Archive for May 31, 2011

Auto Transport Owner On Vacation

 
Auto Transport Owner on Vacation
 
Time off on purpose
 
Taking time off to spend with your family and loved ones are important activities for entrepreneurs, employees, stay at home moms and children as well. Vacation helps rejuvenate ones body, mind and soul.

It is also a moment that can be set aside to reflect on life, to dream with your spouse… time to reconnect with young or older children and grandchildren… it may be a time to spend with great friends.

Where do you go when you need a vacation? Do you know how to plan for a great vacation?

When I was working in a brick and mortar travel agency many years ago, there were five tips that we gave clients when planning a vacation:

What is your budget?

You have to know how much you have or can set aside for your vacation. It is not advisable to use the credit card. You do not want a vacation that puts you in debt…that will add on more stress than joy. When the budget is determined, you can look at the airfares, hotels, meal plan and activities that the budget allows.

There is a variety of hotels and activities in each destination. They all come with different price tags. Even the meal plan can be categorized as well.

What is your interest?

What do you like to do when you are not working? What makes you happy? What don't you like to do when you are on vacation? What do you want to do or see for this vacation?

Some people love museums and operas. So a trip to such places will satisfy their desire and make them happy, while others may prefer a sporting event or an all day walking tour in the city.

There are still some who likes the great outdoors with fishing, golfing, scuba diving, hiking or para sailing.

To know your interest and your family's interest are important while planning your vacation. You need to take into consideration your spouse's and your children's interests, if they are spending the vacation with you.

When you discuss your interest, it will also help you to be acquainted with yourself and your family.

How is your health?

Do you have pre-existing health issue? What kind of activities you are not allowed to participate? Do you know if you have food allergy? Can you tolerate long flights or long road trips?

A savvy traveler knows what's best and what to avoid. When armed with the knowledge of your health status, there will be no second guessing when it comes to your participation of an activity or eating of a certain food.

If you are traveling overseas, with proper planning and having all your medical records and medical supplies with you on board will ease a lot of pain and inconveniences.

What is your objective for this trip?

Some travelers take a certain trip to better their language skills and there are some who are looking for a certain type of food to savor.

There are trips that cater to learning a language, culinary schools, sporting events or medical needs. Every destination has a unique offering. By expressing your objectives, you can research and ask for right kind of help. You will be able to find the right destination and itinerary for your vacation.

How often do you travel?

The need of a seasoned traveler is entirely different from one who barely travels. This is an important question because your comfort level may be different from another.

For example, we had never taken a cruise before our Bahamas cruise. To ensure we were comfortable with cruising, we took the shortest route on sea and shortest trip we could find with Disney Cruise. We don't want to be stuck at sea on a thirteen day cruise across the Atlantic for our first cruising experience. We may be sea sick or unable to tolerate the rocking of the ship.

So those are five simple tips to help you jump start your plan for your local, across the country or international travel this year.

For tips on how to pack into one suitcase without forgetting a thing, you can download our free report called How to Live Out of Your Suitcase for a Week at www.uncommongeneration.com

It is a privilege to write for my friend Carla. When Carla asked me to be her guest blogger, I immediately said yes. While I have a full schedule this week, I am happy and honored to write for Carla's Transport Services because I look up to Carla. I met Carla in December of last year at a business seminar. She is a genuine, happy, takes care of her clients and associates, hard working business owner and leader. She is also a dedicated wife, mother and grandmother. Thank you Carla!


Claudia Looi is a freelance writer, copywriter and a work at home mom. She left her travel consultancy work to raise two children who are now teenagers. She helps unload the burden that small and home based business owners carry with their blog contents, sales copy and email marketing campaigns. Her work in travels with thousands of clients from all over the world and her extensive travel experience has allow her to understand businesses of diverse backgrounds and recognize the need to tailor make her writing for each of her clients.

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Your Kids, Business and Preconceived Ideas, Part Two

Preconceived ideas come from our past and into our future
 
Irish roots return to Ireland
 
Within a few months of that phone call announcing our daughter was moving to Ireland to live, we basked in her company one final visit. A dear friend of her husband's flew them home in a small plane. Picking them up from the airport, my heart filled with joy. Knowing that our time together was limited, we did everything together. All I could think of was the events of this time in her life we would not be present for, it broke my heart just thinking about it. All of my preconceived ideas about being a part of my daughter's pregnancy and birth were outdated.
 
