In Counterman magazine we preach, teach and repeat the words of training. Every month, one of our columnists preaches and teaches the importance of training. It is inevitable that I get several questions about it. However, the reoccurring theme is, (sarcastically I might add): “Now just where am I supposed to go to get that training?”
I often wonder the same thing. The answer is the same each day though — do it yourself. Recently in my studies, I ran across a name that I had forgotten and had not read in many moons: Jim Rohn.
Jim Rohn is best known, in self-help circles, as a wordsmith. Jim was focused on the fundamentals of human behavior that most affect personal and business performance and many believe he set the standard to which those who seek to teach and inspire should aspire to be. In my study of his works I found this quote, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
Self-Education: the Gerald Wheelus definition is get off your lazy butt and study those things which you did not understand from the day’s events. Most everyone has access to the Web, so the answers to the questions are out there. You just have to be disciplined enough to go find them. I am not naive enough to believe that everyone will make a fortune in monetary terms, however, knowledge will help to make you indispensable. One of the most frequent questions we as veterans of the parts business get is, “Why do they always ask for you?” The answer is simple, really: knowledge.
The customer knows that we veterans know the answers or more importantly, where to find the answers. So much of what we do simply cannot be formally taught in a classroom. We have to learn things as we go. We go through our antiquated books that we are so anal about keeping, we call other store managers, store personnel, the tech line on the back of that book or we go through YouTube for an educational video or use the Internet to search what others are doing to solve problems.
John Rohn left this earth leaving us quotations that we can use not only in everyday life, but business as well:
Skills: Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better. Don’t wish for fewer problems; wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.
Growth: Don’t join an easy crowd. You won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform and achieve are high.
Change: We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.
Activity: The few who do are the envy of the many who watch.
Success: Success is what you attract by the person you become.
Everyone who is serious about the parts business now knows the secret to training — self-education, right? No single person can teach you the ins and outs of our chosen profession however, you can be the difference in you own life.
My favorite saying to my kids is this: “You are the only person you can control.”
Now, educational opportunities are all around you. We carry a computer in our pockets that has all the answers to all our questions. We really have no more excuses for not having been trained in our jobs.