Maximum Octane


Turning Obstacles into Opportunities with Patrick Connell

Ep. 12
Most of us, especially in our businesses, change things when we are forced to. Of course, there are other times when we create a plan, design a course of action, execute the plan, and arrive at the desired destination. But for the most part, life is unpredictable; things out of our control happen and force us to pivot. What we decide to do with what life imposes can differentiate us from the rest, help us thrive and succeed, or just stay in an eternal loop of trying to figure things out.When life hit our guest, Patrick Connell, and it hit him hard, he realized he needed to do something about his business. The small automotive shop and the carwash that was just getting complete weren't generating enough revenue. Patrick walked down the street and told an electrician he was in the fleet business, and they were doing fleet repair. That is how he got his first client; he'll eventually figure things out later. A formula that would help him grow for years is listening to a client's needs, saying yes to all, and figuring out how to do it later.Fast forward some years, Patrick Connell became the President, CEO, and Owner of two successful businesses, ARS Truck & Fleet Service & Delaware Truck Refinishers.In this episode, we go through Patrick's journey of becoming a successful entrepreneur and inspiring leader. We talk about how his approach changed with time when he would first say yes to things and figure out how to do them later, to have a more organized and established procedure and list of services. We also talk about active listening, providing and promoting a culture that represents who we are, working hard on the behind-the-scenes of our business when things are good, and more.Tune in to episode 12 of Maximum Octane and learn more about Patrick's unique leadership style, customer service, and team development.Some Questions I Ask:Do you want to talk a bit about your original business model and how you came to change it? (2:49)What kind of things did you do to transition from the retail to the fleet business? (6:40)How long do you think it took you to really understand that the fleet business would grow as it grew? (14:23)In This Episode, You Will Learn:About the moment Patrick realized he needed to pivot and start a new kind of business (4:33)How Patrick's new business evolved and grew in the first three years, what changes it forced in him and how he approached his company (7:59)Some advice from Patrick about how to be in the fleet business (12:50)Active listening. The number one skill every entrepreneur should train (18:15)Patrick's advice on how to treat our business when things are going right for us (21:27)Resources:Delaware Truck Refinishers websiteARS Truck & Fleet Service websiteConnect with Patrick:LinkedInLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

Dealing with the Modern Version of Saber Tooth Tigers | Debbie Muno - Part 1

Ep. 11
Emotional intelligence usually receives the unfair tag of metaphysical woo-woo, but actually, there is science behind its concept, and it is a teachable skill. A first step into understanding how it works is realizing many things happen in our brains that we are unaware of, and we have no control over that directly impact almost everything we do.To talk about the importance of emotional intelligence and its implications in our personal and professional lives is Debbie Muno, Managing Director of Genos North America.Our conversation revolves around the direct link between how people feel and how they perform at work. We delve into the influence, positive or negative, people can have in our personal and professional lives and what we can do, as leaders, to improve our communication skills. Using simple words and uncomplicated concepts, Debbie explained the main ideas behind emotional intelligence and how it impacts productivity, hiring and retention rates, and personal development.Tune in to episode 11 of Maximum Octane and dive deep into emotional intelligence's fascinating space, and learn how to use it to improve your and your teams' experiences at work.In This Episode, You Will Learn:What is emotional intelligence, and why it is related to the feeling of being drained all of us feel nowadays (4:41)What is the reward circuitry, and how it affects our mood and cognitive functions (7:21)The flat circuitry. Where everything goes South (15:41)Debbie's advice on how to improve our emotional intelligence (25:15)We are not what we feel (28:07)Resources:Genos North America websiteConnect with Debbie:LinkedInLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

