Leadership & ManagementCommentary & Insights

Leadership & Management
Everywhere I look, I see automotive

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Steve Schmith is the director of automotive industry strategy at Acxiom . He has spent nearly all of his 25 years of professional experience working in the automotive industry, including 17 years at Deloitte, wrapping up his tenure as the Global and US Automotive Marketing Leader and two years at Automotive News as the Executive Director of Custom Research and Data and host of the Daily Drive podcast. I caught up with Steve at 7am, as he has his morning coffee and is accompanied by his three Boston Terriers. The Industry of Opportunities “I had no intention of ever working in automotive. In fact, I had never even been to Detroit.” I went to journalism school, I got a degree in journalism with a minor in television and radio production. I actually started my career in economic development. What I have come to love about this industry and what outsiders sometimes don’t see is how much opportunity there is in the automotive industry. If you’re an engineer, a designer, a marketer, if you studied supply chain, I really believe that there is an unrecognized opportunity for folks who didn’t grow up in an automotive family, to create their space here. I think that when most people think about the automotive industry and dealers, they stop with the transaction; the sale of the car. The truth is, when you think about it more broadly, and you think about how people connect with all the brands in their lives, it is so much more than that.  There are so many vendors because there are so many opportunities. From selling a vehicle, to financing a vehicle, insuring, repairing, and servicing, as examples.  If you’re in the business of reconditioning vehicles, or running fleets. And none of that even begins to touch on what happens when you’re inside the vehicle, particularly as vehicle connectivity improves, matures and scales and the opportunities to connect with customers those technologies create. There are just so many opportunities for people to connect with brands and there are increasingly a lot of brands – automakers, suppliers, lenders, insurers, in-vehicle content providers, etc. – competing for that attention.  “I think a lot, I think about the industry a lot.” Clearly these are exciting and fundamentally transformative times in the automotive industry, so it helps being such a fan of the industry, a fan of the brands and the manufacturers. It’s also very fun and inspiring to be on the road and to see these beautiful machines and all the technology. You often hear people speaking about automotive brands as if it forms a part of their identity. These brands are very personal to people. They take them on family trips, they take them to work every day, they hold our families and they are where some of the most wonderful conversations happen. I just feel so lucky to be a part of the automotive industry, to work in storytelling, in strategy, to bring it all together in such a personal way. Being able to relate the personal nature of automotive and the brands in this industry helps as our team at Acxiom thinks about and strategizes how we can best deliver value to our automotive clients. An Industry in Motion “It surprised me that it took a pandemic to really drive digital retailing.” Digital retailing in our industry has been around for 20 years but there was really no catalyst to put a lot of money into it because the model was working. Coming out of the 2009-10 Great Recession, we were on a growth trajectory that did not stop for 10 years.  So, understandably, there was no reason for automakers or their franchised dealers to go “all in” and fully invest in, adopt and scale what is best-in-class digital retailing.  Then suddenly, the pandemic hit and the environment changed. We saw disruptors entering the market who did not require the in-person relationship, and they became very big competitors. It’s amazing to see how far we have come in the last two years and, yes, there is a lot of disruption and, yes, there is a lot of investment and growth but I am truly excited and think it is so wonderful to see how companies are focused on connecting with customers.  An Industry Driven by Data: The Changing Ecosystem “As we push digital, we also need to understand that we have this entire ecosystem of businesses that have historically worked within very defined industry lines. Those lines are blurring.” There are so many opportunities for different brands in the connected mobility business ecosystem to connect with people outside and increasingly inside of the vehicle. There are so many aspects of the full customer journey when you think of the entire experience. Whether they are driving the vehicle, sharing it, or riding in it. Whether they are getting it serviced or charging their EV. The once clear industry lines separating the brands engaging people as they move from one place to another are blurring more and more each day.  On the flip side, having that single view of the customer gets very hard and that is where Acxiom really plays well and creates value for our clients. That is our core competency, our ability to create a single view of the customer and help brands deliver in real-time personalized, omnichannel customer experiences based on a deep understanding of people.  