Tag Archive for need a car transported

Your Ideal Auto Transport Client, The Rewards of Listening

 

Your ideal auto transport client, the rewards of listening

You are so lucky

Today was a day of reflection for me. Looking back over the past year and a half my life looks very different today than it did then. Our auto transport business is thriving when others have closed their doors. Our part time health business is growing and the excitement is mounting as others achieve their dreams and goals, too. Was it so for either business last year? No.

Some may say we are lucky. Trust me luck has nothing to do with it. Hard work, perseverance and determination are the reason we are still in business today.

Why is it that we always want everything now? Who taught us that we are entitled to have what someone else has and not have to work for it? I used to think just like that, too. My desperation to make money overshadowed my desire to serve others. Once I learned that my focus was unbalanced, my learning process began to compound and make sense. The pieces of the puzzle started to fit together.

Chatting with a good friend the other day our conversation turned to just that thought. Both of our businesses are growing, we are beginning to earn a good income. That was not the case when we started though. What changed, what made the difference in our businesses between last year and today?

We both figured it out. What did we figure out? The rewards of listening to your ideal client will make your business a success. When you do not listen to what the market wants it will break you.

When you combine that one gold nugget with the "how to" of putting a business together online you will find your answer. What we figured out is that it takes each business owner a different amount of work and time to reach results.

Can someone else do the work for you? NO!!! For long-term success we all must learn the "how to" ourselves. We must put in the time, pay the piper ourselves in order to reap the rewards waiting in the shadows for us.

Figuring out what they want

When I first started our auto transport broker business, I knew nothing about the industry at all. The lingo in the auto transport industry is different. Some of the titles for jobs seemed to overlap it was so confusing. It would have been much easier had I known of someone who could coach me and show me the ropes.

However, the broker who sponsored me (provided the information to get started) did not have my best interest at heart. Her focus was unbalanced as well, centered purely on money. Coming from a banking background, I was naive to the dealings of the outside business world. My first year in business was like a Hollywood movie in the making. Several hours training and then tossed to the wolves. Now it was sink or swim.

The same went for our health networking business. Sure there was training, "Do it this way, say this, act like this, be like me and you will succeed". The problem was I did not have a personality like theirs. My goals and passion was different, I was not like them. Try as I might to conform to their methods it did not work for me. Later I would figure out that duplicating the system is what would work, not duplicating them.

Jigsaw puzzle

In both our auto transport and health businesses, we found similarities. Building a business is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. Starting with the basics like giving our customers a free quote. That seemed simple enough, yet the sales did not come. What were we doing wrong?

Later we found that calculating the free quote was an art. Specific key elements comprised the perfect auto transport quote and this resulted in a sale, our first. Finding an auto transport carrier to transport that customer's car was like the next piece of the puzzle. Again, there were specific measures we needed to take to cover our business as well as the customer's car. Now that puzzle started making sense.

Finally, after fourteen years in network marketing the puzzle pieces became clear. The missing piece to success was not in the puzzle at all. I was the piece of the puzzle that needed to be refined. Our ideal client did not want what we were offering. Aha! That is why there were no sales.

Just like in our brokering business, some and not others desire the health business. By leaning in, listening to what others wanted instead of being so bull headed and narrow-minded, I heard what they were saying. I realized that the inner student within me was ready to learn.

It all takes time

What do auto transport, health and jigsaw puzzles have in common? They all take time to learn. In business, there are options available sometimes that can take the learning curve and toss it on its ear. By taking advantage of those options, like a business coach or trainer, you can shave years off the time it will take you to learn the intricate details. This can set your business up for faster success and bigger profits. It can also save you precious time and valuable assets allowing you to avoid the traps and pitfalls already experienced by those who have gone before you.

What my friend and I discovered in our conversation is this. We never thought a year and a half ago that we would be where we are today in business. The one thing we both learned and put into action was to listen to our ideal client and give them what they want. We learned it is not about us and our wants and desires. When we help others get what they want, serve with a pure and honest heart, our desires and goals happen because we helped someone else.

So, if you have a desire to build a business, whether it is in auto transport or a health business, lean in, listen to your ideal client. Decide to work with a business coach, avoid the pitfalls and traps waiting in the shadows for you. Set your business up for success and your hearts desire will come true, too.

