I was listening to someone giving a talk recently about the challenges that you experience over a lifetime and that “how” you deal with those challenges says everything about who you are. How you face and deal with the challenges in your life defines you.
Give some thought to the different challenges you’ve had to deal with in business the ones that you won and ones that you didn’t. How did these challenges shape you? Did you learn lessons from the ones you lost? I did. You have to believe that you are up to any challenge that comes your way in business, regardless of the outcome.
When I started to think about some of the challenges that I’ve faced over my 40+ years in business I began to recognize what the speaker had meant. Looking back at those challenges may have seemed more like battles at the time. Some of them I won, some I lost. In business you obviously need to be up for every challenge you face or you’re not going to be successful. You have to work continuously to find solutions to every challenge.
In the late 1970’s I faced a challenge that, at the time, I thought was insurmountable. But I figured out a way to balance out the needs of a supplier to whom I owed money when there wasn’t money immediately available to settle accounts. We worked together to find a solution that worked for us both. A battle won. My company thrived and was sold to the largest industry player seven years later.
In 1990, I went to work for a company that was losing millions of dollars per year and the challenges were countless. Over a six year period at this new company, and with the help of countless number of great people with whom I was very fortunate to have been associated, we worked through each of the challenges and found a solution. We moved the company to profitability in two years and became the second largest auto glass repair and replacement (AGRR) company in the mid 1990’s. As a team, we grew the company from a 50+ store multi-regional player to 270+ stores in 40+ states and a force to be reckoned with.
I’ve also faced challenges that I couldn’t find a solution. As an auto glass installer trainee a long time ago, a gentleman with whom I worked by the name of J.C. Hand told me that if you’re going to be in this business you’re going to make mistakes. Although his commentary on life in the AGRR industry wasn’t necessarily sage, his words have always stuck with me.
When you face difficult challenges, you always seek out those whom you trust and admire to bounce your ideas off of on how to best deal with them. Listen closely to their advice. They may not always be right, but you’ll see what others would do if they were facing the challenges you are. The reality is that there are some challenges that you face that may be insurmountable. But you have to try.
You’ve got to try to never let anyone, any company or thing get the better of you. Work hard to figure out a work-a-round to your challenge. Always remember that when you face a challenge it’s not always the battle won, the battle waged is just as important. It defines who you are.
#1 by Albert Merced on July 23, 2013 - 1:33 pm
The best commentary by far!
#2 by Russell Lanning on July 23, 2013 - 4:36 pm
J.C. HAND, THATS A NAME FROM THE PAST. HE SHOWED ME HOW TO DO DW685 AND NOT TAKE HOURS DOING IT.
#3 by "Just Sayin'..." on July 23, 2013 - 4:44 pm
Yes he was quite a gentleman who shared his expertise with many young pups. Thanks for remembering JC Russell. Hope you’re doing great!
#4 by Jim Floto on July 23, 2013 - 4:37 pm
Spot on message today. Battling the Goliath’s of the world is tough business. We all just have to go out everyday and hit some bullseyes. Looking forward to the next column.
#5 by "Just Sayin'..." on July 23, 2013 - 4:47 pm
Thanks. Best of luck to you in your battles!
#6 by Joe Estrada on November 9, 2013 - 9:58 pm
I worked for Windshields America back then, it was s great company to work for, I now try to run my business with those standars in mind, from the employees to the costumer. Great article. Joe Estrada, Estrada’s Carglass. San Antonio, Tx .
#7 by "Just Sayin'..." on November 9, 2013 - 10:49 pm
Thanks Joe. WA was fun and I forged friendships that will last a lifetime. Everyone worked hard and we had fun doing it. Glad you were a part of it. Best of luck to you!