or to do it better or add to it. And I think that the Watkins are a great example of so many things, and so I was excited to have them on the show. Now I know an from 20 years ago or so we were roommates. And then we ended up working together for the same virtual company, which was really cool to be teleworking that many years ago, and to learn the nuances of communicating and being available 24 7 host kinds of things for the company we worked for and what I really like about their story. What you’ll hear in a minute is that an and Mike come from different educational backgrounds, but they’ve brought that together toward transforming their current business. Now An had a master’s degree in education, and she’s worked in multiple international schools, and she is now a teacher for a private school. And Mike came up through the ranks as someone who learned and created and fix things on his own, and he went to a trade school and was a mechanic. And what I like is how he went from being a mechanic to now owning multiple shops and being very successful in business and an had worked with him as well with marketing and many other things, I’m sure and supporting that business over the years and to see the mindset changes that take place in that process. So when I started the interview, I asked if they could share a little bit of their background, and so we’ll start with an and then we’ll just go into a very fun and interesting conversation where they share their viewpoints on learning and the importance of coaches. And, of course, this has to do with cars because there’s mechanics and auto shops involved. And I think this is a nod back to one of my first episodes, Episode five That was car’s exhaust pipes and learning because Mike and Ann Story is one of the stories that inspired me to think differently about cars and mechanics. So take a listen. I wasn’t saying I kind of went the more traditional route. I knew there was business owners, but the few that I knew work super successful, even though I knew they leased it out there. So for me, my mind set, the whole growing up was your only way to freedom is to go the collegiate education round. And so that’s what I did and I always like it, and a one point I even I even quit school. I went to live in Switzerland for a year, but that got me very interested in international things and politics and living and culture. So I came back and switched majors and graduated with a four point on like, Oh, this is great. But in my hometown, I still could only make minimum wage. Axler is degree. So that’s what I went to Washington D. C. And I did a short internship and got a job that paid really money. $30,000 a year was so excited. But, you know, it was a good job for me. I learned a lot about benefits and this and that, but I didn’t. I didn’t enjoy sitting in a box, which was my office with no windows, and so then went to Oregon and I worked remotely. I think you would be worked for the same company remotely, and that was we were, like, 18 years and right working from home that was not even heard of. People would always be like You do what you work from home and yeah, it’s great. I got make one attached to me driving in the car, answering calls, and they curious about it wanted to do it. But then I was drawn back to education again and got my master’s. And that led me to work abroad in many international schools. And that was a very good career for me. I paid off all my debt in that. And then I came toe Idaho and my friend want toe set me up on a date with Mike. She’s like, he’s mechanic and I was like, No, that’s not gonna dio and she goes But I think it was a shop in life. Okay, I I can feel reminded to that because I knew that somebody who own their own business had a lot of drive and motivation and probably with him. He’s very successful life. And I was right until she found out how much money I mean, that’s true that she was like, No, no, no. If I was given area older, I was gonna marry Rich. No, I remember that. Still so I was like, Well, you just wait, Wait. Yeah, It was very interesting, Teoh to show her the PML of the business that we really I mean, I kind of knew the bad news of it but to show her the piano, she looks at the bottom and she looks at me and she was like, Well, this isn’t gonna work for me staying home raising kids. He was a one man show when I met him, he owned an auto repair shop and he answered the phones and worked out all the cars. Kind of went to work when he wanted and went home when he wanted, and he had all the best, all the things in place. It just wasn’t running quite yet. Why? I was living the stage one of my dream, I guess. Part of stage one, because I always knew what I wanted to do. And when I was passionate about, I think, you know, like, 12. I knew I liked fixing things and I could fix things really good at it. You know, maybe even before that, you know, I’m like 1/4 generation entrepreneur kind runs in. The family have always known that I was gonna run my own business. Just always been there. Like I’m gonna be I’m gonna have this. I’m gonna do this. It’s gonna look like this. So I always just had that inside me driving. And I think when you find that as an entrepreneur, that’s when you know what, exactly. You know, if you have this, never give up my goals still got him. You know, I got notebooks for I wrote down, even described her in detail. But that’s what’s pushed me. So I’m very nontraditional, and the scope of you don’t have to. You can find what you need to know all over. It doesn’t have to be at Washington State University or this one way. And if you don’t go to Harvard, you’re not gonna You’re not gonna make this. You’re not gonna make that, cause most of those successful people don’t actually go that route. It’s becoming even more popular out to recognize that the traditional route isn’t getting people where they want. No. Yeah, you’re right. I think it’s a waste of a lot of waste of time. I’m always looking for mentors, and they’re always out there when you’re ready. And no, that’s an old proverb about when the students ready. The teacher will be there if you go to traditional education. How are you guaranteed that the people the college are hiring actually were successful business my first year in college on I did Goto College after I went to a technical school. I believe in those because I think that I could have gone into any service business and don’t I’ve done, and