One of the facts about any good technician is that they NEVER stop learning. They keep both eyes open and improve their skills daily. I have also found that the things you learn can come from the most unexpected places. So, tongue firmly in cheek, I am going to share some things I have learned that apply to my trade in spite of the “teachers” being unaware of the application.
1) Albert Einstein once said that “Any fool can know. The point is to understand!” This is critical in diagnosing equipment. If you work on various brands and types of equipment, you are not going to be able to know everything. Like I said in The Mechanic’s Crystal Ball, a good technician will seek to understand the principles of the system. From there, you can figure out almost anything.
2) Gary Vaynerchuk. Most likely, you have heard of his book, Jab,Jab, Jab, Right Hook. (You haven’t? Find it on Amazon!)To boil it WAY down, it addresses the idea that you need to provide value before expecting renumeration. I don’t know about you, but I like to get paid. I actually like getting paid WELL. But not because I can fog up a mirror. I need to really make sure that my customers and employer are well-served and satisfied with the value I bring to the table. Which reminds me about the next “lesson”.
3)John Lee Dumas says that if you want to have a successful business, you need to find a “pain point” and provide a solution. This is one of my favorite questions to a forklift operator. “How is that forklift working for you?” “What kind of troubles are you having with it?”. If the operator has an issue, he often doesn’t even report it to management. When you are doing routine maintenance, find those pain points…and provide solutions.
4) Jeff Goins says that his philosophy of working is that he can “outlast the lucky and outwork the lazy”. I totally resonate with that. I have seen hotshot techs come and go, and lazy ones struggle with motivation. But the guy who gives it his best shot, day in and day out, is the guy who finds himself steadily gaining ground. Outlast and Outwork!
5) Pat Flynn has built his business and grown his business on a simple concept: Share what you know! Why do some people think that they are the “brains” and no information is allowed to flow to others? In the forklift repair industry, I have found that sharing what I know not only helps others, but I tend to receive more help from others. We all have something we can teach, and we all have things we need to learn. Share what you know, and don’t be shy to ask for help either.
6) Theodore Roosevelt gave us this piece of wisdom: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” My personal work motto is similar: “Find solutions, not excuses”. If you work in the field of mobile repair, you can relate. Often there can be situations where you do not have access to the perfect worksite or perhaps you do not have the “cutting edge” tool for a particular task. The best techs find a way to do the job right, despite less-than-ideal conditions.
7) Stephen Covey is famous for his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. One of his concepts is what he called “sharpening the saw”. Put simply, this refers to doing those things that will increase productivity instead of only focusing on the activity on hand. A perfect example of this is keeping the service van clean, organized, and set up properly. That 15 minutes at the beginning of the day can save you hours later. Keep the saw sharp if you hope to stay sharp at your job.
How about you? What is the best advice you ever received? Share it with us in the comments below… then be sure to subscribe so we can keep you updated on upcoming posts, contests, giveaways, and resources.