How to Protect Our Assets and Avoid Tax Surprises with Jerry Jankowski

Ep. 10
Becoming an independent contractor might be the recipe for financial freedom to many people, and it probably is the best place to start looking for it. Still, other aspects must be considered once we become responsible for an organization, regardless of its size. For instance, if we are sole proprietors and someone working for us gets hurt while doing their job, they can sue us, and we'll respond with our personal assets.We can't prevent accidents from happening, but we can do things to protect our assets, the same way we protect our family and our businesses, and today's guest, Jerry Jankowski, explains to us how.Jerry Jankowski is a Tax Resolution Consultant at IRS Assistance Inc, a company devoted to helping people pay the least amount of money allowed by law while staying within the IRS and State guidelines. For the last 28 years, Jerry has helped individuals and business owners find solutions to serious federal and state tax debts.Today, through Jerry's vast experience, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of every corporation type we choose to establish for our businesses. We talk about the best ways to protect our money while keeping our assets and paying the least amount of taxes possible. We also go through the differences between C, S, and LLC corporations and much more.Tune in to episode 10 of Maximum Octane and learn about the best way to keep your assets safe, your business growing, and your tax returns organized.Some Questions I Ask:Could you share some of your wisdom with us? (3:06)People own the building that their business is in. And then they put that in the corporation name is as well, is that one of the examples of what you should not do? (7:39)I don't see anything wrong with speaking to a couple different professionals and saying: what is your opinion? What do you think is the best thing to do regarding what type of entity to create for our company? (15:46)In This Episode, You Will Learn:How most independent contractors start and set up their businesses (3:46)Sole proprietors and taxes. How different corporations pay their taxes ( 7:49)The differences between C, S, and LLC corporations (14:32)The story of the car dealerships and their company setting choices (16:01)About Jerry's unproductive habits (21:51)Resources:IRS Assistance Inc websiteIRS Assistance Inc FacebookConnect with Jerry:LinkedInLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

Four Things You Need To Know To Become a CEO with Tom Grady

Ep. 9
When we think about being CEOs of our businesses, usually big names come to mind like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos and immediately, we feel we are too far from them, therefore, far from being CEOs. However, let's look at the textbook definition of CEO: the only difference between big corporate CEOs and us is that they report to a board of directors, are responsible for improving their share price, and probably make a bit more money.Visiting us today is a dear friend and colleague, fantastic CEO, and owner of Red Hawk Auto Center, Tom Grady. Tom started working at Ford Motor Company and a Nissan Motor Company and ran dealerships in New York and California.We had a wonderful conversation about what every company owner should know about becoming a CEO, stop managing their company and start leading their internal customers. Tom brilliantly took us through the four primary roles every independent CEO should embrace to grow their company. We talk about the right mindset to grow, strategise properly, internal customer training, developing culture and more.Tune in to episode 9 of Maximum Octane and learn everything you need to know to become an efficient CEO and help your company grow consistently.Some Questions I Ask:Could you give us a bit of your background and how you got where you are today? (2:50)When you talk about looking at the future, you're protecting that, and you're looking and saying, every action we do today and every way we treat our internal and external customers will affect our future. How do you maintain this mindset? (19:12)In This Episode, You Will Learn:There is a lot of confusion around what it means to be a CEO (3:46)As business owners, we need to be forward-thinking and change our mindset today (6:05)About the importance of developing a strategy (12:06)What is the right way to develop a culture (14:31)Barking orders versus generating internal customers' autonomy (20:12)Resources:Red Hawk Auto Service websiteRed Hawk Auto Service InstagramRed Hawk Auto Service FacebookConnect with Tom:LinkedInLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

Providing Excellence in Customer Service Before it Was Cool with Dennis Snow

Ep. 8
From a business owner's perspective, having happy clients paying considerable amounts of money while sometimes waiting hours to get the product they paid for sounds, at minimum, impossible. However, that is what an average Disney visitor experience when visiting The Happiest Place On Earth. How is it possible, then? Our guest, Dennis Snow, has several answers to that question, and luckily, he shared them with us today.Dennis Snow is the President of Snow & Associates, Customer Service Keynote Speaker, Consultant, and Author of two books, "Lessons from the Mouse" and "Unleashing excellence." He honed his customer service experience during his 20 years of experience working at Disney. He launched a division of the Disney Institute responsible for consulting with companies like AT&T, ExxonMobil, and Coca-Cola. He also spent years at Disney University teaching corporate philosophy and business practices to cast members and the leadership team. During his time at Disney, Dennis coordinated the Disney Traditions program, which is universally recognized as a benchmark in corporate training.In this episode, Dennis kindly shared some golden nuggets on customer experience and internal and external customers retention. We talked about the most valuable lessons he got from his experience working at Disney, the right way to treat customers, and what we can do, as business owners, to create loyalty amongst our customers.Tune in to episode 8 and hear about the most valuable lessons Dennis got from the world's most famous mouse.Some Questions I Ask:How do you start working at Disney and become that fantastic mentor and leader you are today? (2:41)Probably, the most expensive place on earth is Disney, and people wait in line for hours. Still, no one is sitting back at Disney going, yeah, we can't raise our rates. So, why is that? How did they build that? (16:54)What's the advice you have for what's going on today for companies struggling with employees shortage? (21:15)In This Episode, You Will Learn:Everything speaks; every detail counts. Some of the first valuable lessons Dennis learned at Disney (5:08)There is always someone listening for the first time the song you've been singing for the last 20 years (8:01)Some of Dennis' best pieces of advice to make customers feel special (9:26)The importance of creating a valuable experience for customers (13:58)Make sure the value you offer exceeds the price people paid for your product or service (20:24)Resources:Snow & Associates, Inc websiteBook: Dennis Snow - Lessons From the MouseBook: Dennis Snow - Unleashing ExcellenceConnect with Dennis:LinkedInTwitterYouTubeFacebook