that’s huge. I went to get the hands on, know how and then applied it. You know, I went to college to learn accounting and business stuff. When I got there, I realized that this was the slowest route possible. The instructors were told me about their business, and one of the students asked the guy about his wine bottling, importing business, you know, and this other business. And he had failed. A bolt of his business isn’t and looking good. I don’t want to learn from this guy. He failed. I mean, you know, at the time, most Boise State, it was like, OK, Wolf J. R. Simplot, who’s been a billionaire, comes down here all come to your class, the president, Micron, or if you worked with 10 those were the people. And sometimes they what do a cameo periods appearance in the class. But I mean, it’s not enough. Just sit there and go there and listen and you know that’s the thing, is really if you look at entrepreneurial colleges, there’s not very many mount their because their structure is all to get you to be middle management incorporations and to put you cause of a wheel rather than be the guy that that designs the new wheel and the self driving and self learning is the thing that separates. I think person who is just a manager and we’ll hold onto somebody else’s ideas person that becomes an entrepreneur and becomes very successful at it. And it is definitely like you said, I have a lot of failures. Just don’t get up. It’s not smart. You said you’ve always had goals and you kind of knew what you wanted to dio. And then So you’re doing what you’re doing and you show and your P nl. It seems like there some point in their were. Suddenly you went from like this structure had set up to something that even took you to the next step. That a long experience or a moment where all the sudden you’re like, Oh, I can go bigger and what I’m doing right now because you’re not in a shop right now, working on a car at the moment. If there’s somebody doing that on your behalf, isn’t there? Yeah, right now, you will be put right. It’s wheels are going away right now. They’re probably glad I’m not there, you know, way we got engaged in my he did. He wanted to go on our honeymoon. And so there’s a step. There’s there’s something happened before that. Yeah, So there was a realization. And I think that everybody has that and we’ll have that one. You do you have to make. There’s a jumping off point. What I had before waas a very small investment deal, very small hobby that I could pay for my house and I could pay for certain things. But I really wasn’t making the extra money and I wasn’t making any extra effort, and one or two bad things could happen, and I would been out of business, okay? And I can tell you from knowing not just entrepreneurs, but particularly in this business in a service based business. The guy that is the one man show these two or three months from a couple bad events and he’s out Well, this was a weight when an on and I met and the economy is bad and I’m like, Well, I was already doing poorly, considering I realized that, you know, I had a point, and I did have an epiphany where I imagined in my dreaming here, I imagine a one point time I went down this path and I failed at the business, and I was working every day coming home to my kids in a really small shoebox home. Not ever having enough, you know, making the decision to give up and to allow somebody else to control my life. All of these things limited not going any farther personally and looking at it, realizing I would be absolutely miserable, which or the other one which is due this of the thing and jump off that point and you would ever take city wealth. And then when? When I made that decision, the teachers did come, in fact, that it was the time for me knowledge. Okay, I’m scared to death. I got I’m getting married. I’m gonna have these kids and year all of this stuff on There’s this challenge and I don’t know what to do next, and actually, these opportunities got a piece of mail from a guy that’s like I can teach you management. And I got investing that. So I start to go, I’m gonna go look at, actually, I’m gonna actually find out what I don’t know. I’m gonna find out that opportunity came and actually, they will come once you really make that decision. I know this is true. The next stage, all of the stages you grow as an entrepreneur, that next idea that next investment’s gonna come and there’s gonna be two or three of them and you got to pick which one is gonna are. Sometimes in our case, we pick both of them. We did it. We did this course we go. We go spend my last $4 go up to do up a seminar, and and I mean she’s all for she’s like, this is come help my husband. I’m like, Oh, crap, this is $12,000 to buy this coaching. And 5th 15 grand. She throws out the American Express, and I’m like, Holy, I didn’t have no, she had that kind of credit. And I was like, I’m gonna bail. I wanted to run. I was like, who is this girl? I I wasn’t really mean work like we’re engaged here, right? And we can barely afford gas money back. L and I’m, like, scared to death that I’m gonna fail at this. And Oh, this girl, 12 $1000. What if my relationship work Really engaged in my God, this is 12 grand. I already spent $10,000. 1 time and blew the money and because I didn’t know what I was doing. And now she’s still remember, It was, like, tossed out there, and it was like, I see it spinning as it hits the desk in front of the guy at the conference table. And I’m like, Holy crap! And then it was very interesting because that was the that was really that all that spark that I needed was toe have that other person believe in me and want me to be successful, cause at that point, I mean, you know, my parents were out doing their own thing. Just think it’s made. You know what? Your I don’t have anybody. But when I had an and we took that investment on, the training was absolutely phenomenal, you know, at the same time another training came along, which I was like, I want to do this to because I’ve always wanted do real estate and there was another huge $20,000 opportunity. We borrowed the money on that, too. And it is very interesting because that was more money than I had made twice as much money between those two programs that was making as a small mechanic in my shop. And two years later, we had paid off that debt basically here after that wind up getting a whole new shop handed to us. And when we came home from that