Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Fastest Way To Fail As a Shop Owner

 The Fastest Way To Fail As a Shop Owner


Eric M. Twiggs

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy

The story is told of an eight year old boy named “Mitch”, who was out of control.  He would do the opposite of whatever is mother “Molly” told him to do.

When she said “sit down”, he would stand up.  When she said “be quiet”, he would talk louder. When she said “stop running”, and he would run even faster. 

Molly knew that Mitch liked to work with puzzles, so as a last ditch effort to settle him down, she gave him a puzzle of the world globe to put together.  

She gave him this advanced, adult level puzzle, figuring that it would occupy his time and give her some much needed peace and quiet.  To her surprise, Mitch returned to her side five minutes later having solved the puzzle.

“How did you put that together so fast?” Molly asked. 

Here’s how Mitch responded, “It was easy. On the opposite side of the globe puzzle pieces was the picture of a man.  I turned the pieces over and focused on fixing the man.  Once I put the man together, I could put the world together!”   

Most shop owners are seeking an external solution to an internal problem.  The fastest way to fail as a shop owner is to blame everything and everyone except yourself for your problems.  

Are you like most shop owners?  Stay with me to learn how to change your world, so you can avoid the fastest way to fail.

Start With Yourself

The best way to change your world is to assume that everything that happens is your fault!

If there is a puzzling problem like low car count, the natural impulse for the average shop owner is to point the finger at the customers, the economy, the weather, and the employees.

The Top Shops on the other hand start by focusing on themselves.  When you encounter a problem in your world, ask yourself the following questions:  

  1. What is my desired outcome? (Be specific!)
  2. What are my actual results?
  3. What role did I play in the actual results?  
  4. What can I do differently to achieve the desired outcome?

Let’s use car count as the example as we apply the previously mentioned questions.    I will play the role of the shop owner.

1. My desired car count outcome is 45 cars per week.
2.  My actual weekly car count result is 37 cars per week.
3.  I contributed to the actual result by not listening to and coaching incoming phone calls, failing to do my Google Plus & Google My Business posts, and by not holding my writers accountable to scheduling exit appointments. 
4.  Starting this week, I will coach incoming phone calls, post on Google + and Google My Business, and hold my writers accountable to scheduling exit appointments.

The bottom line is that you won’t be motivated to fix something that you don’t believe to be your fault! For example, why would you listen to incoming calls if you believe the weather is your real problem?  Why would you bother posting on Google if you believe that your customers are all broke because of the local economy?

The starting point of your success is taking ownership of your failures.    When you start with yourself, you will be motivated to take the actions that produce a successful outcome.

Find The Right “Birds”

When I was growing up, there was this kid in my 5th grade class named “Matt.”  He was cool, and popular.  My mother would always warn me to stay away from him.  She would always say, “Birds of a feather, flock together.”

My teacher would pull me to the side and warn me to stay away from Matt.  When I met with the school’s guidance counselor, her only advice was to “stay away from Matt.”  

My response to all of this guidance was to continue to hang out with him.   Our friendship abruptly ended the following semester, as he transferred to another school.   Recently, while watching the news, I leaned that my old friend Matt is currently in prison serving a life sentence. 

My mother, teacher, and guidance counselor, knew the following truth: Birds that flock together, end up flying to the same destination. 

In order to change your world, it’s critical that you “fly” with world changers.  There’s a “bird” in your upcoming shop owner’s class, who is changing his car count world in spite of the vendors saying “everybody in the area is slow!”  

There’s a bird in your 20 group who has changed her hiring world, by hiring her replacement, even though “it’s hard to find good people in her town.”   

There’s a bird who will be at The Super Conference in March who has high margins in a low income market.

Keep in mind the fact that you won’t be motivated to find the right bird, until you take the first step of owning the problem.   I challenge you to assume full ownership, so you can fly into action!  


As I conclude, I’m reminded of the following poem written by an unknown Monk that ties everything together:

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. 
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. 

When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. 

Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.

My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.

If you start with yourself, and find the right birds, you can change your world and avoid the fastest way to fail!


Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

PS.  Looking to take ownership of your car count problem, but don’t know where to start?  Email to receive my latest More Cars From Google Checklist. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Key To Experiencing Your Breakthrough

The Key To Experiencing Your Breakthrough


Eric M. Twiggs

“The eyes only see what the mind is prepared to comprehend” Henri Bergson

“That’s it, I’m done!” This is what a young professional golfer named “Ben” told his wife “Valerie” after a frustrating day on the course. 

