About a year ago, I had an accident that put me out of commission. In an instant, I went from spending much of my waking life at the shop to being unable to come into work. It was a tough transition for sure, but a lot of good has come from it. I probably never would’ve stepped away from the day-to-day operations of the shop on my own, so the accident was a chance to get some perspective and see how things would go without me. Turns out, they went awesome, thanks to the work of Dustin and Nolan. Ever since the boys decided to join me in the family business, I knew a time would come when they’d steer the ship without me.Time only goes in one direction, and that direction leads to you getting older.There was never any doubt in my mind that Dustin and Nolan would do a great job taking over when the time came, but I never knew when that time would be, until it was decided for me. As my condition forced me out of the action and onto the sidelines, I took great pride in watching how Dustin and Nolan took the reins. They’ve achieved so much in the past year, helping our business grow in new and exciting ways. As I observed the passion and energy they put into their work, I realized that we’re at two different places in our lives. They’re full of vim and vigor, ready to take the business to greater heights. I’m at the point of my life when I’m slowing down and starting to take things a little easier. I don’t know if I would’ve recognized it if not for my accident, but now is clearly the perfect time to hand the shops over to them permanently. Now, I’ll still be stopping by here and there — for as long as I’m physically able, I can’t foresee a time when the shop won’t be part of my life.They’re still calling me for advice when they come across an old vehicle they’ve never worked on before, and I’ll never stop offering unsolicited advice, but running the business will be on them. It’s Easier to Step Away When the Next Generation Is Ready to Step In
Retiring from a business you’ve built is never easy, but I have a big advantage over other business owners. I don’t have to worry about selling my shops to somebody who will go back on everything we stand for, turning us into just another anonymous auto shop. Dustin and Nolan will undoubtedly start new initiatives and make changes, but I can rest assured knowing that they value local, personal customer care just as much as I do. As I reflect on the decades I’ve spent meeting people, fixing their cars, and learning about their lives, I realized it’s the customers who make us the shop we are. Some of you have stuck with us for as long as I can remember, through times great and tough alike.While cars have changed immensely since I started, the fact that we’re privileged to serve great people has remained constant. No matter how futuristic and computerized vehicles get in the next few decades, the people driving them will always be people. Serving them and treating them well will always be as important as servicing their cars. In closing, I want to thank every single person who’s walked through our doors over the years, either as an employee, customer, vendor, or visitor. It has been my humble honor to serve you. I only hope the next chapter of my life will be as rewarding as this one has been. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. -Donald Brown
1 www.brownsautoexperts.com • Brown’s Parts &Automotive, Inc.
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