The weekend literally flew by too fast. Knowing we wanted to say goodbye we drove them back to the small airport near our home. My husband tried to keep me near the car and accept a simple hug, but I would not have it.
 
The plane was finally loaded and it was time to give one final hug to our daughter and her husband. As the plane taxied down the runway, an overwhelming sense of loss hit me. It seemed as though I would never see my daughter or grand baby. My thinking clouded; I could not see logic in the situation at all.
 
Within five minutes, the small plane flew out of sight. Our daughter was leaving to live in the land of my husband's great-grandfather. The family history was deeply rooted in Ireland. That was just the beginning of the emptiness my heart would feel. Days later, we received the phone call that they had arrived safely in London. She assured me that everything was fine and she would call again once they found a place to live and settle in.
 
Bandon, County Cork, Ireland
 
A few weeks later, she called to give us her address. They had chosen a small town in southeastern Ireland called Bandon. This quaint town is in County Cork and near the city of Cork. It is the city with the nearest hospital and airport, which was somewhat of a comfort to this fearful mother.
 
As the months passed I felt myself growing further apart from my daughter. Knowing it was not right for me to act so immaturely did not help the way I was feeling. Those precious moments I had waited my whole life for were now a preconceived idea of the past.
 
Jeanette was good at sending pictures of her pregnant state to me via email. Although I saw her it was surreal and just not the same as being able to touch and hug. I suppose only a mother who has been through a child moving so far away could relate.
 
I had plans for a baby shower for her as the time drew near, but that was not going to be. We had been such friends, more than just mother and daughter. Now it was very hard to let go, try as I might, it just was not working. I felt so left out, so alone. My husband was feeling the same way, he just handled it in a different way. We both were miserable and needed to find a way to deal with our feelings.
 
No, it is too soon
 

Late one night we received a phone call from our daughter, she was crying. As any mother would, I asked what was wrong. The sobs became more intense and I could feel the terror in her voice. She was in labor and the baby was on its way, three months too soon.
 
This was a mother's worst nightmare, early labor with her daughter's first child halfway round the world in a foreign country. Every thought went through my mind. Would the doctors and nurses be up to par, know the latest technology? Would my daughter and grand baby be all right? (Can you tell I am not a world traveler, but a country girl?)
 
It was a very long night and week. Our little granddaughter was born on both her paternal grandmother and maternal great-grandmother's birth dates.
 
The first pictures of this small wonder tugged at our heart strings so much that I realized what Billy Crystal had said about being a grandfather was true. There is nothing like the love a grandparent has for a new grandchild; it is deeper than the love of even your own children.
 

My confidence in the Irish medical staff soon grew stronger. Our little Maebh (pronounced Maeve) Belle received the finest care. It was a very long three months before our little girl grew enough to go home to the parents waiting so anxiously for her. It was then that the heartache really set in. I wanted to be there, touch her and feel her breath on my neck.
 
Where there is a will there is a way
 
The desire to see our new grand baby over-rode the lack of money and time to get there. It had been years since we had traveled out of the country, so passports were needed, too. Some way, some how I was going to get to that baby and my daughter.
 
Weeks after our little Maebh came home from the hospital we received word that an unknown donor had purchased tickets for our family. The gift of a lifetime was presented to us on the condition they remain anonymous, what a humbling experience. Whoever gave our family that gift is thought of and thanked on a daily basis for without their generosity we could not have enjoyed the visit of a lifetime.
 
My husband had been unemployed for months. The mill had just hired him to start a new job. Thankfully, we had planned this trip before he was hired and his new employer was understanding. They allowed him the time off.
 
I had only been working at the mortgage company for four months when I submitted my request for a week off. Trying to compose myself and withhold  my feelings yet explain what was going on with my daughter, the boss did not really care.
 
To this day, I believe they were looking for any excuse to let me go, which was fine with me. During those four months, I was researching and planning to start our auto transport business. When she fired me, it was a relief yet I was shocked, too.
 
