Nationwide auto transport broker wonders, did I make the right decision

Decisions made daily…

This past week was one of a lot of reflection. Looking back over my professional life there were many times I had asked myself if I had made the right decision. Have you ever started something or bought something only to wonder that same question?

I remember one decision I made when I was young. I was living with my grandma to attend kindergarten. My mom and dad did not make a lot of money to support our household of seven. We always had food, a roof over our heads and clothes to cover us. Nevertheless, you know how kids are. We always want what we do not have, what the other kids have.

One day at school, I swiped a gumball machine ring from a classmate. That ring looked like a big fat diamond to me. We never got gumballs out of those machines. They cost a dime and mom said we just could not afford nonsense like that. 

Well, that little girl was devastated. She told our teacher and her reaction set in motion a lesson that has lasted me a lifetime. The teacher instructed everyone to close his or her eyes. The guilty party was to return the ring, no one was watching. No one would receive punishment if each person followed instructions. 

Very quietly, I got out of my seat and returned the ring to the little girl. No one to this day ever knew I swiped that ring – except ME! That decision was one I regret and still remember. I never, ever took anything that did not belong to me again.

Wish I would have…

Scattered throughout my adolescence there were many times I made wrong decisions. The turn of events ranged from getting home past curfew to taking a piece of gum from my mom's dresser top. Small insignificant happenings, yet all ended in punishment for my actions.

I would soon come to realize that punishment for these small crimes would prevent me from making bigger mistakes later on in life. Decisions certainly played a big part in forming who I became as an adult.

When I graduated high school, I had to make yet another decision. Would I be just like everyone else and go on to get more education or get married to the love of my life? They say the heart carries a lot of pull, yes it won out. Two weeks after graduation I married my high school sweetheart.

Married for just over two years I lost my husband to Leukemia. Just nine months after diagnosis he slipped into a coma and quietly passed away three days later. I was just nineteen and a half when that happened. I would now find myself making major decisions that no one should have to make at such an early age.

Deciding to design my life…

From that sad day on, all decisions were mine alone to make. No longer could I look to my soul mate for support or guidance. Looking back I am not quite sure how on Earth I did it, yet I did.

Have you ever faced a situation that forced you to make decisions that will affect your very future? That is exactly where I found myself 18 years later. Always having worked hard, performing to everyone else's standards and terms my life was miserable.

Then one day an opportunity came along that if chosen would change the course of my life, for good. That opportunity was to start and build a nationwide auto transport business. As scary as starting a business I knew nothing about was, staying in a job I hated and despised was far worse. It was unimaginable to remain in that place of employment, working under those conditions for another day.

My husband and I discussed the pros and cons of making this move. The scariest part for me was the thought of not having a regular paycheck. We had always had two paydays per month, regular. We set up regular days to pay our bills following our pay dates. How would we adjust to paying them when we had money, not just on certain days? What will happen if we were late paying them? What will happen if we did not make enough to pay the mortgage? There were so many "what if's" that I nearly decided to remain at the disgusting job!

Reminiscing about the decisions I have made over the past 30 plus years has brought up every emotion in me. Some choices were good, some bad.

However, one thing is for sure. The best decision I ever made was to jump off the employment bridge into the churning waters of self employment. Designing my own life on my own terms in our nationwide auto transport business was a great decision.


Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. 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 other professionals in auto transport. 
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