Latest Approved Auto Commercial

We just finished editing the latest Approved Auto Sales commercial which will begin airing later this year.  Felicia did an awesome job ad libbing with Sammy!

Have a great weekend! – – – Luke

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If 99% is good enough then…

Some of you may have seen this before as it has been around a long time. However, I thought it would serve as a reminder to all of us how important it is that that we strive to always do our best and give our best.

If 99.9% is good enough then….

  • 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily
  • 114,500 mismatched pairs of shoes will be shipped/year
  • 18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled/hour
  • 2,000,000 documents will be lost by the IRS this year
  • 2.5 million books will be shipped with the wrong covers
  • Two planes landing at Chicago’s O’Hare airport will be unsafe every day
  • 315 entries in Webster’s Dictionary will be misspelled
  • 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions will be written this year
  • 880,000 credit cards in circulation will turn out to have incorrect cardholder information on their magnetic strips
  • 103,260 income tax returns will be processed incorrectly during the year
  • 5.5 million cases of soft drinks produced will be flat
  • 291 pacemaker operations will be performed incorrectly
  • 3056 copies of tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal will be missing one of the three sections


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Put it On Your List

One of the topics we have often focused on during our company wide management meetings is the importance of maintaining a “to do list”.  It registered with me last week that it has been awhile since we have pushed the importance of keeping such a list.  In my years in business I have found that the best employees seem to keep the best “to do lists”.

I can recall meetings in which I have spoken to a handful of employees at once.  The employees in those meetings who took thorough notes and made an organized list of the objectives set out in those meetings were hands down FAR more productive than those who sat merely as passive listeners.

Each day it is important to maintain and update a personal “to do list” of things you need to accomplish.  No matter how small the task, add it to your “to do list” and the odds of completing that task  go up exponentially.  Upon completion of the given task go back and mark it off your “to do list” which in turn will give you a sense of accomplishment and will motivate you to knock out more of your tasks at hand. 

One suggestion regarding your to do list is to keep it within sight.  Having a list tucked away inside your desk or buried under a stack of papers does little good.  Keep your list within reading distance from your work area and you will be reminded throughout the day of what all you have already accomplished and what else remains to be done.  

If you are currently attempting to work without the assistance of a “to do list” then start using one today.  By the end of the week you should notice a great increase in your productivity.

Have a great week!   Luke

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”  Tom Krause 




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Coming Down the Home Stretch!!

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I realized yesterday we only have 9 working days left in the 3rd quarter.  It has been a really busy quarter that has passed very quickly.  The next 9 days will determine if many of you hit your quarterly goal in the write off competition as well as your principle goals.  Please make sure you take full advantage of the days left in the quarter.  Good luck to everyone!

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.

Arthur Schopen 



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A Few Quotes to Start the Week

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Hopefully these quotes will help get your Monday started with the right frame of mind. — Luke

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing.  You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time.  Winning is a habit.  Unfortunately, so is losing.”  Vince Lombardi

“The first one gets the oyster, the second gets the shell.”  Andrew Carnegie

“People are definitely a company’s greatest asset.  It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics.  A company is only as good as the people it keeps.”  Mary Kay Ash

“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you are doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.”  Ray Kroc

“The trick is in what one emphasizes.  We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong.  The amount of work is the same.”  Carlos Castaneda

“If you did not look after today’s business then you might as well forget about tomorrow.”  Isaac Mophatlane

