I coach a lot. Everything from kids teams to business professionals, family members to strangers. I coach sports that I love and am good at playing, and sports that I have to familiarize myself with. I coach people through work that I consider my strong point and through stuff that is eh, not so much. Throughout this experience I see a lot of common denominators among people in this business and athletes. Of course we have the basics, like both have a desire to win, a strong work ethic, set goals, push themselves, learn, grow, etc., etc. But what I am focusing on for the next few paragraphs is where the drive to achieve all of these aspects comes from inside. It’s where it starts for most athletes and for most of us in the powersports business — it’s the fun factor.
When we are having fun, we put more heart and soul into a task and therefore get more out of it. Our customers are attracted to it and want to get in on the fun. Of course, we just happen to be in the position to help them with that. When we’re having fun we are driven from that raw emotion that keeps us interested and pushing for more and as a result the rather mundane tasks that we do everyday become an extension of us doing just that — having fun. When we are engaged at that level it affects everything. We work harder, we pay better attention, we are more pleasurable to deal with among our co-workers and our customers. I have to say that there is a difference between having fun and goofing off. While you do indeed have fun while goofing off (Kan-Jam in the parking lot, clocking laps on the scooter on the sales floor, etc) the goal here is to have fun while you work, not instead of it.
I want you to look at when you started in this business as if you were a nice new computer. Your hard drive was clean, processor was fast and responsive and the computer looked shiny and new. Over the years, we started adding programs that were either needed or not needed, but regardless creeped up and ate away at that speed. I feel this is a good parallel if you have been in this business for a while and the fun factor seems less and less. You’ve added more responsibilities, dealt with more irrational customers, added stress and pressure to perform. These can all chip away at the fun factor. My challenge to you is to dig deep and with your goals guiding you, make sure you are having fun!
You started in this business partly because of the fun. Then came reports, return rates, monthly and yearly sales goals, surveys, irritable customers, new challenges and the list goes on and on. If you ensure you are still having fun in this business, hitting those goals and meeting those challenges will be less burdensome, less stressful and well ... more fun!
Napoleon Tetreault is a sales representative with Tucker Rocky, an aftermarket PG&A distributor in the powersports industry. He works with powersports retailers on merchandising, profitability and management of the parts department as well as the education of dealership personnel. His experience includes being the GM of the largest indoor motocross facility in the U.S., owner/operator of a regional distribution company and current role with Tucker Rocky. He can be reached at: