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THE GOOD LIFE

Your good life is not a goal—it’s right now

BY CHELSEA STEBNER

I think that many of us know one of the very best ways to learn is through listening and conversation with other like-minded people who are in similar leadership roles. It is often a lonely place to be.

I love the opportunity to network at industry events, roundtables and conferences simply to hear other peoples’ stories. I believe that right now, many of us are missing the connection piece with the brilliant people across the country who make up our collision repair industry.

The other day, I had the opportunity to hear a successful business leader speak about her journey of ownership and business acquisition through the years. She had several gold nuggets and kept her small—physically and socially distanced audience riveted with tales of success and of failure.

The most simple and amazing thing I heard from her that morning was this: “Am I living my good life?”

That statement stopped me in my tracks. For everyone, 2020 was a trip. We saw, and will continue to see, all around challenges and struggles due both to the pandemic and its economic impact, but also all the other ever-changing aspects of collision repair. And let’s be real—not only in business. This pandemic is affecting our lives, our families, our mental health; it is infiltrating every aspect of our beings.

Back to this idea of ‘The Good Life’.

This year at the shop, we have collectively lived a lifetime. We’ve had a spouse pass away, we’ve had a cancer diagnosis, we’ve had babies born, we’ve struggled with mental health, we’ve had friends pass away, we’ve put off celebrating significant milestones such birthdays and anniversaries and retirements.

What made me stop in my tracks about the good life statement was the fact that we had better be living our good lives today. Not tomorrow. Not ten years from now. Not when I pay off the business, when I turn 50, when I…you get it.

If you’re not finding joy in the moments of life, while you’re at work, coaching people, building business and fixing cars and while you’re doing the things you love, you better take a step back.

What is your good life? As you plan and strategize and goal set your future business and life plans, include this question—and don’t think of it as another “thing” to add to the list. Your good life is not a goal. It is right now.

What is your good life today? Is the time you spend on your business today fun and rewarding? I get that not every day will be like that. However, if you’re not finding joy in the moments of life, while you’re at work, coaching people, building business and fixing cars and while you’re doing the things you love, you better take a step back.

I challenge you to take a bit of time and jot down what your ‘good life’ looks like and figure out how to weave that into every day. If you have other leaders or partners in your business, ask them to do this as well. Ask them what their good life looks like. If your team is not leading a good life on a daily basis, how can they be giving you their best selves at work?

You need to ask how you can support them so that they can be living their best lives. One of the goals set for the shop in 2021 is health and wellness. Dollars and cents earned always matters, don’t get me wrong, but this year ensuring our team’s mental health and physical health takes a priority role. Taking care of our people, giving opportunities for education, for wellness, for healthcare equals a better environment, happier people and cohesiveness as a team which in turn will help build business.

How are you making an impact with ‘the good life’?

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