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A New Class

Another leadership class has already begun. Enjoying Rubye Del’s style of training this go around are Heather Barnes, Shane Aguirre,Pie Kern, Rachel Soper, Gladys Hutchison, MIchelle Williams.
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I’ve had a topic in my mind for the past week or so that I thought would be good to blog about but everything changed when I sat down in front of my computer and looked at the date my next blog was supposed to be on – September 11.  Almost everyone has a story about 9/11.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I had graduated from college the year before and was on my way to work.  As I rounded the corner of the building, my cell phone rang.  It was my boyfriend calling to ask me if I had heard the news.  I had not heard anything so I rushed inside only to find a small crowd already gathered around the small television in the partner’s office.  We all stayed there for most of the morning glued to the TV…in complete and total shock.  Little did I know that the next decade of my life would be shaped by that single day.  My boyfriend (and now husband) decided to go to officer training school with the US Air Force not long after September 11 so I have seen firsthand the sacrifices that men and women make on an everyday basis.  Just as we should honor the incredible sacrifice that many made on that tragic day, please don’t forget the service of our men and women who continue to be deployed overseas and those families who wait for them at home.


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Leedom in the Windy City

Luke, Shane, and I will be traveling to Chicago this afternoon to meet with our consulting group, Leedom, for our buy here pay here car lots.  These meetings always come with a certain amount of  nervous anxiousness.  We will spend all day Saturday and Sunday reviewing numbers and sharing ideas with about 20 other dealers from around the country.  I look forward to seeing how our numbers compare against the other dealers and most of all look forward to finding out what areas we can improve.  I hope everyone has a good Friday and a great weekend.



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Excuses Lead to Failure

I hope everyone enjoyed their extended Labor Day weekend.  I had a great one but am glad to be back within the labor force today.

The other night I watched one of the few reality TV shows that I enjoy, Bar Rescue.  Bar Rescue consist of an industry professional, Jon Taffer, who goes around visiting failing bars and pubs across the country.  He works with the owners and employees to diagnose and fix their problems and give them advice on how to get their given businesses moving in the right direction. 

As I was watching the latest episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer had just completed his initial walk through of the latest pub he was assigned to help turn around.  Even to the untrained eye it was obvious that this bar had problems.  Filthy grease buildup in the kitchen, holes in the wall and unkempt and rude waitstaff seemed to be the norm in this particular pub.  However, each time Jon Taffer pointed out any of the aforementioned problems the owner was quick with an excuse for both his and his staffs’ performance.  Kitchen not cleaned? Well, we clean as often as time will allow. The waitresses lack of grooming and adequate dress? We have a very casual dress code. Why is your staff so rude? We haven’t had much professional training. And on and on and on. 

After about three rapid fire excuses Taffer told the owner that there was no helping him and appeared ready to move on to his next show.  Startled, the owner pleaded with him to stay and wanted to know what had offended Taffer.  Taffer quickly pointed out to the owner that he had “excused himself to fail”. 

I really liked the way Jon Taffer put it.  In what years we have been in business I have noticed that the very best employees never make excuses.  Sure they make mistakes but they never make excuses.  Actually, most of the great employees we have been fortunate to employ have gone out of their way to accept blame for problems within their particular area of the company.  When I hear someone make an excuse I immediately think to myself that they will probably repeat that same mistake in short order because they see no fault of their own.  However, when I hear an employee say something such as “I really have no excuse for not getting that done” or “I really messed that up and I am sorry”, well. . . I think that sounds like a good employee who is getting even better.  It is obvious they are learning from their mistakes which is an integral part of being a star employee. 

Let’s all work to “bite our tongue” as we catch ourselves making excuses for our mistakes.  It takes practice but, with effort, can become a way of life.

Have a great rest of the week! — Luke

“He that is good for making excuses is rarely good for anything else.”  Benjamin Franklin



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Management and Leadership

Luke, our area managers, and I attended a management seminar yesterday by Glenn Shepard.  The seminar was very informative and I walked away with several good ideas.  Even though the seminar was primarily focused on management skills Glenn spent some time talking about leadership also.  I have a few quotes from the meeting I wanted to share with you this morning.

Leadership is getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it for you

-Glenn Shepard

In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words; people, product and profits.  Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two.

-Lee Iacocca 

Former CEO of Chrysler

People always fear change.  People feared electricity when it was invented.  People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines.  There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear.

-Bill Gates


I hope everyone has a great day…..Louis

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