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Opinion

What’s Your Story?

These days, it seems that you’re working harder than ever to ensure that your customers, your employees, even your suppliers have as positive of an experience every time they step into your shop. You don’t complain – you do what it takes because it’s how you build a thriving business.

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But what do you do for yourself? What motivates you? What recharges your batteries?

Everyone has a hobby or two. Marketers love to lump people into narrow, predictable categories. You know, the “typical” automotive guys tend to like racing, fishing and hunting. Maybe that’s you – maybe it isn’t.

See, even if you do like these activities, you may consider them just a hobby.  But you probably have a passion for something else; something interesting, even obscure.

I’m interested in talking with a shop owner who has a real passion for something outside the shop – maybe he’s a volunteer firefighter; or she’s an MMA fighter; or together they have a barbecue business that feeds homeless people on the weekends. 

I know of shop owners who take kids on week-long Jeep jamborees into the mountains. I’ve been told of shop owners who are touring musicians. There are guys who get up every morning to surf and have plans to hit every beach sung about by the Beach Boys in Surfin’ U.S.A.  Shop owners who would rather ride a trail bike 200 miles than drive a car that far.

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We plan to start featuring some of these unique stories in a new section our magazine over the next few months, and I’m open to suggestions. 

Are you someone who might be a good candidate for a conversation? I’m interested in talking with a shop owner who has a real passion for something outside the shop – maybe he’s a volunteer firefighter; or she’s an MMA fighter; or together they have a barbecue business that feeds homeless people on the weekends. Maybe someone who not only distills craft whiskey but turns it into racing fuel for his customers who run dragsters and donate their winnings to animal rescue shelters.

Okay, extreme cases are not literally  what I’m looking for. What I really want to do is show the personality that is outside that marketing description. This industry does a lot of good for a lot of people and often doesn’t get much postive recognition. 

You should never have to apologize for doing something you love outside of your job. Building a successful business should provide the opportunity to disconnect from the day-to-day.  You hire valuable, dedicated employees who are empowered to manage the operation in your absence so congratulations on being able to pursue those passions!

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If you know someone who has an interesting story, let me know about it. Email me a brief description with contact information to [email protected] or call and leave a message. I won’t guarantee everyone will make the cut but I will guarantee everyone will be considered!

Do you define yourself by the job you have or the works you do? I hope that, whichever applies to you, the success of your business gives you personal as well as professional satisfaction.

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