If you consider the buying side, there are multiple channels where a person interested in buying a vehicle can enter the shopping funnel – an automaker website, a dealer website, a third-party website or simply walking into the showroom of a local dealer. Brands that can connect those channels and deliver a personal customer experience while doing so can be better positioned to win. Consider the finance and insurance aspect of buying a vehicle and services like extended warranties, gap insurance, or increasingly connected vehicle subscription services. They all come into play and there are just so many ways that people interact and expect those interactions to be personal. Having the ability to deeply understand consumer behavior, preferences, timing and then make it all personal, that is the challenge that the industry faces.  How do you create a consumer experience that brings all of that together, that is very personalized and that is done at scale and done in ways that are ethical and done with privacy built in? That is what we do at Acxiom.  What are you thinking about, what is next? I am really interested in how various segments of the U.S. market will adopt electrification. It is not a one-size fits all model. Acxiom has a point of view publishing in June where we will be presenting a bell curve that is essentially a view of EV adoption among people in the U.S. Not all consumers are in the same position, which means marketers require different approaches in terms of marketing; the mission is different for people wherever they fall on the adoption bell curve. People on the far right side of the curve shouldn’t be ignored today regardless if they are likely years away from buying an EV. They simply require a different message than that of people ready to buy today.   I am also thinking about the customer experience at the charging station and whether a good or bad experience may be associated with the type of charging station or the vehicle brand itself. Right now, that’s an unanswered question, but my sense is if a new adopter of EV technology has a poor charging experience, the person might equate that experience to EV technology and the brand EV they are driving and not so much the charge point provider. When you consider your in-depth understanding of consumer behavior, what do we know? We know that when it comes to autonomous technology, consumers are interested in technology that protects them from themselves. Interestingly, the paradox is that the willingness to pay for autonomy is not high. I think that presents an interesting opportunity when we consider connected solutions like infotainment and vehicle health monitoring, which, in contrast, is a faster and more near-term opportunity.  Right now, when we consider the regulations and the fact that there are somewhere between 15-16 million new vehicles entering the market in the United States annually, each one with about a 12-year life cycle, it is going to be a long time before we get to fully autonomous vehicles everywhere. The more near-term opportunity to connect with people will be through in-vehicle technology. That experience inside the vehicle, greater convenience within the vehicle, managing your calendar, your groceries, your digital communication from inside the vehicle, all of that, can happen in the vehicle right now. What I also really love about this technology is that it can be built, it can be upgraded, it can be scaled much faster than autonomous technologies can. We are going to likely see a lot more forward motion regarding what happens inside the vehicle in terms of connecting with consumers and creating experiences. Of course, the development of autonomous vehicles will continue to move forward but there are clear opportunities that are technologically rich and where the ROI and the value to shareholders is clear and scalable. “When we think of people, these are not experiences that are foreign to them. When you get an update on your phone, you don’t consider that a recall; your phone is now better because it got updated. Same should go for your vehicle. If your car is pushed an update, your engine can run more efficiently, the software inside your vehicle has been patched to provide better cyber security. Your car is better: The vehicle that I bought last year is better today. That is a very fundamental shift in how consumers view their vehicle." There were so many ideas shared in our session, so many perspectives gained. Steve is a deep thinker and it is apparent in everything he does, including the way he speaks and tells stories. His ability to seamlessly shift from technical, data driven conversations to sharing his personal views on the industry is flawless. Steve will be moderating a panel at CXAUTO2022 which will include Jeremy Beaver, the CEO of the Del Grande Dealer Group ; Richelle Estrella, Department Head – Customer Data Lab at Honda North America ; and Myles Rose, Automotive Digital Strategy Director at Acxiom . This Panel will be discussing “Harnessing the Power of CDPs to Nurture A Customer First Philosophy That Drives Profitability and Loyalty.” CDPs offer automotive brands the opportunity to build modern marketing platforms where customer identity serves as a foundation on which automakers and dealers can build strong, first-party identity solutions while also regaining control of marketing decisions related to targeting, media spend and attribution.
