In case you hadn’t already heard, after more than 20 years as the chief executive officer of Truckstop.com, I was finally able to move up the ladder and get that promotion I had been working on! I now get to focus the bulk of my time on creating and refining the Internet Truckstop Group products and I am very excited about that. Since you have all continued to send in ideas and suggestions, I now have 58 major ideas on my idea board and about 40 minor enhancements. You will see these ideas appearing faster and faster as Paris Cole takes over as the new CEO and the management team and staff implements and rolls out these ideas to you faster than I could do them on my own.
I won’t let this promotion go to my head though. Growing up, my dad always had fun jobs for me to do. In his store counting the quarters in the pop machine and taking money to the bank were jobs I really enjoyed. Vacuuming carpets, taking out trash, stocking shelves, and moving fixtures around were lower on my fun list of things to do. Other chores like cleaning my room, weeding the garden, and scraping paint off of old shake covered houses were at the bottom of my list. Whenever Dad or Mom asked me to do the things I liked, I eagerly went and did them. When asked to do things I didn’t like, I would frequently respond with, “Do I have to?” That question was frequently answered with a simple “yes” but sometimes it was answered with a roll of the eyes or a sinister smile and a laugh. Now that I have kids of my own I have found that my children often ask me that same question, not only for chores but for different things. One time the kids had a couple of days off from school and I had a tradeshow in Orlando so I asked them if they wanted to come and go to some of the theme parks. Their response was “Do we have to?” That really surprised me. Here was something fun that they liked to do but instead of eagerly jumping at the opportunity they were questioning it.
In the classic 1989 movie “Parenthood,” starring Steve Martin as Gil, Gil is under tremendous pressure at work, from his parents, from his siblings, and from his children plus he is coaching his son’s baseball team into last place. As his problems seemingly continue to mount, he gets in an argument with his wife and she asks him, “Do you have to go?” (to his son’s Little League baseball game). He responds, “My whole life is have to.”
In the industry today, you may feel a lot like Gil. You may feel like your whole life is have to. You have to have an ELD. You have to drive so many hours per day. You have to be drug tested. You have to be trained. You have to have health insurance. You have to pay tolls to take the most efficient route. And the list goes on and on and on.
True happiness is found in life by changing a have to into a want to. During the spring and summer, after a long day at work, I head out to the garden to weed it and care for it, not with a “Do I have to” attitude, but with an “I want to” attitude. I want to help others and sharing the produce from my garden brings me great happiness. To have that success though, I have to plant, weed, water, and harvest from my garden. They are all have tos, but because of my desired outcomes I could either be grumpy about it and treat them as have tos or I can be happy about it and treat them as want tos.
True success in business is changing a have to into a need to. Yes, the government mandates that you will have to have an ELD device. How can you change your attitude from an “I have to have an ELD device” into “I need to get an ELD device?” The answer is simple. Figure out how that device will help your business. For example, did you know brokers are more likely to work with carriers that are willing to have their ELD movements tracked. At Truckstop.com we find that customers who use RateMate and on-line negotiations are getting better than average rates in the lanes that they are hauling and adding hundreds and thousands of dollars in revenue to their top lines each month. Customers who use the CreditStop product have fewer incidents of non-payment and better knowledge of when to expect to get paid. All of these products are combined with real-time access to the information and our latest technology into Truckstop Pro and are helping making your businesses better and more profitable. It isn’t a have to. It is a need to. Rates have been steadily declining for most of 2015 and even though 2016 has started out with warm weather and blizzards, it hasn’t been as disruptive to the supply chain as was 2014. Freight is forecast to pick up in April, May, and June but smart business is to be prepared before the “I need to” turns into “I’m forced to.” Sign up for Truckstop Pro today. Find out how the strength of Truckstop.com data can help your business in all facets. It isn’t just about finding freight. There is so much more to it than that and even more tools coming to help your businesses. But that is probably something for my next message!
Founder & Chairman