How Do I Do Better?
Expediter Services is starting a new learning series: “How Do I Do Better?”, to help make everyone aware of the importance of branding and how adhering to corporate standards can truly tip the balance when it comes to having a successful business.
I have been asked many times by contract drivers and owner operators alike how they can increase their current income. I don’t presume to know all the answers to this broad question, nor that my opinion will apply to every situation. What I can to do is identify the key areas that I believe have opened doors and kept them open for our business through the years.
Expediter Services, LLC
How to get started:
If you’re reading this then you have probably already decided that you want to be in transportation. Having made that decision it’s important to catalog why you choose this industry and what your goals are from the start. I know this sounds pretty basic, but my personal history and my experience with others tells me that it’s very easy to lose your way. No career or business is built over night. It takes time and lots of effort to get anywhere and because of this you need markers in order to see where you are at the beginning and to keep track of where you are as things progress.
What do I mean by markers?
First, you need to be able to look back and evaluate why you started down this road. There will be days that are going to leave you totally frustrated and drained of all energy. Being able to remember what first motivated you to start on this journey will help keep you motivated when things don’t go quite right. And in business, as in life, things never go totally as planned. Prepare yourself to deal with issues without throwing in the towel.
It’s been said that “to succeed in business you have to be in business”. If you quit you’ll never know just how far you could have gone. Memorialize why you’re making this effort.
Second, you need to be able to look forward and know where you’re trying to get to. There’s nothing that I can say that has not already been said about this. To hit any target, you have to be aiming at something. You need to set an attainable goal that stretches you, but is not out of reach.
I do believe it needs to be aggressive enough to cause you to work with more passion and energy than you thought you had, but it’s going to be very important to your mental and emotional health to set a goal that you can actually achieve.
Once you gain that ground, you can and should immediately set another target. This is how most people achieve extraordinary things. They don’t start out with a goal that is always beyond their reach. They just keep raising their bar of expectation every time they meet it. Over a period of time they can look back and realize that they’ve done more than they ever thought possible or would have ever attempted.
There’s a proverb that reads: “Most people miss out on opportunity because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work”. As you set your goals, remember that the only thing that is rewarded in the long term is diligence.
Finally, this last one may seem out of order, but I think it comes last. I believe that you set your ultimate goal and then, in order to hit that goal, you have to mark success along the way. What I mean by this is that you have to set up several shorter term goals that you are constantly achieving. By doing this you will wind up on the mark that you set for yourself at the start.
Take my wife for example. She stopped her college education to become a teacher when we began having children. She decided that once our youngest started school she also wanted to resume her teaching career. In order to do this she had to set multiple short term goals that needed to be met. Since it had been a long time since she’d been in school, she had to meet with her school counselor to set up the correct classes. We were shocked by the requirements, both financially and time-wise. But, since she was committed to it, she took the next 3 years and gained ground a little every day. Through commitment, self-sacrifice and diligence she was able to start her teaching career the same year my youngest started kindergarten.
I can tell you that without taking this goal one day at a time, and remembering why she started in the first place, she never would have gotten to her goal. It was simply too much to deal with at that time in our family’s life, but she did.
Make as informed a decision as you can, set your ultimate goal, and then get to work meeting those short term successes that will ultimately allow you to achieve your dream. And through it all……Stay the course.
If there’s anything we can do to support you in your endeavor please let us know. We would love to help.