Maximum Octane


How To Use Diversity and Inclusion to Grow Our Business with Charlene Parlett

Ep. 36
Even if we don't realize it, and perhaps just like any other industry, the automotive space is traversed by biases that determine how we treat and expect our internal customers to be and, above all things, how we attract and retain them.In this episode, Charlene Parlett visits us to raise awareness over the importance of thinking more about diversity and inclusion when writing our hiring ads, during our daily conversations, and how we can make our businesses more appealing to the needs of the modern working class.Charlene is an Executive Coach and Speaker at the Automotive Training Institute, Managing Shareholder of IRS Assistance, and a Master Certified Business Coach and Owner of Seamless Coaching Service. She is also part of the Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA), an organization created to promote inclusion and diversity in the automotive industry, help minorities advance in their careers, and reach C-Suite level positions.Throughout our conversation, Charlene explained the multiple benefits of thinking more inclusively and using this skill to attract the perfect fit for our business and create a space where internal customers can offer their best version and decide to build a career. We also discuss parental leaves, religious holidays, how to attract younger people to the industry, and much more.In This Episode, You Will Learn:Why it is crucial to understand the role of inclusion and diversity in our business growth and evolution (2:04)Charlene talks about why she joined CADIA and the work they perform (4:13)Charlene talks about some of the automotive industry's most common biases (8:45)Charlene talks about how society shifted how they see parenting and the industry's need to adapt to it (10:11)Charlene shares an exciting idea on internal customers and transportation (16:19)Charlene talks about flexible schedules and how companies should think about it (24:10)Charlene explains how to write appealing ads to attract the right people to work with us (31:51)Resources:CADIA websiteCharlene Parlett's blogConnect with Charlene:LinkedInLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

How Empowering Internal Customers Can Increase Revenue with Matt Barnes

Ep. 35
Joining us today is Matt Barnes to talk about the benefits of empowering internal customers, removing the fear of failing, and being aware of our state of mind at work.Matt is the Owner and Operator of B&B Automotive and Superior Auto Service in Bryan, Texas.In this episode, we travel to the land where everything's bigger to learn about Matt's unique perspective on leading a business. Throughout our conversation, Matt shared his thoughts on the importance of bringing the right energy to work, empowering internal customers, and working hard to create a space where failure is allowed and accepted as part of any process. He also talks about the lessons he got from getting rid of an unproductive habit and the importance of remaining calm when things go South and everyone starts panicking.In This Episode, You Will Learn:Matt talks about how leaving an unproductive habit benefited him and his business (5:01)Matt talks about the importance of leaving personal problems aside when it's show time (6:11)Matt explains how to deal with the hard-to-swallow-pill of failing (9:41)Matt explains how he manages to remain calm in critical situations (14:38)Matt shares a concrete example of how empowering internal customers translated into more revenue (17:27)Resources:B&B Automotive Services websiteSuperior Auto Service websiteConnect with Matt:LinkedInLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

When Rebranding Is the Only Way To Keep Growing with Aden McDonnell

Ep. 34
Aden McDonnell joins us today to talk about how rebranding and becoming the CEO of his businesses transformed his life.Aden owns two companies, McDonnell's ATS (Automatic transmission Specialists) and GOS Performance, and ran a third business, Destroked, a machine shop in Denver where he managed the sales and tech support. He rebranded and now operates his businesses under the umbrella of Greybeard Automotive.In this episode, Aden reveals what made him decide to rebrand without worrying about losing his clients or starting all over again. We discuss the importance for business owners to realize that just as they do, their brands, logos, and business can change and evolve with time. Aden talks about the book reading practice he turned into a habit in his company and the positive impacts of creating and maintaining the tradition of meeting with his team weekly to discuss the books they read.We also talk about Aden's transition from business owner to CEO; he shares his thoughts on how liberating it is to create responsible leaders and delegate and how he uses his freedom to focus on strategic parts of the business.Some Questions I Ask:You recently had a transition in your business name. You've had a few different divisions of your business. So why don't we explain a little bit about what those are and what you were doing? And then why did we have to come up with a name change? (2:43)Can you talk about that book reading a little bit and explain that to our listeners? (12:55)In This Episode, You Will Learn:Aden talks about his three businesses and the services they provide (3:56)Why we must overcome the fear of rebranding and changing our business' name (6:39)Later never happens. Why we must take care of things as they come up (11:19)Aden talks about how he found time to work more ON his business and less IN it (16:08)Aden shares advice for business and shop owners (24:48)Resources:Greybeard Automotive websiteGreybeard Automotive InstagramGreybeard Automotive FacebookLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