A couple weeks later, passports in hand, my son, husband and I boarded a plane headed for the emerald green island called Ireland.
 
That is another story, as this trip the plane travel alone is a story in itself.
 
Business owners have family and feelings, too
 
In our auto transport business, I must pull from life’s lessons every day. Dealing with customers, owner-operators and other business people, you have to keep in mind that they are people, just like you. Everyone is dealing with something every single day, maybe his or her daughter or son just left home. Maybe one of their children is sick, injured or going through something that is affecting their behavior.
 
Trying to be the very best auto transport business owner you can be, try to think of the other person first. By serving, your clients with a pure motive of real servitude will set you apart from the masses that are just in it for the money. Life lessons are not always easy. If we use them to help others, we grow into the person others want to have association. They will want to do business with us. The business world will be a better place for everyone when we all embrace our uniqueness, maternal and paternal feelings and all.
 
We need your help! Join us won't you and help spread the word about what we do here. If you have gained insight with any business tips, life lessons or plain old good stories, send a tweet to your Twitter friends; drop a short post to your Facebook friends; better yet, use the share buttons at the top of this page. You can bet they will enjoy and thank you, too!wink smile Weekend Trip Ends At Beach Access
 
Oh, by the way…share your thoughts below…
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
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Your Kids, Business and Preconceived Ideas

Preconceived ideas come from our past
Engagement, wedded bliss and Ireland

Thinking back to when our auto transport business was a mere twinkle in my eye reminded me of the preconceived ideas I had about my daughter and her new life.  I knew the day would come when she would want to leave home. Every young girl wants to find her Prince Charming, ride off into the sunset on a white stallion and live happily ever after.

It seems a bit odd to go from her engagement to her pregnancy and leaving the country, but this is how my thoughts work sometimes. Have you ever pieced together your thoughts like a jigsaw puzzle? When all the pieces fit into place then the picture makes sense. That is how this story will eventually look, like a picture, not preconceived.

About three months after our daughter's engagement she was married. The wedding was beautiful, held in a secluded park high in the foothills outside of San Francisco, California. Scottish kilts were the tuxedo of choice by the groom, while sequined flip-flops were the shoes chosen by the bride, our daughter. Ancient tradition met all out, country raised California girl what a pair.

Grandma and me

From an early age I remember wanting to spend time with my grandma. Considering I was the oldest of five, more responsibility was on me and less attention. It was no wonder that I chose to be with grandma. She was the one who doted on me, showering me with undivided attention and lots of love.

As a young adult, grandma was still a very vital part of my life. My husbands yes both of them loved and accepted her as their own. This was what I had always dreamed being a grandma would be like.

Dreaming of walking down a tree-lined road holding hands and talking with my little granddaughter was what I looked forward to my whole life. Thinking I could visit my daughter and granddaughter whenever I wanted to was my preconceived idea of a perfect life, a fulfilling life. Part of that fulfilling life included starting our auto transport business, for the freedom it would provide.

It is suppose to be that way

Driving our daughter and her new husband to the airport, we had time to talk about their plans. Since she was our first, our only daughter thinking about giving her to a man we barely knew anything about was hard to say the least. I guess you have to be a parent or a coach and have walked in those shoes to understand how I was feeling.

Logically it made no sense, to be sad for the loss of my little girl. However, things were said and actions were taken that indicated that my feelings were somewhat valid. So pulling all the courage I had within me, I smiled and hugged my daughter and son-in-law good bye. Watching them disappear inside the airport terminal my gut was turning.

The drive home was long and silent. It had only been hours and yet I missed her already. We made them promise to call home when they arrived in England, their chosen honeymoon destination. That call seemed to take days to come. Why was I feeling so empty?

A sign of things to come

Two weeks passed and our daughter called to let us know they had returned home to the Bay Area, safe and sound. They had a terrific time vacationing all over Europe.

After a whirlwind tour of England, they journeyed to Scotland then Ireland. The stories and pictures were incredible, ancient castles and quaint shops lining the narrow streets.

The next year and a half flew by. Each month seemed to get a little easier to accept the fact that our little girl was a married woman. Now her loyalty and time was devoted to her husband. It was not easy giving up or letting go the control I had as a mom, or thought I had. Being a parent was much easier when we have to be in charge and physically see she had no harm come her way.

