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I am about to turn 50 petty soon, what's next?


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As the title says, I will be turning 50 in the next few years, and I am now in doubt that I want to stay in this business.

 

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy running the business and helping ppl. But I feel burn out.

 

I have a few properties and other things that will help me "retire", but I have not seen anything that fires me up into the next stage in life.

 

Anyone else have experienced anything like it?

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I now have 2 shops and buying more. I own the properties. I manage from the outside. I hire great people, I pay the deserving people well and get rid of the rest. There is alot of incompetence in this business that will make your life harder. Burn out in my opinion is typically overwhelm, and overwhelm is incompetence in one or more areas of the business or in life. I'm considered "retired" by many because I spend my days having fun, traveling taking classes and "living the good life". If it's a strong business and is productive it would be in your best interest to fill all aspects of the business with competent people and watch the income flow in and then sit back comfortably and enjoy your life. I pop in the shops once in a while but my numbers are the true indicator of success not my opinions. I cannot ever see selling a money making machine to put a lump sum in the bank and watch it dwindle.

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I feel your pain. I turn 40 next year and after a terrible year both in my business and in my personal life I have had a lot of the same thoughts. The sad part is I owe too much money and don't have much choice :( So off to work I go and hope that I can make enough money to keep the bills paid.

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I feel your pain. I turn 40 next year and after a terrible year both in my business and in my personal life I have had a lot of the same thoughts. The sad part is I owe too much money and don't have much choice :( So off to work I go and hope that I can make enough money to keep the bills paid.

"Hope" is not a survival action in business and in life. You wouldn't want to let go of a cars steering wheel and "hope" it stays on the road, at any speed. You need to drive success home. Change the way you operate if it is not a successful operating basis. I can tell you having more debt than you can comfortably handle is demoralizing but it can be handled. It takes willingness and ability, studying, learning, applying data and adjusting accordingly to get back on track. At this point I have bailed out a few businesses from the brink of hopelessness and they have the same mentality in common. Life's hard, bad luck, victim of circumstances, so on and so forth, truth is, something can be done about it, and you have to CAUSE the improvements.
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. Burn out in my opinion is typically overwhelm, and overwhelm is incompetence in one or more areas of the business or in life.

I haven't had anyone imply I was incompetent in a long time. You made me laugh, thanks for that.

 

I notice you didn't mentioned your age, but nevertheless, good for you and your success. As for me burned out, I meant, this industry does not hold the wonderment it had for me as when I started.

 

Anyhow, thanks for your opinion.

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I feel your pain. I turn 40 next year and after a terrible year both in my business and in my personal life I have had a lot of the same thoughts. The sad part is I owe too much money and don't have much choice :( So off to work I go and hope that I can make enough money to keep the bills paid.

 

Make a plan, and use metrics to pay off your debt. At least that's what has helped me in the past.

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I think you may be right, although I am still in love with the missus and don't forsee changing her anytime soon, unless she has different plans....

My missus forced the change.....wasn't much option for me. Kinda hard to function for most of last year....So I had my midlife woman crisis allowed. LOL

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I guess I should "chime in" with my thoughts. Since I'm well over 50 and have owned and operated a shop for over 3 decades. Burn out is the major thing most people think of when getting to that point that they want a change. Me, it's not really burn out as you may think. It's more than that. I've found a niche where I can put my energy into... and that's the teaching and writing aspects. Even though my shop is still as busy as it has always been I'm not there as often do to my traveling. And, I'm enjoying myself more than I ever have when running a full crew at the shop.

 

Incompetence is rampant in this business. From shop owners to technicians. What/where does this incompetence come from??? Lack of training mostly. You want to avoid burn out....know as much as you can. Anything to make the job easier, that also includes customer relation knowledge. As I've said before, "If I knew what I know now back when I started would I have done it again?" The answer is YES....but better!

 

My goal these days is to entertain and inform other shop owners and technicians what it's really like out there in the world of professional automotive repair, at the same time find a solution to the incompetence in our industry. I would personally like to see those "guys" never to be allowed to open the hood of a car or ever go into business dealing with paying customers.

