"Change career direction with crystal clear focus"…

As I sit in my office working away my thoughts are drifting. With crystal clear focus I can see the direction my business is taking. In the day to day tasks of talking with clients my mind is very focused on giving them the best service possible.

I've always worked in jobs that are very centered around the client. Heck, without clients no business could even open their doors for business. The problem I've found over the years is that most businesses seem to eventually forget the most important asset they have…their clients.

Thinking of how I'm different from all others…

When I first went into business for myself there were many things I had to do. Besides the set up and logistics of permits, licenses and such; I needed computers, phone lines, printers and a fax machine.

This all took money; something I had little of. But, my desire to work out of my home was strong, I wanted to control my life. I did what any red-blooded American would do; I pulled out my Visa!

Now the pressure was on to succeed. Not only did I not have a paycheck anymore; now I had a large credit card payment to make. How would I pay the mortgage without a paycheck? Would I have money for food? If you don't know what is coming in; how do you pay the bills every other week? Oh my, so many things ran through my head, it was scary.

Scared as I was, knowing that I had to show up, work hard or not eat made it easy to work from sun up to sundown. The only secret weapon I had were the vitamins I took daily. Using them enabled me to keep my cool when others lost their tempers; it made a huge difference. Not being so stressed out; I was able to treat people kindly; it was a different type of experience for most.

Within my first week of opening for my car shipping business I found there was a ton of competition. I had to think and think fast…what was going to set me apart from the thousands of other brokers out there?

I realized by my client's comments that I was different. By taking the time to explain to them how moving cars worked it made a difference. When their transport was set up with the driver; I called them with the name and phone number. By verifying the car to be moved was picked up and on it's way, their minds were put at ease.

The icing on the cake for my clients was the hand written thank you card and small gift of appreciation they received after the car shipping was done. That small gesture is what set me apart from the masses. I learned that business tip from one of my mentors from my vitamin company, Dani Johnson. She told us to always under promise and over deliver.

She proved to be right; this helped me to take my customer service one notch above everyone else's service. I put all of my heart and soul into my business and clients needs.

Learning a lesson by watching nature…

The lessons I've learned over the past six years have been plentiful. One of the most important lessons has been that you must be willing to change; slide from one season to the next without freaking out . You must prepare for the varying seasons, too!

Like the seasons we experience in nature; there are seasons in business, too. I've seen plentiful harvest times in the summer and fall. The winters in business are treacherous and can make or break you. What you plant today may not ripen and be ready for harvest until months from now.

I learned to take each day, one by one; make it the best day ever. Treat each client like I want to be treated. Give it my all, each client deserves my best. Some days I don't feel like coming into the office; I want to go visit my grand-babies in Idaho. Maybe I want to go shopping or just plain old play hookie!

The beauty of working for yourself is that you can do those things…sometimes. I had to learn that working from home isn't get up at 10 AM and leave at 2 PM; not when you are running a six figure business. Some days I work from 6 AM to 5 PM, other days I work less. All I know is thank God for my vitamins…they have saved my mind, body and soul more than once.

By planning for the seasons, I am able to play, visit my grand-babies and travel…I'm mobile!  But, like the seasons I had to be willing to "change career direction with crystal clear focus".

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Helping Turn Back the Clock,
Carla J Gardiner
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Carla Gardiner is an auto transport broker, dispatcher, health coach and a fiery baby-boomer grandma. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor others in regaining their health while building a part time business, too.
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