We need your help! We can't do what we do without you. Please leave your comment below and join the discussion. Do me a favor? Share this with your FaceBook friends by clicking the "Like" button at the top of the page. Your Twitter friends won't want to miss out, be sure to "re-tweet", too. Thanks, you are the best.

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 healthy auto transport.
 
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Family Ties In Ireland

Family ties lured us to international travel

What was I thinking?

The short ride from the airport in Cork to our daughter’s home in Bandon, County Cork, Ireland was breathtakingly beautiful. It was cold and overcast yet the green fields stood out like sparkling emerald gemstones. In contrast, the white sheep with long curly wool accented the landscapes only interrupted by the dark blue streams flowing seamlessly.

Taking in the view, I instantly started regretting the thoughts I had before the trip became a reality to our family. Other than our new granddaughter, there really was no need to travel all that way around the world just to see old ruins of ancient castles. After all, they are just a pile of stones, dark, damp and gray. Most of our family enjoyed travel by watching the television, the History or Travel Channel. We needed to focus on opening our auto transport business to make money. What was all the fuss about international travel anyway?

When I caught the first glimpse of one of the ruins, I felt the pangs of instant regret for those feelings. Traveling to a foreign country is a big deal. Each country has something another country does not offer. Each population holds a unique history and their story adds to the excitement in life. Then I started thinking what if we did not make this trip. Imagine what we would have missed.

Out of our comfort zone, the adventure

Arriving at Jeanette’s home, the winds were still biting at our uncovered cheeks. We could not wait to get inside and warm our tired and cold bones. This would be surprise number one; construction of homes in Ireland is different from the United States. Although the home looked the same, the floor had no sub floor. With just single planks, covering the raised foundation the trade winds swept under the home encircling us with frigid temperatures.

Due to limited monthly income, the kids could not afford the electric heater and used a traditional coal fireplace. Watching our son-in-law build a fire while our teeth were chattering made me want to jump in and do it myself. Have you ever used coal to heat your home? It is not a quick burning fuel; it reminds me of starting the briquettes for a bar-b-que.

With double entry doors in the living room, we had to close them both to keep the little heat the coal produced in the room. It did not take long and this new grandma retreated to the bed with a heavy duvet to warm up.

The next surprise came in the kitchen. Refrigerators are quite small and foods needing cold storage usually end up spoiled if not used quickly.

There was no coffee pot, only a coffee press. This kitchen tool is tempered glass. First, the water boiled on the stove top. Next, pour the hot water into the press with the coffee grounds in the bottom. There is a flat circular press inserted that then presses the coffee grounds to the bottom and the coffee is strained ready to be poured into a cup. Sure seemed like a lot of work just for a cup of Joe.

Grocery shopping in Ireland is a very different experience, too. Since it is an island, everyone is aware of the amount of trash generated. There are NO plastic grocery bags; you must bring your own purchased shopping bag. Purchase of food is for one to three days only, making the recycled bag just big enough to hold your purchase that day.

Speaking of trash, they must pay by the pound. We did not really understand this concept as we pay by the month and cubit foot (size of trashcan). We did not use paper napkins or paper towels, instead we used cloth everything. The purchase of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats made it simple to avoid extra packaging, which in turn made less trash. I wonder if maybe the whole world should adopt such a rule.

Made to feel at home

The people of Bandon were very hospitable. Friendly is an understatement. Healthy is a term I would use lightly because although they walk everywhere, eat healthy compared to Americans…they drink and smoke very heavily. The drink of choice is either Guinness dark beer or Irish whiskey.

Red and brunette hair, fair skin and big smiles adorned most faces we met. It was as if we were in another world, literally. Laid back, easy going the people took life one moment at a time. They are hard workers and love their family. We look forward to our next trip back. We want to spend more time with the local people, get to know them and the culture and traditions. 

Our little granddaughter grew to recognize our voices and touch even though she was three months premature. Her head would turn when she heard her Uncle Dan enter the room.

Being my first grandchild it was easy to just sit, hold her and talk with her, of course in her language of gurgles and coos. Grandpa fell in love right away and to this day she is his little princess who has him wrapped around her little finger.