I will never forget the phone call when my daughter asked me if I were sitting down. Wondering what could possibly be up to warrant that statement, I said yes I was. The next bit of news was the best I had heard in a long while; we were going to be grandma and grandpa. Yes! The dream I had waited for forever, that day was soon to come.

The rug pulled out from under my selfishness

Finally getting used to the idea we were going to be grandparents and our daughter a mother, we received another phone call. This phone call literally jerked the emotion out of me like a rug from under my feet until I was speechless. Now, before you go judging me I want to say this, "I know I was selfish"!

However, remember the preconceived ideas I grew up thinking. Walking down that tree-lined lane with my little granddaughter and talking, spending time together. This was not to be.

They had decided to move to Ireland to live. Shock literally set in within minutes. Trying to think of all of the implications overwhelmed both my husband and me. Our dreams crashed around our heads and we both collapsed in tears. How could we be happy when we were so miserable?

This is just the beginning of the story. It reminds me though of the thinking process when owning your own business. First, you do control some aspects and situations in your day-to-day duties as the owner, just as a new parent does. The coach controls the play book until he releases the practiced moves to the players, in our case our daughter.
 
However, as the business matures and gives birth to new divisions and associates, you cannot be selfish. Contrary to popular belief you, as the owner and coach must be thoughtful, put others needs first and always release those preconceived ideas you brought with you.
 
We need your help! Join us won't you and help spread the word about what we do here. If you have gained insight with any business tips, life lessons or plain old good stories, send a tweet to your Twitter friends; drop a short post to your Facebook friends; better yet, use the share buttons at the top of this page. You can bet they will enjoy and thank you, too!wink smile Weekend Trip Ends At Beach Access

Oh, by the way…share your thoughts below…

 

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
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How To Understand Auto Transport Lead Generation

 

   

 

Sharing one inside secret, how to understand auto transport lead generation

How to avoid dozens of annoying, high pressure calls

This afternoon as I was meditating on a topic for our next newsletter the phone rang. Like most other calls this one was a prospect that wanted an auto transport quote for his new car purchased cross-country.

He explained to me that he had done a search online using Google. The search was for nationwide auto transport. This being his first experience purchasing a car online he was leery enough. His next challenge was the task of figuring out how to get his car from California to northern Illinois.

The search turned up thousands of sites related to auto transport and he quickly became overwhelmed. Clicking on one of the links toward the top of page one he thought his troubles were over. The page told him to rest assured, completing your personal auto transport information here will save you time and effort, one form, ten competitive quotes and you are finished.

What the prospect did not know is that was only the beginning of his education in auto transport, lead generation and lead generation sites. Let me explain, using this nationwide auto transport transaction to share with you how this works.

Slick website seems simple enough

What the man experienced is what most people do in auto transport. The thinking behind these websites is to mask over the fact that they are neither auto transport brokers nor carriers. Rather, these websites are in existence for the sole purpose of generating leads to sell to auto transport brokers.

Now, the customer does not know this. With so much information available, out there on the worldwide web, it can be and most often is very overwhelming. No wonder a person chooses the first one they come to and suffer the consequences later.

The lead generation sites owner knows what they are doing using keywords and pay-per-click advertising to draw in the prospects. During peak shipping season one single site can generate anywhere from 10,000 to hundreds of thousands of leads per day.

As many as twenty auto transport brokers purchase each lead. The cost per lead varies. Oftentimes they sell in a package, for as little as $1.00 per lead. I am good at math, but you do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how much money these lead generation sites are making for their owners.

The problem is the sheer numbers of auto transport brokers purchasing these leads. It creates several problems one of which is the massive number of brokers calling the prospective customer. There is no time for them to research each company that has provided them a quote.

This customer told me that not ALL of the brokers that called him did not promote what they could do for him. Instead, they insulted, bashed and demoralized their competitors. He was not impressed. No one focused on helping him achieve his goal of getting his new car home.

Auto Transport Reviews

His next step was to visit the auto transport review board. In his research he found some holes in what others had said. Several of the companies appeared to be the same company, located at the same address.