How Combining Agile Thinking and Acknowledging the Individualism of the Customer is Disrupting Auto Finance

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In the post-pandemic world, the, in some ways forced, adoption of digital has had resounding effects on the purchasing process. The pandemic created an increased sense of digital comfort amongst consumers. As consumers began to rely on digital platforms for everything from shopping for groceries, to meeting with friends, to job interviews, one of the more profound developments has been the upward surge in consumer driven research capabilities.  With access to information through digital applications more prevalent than before, the new, digitally comfortable customer, can educate themselves prior to making any form of direct engagement. This greatly impacts the playing field and changes some of the traditional metrics previously held as decisive factors when it comes to digital marketing. In preparation for his upcoming presentation at CXAUTO2022 , we met with Lewis Scott, the Director of Marketing: Digital and Field Performance, at Byrider. Along with sharing his story, Lewis gave his expert opinion on the current state of the industry, as well as what him and the team at Byrider are doing to solidify their presence (and the future of automotive) through vertical integration, redefining the customer and the full customer journey.  Growing up in Southeast Michigan, Lewis was destined to build a career in automotive. Having interned at Chrysler’s parts division, MOPAR, Lewis moved on to join Chrysler Financial once he had graduated from St Joseph’s College with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management. In 2012, Lewis and his family relocated to Indiana and, with the Byrider Headquarters situated in Carmel, it seemed like the perfect place to settle down and establish a root structure. Byrider’s in-house proprietary approval platform and in-house financing, has supported the establishment of 32 company stores and 114 franchise rooftops. Lewis has spent the last decade with the Company, moving up the ranks from an underwriter to where he is now, directing marketing for digital and field operations.  Prior to being promoted to Director, Lewis worked on the Franchising side as a Franchise Consultant, which, along with the exposure gained throughout his tenure in the industry, uniquely positioned him to understand the complex nature of consumer behavior within the automotive industry.  The Metamorphosis of the Customer The customer is educated: they want their answer online, virtually, remotely, digitally. Before they decide if they want to give you their business and buy a car from you, they want to understand if they can get approved. In the old days, circa pre-2016, customers would call your store, look at newspapers, look at automotive ads, come up on the lot, “kicking tires” so to speak, and right now, customers are comfortable with and require an experience that is digital and remote.  Our ability to build relationships and engage in experiences online has become the expectation. Customers want an experience, they want to know what you have, what you stand for; they want to know about the business. Customers now want to understand the journey upfront, what is the approval process like and before deciding on whether or not to commit, they want to understand both the pre- and post-sale experience.  Digitalists versus Traditionalists When we consider the sales methodology, I am a product of both.  My background is firmly established in the traditionalist model of sales however, it is my role to ensure that my team understands the importance of incorporating a digitalist perspective. At Byrider, this means equipping ourselves to recognize the potential embedded in a consumer through digital engagement.  A hybrid model means that, whilst we acknowledge that the traditionalist process still takes place, just later on down the line, digital is here, now. That is what we are seeing, a mixture of both approaches but a transition or shift in terms of the sequence of the engagement and process.  Although it will likely be two to five years before we see the full spectrum of digital adoption across the board, the facts remain, 85% of our engagement comes from digital, mobile specifically.  My role is really about the sales funnel, above the attributed lead or captured lead. Leads are no longer what is in our CRM, those consumers landing on the website, looking for information - by definition, that is a lead. How do we get that customer more engaged in a sales funnel? The answer comes down to overall brand engagement. We are able to engage customers through sharing knowledge of who we are and what we do.  Byrider has 32 company stores and 46 individual franchises that account for over 114 rooftops. We come from many cloths including traditional dealerships, some have been key employees from traditional or captive finance, some come from entrepreneurial backgrounds and there is success in this combination. However digital is forcing traditional to realize you can no longer come at this from a purely traditional route. Consumers want to know if they are pre-approved, can they get approved, whether they qualify for the vehicle, all before they come see you. That is a digital mindset and a digital scope. From the perspective of managing the anxiety that comes with a hybrid approach, training and development can ease the transition. Historically, we were able to deal with objections while a customer physically sat in our cubicle, we now find that we need to handle these objections from afar through telecommunication and digital channels. On the upside, those customers who are calling, are doing so because they have seen our vehicle online. Those submitting information to you, are showing deeper engagement from a consumer intent to purchase. In terms of managing the gap, Byrider has embraced web chat and by doing so, we work towards meeting the digital needs of our customers.  