 

One week is not enough for international travel

It was hard trying to experience everything on our five-day visit. The travel to and from took up two days of our vacation making it tough to bond with the baby, visit with our daughter and her husband then squeeze in a tour of southern Ireland.

If we had to do it over again, we would have done whatever we could to have extended the trip to two weeks. What I realized later about my negative thoughts about those dank, dark castles was I was angry that I was not in a financial position to visit our most precious gift…our granddaughter.

The thoughts and opinions of my parents, in-laws and extended family had permeated my life. I thought that because they could not or did not travel afar it was not okay for me to desire to do so. Thankfully, I came to my senses and appreciated every single moment we had to spend in that gorgeous country and with our loving family.

We would learn when we returned home to our auto transport business that being mobile is important when your family lives far away. Opening our minds to serve a customer when they want to ship a car helped us to expand our thinking when it came to international travel, too.

Next week we will take a tour of our trip to the castles, manors and quaint townships of the local area. There is so much to tell and so little space to tell it. Stay tuned for the whirlwind tour of a lifetime and a peek into the past times of kings, knights and fair maidens of Ireland.

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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Before Auto Transport There Was Ireland

Before Auto Transport There Was Ireland

New life, international travel and adventure

The day came when we loaded the car, left behind the new auto transport business and drove the two and a half hours to the airport. Living in California our attire does not vary much. Jeans and tee shirts are the norm and even during winter months, we just add a thermal long-sleeved shirt and call it good. Our daughter told us to bring our warmest coats. However, we would soon find California jackets are no protection against the biting winds of Ireland.

Boarding the plane in Sacramento, California, we settled in for the short flight to our connection in San Francisco. This was our first lengthy international flight. As it turned out it was a good thing we had all taken our supplement caplet to keep our bodies strong and resistant to the germs circulating in the cabin.

Navigating the Charles De Gaulle Airport

The second leg of our flight started in San Francisco, California and eventually ended in Paris, France. Charles De Gaulle Airport was very interesting. Since we had never been to France before we had no idea of how to navigate the airport to make our connecting flight. All of the signage was of course in French and we could not interpret them. We tried to get directions and instructions from the airport staff without much success.

Exhausted from the thirteen-hour flight, all we wanted to do was find the gate to our connecting flight to Cork, Ireland. Eventually we found the right gate. However, it was time for the staff to leave for lunch. Escorted to an exterior waiting area, they told us to return to the boarding area fifteen minutes before the flight left.

These procedures were quite different than we used to back home. The excitement of our trip, the length of the flight and the time difference caught up with all three of us. Our son pulled his hood over his head and caught a few winks.

Finally, it was time to board our next connection and be one-step closer to our new little granddaughter, Maebh. Air France-KLM would fly us to Amsterdam, Holland where we would board our final connection. Aer Lingus was our chauffeur to the Emerald Island, Ireland.

This is where I wish I had known my friend, Claudia Looi, a travel expert. She could have helped us to learn about traveling to all international locations with ease.

Back to my husband's family roots in Ireland

As we stepped off the plane in Cork, Ireland, we felt the first bite of the bitter winds of the island. Wrapping our coats around us, we hurried off the tarmac and into the terminal. Working our way through customs, we presented our passports and received the necessary stamp of entry. Finally, we followed directions to baggage claim and gathered our suitcases.

When we turned around with our luggage in hand, we caught first sight of our family. Joy filled our hearts and I could not wait to get my hands on that baby, and hug my daughter. To this day, I am not sure who was gladder to see whom.


After a few minutes of hugging and kissing and admiring our little baby, we headed off to the rental car. Our daughter had a car, but it was a small four door. Since there were five adults and the baby, we needed a larger car. We decided to rent a minivan so we all could ride together. The one small detail we did not know was that Irish minivans are not the same size, as American minivans. Trust me they are smaller.

We all packed our luggage and bodies into the small minivan. We were just glad to be on the ground, in Ireland with our family. Flying in was such a gorgeous site, the fields are the greenest green, almost like a postcard picture. That first look at the island from the sky made the long flight worth every minute.