Many of those companies had negative reviews written by their customers. Now, he was starting to panic. How was he ever going to find a reputable company to help him ship his car?

After checking each company and their reputation with their customers on the review board, he decided it was time to return to Google and start his search anew.

Top search not always the best

Continuing his search online, he almost gave up and just closed his eyes, pointed at the page and clicked to place the order. Instead, his instinct told him to push on, read just one more page.

Finally, as the page refreshed something caught his eye. It was a name; a personal name; it was my name mentioning something about customer service in auto transport. Page ten of Google had a link to an article I had written many months ago.

Within the first two paragraphs, he knew that his search was over. He found something in common with me; we both are ex-bankers. Maybe there is a code or something, I do not know. All I know is that we made a connection. His headache was over.

Trashing all of the other quotes he had received he called our office. After introducing himself, he poured out his heart. He shared his plight with me. What he had gone through to get to me was crazy.

He struggled to understand how any business could launch an all out attack on another company just for providing a free quote. Our customer said he felt like a number, not a person. He did not understand why after filling out only one form he received twenty plus phone calls.

Relationships take time, make for life long customers

After listening to our customer's story, I empathized with him. Taking the time to explain how the lead generation sites work helped him to feel better. It was not necessary to go into great detail; a general explanation was all.

We laughed about his frustration, we discussed his nationwide auto transport and gathered some additional information we needed to do our research. His whole demeanor changed in the fifteen minutes we talked on the phone and he felt better, too.

I explained the reason for writing the article was due to my frustration with the industry, too. Expressing my desire to serve my clients, the way I would want someone to serve me gave him a look into the person behind the phone. We connected on so many levels; he was not just a number, not just another auto transport customer.

Asking permission to call him back with exact details and a verified quote, we ended the call with a giggle and goodbye. Immediately calling one of our preferred carriers, I was able to get a firm rate and a pick up date for my customer.

Within ten minutes of our initial call ending, I was able to call him back. Our carrier's rate was below our estimated quote and we were able to pass that savings on to him.

Therefore, from beginning to end, our conversation lasted about thirty minutes, give or take a minute or two. We provided our customer with a fair market rate, a guaranteed pick up date with a delivery date, too.

Not only do we now have a new customer, but a new friend who will return to use our services repeatedly. Our philosophy has always been to build our value up. To highlight how we can serve our clients, not tear anyone else down.

That builds relationships with trust and honor in a world of less than honorable auto transport, lead generation.

Join us won't you? We need your help to spread the word about these lessons. If you have learned anything at all from our story, send a tweet to your Twitter friends; drop a short post to your Facebook friends. You can bet they will enjoy and learn right beside youwink smile Weekend Trip Ends At Beach Access

 

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
remember, sharing is caring…



Are we connected on Twitter? | Come write on my Facebook Page Wall.

When Your Plans Fall Through, Woulda Coulda Shoulda

 

The best laid plans, when they fall through
 
Sitting in the Sea Tac airport in Seattle, Washington I started to stress out, just a bit. I had made these plans and confirmed them over four months ago. Now, all bets were off. Who knew Mother Nature was going to throw us a curve ball?
 
Pre-planning travel
 
When traveling my preference is to have, everything planned. Securing the time out of the office was first on the list. Making sure all trucks were fully loaded and all customers called I could rest easy while traveling to Chicago for my Mastermind meeting.
 
I had purchased the airline tickets back in January. April brought about the first change; an email arrived changing my route. This trip would not be a direct flight; we would to go to Portland, Oregon then on to Chicago.
 
However, for unknown reasons our flight laid over in Seattle, Washington. This change was inconvenient, but did not interfere with our meeting so it was easy to go with the flow. This is how I "woulda" handled the flight any other day.
 
Hotel reservations and room buddies were next on the list. Our business coach made everything so simple. Securing an elegant hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois her assistant emailed the group the reservation details. I made one phone call and we secured our room. I "coulda" put off making the reservation, but I wanted to make sure to receive the special group rate.
 
Months later, the day finally arrived. Leaving home early in the morning my excitement rose. A big cup of coffee, upbeat music playing on the radio and I was off to the airport. The drive is normally long and boring. Today the two-hour drive seemed to fly by.
 
