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Holiday Musings and Appreciation for ADM Community Members

Here we are at the end of the year, and the end of our decade, whatever it will be called... The "Naughts", "Oh Oh's", "Zeros" or maybe just the decade of disillusionment and disaster. Think about it, we started with the bullshit "Y2K" end of the world scam to sell batteries and bottled water, and that whole non-event was quickly followed by the "Dot Com Meltdown", with the shock of 9/11 shortly after... Does anyone remember dealers asking if the Internet was going away during the Dot Com Meltdowns on Wall Street? Of course, the rest of the decade was a series of weirdness and too good to be true crap like "flipping houses" which I got to see in a big way arriving in Phoenix during the peak of it in 2005... I remember thinking how it all had to implode at any moment... Which we saw happen with the "Economic Meltdown" that began to unfurl in 2007 and fully hit all of us in the second half of 2008... So, now we end the year with unemployment at between 10% and 18% depending on how you measure it (see current Time magazine)...

Yet, I can honestly say that like it did in the 80's and 90's the car business has been very, very good to me, my family, sisters, children, cousins, nephews and nieces, etc. And, when I look back and reflect on the decisions I have made along the way that have worked out well, along with those that come under the category of "What the hell was I thinking?", there is one action that I am very, very grateful for and which the upside has been about a thousand times or more greater than the negative outcomes experienced. I am referring to the ADM Professional Community. What a cool thing this experiment has turned into, and the friends and business associates I have come to know as a result of this online social/professional/community thing we call ADM have become amongst my favorite things about the car business in general. The sincere camaraderie many of us have experienced, the lengthy phone calls I have had with ADM Members while waiting in airports for delayed flights, the professional assistance received and given, the business referrals and collaborations... Seeing people at various conferences and conventions that we only recognize because of their ADM profile photo... All that stuff. My experience with this ADM thing has been one of the solidly good outcomes of a decade that has been a bit stingy on the good outcomes generated.

For reasons I cannot quite capture into words right at this moment, I know that for most of us who are recognizable by our participation in ADM to any degree, we will have more opportunities to experience success in our endeavors during this next decade than just about any other sector in the auto industry. Just like it has been a prime reason for the ADM Community taking on a life of its own, the phenomenon we call Social Media is going to drive every automotive professional towards FINALLY accepting the Internet as an integral part of doing business in the auto industry, and no longer just some pain in the ass thing we have to throw somebody at because the car company says so...That's why anyone reading this blog post is going to have a good year and an even greater decade. Because if you are reading this, we both know that you "get it", whatever "getting it" actually means (if you know, please let me in on the insight).

So I say to you and those you are responsible to provide for... Have faith, do not be afraid of confidence and the knowledge that you provide value far greater than what you take from your dealership or employer. Go into 2010 and the coming decade committed to your craft and the willingness to learn and adapt that digital marketing has instilled in all of us. Welcome those new believers and practitioners who show up and struggle to learn the wisdom and skills that you have acquired in the past, and take for granted in the present. Do not hesitate to assist those who come into our craft behind you so they may acquire their skills and knowledge much faster than doing it the way we did... The hard way, through trial and error. You will become happier, more self actualized and successful in your own right as a result of helping those that come after you. Eventually, your commitment to yourself and those that apprentice with you will reveal itself as the part of your career you cherish the most. Beyond the W2's, 1099's, award plaques and certificates, it will be the people who you have helped acquire a craft that provides a livelihood for them and their families that will bring you the greatest sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with your profession.

All my best to each of you, and let's make 2010 the first year of a decade that brings success and fulfillment to every member of this community!

.

Views: 29

Tags: ADM Members, ADM Professional Community, Appreciation for ADM, Holiday Musings

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Oops... You need to stop "Lurking" on ADM and become a more genuine Automotive Professional by completing your membership registration. As a registered ADM Member, you can post comments, publish your own articles (be a star!) and start Forum discussions. Stop being an online "Peeping Tom" and JOIN ADM RIGHT NOW!

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Comment by Tom Gorham on December 30, 2009 at 5:38pm
Thanks Ralph! Whenever I have doubts, I come to ADM and get immediately validated. It helps to know what others are doing and get second opinions. I consider it part of my job to be on top of the continuous changes in the field and this site has been a major, major source of information. Best wishes for the new year!
Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 28, 2009 at 8:53am
@Elizabeth - Believe me when I say that the learning has been in both directions! I am still stinging from our lessons learned around FB and will not be making those types of mistakes EVER again... I now understand that there is a fine line between "speed of execution" and going so fast that the tempo is reckless... I also know that in order to make Social Media Marketing effective, you have to work at a fairly fast pace, or else it becomes difficult to get the ROI for the time invested. But, like everything else there is a balance point where the results and efforts are optimized with each other. I suppose simply knowing that there is ROI at the end of the rainbow is enough for most people, but by now you must also see that the next phase is always making the adjustments so that you the dealerships get the best, not necessarily the most, returns from time and money invested. I am looking forward to continuing our adventure in position Ancira Auto Group as THE leading automotive social marketer in Central Texas and excited coming out to San Antonio next week!
Comment by Elizabeth Barrera on December 27, 2009 at 1:58pm
Thanks Ralph very well said. I appreciate you and all you have done for us, me personally and for Ancira. Sharing what I have learned from you has been a reward and I agree when you pay it forward we all benifit in the end. Thanks for leading us in the right direction. Make a great New Years and see you on the 5th!!!
Comment by Patrick Downes on December 27, 2009 at 3:50am
Thank you Ralph, you've made a beautiful thing!
Comment by KARONEL PLOTT on December 26, 2009 at 9:08am
Ralph I want to Thank You for your help! My operation is small but you and my ADM family took me in any way For this i am grateful! Everyone have a GREAT NEW YEAR. Karonel Plott
Comment by Shawn McChesney on December 26, 2009 at 8:30am
Thanks Ralph. I've really enjoyed being an ADM member this past year. I know it has helped others and will help my business one day. Happy New Year.

Shawn McChesney
Comment by Bruce Hartz on December 26, 2009 at 7:11am
To Ralph and all the contributors to this forum, Thanks for all the great content that I’ve learned so much from as well as being highly entertaining at times. Never a dull moment on this forum! Happy New Year to everyone. Bruce Hartz
Comment by Bruce L. Roffey on December 26, 2009 at 6:40am
Well said Ralph.
Comment by Brian Pasch on December 25, 2009 at 6:44pm
Ralph..thanks for all your hard work and dedication to this forum and I look forward to 2010 and the opportunities it will bring!
Comment by Mitchell Davidson on December 25, 2009 at 5:41pm
Lets hope that, even if we have to drag them kicking and screaming into the new age, that our managment and owners follow our lead into the future.

Refusing to acknowledge the light bulb exists doesn't make candles sell any beter...

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