The short thirty-minute drive back to our daughter’s home was an adventure. In Ireland, the right side of the road is actually the left side of the road. This was our first time experiencing riding in a car on the other side of the road. A few times I gasped as the small cars whizzed by, or what seemed to me to be whizzing by…we were only driving 45 MPH. The roads were winding through the countryside and very narrow. The fields were green as ever full of white and black sheep. What an experience for this country family.

The Irish adventure continues next time as we get to know our new granddaughter, Maebh and explore the Irish castles and culture.

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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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.
 
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Let us know your thoughts on today's article.
 
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Weekend Trip Ends At Beach Access

 

How could our weekend trip end at beach access?

We had planned for months

This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending time with our best friends. Rick and Joanne have been through thick and thin with Rich and me. As with all friendships, I am sure they have not always agreed with our decisions just as we have not always agreed with theirs. Because we love each other, though we can agree to disagree and move on with our activity and friendship.

As we reminisced about the adventures we have experienced together, one story popped out in our minds as if it were yesterday. This particular weekend trip has become today's storyline.

We need a trip to the coast

Prior to getting started in our auto transport business and while still at the bank Joanne and I decided, we were ready for a trip to the Pacific coast. The drive over is scenic and very relaxing. The northern coastline is rugged, accessible and drop dead gorgeous. Whenever we needed to unwind and just relax this was our favorite spot to visit.

She and I put our heads together and made plans for a great, long weekend. Four days of adventure, relaxation, good food and great friends all within driving distance and within both of our budgets.

We each packed our ice chests with water, soda and beer. Our snack packs were full of nuts, fruits, and cheese and crackers typical traveling foods and excellent for packing to the beach for the day.

Tragedy strikes

The night before we were to leave the phone rang. It was 11:30 PM and who would be calling at that time of night. It was my friend in absolute hysterics. In between sobs, she was trying to tell me that we would have to postpone our trip. I could barely make out her words and then it all came together in one frightening sentence.

A friend of ours had been in an accident, a fatal one. They had headed home from their weekly Bible study. Barely gone from my friend's house 15 minutes, there had been a big black bull in the middle of the highway. Too dark to see and unable to stop in time, they hit the animal and it catapulted up into the car. Her husband died instantly and the ambulance took her to the critical care unit of the local hospital. We were all upset and decided it would be best to put our plans on hold.

Loving decision to move on

However, the next morning they called and said we should continue; go to the coast to relax. Family would be surrounding our friend. Nothing we could do would help her.

After work, we loaded the SUV, piled in and off to the coast we went. As we drove through the mountains, darkness fell. Highway 299 is a narrow, steep and windy road you must pay close attention or you could be the victim of the steep terrain. The tall, thick pine trees masked any moonlight there might have been. As I continued the long drive, I kept mentioning that it sure seemed dark. Did anyone else notice something wrong? All of the passengers agreed that I was just tired and to push on toward our destination.

The trip over the mountain highway took about three hours, give or take a few minutes. As we neared the intersection of Highway 299 and Highway 101, the warning light came on the dashboard. When we pulled into the campgrounds and unloaded for the night, all lights went out. I had a sick feeling in my stomach; we did not need car trouble, not on vacation and not with our newly purchased SUV.

As the sun rose and morning dawned, the coffee smelled wonderful. As we wiped our eyes and sipped the hot, dark cup of Joe the men went to check out the engine light issue. Sure enough, it was the alternator and we needed a new one.

After breakfast, we packed up and headed into town. Although Eureka is not a huge town, it certainly is not small either. A dying lumber mill town there is always action and tourists traveling up the coastal highway yet there was not the usual traffic. After driving from one end of town to the other, we finally found a mechanic shop that was open.

This weekend was the classic car show in a neighboring town and everyone was up there. We were so thankful that one smart businessperson decided to stay home and open for business, he saved our vacation.

Several hours and an alternator later we were off driving north on the coastal highway to our next overnight camping spot. We enjoy the out of doors and camping but this time, we cheated. We splurged and rented a cabin at the KOA Campground. I cannot remember the last time I had slept on bunk beds, nor on a pine wood bunk bed and a sleeping bag. Yes, hard as a rock and stiff as a board we all were the next day.

