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Expanding The Business, Step 13: Surround Yourself with the Right People

Joe Marconi


There’s an expression that states, “You are who you associate with”. I have learned from this expansion project that this is brutally true. In order to grow and achieve the best for yourself in life you need to associate with people who share the same dreams, goals and aspirations. It’s amazing how many business people, including other shop owners, question the rationale behind my desire to grow my business. Maybe it’s a touch of jealousy? On the flip side, it’s remarkable how many customers wish me the best of luck and are behind me 100 percent.


Then, there are the rumors. The gossip that got back to me is actually funny and sad at the same time. People told me that they heard that a major parts company was backing me. Others told me that they heard the only way I could accomplish this expansion was by charging astronomical prices for years past and by paying my people dirt-cheap. The best story is that I am somehow tied to organized crime. While I do admit that I grew up in the Bronx and of Italian decent, this is laughable. I don’t think Tony Soprano would be interested in my auto repair shop in update New York.


I guess what really hurts are the comments from shop owners I have known for years that throw digs my way. Is it that hard to believe that a shop owner, of my caliber, take on a project of this size? Is this too far fetched? Maybe they are reacting to their own inabilities.


The truth is that when I stand back a look at my project, it IS hard to believe that I’m actually doing this. It’s scary and things can go really wrong in a hurry. But the thrill of doing something like this is incredible. I will end this with another saying, “It is better to have tried and fail, than to have never tried at all”.


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