 

On the other hand, everybody will have a period of burn out no matter what the profession. The thing to keep in mind is, "What are you good at? What is your passion? What do you enjoy doing?" Money is important, but piece of mind is priceless.

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. I am very lucky because she is still one good looking lady.

Congrats Frank! Oh, and to the wife too! I guess she's not burned out having to deal with ya for all those years. LOL Congrats again!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I turned 40 last year, no Harley or corvette yet. I did buy myself a mid life present - a 1982 ski nautique water ski boat. I don't live near a lake, I don't water ski. I don't even like boating that much. But it was a fuck it I can do what I want moment. Lol I sold it but it was better for me long term than a Harley and a mistress. For the record I'm on my 2nd set of tools, I sold everything and started an internet company and a farm when I burnt out a while back.

 

I thought I hated fixing cars, I thought I hated the general public, what I found out was I actually hated the stockholders pressuring the board to use me as a cash machine.

 

I hope in 10 years I'll be checking my shops #'s and posting from a villa on the Adriatic sea. Time will tell.

Edited by alfredauto
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I turned 40 last year, no Harley or corvette yet. I did buy myself a mid life present - a 1982 ski nautique water ski boat. I don't live near a lake, I don't water ski. I don't even like boating that much. But it was a fuck it I can do what I want moment. Lol I sold it but it was better for me long term than a Harley and a mistress. For the record I'm on my 2nd set of tools, I sold everything and started an internet company and a farm when I burnt out a while back.

 

I thought I hated fixing cars, I thought I hated the general public, what I found out was I actually hated the stockholders pressuring the board to use me as a cash machine.

 

I hope in 10 years I'll be checking my shops #'s and posting from a villa on the Adriatic sea. Time will tell.

Dude, corvette is a young man's car now... All of my friends say I just hit my midlife crisis because I Bought a 2008 z06 vett and a 2011 CTS-V this year.

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LOL I hit my "mid life crisis" last year at 34. The 7 days/week 14hours a day and putting out more fires than the NYFD just got to me. I wanted to see my children grow up(4, 2 and 6 months) so I made the change. I bought a Viper then ended up getting into another business and now I'm back to auto repair...

 

 

post-1194-0-88811900-1438261951_thumb.jpg

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I now have 2 shops and buying more. I own the properties. I manage from the outside. I hire great people, I pay the deserving people well and get rid of the rest. There is alot of incompetence in this business that will make your life harder. Burn out in my opinion is typically overwhelm, and overwhelm is incompetence in one or more areas of the business or in life. I'm considered "retired" by many because I spend my days having fun, traveling taking classes and "living the good life". If it's a strong business and is productive it would be in your best interest to fill all aspects of the business with competent people and watch the income flow in and then sit back comfortably and enjoy your life. I pop in the shops once in a while but my numbers are the true indicator of success not my opinions. I cannot ever see selling a money making machine to put a lump sum in the bank and watch it dwindle.

 

 

sounds great I wish I could afford to do the same in the city. Properly costs are horrendous here.

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You were smart to quit when you did. Now you have a chance to build a business the way you want it to be. Too many guys who know how to fix cars wind up burnt out because they don't know how to structure the business, set pricing, say no, etc. I got a direct mail postcard from a guy yesterday offering a $34.95 full synthetic oil change and $15.95 regular oil change, ac special including freon for $44.95 and other low ball prices. Too many do that and work 70 hours a week and make no money. People who are looking for bargains tend to be the customers you don't want.

 

Agreed. I found it amazing that when you set high standards how many people flock to it. Oil is a good example, I will not put garbage $1 oil in your vehicle. My cheap oil change is between $40 and $50 period. I decided if you don't want to take care of the 2nd most expensive thing you own, the one that gets you and your family to where you are going safely and relaibly, I don't want you as a customer. It's a fantastic way to weed out the want-something-for-nothings&won't-be-satisfied-no-matter-what-you-do's :).

 

 

 

 

sounds great I wish I could afford to do the same in the city. Properly costs are horrendous here.

 

I can't even imagine what they are in NY, you have my sympathy.

