Maybe it’s a strange-type A-Virgo-slightly OCD-anal retentive personality trait that I have or perhaps I’m just an old soul who is hard to explain. Either way – I like things “topped off”. Who doesn’t? For instance, right after I make my coffee in the am (don’t hate me for using K-Cups), I pitch the grinds and immediately grab my smart water and start filling up the 48oz reservoir on my Keurig – so that the next cup is ready to go, even though I could let it get low and then run out of water. When I am not giving people tickets to the magic show at the dealership, you’ll find me on the ski slopes of Colorado undoubtedly.
I always leave downtown Denver with a full tank of gas and upon arriving on the other side of the continental divide, I stop and “top off” the tank. I do this for a variety of reasons. First, I want to already be full when I leave the mountains headed to downtown Denver. Secondly, I want to be prepared for worst-case scenarios, i.e., sitting in I-70 eastbound traffic in a blizzard/freezing conditions and high winds. I also do the same thing with washer fluid. I don’t always need it, however when I get a chance to top it off at the dealership or a gas station, I do.
Not because it is needed right then, but because the last thing I want to find myself in, is a situation where I need something I don’t have that could have been prevented by paying attention and taking action early when I had time.
The same concept can be applied in the business office. How many times have you been in the middle of a busy Saturday and you are about to spin your 5th deal and you have 3 waiting and while completing a deal for a customer, you look down at the printer under your desk and realize the temporary permit forms you are waiting for are pending because you are out of paper? Spending the extra few seconds at the beginning of each day to properly prepare ourselves for activities that are to come, eliminates the downtime of “topping off” the printer.
I like to always make sure I am prepared for whatever is to come. This isn’t always possible in EVERY situation; however, I feel that if you are diligent in being faithful in the ordinary, you can achieve more greatness each day by paying attention to the little details that really do matter. It allows you to traverse the day with more confidence and less aggravation.
When you are constantly on top of everything that is asked and required of you during the day, it makes new requests and favors easier to say yes to without added stress. When you know that you need to have your monthly numbers updated for a manager meeting on Wednesday morning, but you have time to do it each day, I like to spend 3 minutes updating a report daily rather than spend 30 minutes once a week working on the same thing.
Why? Because on the off chance the owner wants to move the meeting up, instead of scrambling, stressing, and suffering with the task, you can breathe easy and know that you need 3 minutes to be ready or better yet, you ARE ready.
Having the mentality of “DO IT NOW”, instead of “it can wait until later” is what separates the real pros in this business. When you are prepared and have your life dialed in, in all aspects, you are more likely to win and win big. The feeling of being ready for whatever happens to you each day is a feeling of confidence allowing you to have a better attitude and a more stable approach at the daily tasks and interactions with others. I encourage you to look around your life – at home and the store, and find ways to be more proactive and look for things to “top off”. See how that impacts you later on. My guess is once you try it my way, you’ll enjoy the results so much, you’ll adopt this as your approach for being ready, getting set, and poising towards continued improvement & success!!
Justin grew up in the car business and officially began his automotive industry career in 2003. In 2014, he joined the staff of McCaddon Cadillac Buick GMC in Boulder, CO as the dealership’s sole full-time F&I professional. That year, he won first place in F&I and Showroom’s F&Idol contest and helped McCaddon earn F&I Pacesetter status. Justin is AFIP Master-certified and is dedicated to conducting every transaction legally, ethically and professionally.
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