The Benefits of Building A Solid Team and BEEing POTsitive About Our Passion with Pam Tures

Ep. 33
In this episode, Pam Tures brings a magnificent example of how liberating can be to develop a good second in command and a solid staff we can rely on.As the co-owner of Lee Hill Auto Service, Pam built a supportive team that gave her the freedom to nurture her passion for artistic expression. She founded Bee-Potsitive Creations, the space where she produces fused glass and pottery sculptures, one of them recently accepted by the Smithsonian Museum on her work depicting her perception of COVID.Throughout our conversation, Pam talks about how she got into pottery and glass sculptures, the empowerment and freedom gained from building a reliable team in her business, and the moment she got the email from the Smithsonian Museum announcing they accepted her artwork be exhibited. She also describes the turning point when she realized and convinced herself that her art was worthy and valuable to folks and the importance of instilling an independent mindset in our internal customers.Some Questions I Ask:Could you talk about your business, Bee-Potsitive Creations? (1:57)You didn't consider yourself an artist, right? You had a journey with all of that. Can you speak to that a little bit? (14:16)In This Episode, You Will Learn:Pam shares a bit about her journey and her relationship with art (6:09)About how the art piece soon to be exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum was born (9:03)How Pam embraced the idea that she was a business owner and an artist (17:35)Pam talks about how refreshing it is to come back to the business after spending quality time with our passion (23:14)Resources:Bee-Potsitive Creations FacebookLee Hill Auto Service websiteConnect with Pam:Email: ptures1126@aol.comLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

Bringing the Best of Corporate America into the Automotive Industry with Bruce Spencer

Ep. 31
Visiting us today is Bruce Spencer to talk about his experience joining the automotive industry as an "outsider." After several relocations following the needs of his corporate career, Bruce decided to pivot and find a way that allowed him and his family to settle down. Bruce found a fantastic opportunity to do so by buying Walt Eger's Service Center in 2016.Bruce Spencer is the Owner of Walt Eger's Service Center in Maryland; he is also the President of BJS Consulting and an experienced strategic leader of high-performing teams.In this episode, we delve into Bruce's journey transitioning from the corporate and consulting world into the automotive industry. We talk about the challenges he faced during the last six years, his thoughts and feelings about running a repair shop without being a technician, and the skills he brought into the business from his previous life.We also discuss the importance, as business owners, of knowing to take distance from our company, owning and replying to bad reviews, and clear communication with internal customers. In addition, Bruce shared his flawless approach to deciding what things he won't get involved in and spending time on them.Tune in to episode 31 of Maximum Octane and learn about Bruce's unique approach to the automotive industry.Some Questions I Ask:Many people we talk to grew up in a shop; their parents or uncle had a shop. You come from a completely different world. Could you share your story with us first? (1:50)What advantages do you think you have, coming from outside the industry, to run this business? (11:17)So many people focus on what they want to do next, even having different systems for it. But you also do that with the things you will not be doing. Can you speak about that a bit? (20:13)In This Episode, You Will Learn:About how Bruce decided to join the automotive industry (3:10)How Bruce dealt with the fact that he doesn't "speaks technician" (9:13)Deciding what to work on is as important as deciding what not to work on (14:43)The benefits of taking ownership of bad reviews and using them to talk to future customers (19:48)Bruce shares his thoughts on weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities (24:43)Resources:Walt Eger's Service Center websiteEmail: info@walteger.comConnect with Bruce:LinkedInLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

Breaking Things Down Into Little Pieces and Living More Intentionally with Wendy Hawks

