My 35th Wedding Anniversary is tomorrow, January 21st, 2013. Our celebration has begun poolside watching our horses graze peacefully by while we reminisce over our successes and failures during the past three and a half decades. As a self described "car guy" with a supportive wife I realize that our most memorable experiences center around the people that I have worked with over the years and the shared experiences that led to my wife - Mary Ann - and I enjoying the fruits of our labor in such a peaceful setting.
I find it odd that the "chips" that I used to count to determine if I was winning - meaning money - were no longer even mentioned when listing what matters now. I have always considered my friends as my most valued asset but until now I didn't describe them as my best accomplishment in the auto industry. That discovery is what I want to share in this post.
My proudest moments used to include when I accepted my first position as a GM, when my name was listed as the dealer principle and operating partner for an Auto Mall in North Palm Beach, when my first book was published followed by a second even more succesful one, when I opened my first new car franchise dealership with a friend who has since passed away, when I founded Ad Agency Online powered by an operating system of my own design, when I partnered with a succession of next generation technology based vendors providing solutions that promise to change my beloved auto industry and frankly when Mary Ann retired after a 35 year career with the Federal Courts and we were able to finally move my office to our farm - Breezy Day Arabians - in Ocala Florida.
All of these moments in time were referenced by the people that were there enjoying them with me vs. the actual achievement. The realization that none of these accomplishments would have been possible without the friends that helped me achieve them was less of a revelation than a recognition of the power of friendship.
I would like to dedicate this post to my many friends - past, present and pending - that have made our shared success possible. More importantly, I want to remind all of my Dealerelite friends that money isn't the best measure of success so if you have a moment to thank your friends - perhaps even with a mention on this post - then now is a better time than later.
Another opportunity might be at the NADA Convention coming up in Orlando Feb 08th through the 10th. Mary Ann and I will be celebrating with old friends and hopefully making a few new ones to develop some even more exciting shared opportunities; perhaps including you and yours!
After all, what are friends, Dealerelite and the NADA Convention for!