The Ultimate Auto Shop Coaching Blog

Helping Shop Owners grow into the successful entrepreneurs they imagine themselves to be.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The One Thing You Never Hear from Employees

Take responsibility for your punctuality.

“Time is what we want most but use worst!” William Penn 

“Traffic was really bad!”
“There was a bad accident on the beltway!”
“I was pulled over by a state trooper!”

If I had a dollar for every time someone has made one of these statements, I’d have about 327 dollars! 

ATI Fundamental #20 instructs us to Be Punctual.

While I’ve heard the previously mentioned reasons for being late, here’s one I’ve never heard: “Sorry I’m late Twiggs. It’s my fault. I need to leave my house earlier next time.”  

How many times has an employee said this to you?

Extenuating circumstances are factors beyond your control that may hurt your desired outcome (traffic, weather, dog eating your homework, etc.). We all have them. I get it!

The problem is that most people are blind to their responsibility for punctuality despite their extenuating circumstances.


The root problem is in the planning. When you estimate how long it takes to get to your destination or to meet a deadline, the tendency is to assume the best case scenario.

For example, the shop is twenty minutes from your house. You assume there will never be a traffic delay along your way, so you leave twenty minutes before your scheduled time, and arrive late!

Or, you had thirty days to complete the shop tour video for your 20 Group. Shooting the video only takes thirty minutes, so you plan to do it the Friday before the meeting.

What you didn’t plan on was working in the shop because your best technician suddenly got sick. As a result, you never get around to shooting the video.

In these scenarios, who was to blame for being late and missing the deadline? I made this question multiple choice in case you wanted to use a lifeline or phone a friend:
  1. The Traffic
  2. The Technician
  3. The Reflection in Your Mirror
If you chose option “C” you’re right on time! Keep reading to discover a simple step you can take to be on time every time.

The 50% Buffer

Since we now agree that you are responsible for being on time, even with your extenuating circumstances, you are ready to implement the 50% buffer.

This idea comes from Greg McKeown, who introduced it In his book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

You simply multiply 50% by the time estimate to account for the worst-case scenarios.

For example, if it usually takes you twenty minutes to get to your shop, multiplying that number by 50% would allow you to leave 10 minutes earlier! (20 minutes x 50% = 10 minutes)

If it normally takes you an hour to drive to your ATI class, using the 50% buffer would allow you to leave your house 30 minutes earlier! (1 hour x 50% = 30 minutes) 

If there were traffic on your way in, the extra ten minutes and the additional thirty minutes would be your buffer to ensure you arrived on time anyway!


So, there you have it. By taking responsibility for your punctuality, and implementing the 50% buffer, you can be on time every time!

I normally start writing this blog on Monday morning, but due to extenuating circumstances, I didn’t start this week until late Monday afternoon!

I take personal responsibility for my punctuality and will implement the 50% Buffer so that I can start on time next week!


Eric M. Twiggs

P.S. Is the fact that you’re busy putting out fires, causing you to be late? Email to receive an editable copy of The Time Management Matrix, to help you focus on those things that are important but not urgent! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

How to Gain an Unfair Advantage in Your Area

Follow-up will give you an unfair advantage in your area!

“Not following up with your prospects is the same as filling up your bathtub without first putting the stopper in the drain.” Michelle Moore 

How do they do it? I asked this question several years ago, as a new member of my local Toastmasters International club. The meetings were held every Tuesday, and the room was always packed with aspiring speakers.

At the district conventions, the leaders of the other clubs complained about member count being down in the area. When one club leader spoke about their low member count, the others would console her by saying, “It’s not just you; everybody is slow.” (Sound familiar??)

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Three Steps to Build a Leading Brand

Three Steps to Build a Leading Brand

A brand is worthless if it doesn’t connect with the right audience in a relevant way.” Cory Torella 

It’s late in the evening and you’re out of town, driving without your GPS device. You don’t know where you are, you don’t know where you’re going, but you do know that you’re hungry! Up ahead, you see the next exit has fast food options so you turn off and go down that road.

You pull up to the stop light and are faced with a difficult decision: you can either turn left and go to McDonald’s, or you can go right and eat at The Twiggs Burger Joint. What would you do?

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Moving From Good to Great as a Shop Owner

Change expectations to go from good to great

“Don’t expect victory or defeat. Plan for victory, learn from defeat.” Gary John Bishop 

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins communicates the concept of The Stockdale Paradox. It’s based on the experience of James Stockdale, a high-ranking naval officer who was held captive as a POW for seven years during the Vietnam war.

He was tortured repeatedly and had no rational reason to remain positive. The dates on the calendar would change, but his situation remained the same.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Are You Getting Thrown Under the Bus?

Does your shop practice the blame game?

“The starting point of success is taking ownership of your failures.”

If you Googled the phrase, “To throw under the bus,” an image of my six-year-old son Eric would appear! 

He’s infamous in the Twiggs household for throwing his older sister Erin under the bus! If I ask, “Eric, why haven’t you gone to sleep yet?” His reply, “Its Erin’s fault, she keeps talking to me!”