At the end of the second round of The Oakland Open golf competition, Ben was in last place.  To make matters worse, Ben & Valerie were down to their last $50. 

Valerie sat him down and with a calm tone of voice told him that he was a great golfer.  She encouraged him not to give up because he would eventually begin making money on the pro tour. 

Inspired by Valerie’s words, he went out the next day and finished in the top 16 of the tournament!

Within the next two years, he won three consecutive PGA tour events.  As a result of his victories, he received several lucrative endorsement deals which put an end to his financial woes.

 Today, Ben Hogan is in the PGA Hall Of Fame, and is considered one of the greatest golfers of all time. 

Valerie was successful in reminding Ben of what was possible.  The key to experiencing your breakthrough is to place more focus on the possibilities than you do the problems.

At this point you may be thinking: “Great story Twiggs, but when I look at my business, my bays, and my bank account, all I see are problems!”

Well, stay with me to learn two strategies to shift your focus from the problems to the possibilities. 

Stay Open to Proximity

I felt frustrated one Friday while driving to the office.  When I looked out at the traffic around me, all I saw were problems. Nothing but congestion and delays at every turn.  When I viewed the vehicle ahead of me, all I saw were problems.

I noticed that the driver was angrily pointing a “certain finger” in my direction, after cutting in front of me. 

My feelings changed after I glanced at my passenger side mirror.  I could see the image of a successful, content, and prosperous looking man.  He was driving a shiny black Bentley.  As I took a closer look, I noticed the man looked a lot like me.  

As I looked over at my passenger side mirror, I got excited as I read the following words that were written at the bottom: OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR!  This is why you must always stay open to proximity!

The official Eric Twiggs dictionary defines proximity as the nearness in time.   You have to stay open to proximity because you never know how close you are to that breakthrough you’ve been waiting for!

You may look at your bank account and feel like giving up.  But it’s possible that one returned phone call from that major fleet account can change your financial position. 

You may look in the mirror and see someone who’s tired of having to work IN your bays.  It’s possible that making one good hire will allow you to work ON your business and ultimately go ON that vacation!

Staying open to proximity, is the first strategy to help you experience your breakthrough.

Focus Like A Millennial

In his book, Overnight Success: An inspiring story about Culture, Results, and The American Dream, Morris Morrison tells the story of an experiment he conducted while attending a high school football game. 

As he sat in the stands, he noticed that everyone around him had their eyes glued to their smart phones.  Even the people who were walking to get to their seats!

He laid several twenty dollar bills on the ground in plain sight, just to see how everyone would respond.  Thirty minutes went by without anyone noticing the money on the ground. 

Finally, after thirty minutes, a young lady looked up from her phone long enough to notice the money and reach for it.  Imagine how your life could change, if you kept your eyes glued to your goals, like millennials do their phones.

Studies show that the average millennial looks at their smart phone screen once every 12 minutes.   Where could your business be if you looked at your goal poster every 12 minutes?

The average millennial checks Facebook from their phone 14 times a day.  What if you looked at your annual goals 14 times a day?  

80% of millennials check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up each morning.   Imagine the possibilities, if you made reviewing your goals the first thing you did after waking up each morning.  

The best time to review your goals is right after you experience a setback.  Keeping your goals in front of you will help you put your failure behind you.  Focusing like a millennial will shift your focus from the problems to the possibilities!


So, there you have it.  If you stay open to proximity and focus like a millennial, you will shift your focus from the problems to the possibilities.   

What’s possible for you?


Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

PS. Email to receive The 5 Simple Strategies To Keep Your Goals In Front Of You!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

How To Get The Results You Planned For

How To Get The Results You Planned For


Eric M. Twiggs

 “Becoming a champion is not an easy process… It’s done by focusing on what it takes to get there and not on getting there.” – Nick Saban

Are you getting the results you planned for?  I thought about this last week as I embarked on my morning run.   One of the specific running results that I planned for was to run two miles in under an eight minute per mile pace.  I even watched a running instruction video to learn the correct posture. 

While running the following morning, I applied the newly learned posture as I looked at my smartphone to monitor my pace.  I ran a nine minute mile. 

Later that evening, I listened to an exercise audio podcast that discussed the correct breathing method to apply while running.  The next morning, I ran with the correct posture along with the new breathing method. 