What we are focused on, is determining which communications with customers can be automated, what can we do to support the activities of our customers in order to make them comfortable to self-serve.  The ability to buy and get approval, the ability to finance, incorporating the reality of bad credit, new credit, no credit and facilitating real life scenarios such as job gaps, multiple jobs, non-traditional employment; these are all the things we can take into consideration. Through our in-house financing, we are the dealer, the underwriters, the service shop. All entities of our vertical integration are managed with the customer ownership experience in mind, and this is what makes Byrider different.  Our operations are uniquely set up to truly be there every step of the way and keep our customers on the road. Through these three pillars of vertical integration, sales, underwriting and service, we can support the customer at the most critical steps of their journey.  From start to end, Credit For Being You is an agile approach to an inclusive offering. The beauty of vertical integration is the agility that we can employ, we are able to consider the ability and willingness to pay which is not possible through a traditional model. We are able to consider our customers through a lens which is not afforded to them when it comes to an automated credit platform.  As Lewis and I neared the end of our conversation, we reflected on the sense of honor that came with working in a Company whose principle business operations meant that he could proactively play a role in people lives, knowing that the Team at Byrider are the reason that some families can get to work in the mornings. Themes of accessibility and the ability to approach the customer from an individualistic perspective, whilst driving business forward, is what happens when you apply agile thinking to a community driven industry.  We also got some crib notes on the “top secret ideas” that Lewis will be sharing at CXAUTO2022 . We highly recommend seeing him in person.  See more about Lewis here
A Career of Disruption

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“True disruption means threatening your existing product line and your past investments. Breakthrough products disrupt current lines of businesses.”  – Peter Diamandis  Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Owen Moon, CEO of FIXED OPS DIGITAL and a new Expert Panel Contributor for Dealer Marketing Magazine. For most of my 22-year career in the automotive industry I have considered myself to be a disruptor. My career started in early 2000 when I was hired to help an automotive focused advertising agency create and sell a comprehensive sub-prime program. For the next few years, hundreds of dealerships across the country utilized our program to break into what was at the time a relatively new, but lucrative market. This program included everything from Marketing, F&I, Inventory Management, Software, Leads Handling, and even BDC Training. I would spend the first few years of my career travelling around the country helping our dealer partners implement this program into their dealership culture. Looking back, I considered this experience to be the best education anyone could’ve gotten to learn the auto industry from the inside out. A few years later I once again found myself in a unique situation as one of the early adopters of personalized database mailers. At the time using variable data fields to personalize the information for each customer was a relatively new concept. I remember when we ran our 1st “buyback” direct mail campaign and helped a dealership sell 35 new KIA’s in a weekend utilizing a target list of 2,000 previous customers. In a weekend we helped sell as many new KIA’s as they usually sold in a month! Over the next few years, we would develop and execute multiple personalized database mailer strategies for dealerships across the country!  As technology began to evolve the “next thing” again presented itself. I was introduced to a new strategy called GeoFencing. Geofencing is a real-time location-based marketing tactic that uses geolocation data to target users within an established geographic area. Then delivering ads based on where they are or in what locations they have previously visited. I moved my focus to helping dealerships execute targeted geofencing campaigns. I also spent a lot of this time speaking at conferences and 20 groups showing dealerships the power of this new type of mobile marketing. Then came 2018. The auto industry was booming! Dealerships were spending most of their marketing budgets utilizing digital strategies and the industry was full of vendors and agencies who were more than willing to help! In such a crowded vendor environment I again found myself in a situation focusing on a new concept. This time in the service department. FIXED OPS DIGITAL was born and for the first 12-18 months there was just as much educating going on as there was executing. As FIXED OPS DIGITAL started to grow, we took pride as being the industry leaders in online service marketing. As 2020 rolled around we knew that service marketing was going to continue to get more attention. We had no idea that both Covid and the new vehicle inventory shortage would only magnify this! Today FIXED OPS DIGITAL is the Premier Service Marketing & Technology Company servicing over 650 dealerships in the United States and Canada.  Are you a disruptor?! Then I applaud you. Disruptors are risk takers. Disruptors are educators. The challenge with being a disruptor is that the first couple years are usually the hardest. Trying to educate and gain dealership adoption can be tough. As a new Expert Panel Contributor for Dealer Marketing Magazine, with the opportunities and challenges today’s automotive market is facing, I look forward to bringing my years of experience being a disruptor to provide valuable insight.      
Ed Roberts on People, Self-Development, and Advice for New Leaders

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As we began our research, it became apparent that this would not be a standard COO interview. Ed has successfully implemented human centric ideals which continue to translate into Bozard Ford Lincoln’s immense growth and recognition as one of the Top 100 Dealers to work for.  As Ed prepares to share his insights at CXAUTO 2022 , we wanted to meet the Leader who has grown the Dealership from 44 to 308 employees whilst continually giving credit to those around him. Ed takes a seat and smiles, he shares that he has a great day ahead of him and by doing so, sets the tone for an open and personable conversation. What ensues is a whirlwind of golden nuggets, what feels like an exclusive TED Talk, if you will.  Our Editorial Team would later spend time analysing and drawing together these pearls of wisdom. Careful not to miss a thing and with the goal of stringing it all together, we are honoured to share Ed’s insights on people, leadership, building teams and thriving through and beyond a global pandemic.  Ed on Leading through a Pandemic: In most cases, when Covid became a world-wide concern, people weren’t able to look beyond the pandemic, we all went into protection mode. At Bozard Ford Lincoln, we wanted to make sure that our people were ok first and foremost, make sure that they knew that we were going to take care of them. Beyond that, we wanted to make sure that everybody understood that there was another side to what was happening in the world. Ed described their approach as reallocating resources to align to who they wanted to be when they came out of of it all, “we wanted to make sure we were making our Store better”. Approaching this from an entrepreneurial mindset, setting goals and finding a way to get there.  Ed on Leadership: Sometimes we think, as managers, that if someone does something wrong, we need to approach them head-on, but leadership is a lot like parenting, we need to encourage them to stand up and walk. Ed on Self-Development and taking Ownership of your Personal Growth Everyone of us are in a situation where we can make the most of what we have, we have to get locked in on what difference we can make. You have to chase self-development, you will become recognised. Keep pushing, surround yourself by the right people, people that you can learn from. They may not be in your immediate surroundings but they are out there.   Ed on Building Teams: When a good team comes together, we enhance who we are as individuals. Chemistry is the most important element, complimenting the team and representing the team surpasses all else.   Ed on Building Trust and Loyalty amongst your Employees: Learn the currency of your people, learn what is important to them and allow your people the flexibility to fit those priorities into their work life. When we can enhance what is important to our employees, they will enhance what they do for us.   Ed on Advice for New Leaders: Know your people: understand what motivates your team, understand what is important to them, learn what they are going through, these all inform your approach. Learn the strengths of individuals and consider those strengths in relation to the role that they fulfil within the Business. Understand what the five most important elements are in that role. Sometimes we learn that someone is really good, a “rockstar”, at three of those five things, whilst not necessarily excelling at the other two. We tend to focus on those two things, when what we should be doing, is pairing them with someone who is able to compliment them by being good at those other two things. By doing that, you will find that cohesion is created within the team, people will begin to engage in a way that compliments each other.  Set Goals with your staff, everyone wants a goal to chase after. It allows you to praise them, to give you something to talk to them about, to have conversations that become a piece of the Business.  “In a football game, if we are down seven points with two minutes to go, well if that clock wasn’t there, we are down by seven points but we have all day to catch up. The goal setting element is about giving your team something to chase after, but you have got to break it down to where it is relevant. A goal that someone wants to achieve at some point in their career, is not necessarily a goal that you want to set today. Make it relevant, make sure its obtainable, make it time bound and constantly talk about it." As Ed celebrates his ten year anniversary with Bozard Ford Lincoln, we look forward with confidence. There is a future for human connection within the highly competitive automotive retail space, in fact, it may be what is driving it.  See Ed live at CXAUTO2022 on the 14-16 June at the Ritz-Carlton, Marina Del Rey, CA. Click here for more information
