Across both sides of my family vehicles represent a symbolic manifestation of hard work, responsibility, and pride. Those who own a vehicle understand this. Like when the car bill comes in the mail for example. Or when every other commercial is about how much money everyone spends on car insurance. How about when your transmission fails?
Car owners learn quickly to put in the hard work of maintaining a car, take responsibility for its condition, and have pride in knowing that it is running properly and looks like it just drove off the lot.
Growing up I spent a lot of time learning about cars from my grandfather (or as I grew up calling him “Papa.”) Whenever something goes wrong with any car in the family, Papa is the first call. One of the best things he taught me was how to properly detail a car. Learning about the different tools and techniques was fascinating, but what I loved most was the end result: driving away in a beautiful spotless car after all that hard work.
Papa also taught me the benefits of preventative maintenance. By taking the time to complete simple tasks like changing the oil, rotating the tires, or checking your brake pads you can avoid expensive and time consuming problems down the road.
“A car is the second biggest investment most people will make in their lives after buying a home. You take care of it, and it will take care of you.”
Much of Papa’s car care philosophy can easily be applied to life, and in my case entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurs learn quickly to put in the hard work of growing a business, take responsibility for its performance, and have pride in knowing that everything is running properly and looks like you’re doing amazing. Sound familiar?
Building a budget and cash flow plan (or in some cases finding a business model,) are a lot like preventative maintenance for a car. Maintaining growth, budgeting for unknown surprises, and planning way beyond tomorrow are all by no means fun tasks. That being said, they are necessary for setting expectations and protecting your business with “preventative maintenance.” You take care of it, and it will take care of you.
Being an entrepreneur is a stressful, exciting whirlwind. That’s why I enjoy taking the time to take care of my car, relax, and reflect on the lessons I learned over the course of several summers with Papa.