AutoInc. Magazine
Current Issue
Ad Index
AutoInc. Archive
How to Contribute
Reprint Permission
Subscription Info
Letters to the Editor
Top 10 Web Sites
Software Guide
NACE Online Daily News
How's Your Business?
Ad Opporunities
Media Planner
AutoInc. Mission
Meet Our Staff
  Chairman's Message

'Honor Your Family' Month

Posted 2/2/2007
By Charlie Elder, AAM, Chairman

Charlie Elder February is a cold month for most of our members. During this season, weather extremes can cause vehicles to malfunction, which can affect business volume for our members. Snow and ice create opportunities for collision and mechanical shops.

Even with a full schedule of work, gloomy weather sometimes creates gloomy, grumpy people.

To brighten up February, we have Valentine's Day with bright colors and chocolate for all. We honor our sweetheart and try to be nice and sweet for at least one day. Of course, the children get involved because they don't want to be left out of anything that involves candy. Valentine's Day becomes a family event.

Our members are family-run businesses and often employ several family members in the same business. This can be stressful at times because there is no clear distinction between family and business. Family and business times are often blended together. Have you ever taken business issues home with you?

Even if you have no family member working in the business, your family is not exempt from the pressure of a small business. Long hours at work steal our family time. And when you come home from work and are stressed from employee or financial issues, it impacts your family.

When I went into business in 1972, I made a decision not to take work issues home with me. I wanted my home life to be free of workplace issues as much as possible. In the early years, my wife, Joanie, taught school and then came and did the bookkeeping for our business.

One spring afternoon she came into work and I was test-driving a car. When I returned, one of my technicians told me, "I wouldn't go in the office if I were you!" That seemed to be a curious statement but no less a warning. Since I like to face things head-on, I went directly in the office with a bright, cheery smile and said hello to my wife. As she raised her head from her work, I could tell she had "that look" on her face. You know the one; very upset about something you have no clue about. As I stood waiting for a response, she said, "What happened to the back wall of the shop?" I responded, "We're expanding." Her look never changed. I quickly said, "I told you we were expanding, didn't I? I'm sure I told you we were expanding." "No!" she replied. Quickly, I said, "Guess what? Business is great and we are expanding."

Even not bringing work issues home can affect your family. Since then, I've tried to strike a better balance in my communications at the urging of my wife.

Our families are a large part of our success in business, so I would like to expand on Valentine's Day. As ASA chairman, I proclaim February as "Honor Your Family Month." We can take the entire month and be nice to each other, be courteous and honor each other. Do something special together and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Many of our employees become extended family, so include them also if you like. If we each focus an entire month on being nice to each other, it may continue throughout the year.

A family and workforce in harmony is a great thing. We could turn gloomy February into the highlight of the year.

share your thoughts...


What do you think of this article? Your input will help AutoInc. develop additional articles on this subject. Share your thoughts!

Your name

Your e-mail address



  • Fuel Injection Service, Not Just Cleaning
  • The Art of Extraction
  • EGR Systems: Operation and Diagnosis
  • Proactive Target Marketing:_Rethinking Your Business Strategy
  • Engine Performance: HO2S Diagnostics


  • Developing Employee Potential
  • How Critical Thinking Can Help Your Business
  • How to Diagnose the Ford Glow Plug
  • What to Look for When Shopping for the Right Shop Management Software
  • Putting a Price Tag on Complaints
  • AutoInc. Web Site | ASA Web Site | Will 110th Congress Open the Door on the McCarran-Ferguson Act? | Shop Licensing: Where Do We Stand? | Overcoming Collision Bottlenecks: Putting 'Theory of Constraints into Practice | MISSION POSSIBLE: How to Write a Mission Statement | Guest Editorial | Tech to Tech | Tech Tips | News Briefs | Taking the Hill | Around ASA | Shop Profile | Net Worth | Stat Corner | Chairman's Message

    Copyright (c) 1996-2011. Automotive Service Association®. All rights reserved.
    XML Add RSS headlines.