first seminar, Mike, hire someone immediately and honey around. And that guy hired someone while we were out of our U. S. So he you know, they stay cool. This one of the most important things to do is get out of your shop and work on your shelf. And we had to start going from being a mechanic and being a guy that’s servicing everybody toe working on the business a little bit every day. And that’s where people get. I think they get off. They were doing their job and they’re so into it. They don’t take an hour or two to work on their business, and they don’t take that time to work on themselves. And it’s just like the quote that’s behind me. Benjamin Franklin For every minute spent organizing an hour is earned. You’re doing the avenue businesses. You’re looking forward to the next step. That’s actually organizational process. Try to figure out what you need to do next is with my training. I was hooked up with people who new business and also new auto shops connected to those best practices. And I think that’s like any business that you’re in finding people that are in your niche, and people you can mentor with a network with that are doing the same thing. You’re doing it right. I made a huge difference because these doctors and everything go to these conventions to find a place where auto shop owners it’s a kind of part of finding your community. But to gather is, I don’t know we would go to conventions with 3 400 auto shop owners and just those simple conversations of what are you doing? What’s working for you and those little actions made a huge difference in our shop and another. Another thing. I think with entrepreneurs. At least I was. I had a huge ego for a while, thinking, I knew I grew up watching businesses. I know, I know. I know how business and satisfy your customers, you know, do a good job, and all of these customers will come back to you. That’s not the truth. That’s not true. It works for one in a Brazilian people that they don’t have to do any advertising or marketing or learn that avenue you got to make your good works. Well publicized is one of the things to do, and they actually do do. But anybody you really looking at this gut, the top of the food chain in the South help. They’re all over the place doing good works. I’m being noticed about it. But I think some some things in the teachings of the world that if you just you do, there’s customers that they do. They don’t talk, but they don’t talk fast enough to to spread it fast enough to remind people right. You know, that’s interesting, because I, like you, said, Yeah, I grew up with it, I know it and I kind of think I have experienced that recently. After leaving my job, I’m like, Yeah, I paid to learn a little marketing. I tried to flip, but I never quite knew what my niche Waas and I’m just barely learning. But I’m surprised much. I don’t know about marketing and sales and realizing When I look at my website, I’ll update it and I’ll be proud of it. And then I look at it two days later after I learned something else, right? Oh, like there’s nothing unique about this like that. I wouldn’t purchase this live in our business. I keep a three ring binder of every marketing piece because I’ve created most of them for the past 12 years. And to look at the ones through the 1st 5 years. They’re terrible. I o k 0405 When I thought I had bought before and I tried the marketing thing. I bought another small program, right? I did. I bought some small programs for $1000 quarter real estate thing for $300 actually got me the shop. So there was before the big investment. There were these small investments, right? But the small steps lead, but I’m looking at my marketing pieces and literally. It was like some of the some of the implodes had names that were taped with Scotch tape on the envelope because, you know, that’s the way I cut him out of the the label thing or whatever. These pieces were terrible. We have learned that. I mean, it’s particularly in that in marketing, there is a technology to it. You will attract people that air at a certain emotional level when they see your piece. If you’re pieces and done right, you’re gonna attract people. And it won’t appeal to the right people, though ours arms are very specific and what we do so that we we can’t help the random person who looks us up in a index like randomly looking at Google and clicking the first thing because they just they’re just haphazard customers. You have those some of them want to reach to to being better than they are. But we actually have a strategy with what we do to get rid angry people because in an automotive shop, get a lot of angry. There’s just there’s just, you know, they’re upset that their car’s broken. That one thing, along with whatever else is going on in their life, is distraught. That breaks the camel’s back and its people when their cars broken that they come in and they also the key. And they say things like, Well, if it’s under 2 $2000 just do whatever needs to be done and column walk up wall is that’s great because their cars you need that kind of work anyway. They all do versus the person that doesn’t they’ve got a postcard in the mail from us or they got attracted to something, our website, which were specifically designed. And then we’re getting the cream of the crop customers in our town and the other people are going to the other shops, so they’re busy with those customers. We’re all the random customers and work trying to focus on a certain kind of group. I’ve been doing this 27 years now, and I’ve done it wrong for a lot of those years. There’s a lot to learn. You just learn a little bit every day, and you obviously say you went to study this. You’ve been learning about it, and I think that’s where people. I do a lot of study, and I think that’s something that if you look at the most successful people in history and the most successful entrepreneurs and all of that, you know they’re reading books there listening to books, they’re listening toe podcast. They’re doing these things to get that one idea, one little bright idea, maybe for the day for the week. And it’s and it’s those little things so little I can’t tell you how we dressed our kids up in superheroes to do. Marketing pieces were still doing that two years later because and then we use the cuts because they’re cute and people love it. And it was just one of those things that I know popped in there in my mind because of these other things