May 2005

It’s not about luck - It’s the plan!

I believe trouble comes in bunches. There’s no such thing as luck, good or bad. We all have storms in our life. Some weather the storms better than others. By working hard and being honest, you’ll find that when a storm comes your way, you will always have the money, friends and resources to see you through. Don’t count on luck to help you, and don’t bemoan it as the reason for problems.

Those things you set into habit are the things that guide you when the trouble comes. If you’re standing on firm ground through practiced moral principles and are developing sound business relationships, you’ll weather just about any storm that comes your way.

There are four simple steps in growing, improving or rebuilding a business. Most of your competitors just won’t get it. The first step is to recognize you have a problem. You have to see that there’s room for improvement. That’s where most have their downfall. Once you recognize the problem, the second step is to more closely define it. Once you’ve done that, then you devise a plan to address the issues you’ve defined. But the fourth and most difficult step is still in front of you: executing your plan. This part can be immeasurably painful because it requires a massive amount of new discipline. You’ll have to deal with a whole new sector of problems because you’re going to go beyond where you once were.

The funny part is that nearly all of your competitors won’t get it. Most know there is something amiss, the engine isn’t running an all the cylinders, and mama didn’t get her usual new car last year. They may even be piddling over a solution, but I can promise you they don’t have a plan. They haven’t committed anything to writing. It can be as simple as listing what is wrong, with the solutions, and a time line for planning. Hopefully, you will use your operating metrics to identify the problems, and whether they are bigger than a breadbox or smaller than a car, and then to track your implementation of solutions. By looking at the metrics, you can see if you are making progress.

So if you do it, guess, what? You win! They will be left behind.

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Ron Sturgeon is past owner of AAA Small Car World. In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations, with 140 employees, to Greenleaf. In 2001, he founded North Texas Insurance Auction, which he sold to Copart in 2002. In 2002, his book “Salvaging Millions” was published to help small business owners achieve significant success, and was recently reprinted. In June 2003, he joined the new ownership and management team of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real estate holdings and investments. You can learn more about him at He can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, or 817-834-3625 ext 6#.


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