The Things I Like Most About What I Do (Working In The Automotive Industry)


You know how you sometimes get in a rut and start to feel like you’re in the movie Groundhog Day where everything just seems so repetitive? I have found that that is when you can recharge your own battery even when the people around you might just want to wallow in their feelings and suck you right in.

So, with that in mind, I noticed recently that I was getting sucked in and what I’ve always done in those situations is to remind myself of how grateful I am for what I have and how far I’ve come.

I know that in this business there’s a lot of ups and downs. There are also tons of twists and turns. Through it all you have to stay resilient and focused on things that make you successful.

It helps me to think of all the people I’ve helped to do things that I otherwise would never be able to do. When I deliver a car to one of my customers, it’s just such a great experience. We’ve usually invested at least a few hours with each other in getting to know each other and I’ve gotten a grasp of their wants and needs and helped them to make the best decision that’s absolutely right for them without getting pushy and trying to lead them into something that they really didn’t want.

Some of the coolest experiences are the people who’ve been helped who had very meager means and were sometimes even shunned by other dealerships based on their appearance. I’ve had customers hug me and some break down and cry from the realization that they’ve had for a change in their lives to take place and sometimes the delivery of their new vehicle is the vehicle that totally turns their lives around after having experienced some difficulty. I’ve been there when parents rewarded children with their very own vehicle because they were good kids who did the things they needed to do and worked hard to honor them without expectation of anything in return.

This very thing happened recently and it all happened over a phone call with a college freshman’s father whom I’ve still never even met personally, but I had the pleasure of a total surprise delivery to his daughter and I’ll never forget how great that made me feel!

Sierra McKenna

I’ve met tons of new people, gained several very good friendships, and have felt value for the role I play in knowing these people. I am their automotive resource. If anything goes on out of the ordinary, I can expect a phone call and as long as I’m there to take care of them, they give me job security with repeat and referral business. I work long days in my job and with all the time I have put in, it’s rewarding to think of all the different types of people my work has impacted and it is rewarding to see how much growth as an individual I’ve experienced as a result of being put into a position of care. That’s exactly what it is too! Careful attention is made to address the customer’s wants and needs and then to make sure that after the sales are completed, that they know they still have their original resource to go to if ever the need arises. In a way, I get to see my customers as my adult children. They don’t always call, but I do get an occasional visit. A lot of times I won’t ever hear from them unless they need something, but that’s ok too! After all, I did what I needed to to make sure that they were equipped to handle the road ahead, but from time to time further guidance might be required and you have to expect that.

The auto business has forced me to challenge myself and the way I’ve done things. It has humbled me on so many levels. It has brought me out of my comfort zone and engaged me with the larger community. I now actively pursue volunteerism, public relations, and other civic and community interests. I’m setting myself apart from the usual stereotypes that have plagued the auto industry for years and branding myself with great reviews from customers who’ve been willing to share their experiences. These are also a motivating factor for me. Every time I receive a great review from someone I’ve helped, they feel more like extensions of my own family. I have one customer who bought a car from me five years ago who repeatedly sends in thoughtful cards to me at all the holidays and even sends in home baked goodies for Christmas with the card. There are not a lot of professions where something like that happens.

There are really times when I get to feel like rock star with some of the privileges that have been extended to me. There are so many people that I’ve gotten to know and help that treat me like a welcome guest when we run into each other outside of the dealership.

Coaches Pruett, Nehlen, and me

I’m humbled by what the automotive business has done for me. I have come from less than meager means to a life of abundance where I am blessed by the loyalty I’ve shown and have been shown in return. That is something I’ve defined as a core value in my life.

Swimming at the Gauley

I have gained a wealth of knowledge and an education like no other through my experiences in auto sales and leasing. My financial IQ has increased. My understanding of body language and human emotion has been extremely heightened. It has even made me re-examine and re-evaluate my overall health and improve it. When I look back and think of all the things that the auto industry has done for me, I have to give thanks above for the gifts that were bestowed on me when I was offered to “run a business inside a business”. I am truly blessed, honored, and humbled to do what I do and I look forward to doing more of it and do whatever I can to make it better for each person I serve day in and day out for as long as I am fortunate enough to be able to do it.

10 Tips for Hybrid Owners


Here are a few suggestions to help owners get the most out of their hybrid vehicles. (Note: The following tips were largely based from real world experience using hybrids from the Toyota brand, but the logic and strategy can easily be applied across other makes if such technologies are utilized by them.)

1. Accelerate briskly from a stop to utilize the torque from the electric motors, and then glide when the vehicle is up to speed to utilize EV (electric vehicle) driving capability if the speed is under about 42 MPH. This technique is known as “pulse and glide.” This is the most effective form for driving a hybrid.

2. Combine short trips and minimize cold starts. This information is both practical and universal.

3. Monitor traffic ahead to avoid heavy braking. Light brake application can enhance regenerative braking and help optimize battery charging for improved fuel efficiency.

4. Avoid speeds in excess of 60 MPH, if doing so is prudent. (Fuel efficiency declines at speeds above 60 MPH and drops significantly at speeds above 70 MPH.

5. Use the ECO mode when appropriate to maximize fuel efficiency.

6. Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low or high pressures will degrade the ride quality and fuel efficiency.

7. Avoid carrying unnecessary loads.

8. Use the air conditioner and defroster only as needed.

9. Most hybrid batteries are vented internally to the cabin to keep condensation and moisture from damaging the integrity of the batteries. To keep a healthy hybrid battery, identify and locate that vent and make sure that there is nothing blocking that vent. It serves the same purpose as the fan on the back of a CPU. It keeps the unit from overheating.

10. Make sure that repairs are always done at a dealership by a factory trained and certified technician. Hybrids are too advanced for most small garages to effectively navigate repairs.