that we’re learning to dio in marketing that wouldn’t have been there otherwise, that we wouldn’t have thought off. You know, you become your mind can store all this data and you become a huge anthology. As you’re studying and you’re learning in your building, your business, you. Sometimes you can predict that’s really, really gets exciting and your businesses, when you’re gonna predict the trend, I started writing a timeline out on the Ford in the shop. I even wrote down toe by a building, and it happened that month. I put down the pre steps to it, and then I put down the month of it and close that month. Sometimes I put down by building, I doubt. But I’ve looked at a building and but that building turned out we bought that. Just decided I was gonna buy a building and find a building. And we bought that built, putting out a timeline, throwing a dream out in front, looking at it because you know you got no, we’re going. I think that’s something that I loved the plan. But last few months is things have changed a lot. I’ve noticed. Sometimes I’m not as food with my planning when I’m not as good. What I want to happen doesn’t happen because it’s not on the calendar, not thinking through the steps. And then, of course, I know recently I’ve had to make a goal to slow down my learning as I was kind of a hoarder of learning, and I’m like, be okay with reading one chapter today, Be okay with just absorbing Khalfan our information because it was almost like I was having this contest with myself to see how much I could. No, like No, no, I got a slur just enough. And go apply that. That’s exactly it. I’m doing courses right now where you learn it, and then you have to show you can do it. And not so what’s actually what is wrong with traditional educations? You go spend four years, six years, eight years. They’ll take me long, wave it in that process for it versus, like, I really did six months thing. And then I went out became an apprentice. At the end of the year, I was very professional fixing cars Berry from my background before traditional education. First of all, you’re learning all this crap that by the time you get to what you want to learn about your tired of it because it’s all look, nobody cares what happened on the 12 hundreds. It really doesn’t matter about that. In 2000 and 20. That’s irrelevant to 90% of the people in the world. So you’re doing all of these things to get in there, get your getting built for money to learn all these things, You know you’re not gonna apply. Applying history for most people is not relevant versus okay, I’m going to be an entrepreneur, and I’m gonna go in the business. I need Teoh. Learn business one a one. And then I need to decide to start a corporation to go down, apply my own corporation, and then I need to go down there and I need to make sure I get all the tax law date information on actually need, even if I’m just going to start a corporation, do nothing with it. Money I would have spent on that stupid history class that I could have studied any time in my life. If I got interested in it, I could have spent on starting my own corporation, my estate. And in fact, that’s you know, when I when I jumped off from school after I want to be in a mechanic upside, I want to go to school to run my own business. I quit my job and I had to fix cars, so I decided to go to the college, and I just these little tear off strips of the college, and that was marketing that way. The college and that’s where I went down. And I like I’ll start Little businesses told me That’s how you do it. They went down, and I did that stuff. Got a doing business has, which is also required in the state. And literally one day I had decided to go fix the lady’s car. You know that I knew I was gonna make 300 blocks and be able to pay my rent that day or go down the Boise State and fight to find a parking spot, which I would know why would be light and then walk a mile and 1/2 to get into the class late to do my elective class because I couldn’t get into my regular classes because it was a non traditionals do, because I wanted to keep a regular job and all the traditional students got to go first. So here you were out on the outside in this college where you didn’t even get to your course anyway. So, you know, I’m going to college from doing karate and doing music. Yeah, I got to do business 101 you know, But, I mean, I wanted the meat, and there wasn’t really any that that meat was the day I shook hands with that lady after a fixture car took the money, filled up the gas tank in the pickup, paid my rent and went out and took another $3 put it off a stack of these pieces of paper and went around the college and other places where I could put you know, Alberts and whatever and put these little things that I could fix cars. That’s how that whole thing got started and then I then I. Then I ended up with a van, which was great when I put my name on it right. Drive around and do that all day. No, it was before the first shot beforehand, Matt Me. I was driving around in a van fixing people’s cars because that’s what I had for. Resource is still learning. E think that in our business that you just can’t stop learning that first year after we hired that consulting business, I think after a year to everyone’s like, Oh, so you’re done with them now. Really? No. We went on with them. We’re just still very recently in our with another company because you always be the education of mentors. And for some people, the creature route is very beneficial. Teaches them how to learn and how to finish things and how to succeed in life. And for Mike, he has a very different learning style, as I think I do as well. That was not as beneficial to him to go the route that he needed to learn. Can you tell me that in six years after school you’re gonna be actually able to do the same? And that’s where I’m doing training right now where we’re we’re actually making sure at the end of what we get done, that we can do it. We do what we’re learning because it’s pretty much useless, especially their entrepreneurial learning about some. But you actually can’t apply how to do a plant administrative scale planning from the goals all the way down to the valuable final product. If you don’t understand that whole process and can actually do it, you know your marketing plan is gonna have breaks in it, and that’s where they’re gonna break down and you’re going to get stuff. When you get stuck, you’re wasting time and today we have the benefit. Then I met a friend who’s got the same level of training and expertise as I do and we cross. We kind of cross consult right now. So we’re both getting a benefit without actually have any taking you re sources. But, you know, he he I can’t look at my business, which is one of the downfalls of not having someone there. Helping you with your business outside is that’s knowledgeable is you can never look at your business for the first time once you start. And so you know what? That’s whether it’s on online thing or that thing. Or if physical physical buildings with things like that, you gotta have some deals. Take a look at that because you can’t see it again for the first time. So you don’t know. It was obvious things that hey can lives in Florida, came to Idaho, looked at this stuff, and he’s like, you know, here you go. It was interesting because I got really kind of upset about all these recommendations. This, you know, my body is just doing That’s just costing me money, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it was irritating and then sitting back at it afterwards with my cap. He’s right. I’ve got to get all these was telling me all the stuff I already know. That’s why it’s like he’s not kind of timing. He already knows. We already talked about all the good things. He told me all the things, really. Let me know what were missing, to get the next level, where I can even want to spend even more time away. I can. And then I got to go do the same thing for him. It was awesome because I got to return the favor and it was a little here 30 40 0 yeah, I got mad at me and he’s like all you’re doing It costs me money Day said. Yep, that’s what came before. That’s interesting because part of the business model I you offer coaching and as part of my train, we have to coach ourselves every day. You have to take a look at your own brain, see what it’s doing and going through that. And yet as I felt like I wasn’t progressing, I realized that, Yeah, I can coach myself every day, but I had to take advantage of the free weekly coaching I was offered because no matter how great I am looking at my own brain, I’m blinded like you said, like I cannot see my business at the beginning like a new person can. So once I started getting that free weekly coaching, I’m having these little mind blowing moments where I feel like last night I was coached and I realized that I am having some entitlement feelings and some jealousy feelings, right? I’m jealous of some people that quit their jobs and they were 30 and started to be an entrepreneur because there ahead of me. And here I am, you know, maybe 50 your, then I’m also entitled because I feel like I’ve been working over 25 years. I should be able to walk out and charge a higher rate that there’s this entitlement and then wondering why I’m not where I want to be. And I would not have recognized that unless someone else coached me. If I had allowed it in like this morning, I like changed my rates. Okay. I’m right. We’re in. Supposed to be are gonna keep learning, so I like that you’re mentioning that you constantly have to have someone else did bounce the ideas off because they can see it. Even if you think you’re really clear thinker that it’s not. There’s these blind spots all over the place going on, and I really like as I’ve been thinking about this for a few years. I know that an and I both, you know, went on and got our master’s degrees and gotten a few certifications after that. And I’ve been really looking at those lately and going, Why did I choose that route? Toe learning. I take my own courses and books and podcasts and things, but, like, why did I choose those routes? And it’s so funny. The last couple certifications, like the Project Management one, I realized, Well, I can say it on here, but I mean, there’s a bogus nous to it, right? It’s a money making jean. Yeah, everything I know about Project Management is from managing over 200 projects. It has nothing to do with the certification, right? I did a chief learning officer certification in the middle of that very expensive program. I opened this book in a talks about managing people and all these incentives and stuff and I was in the middle of managing a very difficult implementation of a system. And that’s where I learned. I want no business having people work with me that aren’t self loaded. Like I only want people that come motivated because I’m not gonna create this holes. And that’s when I was like, you mean I had to do this certification toe, learn that I’m not going to be a chief learning officer ever on on. That’s when I decided to stop the certifications and go, let me learn from the people are earning money at what I want to earn money. Look for the experts I am eating in that field and go directly to them. So along with what you’re talking about, Teoh to connect the dots with cool and trading a lot of mechanics out there, they have certifications. And I’m here to tell you they can’t fix cars and it doesn’t make him ethical. Okay, Yeah, it doesn’t make a motivated right. So what do you do? And there is it is exactly what you’re talking about. The mike tell me you couldn’t teach skill that you can teach attitude. I’ll tell you one thing that it would be beneficial for any entrepreneur to understand cause that you don’t do this without help from people. You need to understand people and the attitudes that people have and where they’re really at in their attitude of life’s underneath the Hi, How are you? Great, thank you. That emotional level, whether at is really key, do they wake up? And are they truthful in early in charge that can handle their own life or the stable? Because you you can have someone who’s got all these skills. You go higher manager for a shop like mine and he can take you in three months and I have done it. I’ve picked up the pieces. I’ve noticed the signs sometimes early, sometimes like I picked up the pieces and I found the next right guy, and I learned from that. But you’re exactly right. There’s not very many enthusiastic people left in the world. But if you can get one and you and they’re trying, you know you can’t pay him enough, really can’t if you can find somebody wakes up in the morning, comes to work, smile on their face and does whatever they ask you find out what they love to do, and you give him that job to do you want something else to do? So you