Put Down the Phone and Build a Relationship!

Unless you have been under a rock for the last decade, I’m certain you have noticed our ever-increasing reliance on (and addiction to) our phones. We have all heard or even taken part in conversations about how ‘young people today’ have lost the ability to look you in the eye and have a real discussion without distraction.  Let me be the first to admit that I suffer from this problem – I have become addicted to the constant dopamine drip of alerts and notifications from my trusty iPhone friend.  

Well, I say it is time to put down the phone and commit to building real, in-person, face-to-face relationships with our peers!  In 2024, I’m making an intentional effort to network more and build relationships with ASTA friends – new and old.  I’d like to encourage you to do the same!  Online groups and discussions have an indisputable value in our world – and should be used within reason.  However, they are no replacement for genuine in-person interactions with others who live the same life and have the same struggles on a day-to-day basis. Some of my closest friendships with other shop owners were forged while networking in and around industry training events.

As independent shop owners, the opportunities to learn and grow our businesses often hinge on the connections we forge and the community we build around us. Networking with peers in our association isn’t just about exchanging business cards; it’s about creating a support system that fosters growth, innovation, and resilience.  A close group of peers provides a platform for sharing challenges and solutions, learning about the latest industry trends and technologies, and discovering new business opportunities.

Let’s not underestimate the power of our collective voice and the impact of shared knowledge. By actively participating in networking opportunities, we not only contribute to our own business’s growth but also to the vitality of our industry and association at large. As we continue to navigate the complexities of the automotive aftermarket, remember that our strongest allies are often those who share our path.

I get it – attending a live event can be challenging!  There are time and cost commitments to consider, but rest assured: investing in relationships with your peers is one of the highest returns you’ll ever see!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be doing my regular Friday evening calls, and I’m sure I’ll still spend some time on social media posting – but I am a firm believer that real human interaction is the key to building a healthy peer group.  Check our website event calendar to see dates and locations for upcoming networking events around the state. I look forward to seeing you at one of those events soon! 

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