The Power of Decentralization with Scott Brown

Ep. 7
Although it takes a lot of work to align, having a decentralized business benefits both business owners and internal customers. Since our guest, Scott Brown, implemented that leadership style in his company, he got happier, more productive employees and more satisfied clients.He gave his internal customers autonomy to decide and the right tools to make things happen; having someone worrying about inventory frees Scott from worrying about it.Scott Brown is the Owner and Operator of Level 5 Solutions, a company equipped with the latest technology to perform calibrations on all makes and models of vehicles. He is also the owner of Cardinal Plaza Shell.In this episode, Scott shared his unique point of view of leadership and team management. As he sees things, SOPs are useful when people don't know how to do the job, but once they master the craft, they can find new and faster ways to do the work. We also talked about the kind of people he looks to work with, the particular way he decided to conduct his business during the pandemic, the advantages of decentralization, and much more.Tune in to episode 7 of Maximum Octane and know a different and highly effective way of leading a productive and unified team.Some Questions I Ask:You say you don't need SOPs, and you don't want job descriptions; could you talk a bit about that? (4:07)What was your team's reaction when you said, we're going to cut your workweek in half, but we'll maintain your current pay schedules? (20:14)Part of your success, I think, is that there's trust and respect, and everything is transparent. Do you do feel the same? (25:30)In This Episode, You Will Learn:Make our clients' lives easier. The customer comes first, the team second, and the individual third. Be grateful for everything and entitled to nothing (6:52)What kind of autonomy do Scott's employees have when it comes to refunds and making decisions to make an unsatisfied client happy (9:30)Defaults vs. standards. Why Scott believes SOPs are useless at some point (12:10)The five vs. four days working week situation (17:43)About the Permanent Temporary Emergency Standard and other measures to make internal customers lives easier (26:31)Resources:Get Level 5 Solutions websiteCardinal Plaza Shell FacebookLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

Creating Teams To Run the Long-distance Run with Bill Nalu

Ep. 6
As a self-confessed workaholic, perhaps one of the toughest challenges Bill Nalu faced as a leader was to decide to close on Saturdays. He didn't want his internal customers and their families to go through what he experienced working 60 hours a week.Bill Nalu, our guest today, is the President of Interstate Auto Care and a fantastic leader who lives and breathes serving. At Interstate Auto Care, Bill and his crew focus on offering superior customer service, integrity, and professionalism.In this episode, our conversation spin around the many aspects of being a successful leader. We talked about why sometimes the relationships at work don't mimic our relationships at home, the kind of people we should hire to work with us, and how hard it is sometimes to talk about feelings with tough men that work fixing cars. Bill shared brilliant insights about being aware of cultural traits when dealing with customers, the importance of balance in leadership, and how do encouragement should look like to avoid creating "praise junkies."Tune in to episode 6 of Maximum Octane and grasp Bill's fantastic and effective leadership style.Some Questions I Ask:As a self-confessed workaholic, how do you inspire your team to take breaks and dedicate time to their families? (12:50)When you are the business, and that's what you are seven days a week, you eat, breathe, sleep, and then you have to start realizing the company is not who you are. It's part of what you do, but it's not who you are. How do you make that shift? (17:31)What is one unproductive habit that you've had that you have exchanged for a productive one? (35:34)In This Episode, You Will Learn:Where am I going, and who is coming with me? About some leadership foundational questions (4:58)When was the last time you took unrelated to work vacations? How powerful questions can help us evolve (9:01)How to Bill instilled the importance of taking a break to his team being a workaholic (15:10)We sell customer reactions (24:17)About the importance of considering cultural differences when dealing with clients (26:48)Resources:Interstate Auto Care websiteBook: Jon Taffer - Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer ReactionsBook: Gary Chapman - The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the WorkplaceBook: John Gray - Men are from Mars, Women are from VenusConnect with Bill:LinkedInLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

