This month’s article was written with the help of ATI Head Coach George Zeeks.
Most of us have had these thoughts. Thoughts about what if I won the lottery? What if my business got better and I could take some time off? What if it grew so successful that I didn’t have to be there at all? What would happen if I lost my key people — I would have to go back to work at the shop. What if they treated the customers so bad they didn’t come back? What if I had to go back to turning a wrench again? I don’t think I could stand that. Maybe I should just be happy where I am?
There are the good “what ifs” that turn bad and the bad “what ifs” that turn even worse. It’s part of human nature, but how do we defend ourselves? Let’s listen to ATI Head Coach George Zeeks explain how to prepare yourself.
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The good “what ifs” start out innocently enough. Small thoughts of good fortune that grow to huge proportions very quickly. Some people call this daydreaming and it can be fun if kept under control. The problem comes in when we turn to this fantasy to escape where we are right now. The attraction of having the things we want and having it now, can be too powerful for some to resist. The danger is that if we don’t stop to ask a key question, then we lose sight of our goals. We need to remind ourselves of “what is.” What is the reality that we face and not the illusion? We find that we want the result without doing the hard work. The idea is to protect yourself without giving up on your dreams. The key to that is to keep a balance between “what ifs” and “what is.”
What are what ifs?
“What if” is the key behind every invention, every new idea and every success story. This can only happen when you balance the “what is” right alongside of it.
I graduated from high school at 17. I had no real intention of going to college, but my mom demanded otherwise. She was in the process of fighting the cancer that would eventually kill her and she made me promise that I would go to college. The promise was to go to college and finish. I could do that much. It didn’t really sound that bad, at first. The problem, I soon discovered, was that there was no money in the family. Everything was being eaten up by the treatments. I had envisioned a great summer. I would go places and do things that I had never done before. I would work enough to get the money for the next trip and off I would go. I was caught in “what if.” The reality was much, much worse. I worked three jobs that summer. I saved every dime I could. The amount of money that I would need to pay, just for the fall semester, would take that much. I had to adjust to the reality of “what is.”