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In the next few years I will be looking to purchase a building for my shop however for the money I will be investing into that I could probably have 2-4 locations if I lived in a different area around the country.

I hear you there Construction land and heat are ridiculous where we live.

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Be careful in areas with cheap real estate. I live in one of the cheapest places in the us to buy property. Here in the southern tier of NY the taxes are high, the heating bills are higher, but the real killer is the lack of motivated talented people to fill positions. The brightest kids move away, they are crazy not to. Just Google commercial real estate in say Elmira, NY, it's at giveaway prices.

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  • 3 months later...

I now have 2 shops and buying more. I own the properties. I manage from the outside. I hire great people, I pay the deserving people well and get rid of the rest. There is alot of incompetence in this business that will make your life harder. Burn out in my opinion is typically overwhelm, and overwhelm is incompetence in one or more areas of the business or in life. I'm considered "retired" by many because I spend my days having fun, traveling taking classes and "living the good life". If it's a strong business and is productive it would be in your best interest to fill all aspects of the business with competent people and watch the income flow in and then sit back comfortably and enjoy your life. I pop in the shops once in a while but my numbers are the true indicator of success not my opinions. I cannot ever see selling a money making machine to put a lump sum in the bank and watch it dwindle.

That is a great post man, and you serve as inspiration. My goal is to build my shop up to the point where I can step back and feel confident the individuals I have in place will represent my name, and work ethic with the same passion and love I dedicate to this industry. That way I can focus on taking that income and putting it to work.

 

I must admit though, I don't know how I feel about running a shop(s) well into my 50's. This industry is too fast paced and cutthroat, and I would much rather sell off at that point, take that money, and put it to work in something less hectic. Then again, I'm not in your shoes, and cannot really speak on that experience, because I haven't experienced it yet.

 

And yes, money in the bank is worthless. You need to put it to work.

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That is a great post man, and you serve as inspiration. My goal is to build my shop up to the point where I can step back and feel confident the individuals I have in place will represent my name, and work ethic with the same passion and love I dedicate to this industry. That way I can focus on taking that income and putting it to work.

 

I must admit though, I don't know how I feel about running a shop(s) well into my 50's. This industry is too fast paced and cutthroat, and I would much rather sell off at that point, take that money, and put it to work in something less hectic. Then again, I'm not in your shoes, and cannot really speak on that experience, because I haven't experienced it yet.

 

And yes, money in the bank is worthless. You need to put it to work.

Thank you! The key to growth and building a great shop is to persevere through human disappointment. Whether its employees or customers or wife and kids, realizing that no human being is perfect and many will disappoint you, will allow you to breathe without losing confidence in humanity. You must always believe there is someone out there that can do "your" job for you as good or better than you or else you will be stuck in a certain job post forever.

 

As for running a shop in your 50's, that's a matter of establishing what running a shop looks like to you. Running a shop to me is looking at statistics and seeing what's prospering and what's floundering. Who's doing their job and who's wasting shop time. All that, can be monitored through statistics and accountability and then handle or terminate accordingly. It's a revolving door of confidence and disappointment. But if the door gets stuck, you get trapped. And many give up to their disappointment.

 

In order to step back successfully you must know your business inside and out and keep statistics on any and all products and sub-products necessary to creating and running a great business.

If it's essential to the running and functioning of the business someone must be held accountable for that product and sub-product through statistics. Whether it's runs to the dumpster or closing appointments, it's kept statistic insures its continuance and improvements or monitors it's negligence and demise.

 

I'm 37 years old. People think I'm lucky. I just think I do things intelligently so things work out for me. Do not rely on luck, embrace your intelligence and what makes real sense to make real profits in the real world.

 

-Andre

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Andre, all of your posts on this forum, including this one, remind me of what
Michael Gerber, author of the book, The E-Myth says, which is:
"The system runs the business. The people run the system. It transforms
a business into a machine."


This is an image I have on my computer monitor, as a screensaver. It's a
constant reminder and helps me stay focused when I'm working with clients
(and even as I evaluate how to run my own business more effectively).

 

If you click on the image, you'll see it a bit better.

post-1866-0-85018900-1446817655_thumb.jpg

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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