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How to be Self-Made

Do you want to be self-made?

If you’re an even remotely ambitious person, then your gut answer is probably going to be  yes. But let me blow your mind…. 

…You might not realize it, but you’re already self-made. I’m self-made. We’re ALL self-made! A homeless person in Downtown LA is every bit as self-made as a so-called “self-made” millionaire! 

Whether you’re successful, or you’re an utter disappointment to your parents, what you make of your life is 100% up to you. That’s why, on this week’s Service Drive Revolution, I put together a little list of what I believe is important to be successful as a self-made person, and turn around the outcome if you feel like you aren’t successful yet.

  1. Own It
    If you blame everybody else instead of owning up to the results of your own actions, then it’s going to be a waste of your time. You control how hard you work, what time you get up, what you eat, how much you work out, what you think, who you surround yourself with, what you watch on TV, what book you read. It’s all up to you. We make decisions every day that take us towards or away from what makes us successful.

  2. Love Yourself
    This is the point where a lot of people fail. It’s too easy to give into the fear of failure where we fail once and then never try again.

    Think about this: if you forgive your best friend after they’ve made a mistake but you wouldn’t forgive yourself, then maybe you don’t love yourself as much as you love other people. Don’t get me wrong – it’s great to love other people, so why not do the same if not more to yourself? Accept that you’re not perfect and that you’re going to make mistakes, but also acknowledge that you can do better.

  3. Self-Talk
    Do you talk to yourself in the way where you are highlighting and giving energy to your talents, or are you giving energy to your faults?

    Once you understand what your strengths are, you need to build your self-talk around them. Put your time and energy into those things and don’t beat yourself up over things you’re not good at.

    Talk to yourself like you’re good at anything you want to be good at. Look at it this way – you just haven’t decided to be good at it. You haven’t decided that it’s a priority and you don’t WANT to spend the rest of your life learning it… yet.

    Just because it’s not something you enjoy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a weakness. How you look at those things, and how you self-talk about those things, ends up affecting where you go and what you achieve, so self-talk is a big deal.

  4. Your Friends
    The further up the ladder of success you go, it’ll affect the people you attract and the people you hang around with. Are the friends making you better or worse?

    I don’t know anybody who didn’t have to get rid of their friends going up the ladder, because once you’re more successful than them, there might be drama. You might find that they’re not happy for you– they’re jealous. They project their insecurities, their fears, their self-loathing… and you can’t afford to be around that energy. It’s okay to find new friends – people who talk about what CAN happen and see the world as an opportunity, not a curse.

    More importantly, be around people who have made it through hard times, because you’re going to go out and start something, and it might go terribly wrong. It’s nice to think positive, but the truth of the matter is that nothing is ever easy.

  5. You Can’t Feel Entitled
    You’re not entitled to anything. If you can’t get excited about this country’s economy and all the opportunities that we have, you’re watching too much TV. You need to get away from the negative news and understand that opportunity is everywhere.

  6. Commitment
    If you want to be self-made, you have to commit to something in a way where even you can’t tell yourself you won’t do it. Countless people give up as soon as it gets hard, even when they have the recipe for everything up to that point.

    Anyone can say, “Well, I did my best.” Nobody was really asking you to do your best – they were asking you to win! When you say you did your best, that’s a lie. You could’ve gotten up a little earlier, done a little more research, asked one more person for help with an idea, or watched somebody who’s doing it at a higher level. There’s always something more you can do.

Change the way you think. Look for the positive in things and you’ll start to see opportunity. Perform to your full potential and don’t just show up average every day, because you’re better than that. You haven’t even realized what you’re capable of until you own it and go through these steps.

With all that in mind, I’m going to answer some questions from the audience…

“If you had to choose, would you pick washing customers’ cars, picking them up, or drop-off service?”

See, here’s the thing… I always find it difficult to respond to hypotheticals like this because, simply put, that’s not reality!

In reality, you can (and should) do all that and more! Listen to our podcast with Brian Benstock on why disrupting the auto industry might be the only way to survive. You know customers will pay more for better service, right? Ask THEM this, not us. We can charge a fair amount AND offer customers what they want.

A lot of people want their car picked up AND they want it washed. It’s not about which job is more difficult, or less glamorous… It’s about providing the best experience for the customer. 

But, to give you a more serious answer– It’s not hard to facilitate both.

“Our dealership hired a new fixed ops manager who wants to make it so every car that is booked in for the day comes into the shop the second the appointment is booked. Am I crazy to be worried about this? Our appointments are booked at 15 minute intervals starting at 8 AM. I just can’t wrap my head around how this will work. I’m stressed just thinking about it. Have you seen this before? What happens with diag? Upsells? Intervals? Help!”

You know what? You should try it because he might be right. 

We have this little thing we do called instant inspection. Every car that comes in, we immediately have a tech greet them and put the car in the air, and we inspect everything right then. What happens is, if the customer looks at the car with the tech, our closing ratios go up, and at the moment of write up, you know pretty much 90% of the time what the car needs. Parts can pull the parts, put them in the car, and a tech can just finish it. It’s super efficient and works really well so I think you should give him a try.

This next one wasn’t actually submitted to us but was pulled from the Service Advisors subreddit.

You can click that link and read the whole thread, but the gist of it is:

“I’ve talked to two dealerships who seem interested in hiring me. I have never worked at a dealership, let alone as an advisor, so I’m a little cautious about taking the job. I’ve worked at a little engine shop for the last 8 years. I’m the lead tech, and basically the guy under the owner. However, I don’t strictly just work on stuff. I sell equipment, I work up estimates, I call with estimates, I recommend work, I listen to how the customer reacts so I know how to word something and/or give them options I think they would be okay with. So what should I expect? Is the pay worth it? How could I excel? The hours don’t seem great, but my current hours aren’t great. Both dealerships told me the average income is $40,000 – 100,000. I currently make about 32,000 with no benefits.”

First off, the most we’ve seen an advisor make is $420,000 a year, give or take. The truth of the matter is that I started as a porter and then became a service advisor. I don’t know if I would’ve been a good advisor if I wasn’t a porter first. What got me hooked was that the more we made friends with the customers and the more we perfected our craft, the more money we made. I remember being 20 years old, making $120,000, and telling my mom I was making more than some lawyers. 

The downside is that you get stuck in the industry because… where else would you make that kind of money? Everywhere else, people work twice as hard and make a quarter of what you could be making as a service advisor. People in the food industry literally work seven days a week, and they’re making $16 an hour. As an advisor, if you can connect with customers and approach it like a pro, you can make a GREAT living.

The last thing I want to add is, if you interview for any job in the service department, write a thank you letter and mail it through the post office near the dealership so they get it the next day. Not too many people mail handwritten letters anymore, and we look for advisors who go that extra mile that nobody else does. If, for some reason, you can’t do that, then send an e-mail. The important thing is to show that you can follow up and connect with customers quickly.

But more importantly: remember to love yourself, because no one else can do it for you!

Once again, thanks for reading, listening, and watching. We hope you have a great week, and we’ll see you again real soon!


Whether you're successful, or you're an utter disappointment to your parents, what you make of your life is 100% up to you. That’s why, on this week’s Service Drive Revolution, I put together a list of what I believe is important to be successful as a self-made person. Find out the secrets to success, only on this week’s Service Drive Revolution, streaming now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube!

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