Mixing Business and Family the Right Way with Kelli and Lee Weatherby

Ep. 5
Have you ever wondered if it is possible to run a successful business, keep it stable and solid for almost thirty years, grow and evolve, then transition from business owner to CEO, and do all that while working with your spouse? The answer is yes, it is possible, and the Weatherbys, Kelli, and Lee are with us to share their story of how they managed to pull that one out.Kelli and Lee Weatherby are the owners of Accurate Automotive; they have served the greater Phoenix and East Valley since the 1990s. They feel privileged to work side by side, responsible and proud for creating a fantastic crew they consider part of their family and honored by keeping the vehicles of their community running safely from A to B.In this episode, we had a fantastic conversation about boundaries, the right ways and moments to show gratitude, appreciation, and criticism, and how to deal with the intersection of family and business affairs. We also explore the tools and strategies that most helped them evolve and transition from business owners to CEOs, the importance of keeping communication clear and respectful, and much more.Tune in to episode 5 of Maximum Octane, and take a closer look at this family that learned to put the best of their marriage in their business and vice versa.In This Episode, You Will Learn:Feeling comfortable being uncomfortable. The importance of setting boundaries (3:12)How important it is to recognize each other's contribution to the family and the business (5:51)How an organizational chart changed Kelli and Lee's lives (12:51)Family life bleeds into your business (22:51)Just as your kids, your team wants stability (24:55)The importance of establishing anchors you can rely on when things get messy (37:51)Resources:Accurate Automotive websiteConnect with Kelli:LinkedInConnect with Lee:LinkedInLet's connect:LinkedInFacebookEmail:

Learning the Secrets of Hypnotherapy and its Benefits with Robert Radnoti

Ep. 4
Every time someone mentions hypnosis, the first image that comes to mind is grandpa's pocketwatch balancing in front of someone, and five minutes later, the hypnotized person is quacking like a duck or running in the house pretending to be a chicken. Actually, hypnosis is about overwhelming the conscious mind and making it want to escape to the subconscious. It's a state of mind we reach several times a day; it happens when we drive our car home and don't remember doing it or when we are watching a movie or TV. When we are hypnotized, our minds are in a state entirely open for suggestions; that is why advertising works so well.Today, our guest, Robert Radnoti, a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Podcast Host, and Life Coach, explains how hypnosis works and enlights our show with his infectious positive energy. Robert is a Chemical Engineer with experience working for Exxon, who then decided to become a high school Track and Field Coach, and then moved to a University Division One Program and became their Head Coach. As a Head Coach of Pepperdine University, he had to compete with UCLA and other prominent universities. He wanted to beat them so badly that he thought of learning hypnosis to hypnotize his students and help them run faster.The good news is that after a few hypnosis sessions, some students started improving their performances. The bad news is that Robert's Athletic Director called and informed him he wasn't allowed to do that.In this episode, Robert shares parts of his incredible life journey from Chemical Engineer to Track and Field Coach to Hypnotherapist. We explore the benefits of hypnotherapy, understand how our mind works a little better, and get some valuable tips to implement in our lives and get the best of ourselves.Tune in to episode 4 of Maximum Octane, and learn about the power of rewiring our minds, hypnotherapy, and positive thinking.Some Questions I Ask:You live life to the fullest. So can you talk to me about that a little bit? (2:33)How do you go from being a chemical engineer to a Hypnotherapist? (4:31)Life can swing at us pretty hard, right? How do you not let that get the best of you? How do you turn that around? (17:35)In This Episode, You Will Learn:A lifelong journey. What were some of the changes and shifts Robert went through during his life (2:45)The arm raising technique. How did Robert hypnotize his students to help them run faster (7:12)We are hypnotized several times a day, every day (13:31)How can understanding how our mind works help us (19:01)Resources:Radnoti Hypnosis websiteRaditude podcastBook: Julia Cameron - The Artist's WayConnect with Robert:websiteLinkedInInstagramFacebookTwitter