Being a part of the automotive industry can be a rewarding one, but normally the beginning years are more like starting out as a marine in basic training. You have to be broken down and built back up in the automotive world to succeed unless you’re one of the lucky few that is a natural born salesperson or leader. Along with this journey comes failure and a deflated ego, and we all have to accept failure and learn from it. It’s like the old reaching for the stove story. You reach for the stove. You burn your hand. You pull away. You may do it once or twice more, but that’s about it, and you learn from your journey of reaching, pain, and retreating. It’s the journey that counts.
The team here at Justplayin’ talks a lot about the ideal situation a dealership could have set up for salespeople and managers on showroom floors, but the reality is, most dealers are far behind. You have to be ready to go it alone. Set your goals. If you want to be a manager, let it be obvious from the start. Set your mind on that position. When you fail, accept it and apologize for it. Learn from your mistakes and immediately move forward. That’s what fearless leaders do.
Understand what you’re worth to your dealership, and let them know. When you enter that set of interviews, let them know what you bring to the table. Give them an understanding that you’re in it for the long haul. They’re grooming a future employee who’s driven. This gives management the understanding that they’re not just training someone who will move on to the next dealership for a bigger payday.
Never let them break your spirit. You’re going to be met with a lot of negativity in any industry. In general, people see the reasons why they cannot accomplish their goals and back off. That’s why you don’t see many shining stars. They’re not all born that way. The top leaders on this competitive planet we live on work hard, and see opportunity in every failure. When someone tells you that something cannot be done, you have to start to wonder why and find solutions. Challenge employees, family members, and your friends. Always keep people on their toes. Live your life falling, getting back up and learning. It’s the only way.
Every time you fail in life stop and think about some of the highest paid professionals out there. They may shoot baskets for millions of dollars a year, but they miss hundreds of times a year on national television. They swing bats at baseballs, but they strike out dozens of times on the way to those home runs. Madonna had some failed albums, but that didn’t stop her from recording a hit album the next year. The best professionals in the world fail on a regular basis and train all year long, so they can step up to take a shot. You have permission to fail, as long as you learn from your mistakes.
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