gotta learn about people. If that’s reading books about psychology attitudes because there’s definitely, you know, people that have underlying hitting attitude, someone can be really dangerous to your to your business. If I could say anything about employees, I’ll tell you a little quick story about it. Really talk about investment and what it costs. We hired a guy, okay? It costs $30,000. Stole at least that my money from the business guy buys me a birthday cake while stealing thousands of dollars for me during that week, taking his kid Teoh. Meanwhile, I’ve got young kids. I’m trying to just make sure you have food on the table, and he’s taking its kids spinning 1000 of my dollars at the fair, right? Buys me a birthday, Cakes remembers. That course, could that was key. While he’s stealing money for my business, that’s like the week after that. I caught it right and I learned a lot about that personality, and that personality is the kind of person that will smile at you while they’re stabbing you in the back. And those are the most dangerous types of people that entrepreneurs will run into people they think are helping him. But they have a secret hidden agenda to destroy, or they don’t want you to be successful because they weren’t. That’s one of the reasons hire people on their own shops, got too many failures on their lines. Don’t wanna having to do with those failures. And so the process of any interviewing people when making sure you put the right people on or not put anybody on it all until that person comes along. The guy we first tired he was great. One of the key things was walking to work. After I hired him, I whistled every day. Well, that’s a sign when a guy’s whistling happy to be a life, that’s a good indicator. So basically one of the things that somebody can do, especially in the interview process, like I have to do some actions in an interview process to see if they’re actually helpful, because in the end, that’s what onto, prefer wants is someone who could help. Those are the indicators you’re looking for, just like in a good friend. You want someone you know, You try, you help them, help them get some things and then you want to see if they can help you. So there’s an exchange there. And if that exchange doesn’t exist, you’re helping this person. You help him with the job. You helped him get this Things lined up, This thing lined up for a friend. Same thing. You help him move. This knew that when you call for help. Well, the first time they’ve been see, second time, they’ve got something. Third time they’ve got something going on there, not a friend. They’re not somebody that value to you because you’re not really going to help you. They don’t have that intention to help. That’s what you’re looking for in an employee. People can look and pretend that all of these skills matter. But look at all the people who don’t have the traditional education with the right mentor ship become absolutely great executives, great turnout use and of being business owners. But just with the right mentorship, they have the motivation. And that’s all that matters. Doesn’t matter that they have something. I got all kinds of certifications. It doesn’t really, That’s not how come unsuccessful. No, had nothing to do with it. Be honest with you. The same with the really successful people out that it doesn’t matter. Certification. NBA’s I heard this once before. I love the abbreviation for an MBA. It’s a massive bank account. That’s what it is, because that’s how you prove you’re gonna business. There’s nothing else if businesses, you know, if you can have a company that doesn’t make any money and people, you know, whatever they are. New York Times articles about it. If it doesn’t make any money nobody’s can invest in and it’s not worth anything. Sell. You just build a company doesn’t producing extra, and that’s the whole goal is to produce extra. Yeah, I think learning about relationships and how to handle people has been probing the most valuable education we’ve had in our business, especially being in the auto repair because nobody wants to come to our shop, we’ll be like, Oh, I got to go the so hiring people also that have those high level interpersonal skills is so imperative in our business to be able to calm those people down. They don’t want to be in there and they’re in a panic and they’re stressed and frustrated. And then to be able to deal with the customer also be able to deal with customer and employee in the best possible manner is just totally invaluable to running a business. And I think that goes for any business. Yeah. Yeah. We all just want to be appreciated and for people to understand where we’re at. Right. You were too. You’re talking to someone who’s it wants to do something different, but they don’t quite have the guts yet. What would you tell them to start doing to take that first step if you put me in the places they don’t exist anymore? Borders Books at Barnes and Noble Way. They don’t know not what they used to do it. Okay, if you teleport me there right now, I’m not gonna be in the fiction. I’ll be in the nonfiction and I might go over if I had a stack of books and control me into a library. But you can’t get into right now. I’m gonna go. I’m gonna go look up the topics I’m interested in learning about. And we’re gonna go get a couple of those books. But you know where I’m gonna go before I go home? I’m gonna go into that one section that I’ve made fun of. When I was in eighth grade and self help, I have to say the actual made fun of all of the books that I would pick out. But when I was in eighth grade, we did the library class and my friends were stealing the Sports Illustrated magazines with Larry Bird on it. And, you know, reading all these are learning how they learned how to do that in the class. But look up, periodicals. I was over learning, learning how to fix a carb rater on a car and a book called Auto Mechanics for Dummies. I don’t even know what a joke. Waas. But I like learning. Fix cars, learn how a toaster work, how a TV, you know. Later on, I think everybody realizes that they’re not perfect. And that’s where then that’s where I started to gravitate to the self help stuff. You know, somebody’s coaching basically in a book, right, helping you think things through. And that’s why you’re you. You find me. That’s what you mean. I still do it right now. I mean, in office around here, there’s there’s books and I’m not