I watched the time on my phone during the entire run while listening to my Rocky music.  I felt driven and determined!  My drive and determination resulted in a disappointing nine minute and fifteen second mile.

On day three, I decided that I would only focus on running with the right posture and breathing, without looking at the average mile pace on my phone.  The audio on my running app was set for a two mile run. 

Once I heard the announcement that my run was over, I looked down at the time, and you’ll never guess what I saw on my phone.    I ran a seven minute fifty three second mile!   

Here’s the big takeaway: The key to getting the results you planned for is to place more focus on the process than on the outcome.     

There are two aspects of the process that will allow you get the results you planned for.  Keep reading to learn what they are.


Initially, during my morning run, I wasn’t getting the results I planned for.  My results didn’t change until I changed my approach. 

Back in January, you set goals for 2018.  Your run is almost halfway over, are you getting the results you planned for?      

To get what you want at the shop, you must be fixed on your purpose while remaining flexible on the path.      

For example, It’s good to stay fixed on your purpose of hiring a technician. However, if your plan of “just hoping for the best,” hasn’t produced results, it’s time to embrace a new strategy.

It’s good to stay fixed on your purpose of growing your car count.  However, if posting your ad in the yellow pages book isn’t working for you, then consider changing your approach. 

It’s good to stay fixed on your purpose of increasing gross profit. However, if you’ve had the same labor rate since 2008, you may need a new plan.  

Take a look at the goals you set back in January.  If you’re on track to achieve them, then congratulations!

If not, then ask yourself the following question:  What can I do differently to experience a different outcome?  Asking this question will help you to stay flexible on the path.


There is a famous story told about a chicken and a pig. One day the chicken had an “entrepreneurial seizure” and decided that the two should start their own restaurant.

“Great idea” says the pig. “What shall we name our restaurant?”   To which the chicken replies “Ham and Eggs!” The pig’s response is classic: “No way! As the pig, I’d be committed, while you’d only be involved!”

When it comes to your 2018 goals, are you committed or involved?   The following scenarios will help you decide:

 1) You may only be involved, if you set a goal for a specific Average Repair Order result, but aren’t conducting daily repair order audits to inspect what you expect.  2) You may only be involved, if you set a specific car count improvement goal, but are unwilling to embrace the exit appointment process.  3) You may only be involved, if you set a goal to become a Top Shop, but can’t find the time to attend your 20 Group meetings.  

There’s a battle brewing between what you want and what you have to do to get it. If you stay committed to the process, you can take possession of the prize 


So, there you have it.  If you remain flexible, and stay committed, you can get the results you planned for.   

When it comes to your success, I’m more committed than a pig at the grand opening of a Ham & Eggs restaurant!

Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

PS.  Email  to receive The 7 Processes That All The Top Shops have in common!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How To Keep Your Shop From Stressing You Out

How To Keep Your Shop From Stressing You Out


Eric M. Twiggs

 “There is never a right time to do the wrong thing.” Lou Holtz

Nobody can do it like Eric!” This was my motto during much of my career as a district manager.  My ideal picture of an effective leader was someone with an authoritative approach who had all the answers. 

Since I had all the answers, my people would contact me with all their questions regarding how to deal with unhappy customers, without first attempting to resolve the issues themselves.  

Being the answer man left me feeling secure, self-confident, and stressed out! 

During my first six months as a district manager, I would speak to three store managers a day about shop problems that could have been easily resolved without my input.  Then one day, my stress had reached a tipping point. 

One of my managers named “Jim”, called me wanting to know how to deal with a customer who wanted to use a ten-dollar coupon three days after it expired.  Normally, I would just tell him what to do, but this day was different. 

I responded in the following manner: “So Jim, if I were unavailable and you had to make the call, what would you do?”  After a moment of stuttering and using filler words he replied, “I would go ahead and honor the coupon!” “Great Idea, It sounds like you have this handled!”  I replied as I hung up the phone.

This was a life changing moment, because Jim never called me again with a problem that he already had the answer to.  

Prior to this exchange, he was calling every day!  I applied this approach with the rest of my team and experienced similar results. 

I went from fielding three calls a day to one call per week in a thirty-day time period.   What changed things for me?    Keep reading and you will learn how to keep your shop from stressing you out.  

Embrace The Coaching Habit

In Michael Bungay Stanier’s book The Coaching Habit, he refers to someone with the innate need to provide answers as “the advice monster.” 

