I’m Chris Collins, and I’m Here to Fix Your Sinking Ship of a Business
How Did a Guy Like Me Get into the Automotive Industry?
When I was 13, good ol’ stepdad cleaned out our bank accounts and ran off with his young girlfriend, with whom he’d been having an affair. My mom and I were left utterly destitute. And while we were taken in by my grandfather—a rock solid fire lieutenant who taught me what it truly meant to be a man—the experience made me vow that I’d never be broke again.
Throughout my chaotic adolescence, I found that banging on my drum set was an excellent way to relieve stress. Inspired by grunge bands like Nirvana and Alice in Chains, I decided that going into music would be the way for me to make a name for myself. So I joined a band, but quickly found that the gigs paid poorly and my bandmates were more interested in girls and drugs than music. To supplement my income, I took a job in the wash pit at a dealership.
I wasn’t in the wash pit for long before I started lobbying my boss to let me have a shot at being the service advisor. Unfortunately, Dick didn’t like the idea of letting a guy with long hair interact with the customers. So, naturally, I kept pestering him and finally wore him down after a year or so. Once I finally got the job, I learned I had to submit a quota of repair hours each month or I’d get shipped right back to the wash pit. I quickly discovered there were a lot of problems in the service department. So I rolled up my sleeves and completely changed the way the department was run. It pissed off a lot of people, but they shut up when they realized I was logging far more repair hours than anyone else. As I mentioned earlier, my way of doing things isn’t for the faint of heart, but bold actions bring bold results.
It wasn’t long before I was invited to visit other dealerships and consult with their staff on internal process improvements. I quickly became a full-time consultant and discovered that I truly enjoyed what I was doing. Later, I became the General Manager at a BMW dealership. Under my way of doing things, that dealership became number one for sales globally—for four years straight. At that point, I decided I was ready to run my own dealership, so I invested in a location and got ready to make it rain. Except that the partner Chrysler had sent my way turned out to be a crook and I quickly found myself mired in a lawsuit. Around the same time, my personal life went down the toilet. My wife left me and my bulldog died.
This was one of the darkest times in my life, but I believe there is opportunity to be found in every setback. I realized that the thing I was most passionate about was not running my own dealership. Rather, my true passion lay in helping other people grow their businesses. Luckily for me, this also happens to be something I’m really good at. In fact, I’ve developed a track record for increasing the profits of service centers by 400% within a mere matter of months. Since launching my own consulting firm, I’ve branched out into other industries. Under my guidance, a personal trainer’s business grew to more than $2 million in profits within three years. I’ve also helped a hydroponic nutrient company grow from $28 million per year to more than $50 million per year. And I’m just getting started. There’s a lot of dough to be made out there, guys. You with me?