Nationwide Auto Transport Broker – Did I Make The Right Decision


Nationwide auto transport broker wonders, did I make the right decision

Decisions made daily…

This past week was one of a lot of reflection. Looking back over my professional life there were many times I had asked myself if I had made the right decision. Have you ever started something or bought something only to wonder that same question?

I remember one decision I made when I was young. I was living with my grandma to attend kindergarten. My mom and dad did not make a lot of money to support our household of seven. We always had food, a roof over our heads and clothes to cover us. Nevertheless, you know how kids are. We always want what we do not have, what the other kids have.

One day at school, I swiped a gumball machine ring from a classmate. That ring looked like a big fat diamond to me. We never got gumballs out of those machines. They cost a dime and mom said we just could not afford nonsense like that.

Well, that little girl was devastated. She told our teacher and her reaction set in motion a lesson that has lasted me a lifetime. The teacher instructed everyone to close his or her eyes. The guilty party was to return the ring, no one was watching. No one would receive punishment if each person followed instructions.

Very quietly, I got out of my seat and returned the ring to the little girl. No one to this day ever knew I swiped that ring – except ME! That decision was one I regret and still remember. I never, ever took anything that did not belong to me again.

Wish I would have…

Scattered throughout my adolescence there were many times I made wrong decisions. The turn of events ranged from getting home past curfew to taking a piece of gum from my mom's dresser top. Small insignificant happenings, yet all ended in punishment for my actions.

I would soon come to realize that punishment for these small crimes would prevent me from making bigger mistakes later on in life. Decisions certainly played a big part in forming who I became as an adult.

When I graduated high school, I had to make yet another decision. Would I be just like everyone else and go on to get more education or get married to the love of my life? They say the heart carries a lot of pull, yes it won out. Two weeks after graduation I married my high school sweetheart.

Married for just over two years I lost my husband to Leukemia. Just nine months after diagnosis he slipped into a coma and quietly passed away three days later. I was just nineteen and a half when that happened. I would now find myself making major decisions that no one should have to make at such an early age.

Deciding to design my life…

From that sad day on, all decisions were mine alone to make. No longer could I look to my soul mate for support or guidance. Looking back I am not quite sure how on Earth I did it, yet I did.

Have you ever faced a situation that forced you to make decisions that will affect your very future? That is exactly where I found myself 18 years later. Always having worked hard, performing to everyone else's standards and terms my life was miserable.

Then one day an opportunity came along that if chosen would change the course of my life, for good. That opportunity was to start and build a nationwide auto transport business. As scary as starting a business I knew nothing about was, staying in a job I hated and despised was far worse. It was unimaginable to remain in that place of employment, working under those conditions for another day.

My husband and I discussed the pros and cons of making this move. The scariest part for me was the thought of not having a regular paycheck. We had always had two paydays per month, regular. We set up regular days to pay our bills following our pay dates. How would we adjust to paying them when we had money, not just on certain days? What will happen if we were late paying them? What will happen if we did not make enough to pay the mortgage? There were so many "what if's" that I nearly decided to remain at the disgusting job!
Reminiscing about the decisions I have made over the past 30 plus years has brought up every emotion in me. Some choices were good, some bad.
However, one thing is for sure. The best decision I ever made was to jump off the employment bridge into the churning waters of self employment. Designing my own life on my own terms in our nationwide auto transport business was a great decision.


Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Carla 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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  • Anonymous

    Interesting how those early lessons prepare us for the future. Even your early loss gave you the self assurance that, when you followed your gut and quit your job to become a transport broker, you “had what it took.” A hard-learned lesson, but an invaluable one!

    • admin

      That’s right Sharon. Although the lessons were hard and seemed unfair at the time, that was due to immaturity and lack of experience in life. I am very thankful for all of my experiences, even the very difficult ones they are what made me who I am today.

  • Rachelle

    You are an amazing person, Carla. Glad to know you.

    • admin

      Appreciate you, Rachelle. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • I think you made the right decision… just need to tweek a few things to make it work like we know it can.
    Keep on hauling

    • admin

      Thanks for the encouragement Angela. I can use all I can get…and it is making progress as we speak:)

  • All of our experiences lead us to who we are today…if we wait long enough and stay strong with our faith, the pieces that seem to stick out in our minds will one day fit nicely into place as if it was all a part of a plan to create who we are! Thank you for sharing this Carla, it is something we all need to be reminded of. We are not perfect and we are not meant to be. But we are AMAZING!!!!

  • What a great life story chapter, Carla! Those early lessons…and being part of a large family… you can see at a glance, just in these few words, how your life today is a direct result of all those decisions… even the decision to take a little girl’s ring and the decision to return it. To lose the love of your life at age 19 and then to start your own business… what amazing an life experience to share with others! Fascinating!

    • admin

      Thank you Susan. It really wasn’t easy putting to paper those parts of my life. That is just a thin layer, but the lesson in it made me share with others. I guess growing as a person, whether in business or not is never easy. The difference is in what we do with it. PJ McClure says it best in Flip The Switch. Best business building tool ever!

  • What an amazing story Carla. I know that I have made many decisions in my life that I would reverse in a heart beat were I ever given the opportunity to do a do-over. Thanks for sharing!

    • admin

      So true Annemarie. There were decisions that I wish I had made differently too. But then hind sight is 20/20 for us all and if we did that we never know what we would be today or where we would be:)

  • Anonymous

    Carla, what courage you had & I’m sure continue to have- not only for making it on your own at such an incredibly young age, but for just having the guts to get up and return that ring. Good for you! I think you’ll be able to look back and have few regrets in life, even for the decisions that one may consider “mistakes.” Thanks for sharing.

    • admin

      Thank you Lily. I had no idea what an impact this article would have on people. But one thing is for sure, I’ve been able to sleep at night knowing that I did the right thing. As for picking myself up…I thank many people who love me for that. Mainly my grandma…there were many times I’d call crying saying that life isn’t fair. Her reply every time wasn’t necessarily comforting at the time, but now I get it. Her reply was, “no, life isn’t fair. you may not get your reward for a long time. someday though your time will come and your rewards will be greatly earned”. Grandma never knew how true those words rang true. One day though I’ll be able to share my whole life’s story with her and she will know how much those words impacted my life, for the good!

  • Victoria Gazeley

    Your story about returning the gumball ring really touched me – and how sensitive your teacher was to let it unfold that way! I’m not sure that happens like that very often. What beautiful life stories you have… Thank you for sharing them with all of us.

    • admin

      You are most welcome Victoria. Sometimes it’s not easy to bring up let alone write about past experiences. But, when we do sometimes our mistakes can help someone else to avoid making the same one. In this case, making decisions is a daily occurrence in business. The lessons remain the same though…as long as we learn from them and don’t repeat the same one:)

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