According to Stanier, most leaders have a tendency of jumping in and trying to solve the problem based on what they believe they know.  This is problematic for three reasons:

First of all, you don’t always know what the issue is and what’s really going on with the person asking the question. Secondly, the habit of always providing the answers creates a culture of over dependence. 

And lastly, in a culture of overdependence, you spend your time putting out fires and become disconnected from the work you should be doing.   

The best way to embrace the coaching habit is to consistently ask questions that empower your people to find the right answers.

The following are examples of questions you can use the next time a problem is dropped in your lap:  “If I were out of town, and you had to make the decision, what would you decide?”  “If you were the shop owner, and had to make the call, what would that be?”  “Which way are you leaning on this issue?”

The “leaning question” works well because it allows the employee to answer without the fear of committing to the wrong decision.  This question along with the others will help you to embrace the coaching habit, and keep you from showing up to your next Halloween party as the advice monster!

Make a “Don’t Do List”

I have a confession to make.  I have a weakness for the Twix candy bar.  I visited my local grocery store this past weekend, with every intention of sticking to my diet.   When I got to the checkout register, there it was.  It was calling my name. 

After a moment of stress, I gave in and purchased the candy bar.  As I opened the rapper, I wondered why the grocer would place the candy in the checkout line of all places.  

And then it hit me.  By the time you arrive at the checkout line, you have made numerous small decisions.

The grocer knows that the more decisions you have to make, the less willpower you will have when making them. 

Research done at Columbia University has concluded that having to make numerous small decisions throughout the day, impacts your decision making on the important choices.  This is known as decision fatigue.

Are those numerous shop decisions causing you to feel stressed out?  The solution is to make a “don’t do list.”  Your “don’t do list” would contain those daily tasks that you are currently involved with, that are keeping you disconnected from the work you should be doing.    

Take out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle.  On the left side, make a list of the tasks that are keeping you disconnected from your real work.  Items like, making parts runs, book keeping, being the “A” technician, shuttle driving, resolving simple complaints, etc.

On the right side, write the name of the person whom you will be delegating each item to.   I challenge you to delegate at least three “don’t do’s” within the next thirty days.  Delegation will keep you from experiencing decision fatigue.


So, there you have it.  Embracing The Coaching Habit, and working your “don’t do list”, will keep your shop from stressing you out. 

You don’t have to have all the answers to be a Top Shop.  You just need to ask the right questions!


Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

PS:  Michael Stanier outlines seven specific types of questions you can ask that will keep the shop from stressing you out.  Email me and I will send them to you!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

How To Use Your Greatest Asset To Get What You Want

How To Use Your Greatest Asset To Get What You Want


Eric M. Twiggs

 “If you can see it, you can be it.  If you can view it, you can do it.”

In the acting world you have Broadway.  In baseball you have the major leagues.  In the world of new car sales, you have the Mercedes Benz dealership. 

It’s understood, that if you sell cars,  a proven prior track record with a lesser brand, is required before stepping up to the Mercedes level.  This isn’t a mystery.  Everyone knows this.  Everyone, except for “Jeff.”

Jeff had a successful background in selling piano’s but had never sold cars before.   He always wanted to be a Mercedes salesman, and had the audacity to start his quest by inquiring at the local dealerships.  He went to the first location and spoke with a gentleman named “Ron” about his interests.

After telling Ron about his background, Ron said, “The manager isn’t here today, so you’ll have to come back later!”  Jeff checked the dealerships website that evening, and discovered that Ron was the manager! 

He visited the second location and was told that if he wanted to sell Mercedes, he should first apply at the Buick dealer down the road. 

At the third location, “Jack,” the manager, said that he wasn’t qualified, but he was welcome to pay his own way and take the upcoming sales training course that was being offered to his dealer employees. 

Jeff was so determined, that he paid the $403 fee, took the class, and received the highest grade possible for the course!   The instructor was so impressed that he contacted Jack, recommending that Jeff be hired. 

Today Jeffrey Twiggs, my brother, is a top producing Mercedes Benz salesman in Atlanta GA!   At this point, you may be thinking “That’s a great story about your brother, but what does this have to do with me?”   It has everything to do with you.  

Jeff’s story is proof that sometimes, what you don’t know can help you.  On the path to pursuing your goals, the right mindset is your greatest asset.  

Keep reading to learn two ideas that will help you leverage your greatest asset and get what you want.

Change Your Self Talk

Have you ever felt like you were stuck, and unable to make progress towards your shop goals?  Was the underlying reason the economy? Maybe it was your competition?  Did you lack the proper training?

In my nine years of coaching shop owners & service writers, I’ve discovered that 80% of the time, it’s a mindset issue that keeps you stuck.  Once you improve your mindset, you will change your self-talk.

In his groundbreaking book, What To Say When You Talk To Yourself, Dr. Shad Helmstetter concludes that up to 75% of the average person’s mental programming and self-talk is negative. 

He explains that the region of the brain known as “the lizard brain”, is constantly scanning the environment looking to warn us about possible danger.

When it finds a potential threat, it delivers warnings that can become negative self-talk. Since accomplishment and risk go hand in hand, the lizard brain speaks the loudest while you’re pursuing a game changing goal.

The following are examples may sound familiar: “I can’t use that pricing matrix, it will put me out of business!” “That’s a first time customer, so I can’t present the complete estimate!” 

“What if I hire that great technician, and I don’t have enough work to keep him?” “My customers ask for me by name, so I can’t hire my replacement!”

Here’s the bottom line: It’s impossible to say something positive and think something negative at the same time!  In spite of experiencing rejections, Jeff continued to tell himself that working for Mercedes was possible.  His speaking impacted his thinking, and his thinking impacted his result.

If you consistently speak about the positive possibilities, it will change your mindset. When you change your mindset, you will change your self-talk.  When you change your self-talk, you will start moving towards your goals. 

Become Delusional

The dictionary defines delusion as a belief or altered reality that is persistently held in spite of evidence or agreement to the contrary.  Jeff had to be delusional to think he could work for Mercedes, without any prior experience.

The fact that he continued to persist in the face of contrary evidence, is an indication that he was living in an altered reality.   His delusion is what made everything possible!

What would be possible if you ignored the evidence that, “Everyone’s buying new cars”?  What would be possible if you persisted with the exit appointment program, even after your service writer told you that it didn’t work? 

What would be possible if you lived in an “altered reality” where customers would find the money if they felt the value? 

I challenge you to become delusional this week as you pursue your goals.  You never know what’s possible!


So, there you have it.  If you change your self-talk and become delusional, you will leverage your greatest asset and achieve your goals.

Once you’ve succeeded, you can use the additional cash flow to buy yourself a brand new, shiny, fully loaded, Buick!


Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

PS:  Email me if you would like a copy of my 50 questions to help you find your purpose in life.  Gaining clarity of purpose will help you to pursue your goals with the right mindset!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

How To Move from Excuses To Excellence

How To Move from Excuses To Excellence


Eric M. Twiggs

“There is nothing either good or bad. Thinking makes it so.” William Shakespeare

Do your results at the shop depend on external events?  As I ponder this question, I’m reminded of a story I shared in a previous post about this single father with two young sons. 

The father was laid off from his job and struggling to make ends meet.  After several months of unemployment, he became desperate and robbed the local convenience store. 

The father was arrested and sentenced to twenty years in prison.  The two boys were separated from each other and placed in the foster care system. 

Fifteen years later, a news anchor got wind of the story and decided to check in to see how the boys were doing. The youngest son had become a drug addict who was always in trouble with the law. The older son had become a successful entrepreneur and community activist. 

The reporter met with the boys separately and asked them both the same question: "Why do believe you turned out the way you did?" 

They both had the same reply: "What else would you expect with a father like that?   The boys got different results, even though they experienced the same event.  But why?  

The Bridge

It’s the same reason that you, and that owner in your 20 group, can get different parts margin results, even though your customers have the same median income.  

It’s the same reason that you and that owner you met at The Super Conference, can have different car count results, even though you both share the experience of being in a small town.

You both are experiencing the same event, but one of you is making excuses, while the other is achieving excellence.  You bring a different perspective to the shared experience.

Your perspective is the bridge that can take you from excuses to excellence.  Which side of the bridge are you on? defines perspective as a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something. 

For example, when you watch the news and the reporter interviews two people who witnessed an accident, they usually mention a different account of the same accident.   Their individual beliefs have shaped the way they regard the event. 

Here’s the bottom line: If your beliefs about your situation, your shop, or yourself, aren’t moving you closer to your goals, then a change of perspective is in order.     When your perspective lines up with your goals, it becomes the bridge that takes you from excuses to excellence. 

The Question

I spoke with two shop owners this past week, one named “Tom” and the other named “Todd”.    Tom ranked in the ATI Top 25 for 2017, while Todd has a negative gross profit dollar lift average for the year. 