Determined to watch the sunset

We were determined to find a road to take us to the beach to enjoy the sunset. With each road came a dead-end. Finally, we found a road with a sign that said, "Beach access". Following the signs, we found ourselves driving through a farm. It seemed a bit odd that the beach access road would go through a private farm, but that is what the sign said.

By now, my husband was getting nervous and irritated. He wanted to turn around and go back. My friend and I assured him that it was fine, a public road and beach access. We were determined to watch the sunset and be on the beach to do so, very focused.

Next, we came upon the gate with the padlock. At this point, I was in agreement with Rich. Maybe we should go back, but then we would miss the sunset. Joanne hopped out of the car and walked up to the gate. Yes, it had a chain, but the padlock did not lock. So, off came the chain and through the gate we went. In retrospect, we should have paid closer attention to our surroundings, but we focused on our goal.

The public road now turned to ruts in the field grass. The solid ground turned to sand; yes, we headed for beach access all right. By now the men were about to burst and their blood pressure was skyrocketing. I dared not stop for fear of being stuck.

At this point, I thought Rich was going to shoot me. He very calmly said, "STOP. Do you see where we are"?

We were smack dab in the middle of an old Indian burial ground. My heart nearly stopped! We turned around and drove out of there faster than a speeding bullet. My heart was pounding and Rich was swearing and saying that the ancestors were going to get me. Talk about making a bad situation worse…packing on the guilt.

We finally found the correct beach access road. As the sun set on the horizon we enjoyed the only sunset of the trip. Our husbands never have let us forget the debacle of the weekend at the coast.

Lessons learned

After our adventure, what did we learn? The four of us in attendance learned several important lessons.

First we learned to respect and honor our friends and family's feelings. My first clue should have been to listen to my husband instead of going along with my girlfriend.

Secondly, better planning could have helped us avoid what could have been a disaster with only one mechanic shop open. Last but certainly not least, never ever drive through a locked gate even if it says "Beach access".

Today, in business we must learn to listen to that inner voice. Our conscious will guide us to make the right decisions if we just listen close enough. Our auto transport business has continued to thrive in a market when a lot of others are closing their doors. Sometimes I wonder if they chose to listen to their friends instead of their inner voice, too.

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 you;)

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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My Life As A Business Coach Is A Journey Not A Destination

Success, like my life as a business coach is a journey not a destination
 
Humble beginnings
 
From an early age, work was part of every day life. Sure, there was time for play after we got our chores done. The oldest of five children the burden of responsibility fell on me. If mom and dad had somewhere to go, I watched my brother and sisters. Success was not even in my vocabulary, yet it would come to be in my future.

Beginning in kindergarten we all started working in the fields with my mom and grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa deVore owned and operated a root stock vineyard in a small town called Los Molinos. Saturday mornings we would pile in the car and drive thirty minutes to the job.

Depending on the season, we were either working in the vineyard fields or the orchards. There was always a crop to harvest and an owner willing to pay to get it done. We gleaned nuts, prunes and peaches. Farming is a hard life, your work is endless and there is little time for fun.

When not working in the fields I found work selling Avon products to our neighbors. Peddling my old one speed bicycle miles each way, I delivered catalogs to gather orders. The following week back I would go to deliver their products and get the next order. Success was found in the relationships that were formed in those early years.

When I was old enough to get a work permit, I rode my bike into town to clean hotel rooms. The seven-mile ride got my adrenaline up and ready to clean the guest’s rooms. Of all the jobs, I liked this one the least. People are not very considerate when sleeping in a room they do not own.
 
Graduating up
 
After high school graduation, I knew I did not want to work in the fields anymore. Going to work for the local bank was a job that would be secure and had benefits. Learning as I went I climbed the corporate ladder quickly.

When we started having kids things started to change, I was changing. When life did not go exactly as I thought it should I would blame others. Soon it seemed like nothing was going the way I had planned. The success I was chasing was running the opposite direction, frustration was setting in.

Ten years into my banking career a friend introduced me to network marketing. That seemed like the answer to all of my dreams. Working closely to learn the business roadblocks kept popping up. I achieved a small amount of success while coaching our team. We made some money but still did not reach the goals nor see the success, I thought I should have attained.

