Car dealer extraordinaire Henry Brown once told me a story about his son, a high school wrestler. His boy had been getting only fair results asa wrestler that year and when Henry talked to him about it he learned the reason.
Henry’s son entered each wrestling match more than thoroughly prepared to counter anything his opponent tried.But no matter how gifted Henry’s son was at countering moves, countering was still countering, so the other wrestler always dictated the tempo. Finally, Henry suggested to his son that he try entering a wrestling match with his own attack plan—a series of moves that he would initiate no matter what his opponent tried.
The boy agreed, and the results were remarkable. He began winning match after match, pinning opponent after opponent.The young wrestler’s goal had always been to win. He didn’t have a problem setting goals. But what had to be added was a plan of action. In sports, as in life, goals alone aren’t always enough. As NathanielBranden says, "A goal without an action plan is a daydream."Henry Brown didn’t just give that advice to his son because he bought into it theoretically. His own Brown and Brown Chevrolet dealership has many times been the number one Chevy dealership in the nation because he plans his company’s own yearly performance in the same way he coached his son.
Every year he has his general manager send me the detailed video tape that outlines the dealership’s game plan for the coming year. It includes all the department’s projected earnings down to the penny. By boldly charting such a specific course, Brown lets the market respond to him.Once, when I asked him how his dealership got through a previous year’s nationwide automotive sales recession he said, “We decided not to participate in it.”
Before any adventure, take time to plan. Design your own plan of attack. Don’t just counter what some other wrestler is doing. Let life respond to you. If you’re making all the first moves, you’ll be surprised at how often you can pin life down.