Both told me how their vendors were saying that the entire area was slow.  Both mentioned that their competitors were complaining about their bays being empty

Tom experienced a record setting week in mechanical sales and Gross Profit, while Todd blamed his local economy for his subpar performance.  Why did they get different results, despite experiencing similar slowness?  

As Tom was going through his experience, he asked himself the following question, “What can I do differently?” 

When you’re faced with a problem, like low sales, or low car count, ask yourself the previously mentioned question until you can come up with eight different options to overcome the issue. 

Doing this will change your perspective and cause you to move from excuses to excellence.   


So, there you have it.  Embracing the right perspective will move you from excuses to excellence.   Asking the right question will position you to experience profits while others are complaining about problems.  What else would you expect with a mindset like that?

Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

PS:  I have a Perspectives Tool that can help you to identify eight different options to overcome your most pressing problem.  Email  if you would like a copy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Starting Point of Your Success As A Shop Owner

The Starting Point of Your Success As A Shop Owner


Eric M. Twiggs

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Lewis Carroll

What’s the starting point of your success as a shop owner?  As I ponder this question, I’m reminded of a video series, I watched recently,  that was done by  Dr. Rhadi Ferguson,  who wrote the book, Coffee With Rhadi, Herculean Conversations with an Olympian.     

In one of his videos, he tells the story of his quest to make it to the Olympic Games in the sport of Judo.  Every day, he would look in the mirror and say to himself, “I’m going to the Olympics”.  He would take out a 3 X 5 card and write, “I’m going to the Olympics.” 

He created a poster with a picture of the Olympic circles and written under the caption were the following words: “I’m going to the Olympics.”

Several months later, his wish came true.  He went to the 2000 Olympic games!  There was one small problem.  He went to the games as a spectator, NOT as a competitor!  Since he didn’t make the team, he had to purchase a ticket and pay his own way!    

Where did he go wrong?   Why didn’t he get what he really wanted?    The one thing that held him back may be the one thing that’s keeping you from getting what you REALLY wantHis goal lacked clarity.

Get Clear & Specific

Clarity is the starting point of your success as a shop owner.  Setting a vague goal will leave you with vague results.  For example, setting a goal, “to hire a technician by June 1st” sounds like a good idea, right?

But how good would it be if your new hire, refuses to do courtesy checks, never completes jobs ahead of book time, and has more comebacks than Brett Favre?    

We learned from Dr. Ferguson’s story that going and competing in the Olympics are two different things.  Just going to the Olympics is a vague goal, while competing in the games is clear and specific.   

Likewise, just “hiring a technician” is a vague goal.   Hiring an ‘A’ technician who is ASE master certified, and 100% efficient is clear and specific. 

Setting a goal to “improve net profit” is vague.  Completing the win # drill, and then setting a goal to average $3,000 per week in net profit, is clear and specific. 

If hiring the right people and generating enough profit are your problems, then developing clear and specific solutions should be your priority.

Always Begin With The End In Mind 

Imagine if a lost stranger stopped by your shop today to ask for directions.  He says, “I’m lost and need directions.”   You respond with,” No problem, where are you trying to go?” Picture him replying with the following response, “I’m not sure exactly, but I want to go somewhere that’s better!”

I speak with many shop owners who are like the lost stranger.  They want to do better, but they haven’t defined where “better” is or what "better" looks like.  The solution is to always begin your business-related interactions, with a specific end in mind.  

Before you attend your next meeting, ask yourself the following question, “What is my desired outcome?

For example, asking this question before you go to the next Super Conference may result in you doing business with a specific digital tablet vendor.  Asking this question before your next 20 group meeting, may result in you coming back with specific strategies to hire your replacement. 

Asking this question before your upcoming Chamber of Commerce meeting, may result in you getting a new customer with the specific fleet of vehicles, that you like to service.   

It’s ok to have more than one desired outcome in mind.  The key is for each outcome to be clear and specific. 


Dr. Ferguson’s story has a happy ending.  He set the specific goal of competing in the Olympics, and in 2004 he represented Team USA in the games that were held in Athens, Greece.  

If you get clear and specific, and always begin with the end in mind, you will position yourself to compete at the highest levels.   Your story has a better chance of having a happy ending, if you visualize the specific outcome from the beginning!


Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

PS.  Email to receive a special goal setting worksheet that will help you set clear and specific goals.