gon na Gbandi. No book. I’m reading, like, three books. Four books right now. What is my It’s like coming home in deciding what to have for dinner. You didn’t make up your mind and you open up the book and you’re receptive. And then that thing pops out at you. Oh, yeah, I should What’s the first girl in young man Need a book is toe love everyone that live a life of love with with others And it’s like Okay, yep, No, I could definitely improve on that today, even if I don’t follow their schedule or the ritual. Yep, it’s right there. But I think the message is there for you to find it in your life as you just make these decisions that things will line up for you to have your mentor for you to have all of these things. As a matter of fact, I’m not kidding. But my a lot of my mentors have passed those guys that were my in an estate in here looking at their put their things up on the wall on a just took him down recently, and it was like there were several great men there. The guy that I bought my shop from, I got my first real job from my grandpa. Was there all these people that I was really looking up to? And just recently, that other person just just basically, they were there all along. What I was really ready and all of a sudden they showed up and basically is like my new mentor now is the new guy that I I can go to that six. That’s not that level of success that can help me reach those next steps, and they show up when you’re ready. I heard recently I think it was in the atomic habits, but I can’t remember what he was saying. What’s the difference between like an Olympian and another guy? What sets this guy apart? Me said, Well, this guy just shows up every day and does the work out, and that’s really pretty, like just showing up getting started. It might look super messy in the beginning. We looked super messy in the beginning, but we just kept applying things, Micro says. What’s that? If if you do an action and it works. Keep doing. It looks really neat. Successful actions. I think that if it worked for you, do it again and do it again and do it again. And if it has a proven track record of working, just keep doing it. Number of times two equals certainty is also another one. So you’re uncomfortable. So you keep doing it over and over again till you’re comfortable on. I would say for anybody who you know, once you get out of the stage where you’re ready for that first person like I was in the garage and the one that’s the hardest because we don’t have these powerful H R departments. You know, we didn’t start back in 1918 to have a huge war. Worst company, you know, or whatever else these debunked companies. Now, I suppose here still exactly we’re still HR. We’re still hiring and firing. The thing that people do is they’ll hire somebody, and that will be the end of recruiting and in interviewing. And if I can tell you anything, it’s like you can’t tell me that one of my guys isn’t gonna quit today. You can’t tell me they’re not going to get hit by a bus, and you can’t tell me that you’re not be able to fire, have to fire somebody on day. As soon as you think you’ve got that perfect team, it isn’t. It may not stay that long. Okay, so you recruit, recruit, recruit, hire two people for the job. Picked the best one. You should always be interviewing. I mentor And I got a guy coming down tomorrow from Washington. I’m paying him to come interview mechanic, right, Because that’s what I have to do Any recruiting, along with picking the right people but having your feelers out there all the time. If you’re an entrepreneur of territory person company, because here’s the thing, and that’s another point that is really important. Your when you’re small is when that person thinks, and they do that you can’t run the business without them. Then they’re in charge. And when you think you can let somebody go because you can’t run your business than their control in your in trouble. So being able to keep control and understand that always have. If you have somebody that that you’ve got contact information for, I actually have a really successful story about. I went to look for a sales person when the last guy left after I spent a lot of money training him and actually got a very capable, quite incapable to doing really well, and he got recruited by another company. So I’m looking for executives, basically people who are managers that want to do sales. And I had my choice between a young, really young, enthusiastic man who loves his passion about cars and thinks he can sell and really go getter and energetic on account with a proven track record for for sales and marketing but no automotive experience. And they probably would have picked the gal at first, except for my manager, kind of already alluded to the guy being able to come and work. He’d done a working interview, and I sat there for a while. We hired this guy and it would maybe two days into it, I decided I would call that a gal back and find out what she wanted to do. Marketing. And then I would just cut my marketing budget and hired her You. Her pain was part of the marketing and put her on because I was so impressed that I have these two people and the time frame worked better for the young guy than the gala had to have a kid first anyway, so we had a better time going to be able to get her to integrate into it. But she’s doing establish job marketing right now. Totally. Ted took the load off me. It was amazing. And then I got a fire. My wife, which isn’t the best thing, that several vigilance. Yes, the best day in the businesses when we hired and the next best day in the business when we fired her my own things. I’m pursuing my own adventures. That’s right. That’s right. She’s She’s my travel agent now. Well, that’s three. Well, thank you, both for sharing your story and shared lots of insights. Any last words that you wanted to share that you never answered. There’s what was we’re doing that every week, like a whole believes police or we know what we should be doing. Don’t always follow through, but so so this is inspired by by an and both of us have this problem about trying to be somewhere else instead of being where you’re at and getting in hurting. You know, when I was there at my first little shot before I could move on from that shop, I had to have one thing happened, and that one thing was to acknowledge that I actually got Michael had to actually acknowledge that I was sitting in there and living