Security at the airport seemed a breeze that morning. Within five minutes, I had my luggage x-rayed and my shoes back on my feet. Starbucks beckoned me for that second cup of Joe and all was good. Who knew that I "shoulda" checked the weather before heading on such a trip?
 
Control freak
 
Whenever we travel, it seems that I like to control as much as possible. From the flight reservations to the shuttle from the airport, each detail came together like a charm for this trip. During the week before the trip small events happened that seemed to indicate my trip might have hiccups. When this happens, I usually go with the flow. I cannot control these events or people so why worry.
 
Over the past fourteen years working on personal growth and control, issues have been a focus for me. There is no such thing as being perfect, which is part of being a control freak. It just makes for such a nicer trip when all parts of a trip come together and do not fall through.
 
Waiting for other people or Mother Nature is not something that comes easy for many people, me included. Although I could work, it is not as easy as working in my quiet home office. With thousands of anxious passengers milling around the noise level continually rises. This day was no exception; I wanted to be with my fellow classmates at the Mastermind in Chicago.
 
It only made sense to update my husband that I would not be leaving for Chicago on time. We have an agreement when I travel alone. When it is convenient and safe, I call on my cell phone to let him know my travel status. This call did not go the way it should have.
 
When plans do not flow, if any small detail gets disharmonious, he prefers to retreat. His suggestion was for me to hop a plane and return home relinquishing my rights to the mastermind weekend.
 
I "coulda" really melted down, instead holding my head high and standing my ground I reassured him it would be fine and well worth the struggle to get there.
 
Chicago here I come
 
Finally, we received word the flight could depart for its destination. Three and a half hours later we landed. High winds and torrential rains challenged the pilot. The turbulence shook the plane and I tightened my seat-belt. Small children laughed as if it were an e-ticket at an amusement park. Thanking my Creator for a safe journey, I was excited to join my business associates at the hotel.
 
Resistance had not finished with me. Remember, I had booked my shuttle ahead of time. Flights all over the country were late due to the weather. Due to all flights arriving at the same time, all prepaid shuttles were overwhelmed with the crowds. Tired, hungry and cold we just wanted to get to our final destinations. What should have been a fifteen minute load and go shuttle, turned into an hour and a half run down the shuttle and insist they let us on. Customer service, NOT!
 
As it turned out, I finally made it to my hotel in downtown Chicago. After checking in, finding my room, I quickly changed and hit the bed.
 
 
After a good nights rest we were back up and in the meeting room at eight AM. Was it worth all of the resistance we had to overcome to get there? Absolutely, the lessons we all learned from each other that weekend will propel each of our businesses for the next six months.
 
Sharing ideas with people from all sorts of businesses taught me lessons I never could have learned anywhere else. You could not get such a diverse group all together in any other type of meeting environment.
 
My business coach, Sandi Krakowski knows what she is doing. Exposing each of us to a world of successful business owners is the richest kind of business tool.
 
To pattern my business after those I have learned from, I will be sharing with all my friends on Facebook. If you ever get a chance to meet, face to face with a group of like-minded business owners, do it.
 
Do not let resistance raise its ugly head and try to stop you, your business’s success depends on it.
 
Join us won't you? We need your help to spread the word about these lessons. If you have learned anything at all from our story, send a tweet to your Twitter friends; drop a short post to your Facebook friends. You can bet they will enjoy and learn right beside youwink smile Weekend Trip Ends At Beach Access
 

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
remember, sharing is caring…


Are we connected on Twitter? | Come write on my FaceBook Page Wall.

How To Succeed While Being Comfortable In Your Own Skin

 

 

You can succeed by being comfortable in your own skin

Three women and the marathon

A few days ago my daughter, Jeanette ran in a women's 5K marathon with two of her husband's sisters. As she prepared for the run, she clicked a few pictures and sent them to me. Each woman looked great, in shape both physically and mentally they were ready to tax their bodies, to put to the test their coaching and training.

Our daughter has always been athletic and played sports in summer leagues and school. She has not always been comfortable in her own skin. Season to season, the only difference was which sport she would participate in and who her coach would be. Softball, soccer, basketball or volleyball she was coached and trained to perform the best she could using her talents and abilities.

