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Jared Hamilton
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Gary May

Gary May President

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It's That Time Of The Year: A Legacy Or 2 Steps Forward, 20 Years Back

Confernce season! You're about to experience record-setting attendance, more technology than will choke a horse, speaker after speaker, keynote after keynote and talk about how 2012 should be your year to embrace it all. Oh, and the budgets! Take here, put there and add everywhere that starts with digital. Whew, welcome to the conference season.

This is the time of the year that makes the chasm between doers and don't doers greater, creates the delta between those who practice and those who pretend and allows those who want, a battle cry. But it's no guarantee of success. Recently IM@CS experienced its fifth pre-term cancellation in the past four plus years. What happened? One person leaving. One really good, very focused, and awake individual...but still one person. It was an experience that you might call two steps forward, 20 years back. There is no focus on the web there now.

Remember that staying on top of everything that's changing and relevant takes time, attention, questions, resources and commitment. When that one person, or in some cases few people, don't do the work for the many or depart the dealership, what happens? Where is the commitment that is required to truly be successful? It's not the ideas or initial execution that makes the difference, it is the promise to maintain for the long term. It may even include an expectation for excellence and signifiacnt cost. Every individual that has applied a successful strategy for web-based results in their dealership or group has been doing so for a while. In some cases, a very long while. These are experiences that you might call building a legacy.

So take heed. Commit to what comes after the events. Make a differnce starting with the decision to go. The cost of attending an event like the DrivingSales Executive Summit is one of the smallest you'll ever make. Most dealers spend more on coffee or shuttling customers to the local mall in a month. And those costs don't grow your business anywhere close to the amount that a digital investment will.

A legacy starts with a unbending determination to see things through, not giving up at the first sign of resistence or willing to settle for mediocre. And sitting down listening to someone telling you what you should do versus talking with someone about how to do it is a massive difference. Today it seems as though more dealers are willing to settle for second rate and not executing a plan over doing the work it takes to build to the point of success and making sure everyone is on board. Last time we checked, an engine doesn't run without fuel and a stuck cylinder means problems. Always move forward. Even fail forward. But move forward.

Yes, it's that time of the year again. But it's always that time of the year. The battles are won and the vision grows every day in the trenches. Press forward with a commitment to you, your business, your staff, your product and ultimately your customers. Remember that is why we do what we do. Refuse to take the backward steps that more businesses seem to do today. Don't compromise. Because you're better off doing it or quitting it. Are you in it to quit it?

And lastly, with a heavy heart for the loss we experienced today, consider some of the words that Steve Jobs has shared and how it relates to us:

“But it’s a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light — that it’s going to change everything. Things don’t have to change the world to be important.”

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

So are you ready for what needs to take place after conference season? We'd like to hear from those who are....


Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results


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