Can Limitations and Obstructions Push Us Forward in Our Creative Work?
After giving this prompt some reflection, I think the answer is yes, yes and yes. In the car business, as with all businesses I suppose, it’s all about the numbers. Having come from very large car companies, the focus was ALWAYS on the numbers. “We’re closing the month, what number are we at? How many did you sell last month? “You are 2 away from getting that bonus… ” Having large companies already in place, makes the numbers game a lot easier . But what about the independent dealerships?
When we tell people we sold so many this month. They are shocked. ” How can you sell that many?!” ” You are such a small lot?!” “The snowbirds are gone for the season.” ” This is the slow season.” “Summer is upon us, the dreaded slow season is here.” Someone put a limitations in their heads and they expect us to adhere to those LIMITATIONS. But it’s exactly those limitations that propel us to push forward. I’ve learned to ignore those limitations, but to my husband that only came naturally. This is what separates the successful from the mediocre. We are just a small little lot, only able to house about 45 cars, in Jupiter, Fl. That could be a limitation, but it’s not. Instead we choose to look at it as a positive because after people get to know us, they prefer to come to us for a used car, rather than a big dealership, with no connection to the customer. Being a small business , we choose to close on the holidays, give back to our local schools, and sit down with each customer listening to where they are coming from. We know what it’s like to be on a budget and have to buy a car for your new driver in the family. We do our best to know that when the customer walks out, with or without a car, they will want to come back, because we’ve made a connection to them. And they know that if the car they are looking for is not physically on our lot, it’s because we are limited in size only, but for them, we will go out of our way to find what they are looking for. We even sell out of state, to those beloved snow birds that have migrated back home. Then the word gets out. Before you know it, we get known as a small, friendly dealership, but we are “on the map!” That’s how we compensate for the limitations size and distance.
And yes, summer is typically a slow season. Again, we choose to ignore. If we’ve done our job right, people come back any time of year, including summer. I don’t know about you, but I look out my window, and still see cars on the road in the summertime. You can’t let so called limitations hold you down. Mindset is connected to success. Make up your mind everyday that you are going to be a positive contribution to your company, and your customers. I guarantee the only limit you’ll have is the sky.