One of the pictures Jeanette sent to us made me laugh. Her husband's sisters are very tall and their build is on the slender side. On the other hand, our daughter is shorter standing at five feet four inches. After giving birth to her fourth baby just six months ago she is working on toning her body and losing the "baby fat" as she calls it. This picture really drove home how different we all are, and yet we all make a contribution to succeed.

School sports, the coach and our daughter's differences

Even though she was of slight build, her trained muscles performed like a well-oiled machine. Because she used the vitamins we sold, her endurance outlasted those of the other players. Her coach noticed and gave her more playing time, which in turn allowed her skill to improve.

Each player brought her individual skill and strengths to the team effort. Each game saw those abilities and differences put to the test all for the chance of winning each game. At the end of the season, the coach watched as individual girls who trained and worked together as a single unit won the league championship.

The championship team, like my daughter and her sisters-in-law, was different. Tall ones, short ones, thin and not so thin, all brought what they possessed to the game for the good of the team. Combined, those differences made up a complete whole that rocked the league that year. Years later, our daughter is comfortable in her own skin because her coach helped her train to excel and be her best.

As for the marathon, my daughter ran a few days ago; short legs or her sisters-n-laws long limbs did not matter, all three women finished the race side by side. The only difference that day was Jeanette took many more steps than the other girls did, but she finished holding her head high using the finely coached and trained body she lives in.

Sports, business and being me

I could not help but think about how each of us is so unique, all competing in the business world for our piece of the action. How do we succeed while being comfortable in our own skin?

When our auto transport business opened its doors back in 2005, it quickly became evident that we needed to do something to set ourselves apart. Hundreds of other auto transport brokers were competing for the same business and customers we were giving free quotes. Why would a customer want to do business with me? If I were in their shoes what would make me do business with me.

It did not take long to figure this out. By listening to our customers, those potential car shippers told us how we were different. Simply by being "me" I won them over. What does that mean?

  • When answering the phone you can tell if someone likes what he or she is doing. Happily, with a smile on my face, answering in a professional manner gives the caller a sense of security.
  • If they asked a question, I did not know the answer to I never faked it. Telling the truth, I would call them back after doing my homework to find the right answer. If a problem arose, dealing with it promptly helped diffuse angry customers.
  • When an owner-operator requested more money for the transport, being willing to share my piece of the pie helped build trust and relationships with them. The old adage of "you scratch my back and I will scratch yours" has paid off over the years with being able to ship a car when others have a three week wait.

There you have it. This is how we were able to succeed while being comfortable in our own skin. By using the God given talents I was born with, people connected with me. So, if you want to succeed in business as in life, get comfortable in your own skin.

Join us won't you? We need your help to spread the word about these lessons. If you have learned anything at all from our story, send a tweet to your Twitter friends; drop a short post to your Facebook friends. You can bet they will enjoy and learn right beside youwink smile Weekend Trip Ends At Beach Access

 

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
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Merle Haggard’s Truck Drivers Blues On The Transistor Radio

 

 

How the transistor radio and Merle Haggard's Truck Drivers Blues taught me to set goals

The third office phone rang today as I was helping one of our truck drivers with a customer's delivery issue. Our office procedure is to answer by the third ring unless we are on another line.

However, sometimes when all three lines are ringing at the same time, it just gets overwhelming and I will ask permission to answer the ringing line. This was the case today.

A dear friend was on the phone and I could tell she needed a shoulder for just a minute. Listening carefully my friend shared her troubles and thoughts. As our conversation continued, she shared the concert she had attended and some of it's events.

Deeply disappointed I had missed the local concert I told her I had listened to Hag all the time when I was a kid. After our conversation had ended, my thoughts continued to wander back to the summer of my seventh grade year. Merle Haggard's song, Truck Drivers Blues played on my transistor radio as I lay across my twin bed, tapping my foot to the beat and humming along.

It was that year that I wanted a record player. The big thing then was LP records of country singers like Merle Haggard and his hit songs. As far back as I can remember this was the first time I wanted something so badly. Of course, back then I did not know that I would be setting a goal. I was a country bumpkin kid just wanting a cool portable record player and LP records all my own.

