Over the Curb

This Is Us: Dealer Edition

Work-life balance is possible, even for dealers. GM advises you to focus on what’s important and delegate everything else.

May 4, 2018

Illustration by Krugli via Getty Images
Illustration by Krugli via Getty Images

In this business, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Managers are pulling you in different directions. Your entire workforce depends on you. Vendors have solutions to all your problems and want your attention. The owner wants a 20% increase in volume and gross and a decrease in expenses. But your kids want you to watch their practice and help them with homework. Just thinking about all the demands on your time and patience is exhausting.

So what is the answer? Is there such a thing as balance?

Reality tells us that we must sacrifice some things for others. Dealer hours are typically long and working weekends and some holidays is a must. The good news is that we can make incredible incomes and work on our skillsets to keep the income going north.

Wealthy people outsource. Even if you never thought you would employ a housekeeper or gardener or have your groceries and laundry delivered, at some point, you may have to consider it. Your time at home should be happy and productive. Wouldn’t you rather take your kids to the movies or have a game night? Watching your family laugh and enjoy each other is well worth a couple hundred bucks a month for a lawn service.

How about at work? In “Eat That Frog” (Berrett-Koehler, 2007), author Brian Tracy advises executives to eat the “ugliest frog” first, i.e. tackle your toughest, most unpleasant tasks first and your day becomes simpler to manage. It is more based on priority management than time management. We need time to work on boosting employee morale, building better processes, and improving the customer experience.

World-class athletes eat right and exercise for a lot of reasons. One is so they are not carrying excess fat and weight around, so they can move more quickly and nimbly and with less chance of injury. Run your life and career the same way. Don’t allow yourself to get weighed down with the excess fat of the job. Train and delegate to a point where you can spot-check and spend the bulk of your time on high-priority tasks.

This is important because this business that we hold dear is not going to get easier. Emerging digital and finance disruptors and new in-vehicle technology are just two of the things that will keep us in a constant state of recalibrating what our business model looks like. Now is the time to adopt better habits and take care of our physical and mental health.

Take stock of what really matters in all aspects of your life. Focus on what is most important and reevaluate constantly. Most importantly, make a commitment to have fun doing it all. You might surprise yourself, and you will definitely surprise your loved ones.

Until next time, good luck and good selling.

Jason Heard is the general manager of Lee’s Summit (Mo.) Honda. He is a 25-year industry veteran with extensive sales and sales management experience. Contact him at [email protected].

Comments

  1. 1. Rick McCormick [ May 12, 2018 @ 06:35PM ]

    Great article Jason!

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