BEING A “PRO” BY TIM GIBSON – the Auto Justice Mechanic
This month's article is about what I will call “Being a Pro” at what you do. I happen to be a mechanic. A career that has let me earn a honest living over the last 30+ years. Knowing a trade or craft is great but if you can't make a living at it, what good is it? I have seen people that wanted to be a singer or writer but didn't have the talent. What I am talking about is a person that has the “gift” or talent but just can't make a living at what they do.
Let's say that you know that you have a talent for something you would like to do for a living. How can that talent be used to earn? I can tell you in my case, I had a love of automobiles since I was very young. I grew up in the 50's & 60's and the cars were plentiful and most every family had 1 or 2. I like the looks of all different types of cars and trucks. They seemed like artwork to me. I admit, I even liked the smell of exhaust fumes!
So I had an interest. As I got a little older, I found myself drawn to know how the different things on a car functioned and worked. Pretty soon I was able to wash dirty parts for my big brother's projects on whatever he was working on. He was what you would call a “backyard mechanic”. Enter the 70's. I was trying to figure out a “plan” or vocation. Luckily for me, I attended a high school that had a vocational wing and was able to get into auto shop. There I learned the theory of how each part on the car functioned. I also learned how to diagnose and repair these systems. So we term this part of my journey as formal education.
After I graduated from high school, I worked in the field for the next 25 years. This we will call the application of experience. So after leaning and working at my trade, I was now ready to apply all that knowledge to open my own shop. I tell you this story so you can see that it is no overnight, get rich deal. You have to “learn it to be able to earn it.”
So as I opened my own shop, it didn't take long to realize that not only do you have to fix peoples cars, you have to make money at it. Trust me, I was as surprised as anyone to get this part correct.
There are a lot of great doctors in the world but some are poor business men and women. So how do you get paid for what you do? Here is what I have learned – conduct yourself in a professional manner in your endeavors. People can tell early on if you can do the job and most people are okay with paying a price for this effort. The public will support you if you are fair and honest. People will also come to respect what you do over a period of time. I have found that a good recommendation from a customer is the best compliment ever. Don't over promise – just over deliver service.
This is what I have found in my trade and I believe that being in a free society, like the U.S., lets all of us have this opportunity to prosper. So whether you are a worker or a business owner, you can apply some form of becoming a “pro” at what you do for a living. Your attorney, Michael T. Gibson has earned the right to be called a “pro” - I just call him my son.