Blog (Maryann Croce): Leadership & your word

Maryann Croce

Each year I choose a word that represents what I will focus on that year. This year it’s “Self-Care.”

I’m not big on resolutions defined as (To start or stop doing something). Understand, I thrive on accountability. I own several businesses and accountability is a must for me.

The one-word idea was introduced to me a few years ago and I share it all the time. It’s my non-negotiable for the year. I will include a self-care activity each day. It could be exercise, reading, getting a haircut, a phone call to a friend or a walk in the park. Something that brings me joy and allows me to unplug for a little while. Self-care includes getting enough sleep.

I love what I do and can easily get immersed in a project or idea and want to run with it. In the past this has led to staying up late and throwing off my energy in other areas of my life. I’m sure we can all relate.

My one word helps me to focus on growing to be the best version of myself to best serve my customers/clients, businesses and my family without burning myself out. It’s more than making a living. It’s about making a difference.

Business Owner/Leader Mindset

As an operator/technician a to-do list works for the jobs that must get done, but once you become an owner, you’re responsible for:

  • the company’s vision
  • the company’s brand
  • empowering you team

While many owners are great at making to-do lists. Not as many have a plan. A to-do list should support a plan. Without a plan you will feel like you’re spinning you wheels. This shows up as owners saying their busy but, they’re not getting their desired results and wonder why.

Sometimes it’s easier to understand with an example outside of the industry. If you wanted to build a home, chances are you wouldn’t just start building. You would have a plan and revise if needed.

Things to consider

  • Location- Family and work?
  • Size – Growing family or downsizing?
  • Budget – Within your means or get in over your head?
  • Lifestyle – Entertain, hobbies, schools, activities, quiet space?

With a plan you would feel confident to go ahead with the build, so why don’t most do this with business ownership?

Many shop owners started out doing something we enjoyed and became good at it. Then the idea of business ownership happened.

The challenge is the thing that you are good at requires different skills from the ones needed for business ownership.

You may have been responsible for production in a shop, you are now responsible for the people who are responsible for production. Even if you are a one-person business right now, this leadership mindset is needed to grow, otherwise you have bought yourself a job.

If you keep doing and not focus on the planning (strategy) you will find yourself spinning your wheels but not moving forward. I suggest try the one-word approach to keep you focused and aligned this year.

Your team, customers and family will notice that you enjoy your business even more. You will also feel more in control and confident about the decisions you make. Better decisions will help your bottom line by making your business profitable and sustainable.

Maryann Croce, a certified partner of Todd Herman’s 90 Day Year™, is a leadership coach/shop owner. Her company Small Biz Vantage specializes in leadership development for trade business owners. She is an auto shop owner since 1999. You can reach Maryann at (203) 913-7741 or Maryann speaks on leadership and mindset.