One evening we received a phone call from my mentor. He was leaving the company and wanted to take me with him. I was devastated and went into shock. Being a loyal student, I did what my friend asked me to do. I did not even think for myself.

Years later, I would discover that one of my weaknesses was not thinking for me, giving myself permission to have an opinion. This was a skill that was needed to be a coach, a leader.
 
Continuing education
 
As time went on, I learned many things such as it was okay for me to have my own opinion. It was not easy to learn that with an opinion came the responsibility for the outcome, too.

After leaving my first networking company, I returned to the corporate world for a while. In 1997, I found a networking company that fit my lifestyle and needs perfectly. My health had spiraled downward to the point I almost lost it. Learning how to take care of my nutritional needs and health was the key to regaining my life. Finding how to care for my spirituality was paramount to my peace and success in serving others.

This was the introduction to personal growth trainings. Dani Johnson was an example of a powerful leader. First Steps to Success was a monthly training event we attended for over three consecutive years. It was here that I started learning about myself.
 

Forgiveness was a huge issue I needed to work out. Now I understood why I was always frustrated. No one wanted to buy from me. No one wanted to work with me. How was I supposed to succeed and build a business if no one gave me a chance?

As the months and years rolled by, I started to change. My focus shifted to listening to others more. Learning to serve them in their need got the focus off me and my problems. Staying busy working kept me out of the middle of office politics and group gossip. Later I would find it was a real protection for my business and me. This was the beginning of success being attracted to our business.

Years later when I started my auto transport business I was looking for a way to expand online. Searching the worldwide web I found someone I knew would have some answers. She had been a distributor in my nutritional networking company and I trusted her.

Several other supposed online coaches had taken advantage of my time and hard earned money. Therefore, I could see the sincerity in her actions and words.

Sandi Krakowski showed me that I could build a website and start writing about my life, my business and family. Her example of practicing what she preached ensured me that she knew what she was talking about. I could share my journey with others and help them be successful too. My decision to hire her as my business coach was a solid one. However, something was still blocking me from successfully reaching my dreams.
 

Through her coaching sessions, she introduced her students to PJ McClure, the Mindset Maven. I really did not think I needed anymore head work. After all, I had gone through three intense years of monthly training sessions to groom myself for success.
 

Not wanting to have all of my hard work just fall away unsuccessful again, I decided to see what this mindset stuff was. Apparently, my issues were deeper than I thought. Even though I had addressed them and thought, I had solved them I had not. The time I spent working with PJ was like gardening. His patient, probing manner brought to the surface the root of the problem I had been wrestling with all these years.
 
The problem boiled down to my successes, failures, and the cycle I found myself in was the same problem I thought I had eliminated earlier. He gave me an exercise to use to work through forgiving the individual and circumstance I had been holding onto.

To explain it was like that proverbial weed in the garden. You can chop it down but miss the root. That weed will grow back and choke out the flower. However, taking time to successfully work through it, tears and all, allowed me to pull the root out and I threw it in the trash.

Finally, after years of frustration my creativity flowed. I was now able to give freely of myself. Now I could see myself coaching others onto success in their business. With that confidence and joy came students desiring what they saw in me.

What I learned concisely was this. Deal head on with your issues. Find a coach to help you get to the root of the problem. It will not happen over night, so enjoy the journey.

Life, being a business coach and family are not a destination. You do not just arrive successful in any of them. Life is a journey of uphill and downhill, enjoy the scenery the whole trip, it is what makes up the whole of who you are.
 
You are a gemstone in the making. There are rubies, emeralds, pearls and diamonds. All are precious, but the hardest of them all are diamonds, they are not simple rocks lying on the top of the ground.

Intense pressure creates the stone deep within the earth. Time and pressure forms a true gemstone and it will pull out the true leadership within you, too when you enjoy the journey to success.
 
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 you;)

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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Car Theft Ring, How We Narrowly Escaped Their Clutches

Newbie broker gets call from FBI…

Week starts as usual

Monday morning as I entered the office the phones were ringing off the hook. Preparing for the day ahead I started the coffee brewing as the computer was booting up. The sun was bright as I opened the blinds allowing the warmth to fill the room and shed some natural light, too.