dealership sale
Connecting & Collaborating to Grow to Boost Your Dealership

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By now we have become all too familiar with the realities of limited inventory, looking for alternative ways to help customers and create profit can give you the boost you need to get through lean times with a little more ease. With our normal trade-in cycles disrupted, customers are facing expiring warranties, increased maintenance, and repairs. The place customers are still doing business face to face is service, putting extra emphasis on needs discovery and solution sharing in the service drive can benefit the whole dealership. Working Together to Grow When we think about Finance and Service it may seem like they operate in completely different worlds, they should be symbiotic. When was the last time you saw F&I Managers and Service Advisors working together to grow in opportunity areas? There is much to gain from these departments understanding how they can support each other’s growth and working hand-in-hand. Service Advisors are the long-term salespeople in your dealership, they see more customers per day than any other sales point in the store, with the most one-to-one consistent contact with customers they have more opportunity to grow relationships and trust. When it comes to building value in service contracts and warranty products with customers, educating Service Advisors in F&I product areas could be key in planting the seed for future purchases and selling contracts from the service drive. Knowledge is Power Consider the exponential increase you will see in service and warranty contracts when you educate your Service Advisors on your F&I products. “Extended warranty” calls have been a long-standing joke for years, they’ve even been made into memes, there must be people buying when the phone rings for us to keep hearing “I’m calling about your car’s extended warranty”. Often those calls are inconvenient and come when customers are not amid vehicle maintenance or repairs. Imagine this offer coming at a time when it is most needed, while the customer is in the service drive, presented by a trusted source; a knowledgeable Advisor could give customers immediate value, relief from repair costs, and peace of mind. Training is Key Providing your team with training on how to drive F&I products will help Advisors refer to those products and their benefits when working with customers, the more familiar customers are with what the warranty and service products provide, the more likely they are to consider purchasing. Often, when introduced to products in F&I, customers have already been bombarded with purchase information, they get to the service and warranty portion and it is more money, more decisions, and they are overwhelmed. Customers are not always in the right frame of mind to process the value of those products. You do not have to train your Service Advisors to sell like F&I Managers, that is where the F&I team comes in, a referral from the Service Advisor to F&I will allow Finance to finalize the details while the customer’s vehicle is being serviced. Having service Advisors who are knowledgeable on the features and benefits of service and warranty contracts is not just an investment towards increased profitability, it is investing in greater customer satisfaction. When your team on the drive has a complete understanding of the products your customer has purchased in the finance office, it eliminates confusion, frustration, and conflict from misunderstandings over coverage when it comes time for customers to use their products. With added training, advisors are equipped to head off potential complaints and dissatisfaction when they can quickly identify misaligned customer expectations,  Building collaborations between F&I and the Service Drive is a solid investment in the future of your dealership, each department builds value for the other and customer loyalty to the dealership. The two also lay the groundwork for and maintain ongoing long-term profit. 
man walking up steps
Be the Ultimate Pro at Effectiveness: Ready - Set - Poised for Success

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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!!