a dream, and this was actually it. And not a dream in my mind and not something. I fell asleep and thought about what comes in here. Want that? I looked around the building one time with a friend not very long before, and I got married. All has happened that I was baljic. I was working on old car in an old garage. Been there forever, took me back in time. It’s never gonna happen again, either and realizing that’s going on and then looking at my little shop, all of that just being there to have that experience and acknowledging that it was actually going on them and made a thought about having this shop. Don’t buy it one time before I bought it, and even though I was looking for and said I’d like to have something, I’m not like that It’s true story, and then it actually came and happened, and I bought that exact shop A couple years later on, the same thing happened with our big shop wearing. Right now I’m looking around at the shop. I’d like to have something like that. I don’t want that guy’s thing. I’m not covering. I’d like to have something like that. That’s what that would be great. I wonder if he’s interesting and sailing. I wonder what kind of business doesn’t. I met with the guy and a year later, literally. I walk in in a week, fastest real street transaction I’ve ever heard off. I met with him on a Tuesday or found out on Tuesday. Met with him on Wednesday with his accountant. Thursday. We did a walk through on the property and Friday handed me the keys, and I don’t have to have any money down to buy the business at the business for free. And I took over the option to buy by the shop. The building and got it at a discounted rate only opened Monday, and we open that Monday had to businesses running at the same time. Talk about going out like have this. Oh, crap. What do I do now? When I was really a busy guy for a while, I had, like, I had to write a list that weekend. Of all the things, there was 400 things on the list I had to do that week, and then it happened. And I really know that I had to acknowledge that, too. So that’s one thing is to acknowledge yourself and acknowledge the experience when you’re having it, that okay? Because when you look back at these things and was awesome thing, I still remember the drive home from one end decided to invest in me how I felt and how excited I got because I went from being in fear as a person, scared of the business and what was gonna happen in the future to somebody with this overwhelming amount of confidence. And then I actually got a consultant, and that was the awesome part. Was that guy? Why do we need coaches and consultants? Why do we need a mentor? Because the world is a very suppressive place, and if you left left anything for very long, that’s gonna rust, die and decay. So your human being and you’re alive and you need tohave. Why? Why do we hang out in groups? Same thing way. Hang out in the group to increase our survival support rate. And the business is the same thing. It’s a thing. It’s a living thing, your idea and your dreams. A living thing. You’re living thing. You’ve got to feed it and your thoughts or those things, right? But if what’s in your environment is gonna relate to your thinking, then you gotta put yourself in, you know, garbage in, garbage out. I know that’s an old saying from a lot of people, but it’s it’s so true. Do you gotta have that connection with that person that that you can call not only when you’re down, but you can share this successes with them, and it can remind you to do some cool things and inspire you. I like to way I like being able to talk to somebody, but also, I’m gonna go out and walk for an hour today, I’m gonna be listening to somebody yell in my ear. That’s what’s gonna keep me the forces air going down to crush, you know, right now, particularly look at all these business people that are being crushed. You know, if you’re not open right now, if you were going to start a business, you might spend three or 46 months getting ready for it. And all these entrepreneurs actually got awesome trying to restart. Really? Look, OK, if I’m gonna reopen my business because it’s just died, I’m gonna reopen it. What were the actions I’m gonna do? And how am I going to make it better when I come back? Because it can be on actual you’re gonna We’re gonna see that some of these businesses are gonna have a lot more support than others. And some of them won’t. Maybe Havas much. And I think what you’re saying is key like to keep dreaming. You always sacks have that next dream. Mike didn’t stop and be like, Oh, I got my shop. Acknowledge. Great. We’re going to great lengths. Notes Next. Oh, I’m on another shop now. He’s like, No, I want to buy every shelf in town at least them out. What? When you say, you know, not in my wildest dreams. Everybody has those. So there there. Some of them were created, but the shop we have now. I totally saw because I said I have something like that, especially. And then, you know, you’re always once you get that one, you get that second little shop I at I was like, Well, what about the next bigger one? I need bigger and that picture came into mind minded came clear, and then I made it happen at the other place. And then because there’s parts of it that come and they just they do they come like, How did this like this thing coming out of another universe popping into our universe? Coming and traveling at Is that at infinite, really faster than light speed? It’s just way out there and it’s got to come to you and it comes to us like bam. So I have to be ready for it. Yeah, that’s right. Be ready for that. That’s exactly it. But I’ve seen it happen in my life. I’m sitting in a house that happened the same way. I have a feeling I need to interview you guys again. There’s some other top it like this because there’s so many topics. I appreciate the opportunity to share and help other. Yeah, yeah, It’s great stuff. I want to thank Mike and Ann Watkins again for being on the show, and they will soon be doing some coaching and consulting related to helping auto mechanics make the next step an auto shop. Business owners take that next step in their business. It’s amazing to see the capacity we have to create and continue to grow and move forward in our work and lives. Have a great day. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at. Move your desk dot com. See you next Monday.

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