G’day mate, how you going?
I just returned from an 18-day journey to Australia where I was honoured to speak at the AADA Conference and Expo with my friends from Gumtree Cars Australia. While there, I fell in love with a few things that I found are particularly on-brand for myself and the DPB. But first, a random picture…
Okay… moving on. Here are three things that stood out to me about Australia. These are my own thoughts and opinions and this is a quick disclaimer. You may or may not agree or see things the way I do. I didn’t write this to convince you otherwise.
FIRST, THE AUSTRALIAN LIFESTYLE
Sure I observed some measure of the hustle and bustle, grit, grind and whatever other terms used to validate our North American measuring stick for success – but there was a super chill undertone to everything going on there. “No worries,” is the common response to a “thank you” or “excuse me.” Contrast that to the North American culture where everything is a worry and an offence.
I can’t believe I just said that. That statement is coming from the guy who often jokes about being allergic to fresh air and trees. They care about nature, with the ocean being a considerable part of their lives. They take time to enjoy it, to pull their faces out of their devices and go and experience things through the optic nerve that gives life to their real, physical eyeballs. It was refreshing to see kids rushing to the beach after school to catch waves until the sun went down, and so many parents giving their toddlers and small children their first taste of riding a wave.
THIRD, GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
It’s easy to believe that the opinions and sentiments we hear or see on the news in North America must be the same all over the world. That’s not the case. While they aren’t ignorant, they have their stuff going on and rarely concern themselves with what we have going on. Contrary to what our egos might suggest, North America isn’t the centre of their universe. It was especially eye-opening for me because, up until my visit, I was pretty proud of the fact that I’d had big names on my podcast. I reference them in some of my source material as a demonstration of how my show has picked up steam. Half of my guests, the huge names, they don’t even know. “Who?”
That in no way makes me feel less honoured and less grateful for those guests, they are still huge to me. It’s just perspective. It shows that, in context, things aren’t really as they seem. That’s why it’s so important to expand your ability to see continually – only then will you have greater understanding and perspective.
A few years ago I registered for Coach Micheal Burt’s Monster Producer training. In one of the course modules, Coach Burt talks about the importance of travelling outside of your comfort zone. He talks about physically going somewhere else, referencing his cabin in the woods – a place he can go to disconnect, revive, and energize. He explains that experience new cities, countries and cultures is paramount to expanding vision.
I understand that now more than ever. It’s when you experience something or somewhere outside of your comfort zone (your natural habitat) that you genuinely gain greater perspective. You begin to see your life, your circumstances from a different angle. Fresh perspective empowers you to grow, adapt, and evolve.
GUMTREE CARS AUSTRALIA
I had a blast presenting with my friends at Gumtree Cars, Australia. Not only are they exceptionally down to earth, but it’s also clear that they care. They care about doing a good job – they care about being a trusted partner with their clients. Having trust and caring is something that hits me deep. It’s something that I believe deeply in because it’s what our global industry needs.
Just the other day I was watching a snippet of Jim Carrey on the Bill Maher show. While trying to make a point about how bad things are in the United States, he compared the government to a used car salesman.
That goes to show what mass perception is out there. It proves my point that it’s high time that the good people in this industry stand up and demonstrate that we’re not like that. I think that’s why I hit it off so well and so quickly with the Gumtree folks.
What we talked about at AADA 2018
The session was titled, “How to Grow and Adapt Your Dealership in the Age of Disruption.” Martin Herbst, Gumtree GM (Asia Pacific) brilliantly began the session by setting the tone. His opening, “I made a mistake.” He explained that often, the best learning (and ultimately success) comes from experimenting and testing. If that’s the case, we shouldn’t be afraid to fail. Failure is only final if you quit. If you keep going, it’s synonymous with learning.
I (hopefully) added to Martin’s thoughts by sharing ideas about how retail dealers can give customers what they want by focusing deeply on building relationships of trust. As it goes with most speaking opportunities, they are over before you know it. I’m grateful for Gumtree’s invitation to come to be apart of a winning session and event.
Anyway, until next time, Australia.