It did not take long to settle in and get to work answering the incoming calls. It was the time of year when working up auto transport quotes for customers were plentiful. On any given day, we handled over 100 phone calls.

To go beyond in our service to our prospects, clients and carriers we made a decision to stay at the office until we had returned each phone message left through out the day. There were days when we did not leave the office until well after eight o'clock in the evening.

It became a delicate balance to answer the live phone calls, take the customer's transport orders and dispatch them. Once we found a rhythm, it went smooth as silk though. It was easier to finish paperwork after hours than trying to do everything in order while it was crazy busy.

We found a glitch in our system though when at the end of the day we pulled our messages. It was commonplace to have twenty to thirty messages to return. Soon it became apparent that the messages needed processed in a systematic way. Therefore each day, four times per day we pulled our messages and returned the customer calls in between the incoming calls.

A message no one wants to receive

One morning I was particularly glad that we had found our flow in pulling the messages and returning the calls. My heart nearly stopped when the woman on the other end of the receiver said she was a field agent from the FBI.

Our auto transport broker business had only been open about four months, why would the FBI want to talk with me. I knew I had not done anything illegal, yet I was still scared. The owner-operators we worked with were the cream of the crop. It did not appear that any of our customers or nationwide transports were out of line. What could the issue possibly be?

Let's start at the beginning

Mr. Customer phoned in for one of our nationwide auto transport quotes. He worked in a real estate office in New Jersey and had recently purchased a Mercedes Benz sedan in Washington State. This was a typical transport and route for many of our customers.

We always obtained a signed and dated Terms and Conditions contract before proceeding with our orders. Each customer would print it out, sign and date it, then fax it back. We always checked the return fax number to verify the location of the customer, just to make sure. His fax came from the real estate office of his employment. All of the transport details were perfect.

In a casual conversation with the customer, he mentioned he had purchased the car for his uncle who lived overseas. Having worked with several customers who ship overseas all the time this did not raise a red flag, not at all. Therefore, we completed all of our verifications and started our search for a coast-to-coast, dependable auto shipper on that route.

The driver called to advise us that the car would be delivered the next day. He asked that we confirm payment would be ready. This would allow the driver to make his delivery without having to wait for the customer to run to the bank for his payment. Everything was set and ready for the completion of the auto transport.

Suspicious activity

That morning, when I nervously called the FBI agent my stomach was in knots. My knees literally knocked as my fingers fumbled on the buttons. When the agent answered the line, my voice cracked. I could tell she was smiling and probably thinking, silly girl, calm down.

As the agent asked me a series of questions, I became a little less apprehensive. The line of questioning convinced me that I had done nothing wrong. The FBI needed my help quickly though, time was of the essence. They needed me to hold up the delivery of that Mercedes Benz in New Jersey.

We agreed immediately to call and ask the driver to retain possession of the car and to transport it back to Washington State. Of course, the driver was concerned about who was going to pay him as well as who was going to pay for the return trip. We assured him that the FBI would make good on the payment, 100%.

Meanwhile, as the driver transported the car back to the West coast; the FBI worked closely with us to seize the crook. I was curious what this customer had done, how he had duped us.

The field agent told me that they had been following this car theft ring for a long time. This time it happened that the transport took long enough that the counterfeit cashiers check had time to bounce back. The seller of the car had lived in Washington and moved to Alaska, where the field agent was operating. The car was physically in Washington because the bank would not allow it to leave the state unpaid.

This car theft ring was purchasing upscale luxury cars with counterfeit cashier's checks and then transporting them to a container company on the East coast. From the East coast, they would ship them out of the country to Africa before the checks had time to bounce. Once the cars were in international waters, there was no recourse.

Wow! We had done everything right. We had dotted our "i"s and crossed our "t"s. With all of our research and careful business dealings, we still found ourselves in a supportive role with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

What it taught us though is this – make sure you follow the law. You never know who your customer might be, or worse yet who they might not be. This time we avoided a catastrophe for the bank, the seller and our company by doing our job and doing it well.

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 you;)

 

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.
 
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.