One of John Lennon’s most relevant and thought-provoking lyrics can be found in the song “Beautiful Boy.” It goes: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
Recently, that brilliant thought resurfaced, and its deeper significance was revealed to so many of us who missed it the first time around. See, after 38 years in this business, I am amazed at the evolution of the automotive retail industry. But I’m even more astonished when I look back at all of the failed concepts and revolutionary new trends that fizzled and went nowhere.
By the time I shut down my offices in 2008 and brought the business home, we had been in huge corporate offices for more than 20 years. As I write these words, I can vividly recall standing by a dumpster overflowing with thousands of files, folders and documents we had accumulated over the years. We had filing cabinets filled with failed projects and ideas we’d pursued and invested in that were ultimately scrapped.
One of the greatest lessons I learned experientially through the years was to beware of distractions that come to you disguised as opportunities. Not a week goes by that I am not approached with money-making propositions, affiliations and referral agreements. It usually begins with someone who wants to help me make “a ton of money.” Of course, the first clue is that they themselves don’t have a ton of money.