Early signs of an entrepreneur

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was lying on my bed, reading a book from the library with the country western radio station playing all the hits. My favorites included Haggard, Lynn Anderson, Buck Owens and Dolly Parton.

Living seven miles out of town with both parents working summer could be adventurous, hard work and sometimes boring. Twice a month my mom would drive us into town to the local library. A summer reading program allowed those who wanted to participate in group reading and individual reading contests. We always came home with an armful of books to read over the next two weeks until our return trip.

In between our reading, playing and listening to music we all had chores to do while mom and dad were at work. The only deadline we had was each of our duties had to be complete before they came home from work. You can imagine five kids ranging in age from 11 to four rushing at the last minute to get their job done before the doors opened and in walked the parents.

On one of the radio shows, an advertisement touted the newest record available in stores for Merle Haggard. Oh how I wanted that record. As a pre-teen, it was a big deal to own your own personal LP record and record player.

However, even with both parents working to provide for a large family there was no way that fit into the budget or plans of my mom and dad. My mom told me that if I wanted it badly enough she would allow me to work if I would save the money to purchase it myself.

Challenge accepted

One of my mom's friends sold Avon at the time and knew that I wanted to earn extra money. She offered me a percentage of my sales and I could work her rural territory on my bicycle safely.

At the same time, we continued to work weekends with my mom in grandma's vineyard. We made $.50 an hour there and combined with my Avon sales I was saving a good amount of money each week.

I still needed more though as the RCA record player I wanted was not cheap. One evening after my dad finished the newspaper I looked through the want ads for any job that was available for a kid under age. Back then we did not need a work permit…imagine doing this now!

I found a part time job at the Cinderella Motel on the Sacramento River in my hometown. The only problem was we lived over seven miles one-way from the job. Mom and dad could not drive me in as my brother, sisters had swim practice, and they had to go to work.

That did not stop me. I was determined to get my record player. I applied for the motel house cleaner job and got it. I rode my single speed bicycle every day to work. After cleaning a minimum of six rooms or more, my day would end.

After the long, hot ride home, there were chores. After chores, deliveries awaited me, as my Avon customers were anxious for their lipsticks and colognes. I guess youth has its rewards, as I never got tired. I remained focused on my goal.

Hard work, persistence paid off

Finally the day I had been working for came. I had enough money to purchase the RCA record player I had my heart set on. The next stop was to buy that LP, Merle Haggard's "Truck Drivers Blues".

Driving home with my mom, I could not have been prouder. I am not sure my smile could have been any broader either. When we pulled into the driveway, my sisters met me at the car. They were curious to see why I was so excited. They all thought I was nuts for working so many hours and in the heat of summer no less.

When I plugged in the record player and put that vinyl LP on the turntable the moment I had worked all summer for was finally here. As the sound came out those small speakers, we gathered round to listen to the Truck Driver's Blues on my very own record player.

Today in our auto transport business, we set goals, too. With each customer's order, we do our best to use our preferred truck drivers first. They have a proven record of accomplishment and we have developed a good relationship with them.

Business is about making money, but in nationwide auto transport, you must think about more than money. When we serve our customers and put their needs first, the money follows.

Looking back at my past, the pattern has continued to build on the solid foundation of customer service. Yes, money was my goal. However, to get the money I first had to serve the hotel room guests with a clean room. My Avon customers expected a friendly visit along with the new catalog and order. My grandma and grandpa expected a good day's work for a day's wages.

Therefore, by serving others with a whole heart and mind allows the rewards to flow to the one giving to others. I am so thankful to my friend, Betty for sharing her attendance at Merle Haggard's concert. I am sad I missed it, but happy to remember the year those country singers helped me set my first goal.

Join us won't you? We need your help to spread the word about these lessons. If you have learned anything at all from our story, send a tweet to your Twitter friends; drop a short post to your FaceBook friends. You can bet they will enjoy and learn right beside youwink smile Weekend Trip Ends At Beach Access

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Head shot 3scarf cropped 150x150 Weekend Trip Ends At Beach AccessCarla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
 
What did you think?
 
Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
Post your comments below.
 
remember, sharing is caring…



Are we connected on Twitter? | Come write on my FaceBook Page Wall.