Ep. 30
After attending ATI's last conference in March, our guest, Wendy Hawk, decided to do something different with the information she gathered throughout the event.In previous years, the notes, the brilliant ideas, and the revolutionary methods compiled in a notebook would lie on a shelf, slowly drowning in oblivion.This time, Wendy decided to act, organize the notes, and use them to help her manage her business and personal life, make sure to reach her goals, finish projects on time, become a better leader, and be a more patient and emphatic person.Wendy Hawk, General Manager of Riverside Auto Center, shared how organizing and planning her days was a life-changing decision. She described how she changed the dynamics of her business by committing to change every day a bit and highlighted the importance of treating ourselves with compassion when we fail.We also discuss how essential it is to check in regularly with those to who we delegate work, setting one-on-one meetings, and how breaking things into small pieces can be the solution to many of our problems.Some Questions I Ask:This year's ATI Conference helped encourage you to make some changes and get some things you needed to work on. Could you talk about that? (2:13)What do you think was the difference this time? What made you make that shift? (4:39)How has "leaving things for tomorrow" helped you stay positive and keep things going? (9:55)In This Episode, You Will Learn:About what made Wendy approach things differently this time (4:46)Why do we tend to beat ourselves when we fail to finish what we have planned to do, and how can we be less harsh with ourselves (9:51)Some non-negotiables that help Wendy remain sharp and responsive (13:59)How to use Wendy's method to live a more intentional life (17:47)Resources:Riverside Auto Center websiteConnect with Wendy:LinkedInLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

Dealing with the One In the Mirror To Improve Our Relationships with C. Regi Rodgers

Ep. 29
In today's episode, the #1 Relationships Coach, C. Regi Rodgers, visits us to discuss how we establish and build romantic and business-related relationships.Former renowned Pastor C. Regi Rodgers has been featured in "I'm Just Saying" from TCT Network, "Heavenly Sent" from the Word Network, "Atlanta Live" from TV 57 in Atlanta, and other local cable and national radio programming. Regi leads people to understand their own destiny and their power to create their own reality. He is a gifted teacher, speaker, mentor, and author.Throughout our conversation, Regi shared the five stages of dating to help us create long-lasting and healthy relationships. We talk about the difference between having chemistry or a connection with someone, why we must look for consistency when meeting someone new, and how we can do it following our intuition. We delve into the limiting beliefs our image-based society instills on us, the importance of constant evolution, and how to develop soft skills to improve our problem-solving abilities.In addition, Regi revealed how to change the narrative of our thoughts to attract what we want and need in our lives and business and let the universe's choreographic abilities work in our favor.Some Questions I Ask:There are many very busy people who don't go out a lot. They rely on online dating. How do you relate chemistry or connection, those things that you speak about, to this? (5:42)I see with my friends, they meet people, talk and exchange pictures, and the pictures don't look anything like them. Why do you think people do that? (8:18)In This Episode, You Will Learn:About the first stage of dating, the Meet and Greet stage (3:44)Do you remember who you were before the world told you who you are? (8:13)The importance of being in constant evolution. Dating and marriage are a constantly evolving process (13:23)We need to normalize having arguments and focus on our problem-solving skills (20:21)We create, attract, and expand the world around us with our words (22:42)Regi shares some advice for people without healthy coping mechanisms (38:25)Connect with Regi:InstagramFacebookLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

How To Balance Work, Being A Spouse, and Mother of Small Kids with Ashley Lehr and Katie Plitt.

Ep. 28
Today, we are joined by two remarkable women, pillars of ATI, Katie Plitt and Ashley Lehr, to talk about how they deal with being a spouse, a mother, and the backbone of an organization with over 1700 members and more than 80 workers.Ashley, whose son Travis is almost 4, and Katie, mother of Caleb, who just turned one, talk about their daily routine, how they juggle the responsibilities of being busy moms, and how their kids see them. We delve into how they handle mom guilt, what they do to find time for themselves and their partners and their favorite plan to unplug themselves from work.We also discuss the importance of making a pause and taking time for ourselves as mothers, away from our kids, spouses, and any other responsibilities, and how they deal with the role of being "enforcers of law" at work and at home, being the ones that say no.Some Questions I Ask:How do you juggle being a spouse, a mom, and the backbone of an organization? (2:43)You set expectations and hold people accountable at work. And then at home, you're sort of doing the same thing. What kind of toll does that take on you? (10:54)How do you deal with the need to have ME time? (18:08)In This Episode, You Will Learn:About how our kids see us and how they feel about us working long hours every day (6:22)How Ashley deals with being the "law enforcer" at work and at home (11:52)What are the things Katie does to disconnect from work and have some time for herself (15:27)How Ashley and Katie deal with mom guilt (18:26)Let's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail: