Jeff Morrill co-founded Planet Subaru. It's nicknamed your undealership. And that was back in 1998. He built it into one of the most successful privately held car dealerships in the United States. And you just type that in, there's articles in all the magazines about this, what he's done with this particular business of his. And so he later started other businesses in automotive, retail, real estate, telecommunications and insurance that generate over a hundred million dollars a year in annual revenue.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 428
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[04:30] Tom's introduction to Jeff Morrill [08:47] Won't hire anybody who's sold cars [12:09] Being ethical and dealer's reputation [16:19] Fencing people hate him [19:19] Getting an ethical outlook on life [24:28] Keep in touch with people that did not buy from you [28:10] Sponsor message [31:01] A typical day for Jeff and how he stays motivated
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
College Ripoff Quiz – https://imtcva.org/quiz
Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there! – https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
Jeff's website – https://www.jeffmorrill.com/
Profit Wise book – https://geni.us/profitwisea
Planet Subaru – https://www.planetsubaru.com/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Amazon FBA – https://screwthecommute.com/427/
I discovered a great new headline / subject line / subheading generator that will actually analyze which headlines and subject lines are best for your market. I negotiated a deal with the developer of this revolutionary and inexpensive software. Oh, and it's good on Mac and PC. Go here: http://jvz1.com/c/41743/183906
The WordPress Ecourse. Learn how to Make World Class Websites for $20 or less. https://screwthecommute.com/wordpressecourse/
Join our Private Facebook Group! One week trial for only a buck and then $37 a month, or save a ton with one payment of $297 for a year. Click the image to see all the details and sign up or go to https://www.greatinternetmarketing.com/screwthecommute/
After you sign up, check your email for instructions on getting in the group.
Want The Transcript for this episode?
Episode 428 – Jeff Morrill
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody it's Tom here with episode four hundred twenty eight of Screw the Commute podcast. I'm here with Jeff Morrill, and he lives on a mountain outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. He calls the moral high ground, which is exactly in line with his mission of doing business ethically. Probably why we kind of hit it off, because I've been preaching that and and going after bad people for a long time now. I've been to Charlottesville many times because my beloved girlfriend lives there and but I've never been accused of trespassing on the moral high ground. So. So we'll bring him on in a minute. Boy, he's got a story you want to hear. Hopefully in this Episode 427, that was the perils of selling on Amazon's fulfilled FBA program. They call it fulfilled by Amazon. Why? I'm pretty much totally against it. And I tell you about all the dangers and risks involved in it. So, you know, if you're you know, I know a lot of people are hammering you trying to get into that and buy expensive programs to learn how to do that. But they somehow omit all these things that can just cut you off at the knees by doing it. So you'll want to be informed if you do deal with that. So how'd you like to hear your own voice here on Screw the Commute? Well, if the show's helped you out at all in your business or giving you ideas to help you start a business. We want to hear about it, visit screwthecommute.com and look for a little blue sidebar that says send voicemail, click on it, talk into your phone or computer and tell me how the shows helped you. And also put your website on there so I can give you a big shout out in your own voice on a future episode of Screw the Commute. Now pick up a copy of our Free Automation eBook. This book has saved me. We actually figured it out seven and a half million keystrokes and allowed me to handle up to one hundred and fifty thousand subscribers and forty thousand customers without pulling my hair up. We sell it for twenty seven bucks. But it's yours free for listening to the show. Grab your copy at screwthecommute.com/automatefree and you can download it. And while you're over there, pick up a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app. You can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road. Now, you know, I know people are still freaking out on this pandemic. People are having trouble. Can they go to work? Can they not go to work? And the kids go to school without bursting into flames or whatever they're trying to tell you that's going to happen to them. And a lot of people are suffering financially. Well, I've been preaching for. Oh, jeez.
[00:03:07] Twenty three years now and I've been selling on the commercial Internet for twenty seven years that you should be able to make money from wherever you are. And now everybody's saying, oh, I guess I should have listened to you. I think so. So I formalized my training. I've been teaching this twenty three years, but I formalized it about thirteen years ago by getting the license for the only license dedicated Internet marketing school in the country, probably the world. It's licensed by the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia. But you don't have to be in Virginia because it's good quality distance learning, unlike the four year colleges now that are just teaching you how to protest, charging you hundreds of thousands of bucks, and then you're competing for jobs at Starbucks when you get out. So this is hard core skills that I have been using to create my lifestyle business and helped thousands of other people do the same. And it would be the greatest legacy gift you could ever give if you've got grandchildren or nephews, nieces or your own kids, because they will have skills. We I mean, we have people that are making money before they even graduate because the skills are in demand by every single business on Earth. So check it out at IMTCVA.org and I'll tell you a little later how you can get a scholarship there that you can either use yourself or gift to somebody if you're in my high end mentor program.
[00:04:31] All right. Let's get to the main event. Jeff Morrill co-founded Planet Subaru. You may have heard of this. It's nicknamed your undealership. And that was back in 1998. He built it into one of the most successful privately held car dealerships in the United States. And you just type that in, there's articles in all the magazines about this, what he's done with this particular business of his. And so he later started other businesses in automotive, retail, real estate, telecommunications and insurance that generate, I hope you're sitting down, over a hundred million dollars a year in annual revenue, so I don't know why he's slumming it to come on my show. I'm glad that he is. And he's written a book called Profit Wise How to Make More Money in Business by Doing the Right Thing. And that's kind of why I was attracted to him, because, you know, I've been fighting against the scammers and the bad people and the people that are unethical. Well, he's completely opposite, living proof right here in a second that you can be highly ethical to the nth degree and still make a great living and do a lot of good in the world. So we're so happy to have him on here and all the royalties from the book, he's donating to charity. So, Jeff, are you ready to screw? The commute?
[00:05:56] I'm ready.
[00:05:56] All right. So thanks so much for taking the time to be on here. I'm telling you, man, you're just such a highly accomplished person by doing the right thing. So tell everybody about the dealership and how it came about and all that.
[00:06:12] So let's start back in 1998, when we opened, there was a business, it was called Norwell Subaru right outside of Boston, Massachusetts, in the town of that name, and it opened in April. It closed in August. And it lost half a million dollars in between.
[00:06:31] They're high achievers there.
[00:06:34] Yeah. I mean, this was not a great formula when they were using for success. And and but it was the dealership that that my my brother and I could afford at the time. And people have asked me since, you know, was it Subaru in particular that made you go looking for for that brand? And and I've come to be a huge fan of the product terms, the quality and the capability.
[00:06:58] And they like you, too, from what I see you, Amalia's.
[00:07:02] Thank you. Yeah. It's a great relationship we have it's a really good company. But at the time we were just looking for a dealership that we could afford and we don't come from any wealth inherited or otherwise. So that was our option. And and we had to turn it around quickly, obviously, because losing losing money at that pace, you know, we weren't going to be in business long, but we know if we worked really hard, we could do it. And my brother, he was working for Ford Motor Company before this, before we decide to do this. And I coincidentally ended up in a Volvo dealership, not because I ever imagined being in the car business, but it was a paying job that that I could get out of college. And I lined it up because the lieutenant governor of Virginia that I interned with during college happened on this Volvo dealership. And he didn't have any how many positions where I could put put to use my political science degree that I had earned at Virginia Tech. But he did have an opportunity for me to serve customers at his dealership in Falls Church, Virginia. So that's where I ended up. And that's how I got got into a situation where I could I could learn those skills. And let me just conclude by by recommending that, particularly to young people, that that they find situations where they enjoy what they're learning and doing, even if it's not what you had originally dreamed about doing your whole life. Because if you find yourself in a situation where you like what you're doing, you're going to find it a lot easier to acquire skills in that area. You're going to learn naturally and you'll wake up one day with a surprising acumen, a ability to to make those things happen in your own life. And that's that's what happened to me. After a few years of working at a dealership, I was surprised how many skills I had acquired. And I had a lot left to learn, but it was enough to get a business going.
[00:08:48] Well, you know what's interesting to me? Well, the old saying is, is if your kid doesn't know what they want to be at, don't worry about it because it hasn't been invented yet. So so that's one thing. But the other thing is, is it's interesting to me that I didn't realize you cut your teeth at a Volvo dealer, because it seems to me that I read that you won't hire anybody that's already sold cars. Is that true? Yeah.
[00:09:13] Oh, yes. I mean, I actually fit the profile of the kind of person we look for. So so when I got that first job, I had no experience in the car business or I didn't know anything about business at all. But it was a model that was modeled for me there. Don Beyer, Volvo. When that was they were comfortable bringing on people there were highly motivated, that they were smart and hard working and just wanted an opportunity that no one else would. So you
[00:09:41] Didn't. So you, I would say, kind of got lucky because the average car dealership, you know, I've gone through some management training from people just because I knew them and they asked me to sit in, oh, my God, the things that they do to customers are just, you know, I can't imagine you ever doing them. So you're saying that Volvo dealer was a pretty ethical place, death and kind of got married?
[00:10:07] I did. And I don't think I would have, you know, if there'd been one of those things where I don't like conflict. I'll give you an example. And I think one of the things that that defines the relationship you end up having in most car dealership showrooms is like instant adversarial relationships. And I just never would have survived or thrived in that environment. And that's why we've done so well, I think, with this notion of the dealerships that were offering something that is not easily found. So customers who have had bad experiences elsewhere know that we're willing to offer a different kind of model. And the reason we're able to do that is because we're not importing all the bad habits by hiring the personnel from other dealerships. We've started from scratch with people just like I started right out of school in a car dealership. We're looking for people out of some other industry or out of schools. Fine, too. We like we like people right out of school and we get a chance to show them our method of selling, which is much more cooperative. And and I think that the reason why we're accepting. In the car business is that we just take a much longer view than the typical dealership, I think fundamental to those shenanigans that go on in the showroom is a very short term.
[00:11:21] We've got to sell a customer a car today or we're never going to see them again. And they know they probably won't be working it at that dealership five years from now or even five months from now. So they don't care whether you come back. Oh, yeah. But we we always knew we were going to be in business for a long time. And here we are 21 years later, still cranking and our people know we have about 10 people is nine or 10 people. I think it's ten from the first year we opened that are still on our team all these years later. And so the people that we've attracted to the business, they know they're still going to be with us because we want to invest in them, develop them, have have friendly H.R. policies that that make it so that they can stay with us. So it's a this is the formula that I'm trying to to discuss in the book how you do the right thing and make more money simultaneously.
[00:12:10] Yeah. And the turnover, of course, costs money, too. But I told you before we got on here last week sometime about I dated this girl one time and she worked in, you know, she was the person I don't know what to call them, but they they try to sell you the fake undercoating and all that crap, you know, that they do. And she was laughing about how she turned an older couple upside down in their car, made it so that they'd never be able to get their money out of it. And then she moved dealerships and they went ahead and went to her again, accidentally didn't recognize her and she did it to him again. I never spoke to her again. I just said, how could you do such a thing like that? And that seems like that's the reputation a lot of car dealers have.
[00:12:56] Yeah, and it's well deserved, and that's given us an opportunity to think about it, if you wanted to differentiate yourself from from people doing something one way you couldn't pick, a better industry company gets to do that. And it's it's been very successful. And and I think it's a model that can be reproduced in other industries as well.
[00:13:19] But you you duplicated in the Chrysler dealership, right?
[00:13:24] Yes, same same kind of thing. Yeah, and it's a slightly different clientele, you know, the typical buyer of a sewer is a little different. It's like a graphically demographically than than a Jeep customer or RAM truck buyer. But but people are people and and they want to be treated with respect. And they really appreciate coming back to a business five years, 10 years later. And the person who sold them the original vehicles right there. And and we will give you another example. We we call our salespeople purchase partners rather than salespeople or associates or all the other names. We like that idea. The purchase partner captures that idea that were there at your side trying to help you buy something rather than playing the role of trying to to sell you something, to stick you in something. And again, it takes a long term philosophy. I mean, there are a lot of transactions. We see those older couples and and we're sophisticated enough to know that we could charge them double for something that we're selling. Maybe not a car, but if someone buys an extended warranty and they would know that. But we're not going to do that because because we want to see that family back and hopefully their kids will well know that they had a good experience.
[00:14:44] And and now in this transparent Internet world, people can communicate outside of the four walls of our business about what's going on inside those four walls. And what I mean by that is Google reviews, Yelp reviews, cars.com, Edmunds. All those services have reviews. So you will be outed if you're taking advantage of people, people will report that. And we have the occasional one star hothead who just doesn't get what we're trying to do or just has a bad experience. But but if you go on any of those services and look at our reviews, they're going to describe the experience that they had in some of them are just neutral, whatever. They were competent, they were friendly and others really rave. And and that's the the intangible value of this alternative model, is that it's it's hard to track the the profitability of that. But I've seen it and it's reflected in our financial statements and the growth of our companies over the years.
[00:15:37] I just can't imagine what the other traditional dealers think about it. I like it very much. OK, I can't imagine that they do, but too bad.
[00:15:49] Oh yeah. What the reverse result. And I run into the right, I go to meetings and I'm friendly with people. You know I, I know there are many destinations excuse me. There are many past the same destination and there are other profitable models that dealership use in other dealerships use that I would never use. But, but I think they, they think I'm naive and and a little crazy.
[00:16:14] But that that's what you're doing. That's right.
[00:16:16] I get exactly in this industry for sure.
[00:16:18] So you're also another group that really hates you. I hate to tell you this. You may not realize that, but the fencing people, they just hate you. Because I read that you put Bush's up instead of fences, that true?
[00:16:36] Yes. So we have.
[00:16:39] They love you.
[00:16:40] Yeah, there are lots of environmental projects that we've undertaken and in the. The catalyst for our interest in trying to minimize our environmental footprint is the knowledge that we're in an industry that sells vehicles that produce a lot of carbon and contribute to other forms of pollution. And until as a society, we continue to evolve to technologies and in a society that that can minimize those impacts, we want to do the parts we can. So we do have three hundred and seventy four solar panels on the roof of our building, where the first Subaru dealership with a showroom powered entirely by the sun. And and what you're referring to is instead of putting up a fence, we used BlackBerry brand, which are like impossible to walk through. But but we do some other things, too, which are related to that. Some are more impactful in terms of reducing our environmental footprint than others. But we use goats, the landscape for our fall cleanups rather than rather than motivate motor powered machines. And I could go on and on. And we release Quale annually to help repopulate that that endangered species in the Northeast. We do all these things and it's it's good for the environment and we believe in them in it. And it gets our team excited to come into work. So it has those benefits. But but I think from a marketing standpoint, too, it allows us to talk about something other than where 100 bucks cheaper than the next.
[00:18:22] I mean, how many places can you bring the kids, the pet goats while they're buying? Yeah.
[00:18:29] Yeah. And, you know, it reminds me of that that way that if you tell someone you're funny, they're going to think you're weird. But if you if you tell them a joke that's funny and they laugh, they'll figure out on your own that you're funny. And that's that's I think at the at the edge of these activities, we don't do them for the marketing value we do because we really believe in them and we want and we want to find ways to green our operations. But since we're doing it, you know, if they're ancillary benefits that we can share with prospective customers so that they can see that we share their values where we're going to do that. And that's that's part of being profit wise, I'm not going to keep that a secret. When we do something nice for an organization, we don't do it anonymously. I write people know that we're supporting the community so that that they can say that's something I want to be a part of.
[00:19:20] Yeah. And work. Well, I'd like to to to figure out take you away back. How did you get this kind of ethical outlook on life and caring about the world. Did you have great parents, did crappy parents and you wanted to be opposite what was.
[00:19:41] It's a prosaic, boring story, I guess I just had great parents and and I grew up in a small town in rural Virginia and there were a lot of people in need. And and I remember an incident where instance, you know, I was I was born in 71. So I don't know exactly in the 70s when that that transfer of Vietnamese citizens came to the United States after the Vietnam War. But but I remember that as a kid and there was a family that ended up in our house, they ended up in rural Virginia, I don't know. But they did. And and I grew up in a very strong Catholic family. I'm no longer religious. But at that time, the church adopted this family and and my mother would bring meals over and and we'd support them in the ways that we are able to support them, given our very modest means in our family. And and I think there are there examples like that that my parents just modeled and and they're very powerful. The woman in that family that the matriarch ended up changing her name to my mother's, which was Diane after some time. And I don't think you can you can grow up in an environment where your family is participating in those kinds of things and not be affected and to see that the value of treating people well and that the the costs to people when societies don't function well, when people when people are at war, literally in the case of these these people that ended up in Virginia.
[00:21:14] But also just in terms of the poverty that occurs when we when we don't have a society that allocates resources in a way that that people can get a fair shot at life. So these are the things that that that were discussed in my family and were introduced to me. And I think they they really stuck with me. I think where I ran from, from my parents a little bit, is that they were comfortable living under very modest conditions. And that got a lot of got I wanted a little bit more. I mean, I'm less interested in material. Things obviously have gotten older, but but I was always interested in the freedom that a business could offer and also the power that cash flow does to to do good things for people in the world.
[00:21:55] Well, I think this is a quote from you says, if society needs to lose in order for you to win, the price of your financial wealth is moral poverty that you.
[00:22:09] That's me and I appreciate it. I appreciate you sharing that, and I think it's very important to recognize how. You can spend a lifetime piling up a lot of wealth, but at some point there's a reckoning. At some point in your life, you've got to look back on this and reflect on the choices that you've made and think about the externalities that the impacts of your decisions on other people. And I guess I've always been aware of that. I want to make sure that any time in my life, if if the end is near, then then I can look back and say, well, I cared about what I did and the decisions I made and how they affected other people.
[00:22:53] Yeah. And I think that kind of rolls in. You said you're really not religious now, but I also got this from something about you, from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible says, I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That seems to be you, that's the.
[00:23:15] Well, thank you, that's that I appreciate the compliment. That's the profit wise philosophy of of living well and doing good. And what I mean by that juxtaposition of those four words is the idea of living well is that it would be a shame to be so acidic. And so Monga, like in your life, not that I want to take away anything from monasteries and monks, but but you want to make sure you enjoy the bounty that's available in the world, that you take the opportunity to see really neat things and and meet cool people and and explore your potential. But that alone is not enough to living well part that's that's just indulgent if if done in isolation. The other part, while you're accomplishing the living wills, you need to do good, you need to do something for other people and not just your family. I mean, it's very important that you take good care of your kids and and you send them to to good schools and make sure that you've cared for for their needs. But but how about everybody else's kids, too? I think that they should be considered and and that's the full life that I think was captured in the scriptures there. And I summarize here in this idea of living well and doing good.
[00:24:29] Yeah. And you can you can be be at all because I've been looking into your background with you've got some pretty slick business acumen. One one thing that stood out to me was you you and your dealership keeps in touch with people that did not buy from you in order to convert them later. That's a pretty you know, pretty long. You're thinking long term. They're.
[00:24:58] Yeah, yeah, I guess that's that focus on the long term might be it's funny, I didn't really draw that out in the book, but as you're as you're putting a fine point on it in this conversation and realizing how important that is to. To a business succeeding in one of the troubles that publicly held companies get into is that they're so worried about their quarterly earnings and their stock price in the short term that they can't make the long term investments. And in our case, it's a privately held company. So so we're accountable to a lot of different people and institutions. But ultimately, if we want to make a choice about putting some money into something that that we think is going to pay off in the future, we don't have to answer to any activist. Shareholders are saying, hey, what's that going to do to the share price today? And in the case, the specific example that you mentioned. So most of the personnel that are currently selling cars as we sit right now in dealerships across the country, by the time a three year lease is up, the statistically the majority of those people will already be out of the business in some other industry, but our people are still going to be with us. So when we reach out to someone, if you've bought a Toyota, let's say you visited Planet Subaru today and you didn't buy a Subaru, you decided you wanted a Toyota instead. Or maybe maybe you thought that that saving 50 bucks at another dealership was was worth driving an hour or whatever.
[00:26:34] And so you don't buy that. That's fine. We don't have any hard feelings because because we know we're going to try to keep earning your business. We couldn't do it today. We're going to keep trying the likelihood of someone being contacted from the dealership where they actually bought the car, where they bought that Toyota, the Subaru and a competitor is very low. So we have their information now. So we're not going to harass them. But come two and a half years, as we get to the three years, we're going to be in contacting and say, hey, we know your lease is ending because you told us you bought a car somewhere else on a three year lease, would you be willing to give us an opportunity this time? And that's a way for us to to reach prospects with very little cost instead of running expensive newspaper ads or television commercials, which I mean, you can't believe how expensive things are. You know, a single ad can go on on cable TV, can cost a thousand dollars, you know, and of course, on a national level, they can cost, you know, six figures or maybe even seven figures. But in our case, it's we already have this information. Our database only makes sense to use it in a way that it supports that the customers having that experience and and we know they're going to like buying a car from us. So we feel like we're doing a service to them. Stay in touch.
[00:27:43] That's beautiful. Yeah, that's the one thing I run against in the in the field that I teach in Internet stuff. You know, the whole world has been conditioned to instant gratification. And so if they don't make money, like in two days, they're like, oh, let's go try something else, you know? So so the people that are in the long haul, they they all make it because they're persistent and consistent and they they realize investment for the future. But so that's that's one thing I fight against. But I take a short sponsor break and then when we come back, we'll ask Jeff, what's a typical day look like for him and how he stays motivated. So folks are about twenty three years ago or so, I kind of turned the Internet marketing guru world on its head in. The guys at my level were charged in 50 or 100 grand up front to help other businesses learn the Internet. And I knew a lot of these these guys and girls and you give them fifty grand there. They'll be hiding out, you know, behind those bushes that Jeff put there somewhere they couldn't get through. So I said, you know, that's too risky and it's not really fair to those people. So I kind of flipped everything on its head, kind of like I don't want to compare myself to Jeff because he's massively successful.
[00:29:00] But but I kind of put everything on its head and I said, I'm in charge of an entry fee and then I'll tie my success to their success. So for me to get my fifty thousand, they have to net two hundred thousand. Well, people really like this idea. They knew I wouldn't disappear on them in seventeen hundred plus students later in twenty three years. It's still going strong. So it's called the greatinternetmarketingtraining.com. It also includes a scholarship to my school which I told you about earlier, which you can gift to somebody or use yourself for extra training. But it's the longest running, most unique, most successful Internet and digital marketing mentor program ever. I got no trouble saying that because I dared people to put their programs up against mine because I'm a crazy fanatic and worked days, nights. They could have quit years ago, but I just love helping business people so much. I stuck with it and I still stick with it. And it's one on one. I don't believe in group training because if you're with somebody advanced, you're lost. And if you're if I'm talking to you and you're a beginner, then the advanced people are bored. So there's no success there. Also, you have an immersion week.
[00:30:15] In whenever this pandemic lets up and, you know, actually live in this estate home with me for an immersion weekend, we have our own TV studio here where we shoot videos for you, give them to you, send them to you after you get back with all the graphics completely edited. I mean, it just massively unique. So check it out at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com, a very accessible and it might be something that you could gift the school scholarship to one to a loved one in your family and get them out of massive debt and give them a real skill. And if you want to be selfish about it, then they won't go home and live in your basement because they'll have their own money and they could go buy a Subaru profit. Jeff. All right. So so check that out.
[00:31:03] All right. Let's get back to the main event. Jeff Morel's here. He is one of the most ethical people that I have met recently and I mean almost ever in the field that he's in. And he's got a lot of other business interests, too. But he's doing great things for in business and for the world. So appreciate that, Jeff. So what's a typical day look like for you living on that mountain in Charlottesville?
[00:31:28] Let me go back just a little bit to what it looked like when we started out, because I want to illustrate the contrast. So when we opened up, the business that we bought had had failed because of insufficient revenue and excessive expenses. So some more and spend less and and you has got a classic formula. It's probably about just about the only way the company's got to know. Maybe there are other ways that go out of business, but that's the way that we went out. And and so that meant that we had to wear a lot of hats. We because we need to keep our personnel expense low. So we spent a lot of time just doing what we emptied our own trash cans and cleaned our own bathrooms to save on the custodial expense. We we had no sales manager. So my brother and I made sure that we covered whatever it was, the 80 hours a week that we are open. At least one of us was always there. And and we just we had to do everything ourselves and accomplish those things with just our small team. And what that meant is that we spent a lot of time fighting alligators, the door instead of draining the swamp.
[00:32:34] There wasn't a lot of time for building the systems and and investing in the future. But as time went on, we knew we needed to do that. So as the as the revenue increased and we got the business stabilized, which took us a few years. So we were working very long hours. You mentioned before people who want a shortcut. There was no this was not an overnight success. It was a very slow buck. And I know how to make a lot of bucks. But but I don't know how to make the Gringotts I mean, just a long term slog. But in any case, we were just immersed in all the minutia and trying to do the strategy, which is a very stressful way to live. It was very satisfying to me as the business went on. And we eventually it took me about 15 years or not to get a general manager to kind of take over the day to day operations. That's how long it took to get our business that mature. But once that happened, I could spend a couple hours in the morning at home before I went in. To the dealership to do the most important things, the correspondence, the critical phone calls that the owner interrupted, time to just think about something and noodle through a memo or or read some things, a report that was really important or study a financial statement.
[00:33:51] And and then the next transition for me, when in twenty eighteen I for my own mental and physical health and the health of my marriage, I decided it was time to that I need to remove myself entirely given my burned out condition. We moved to Charlottesville and now the day is a morning where I where I have some phone calls and I do that same kind of intentional, important strategic work. The most important stuff that I can do and all of the other stuff is done by capable people in Boston. And that to me is is sort of I just describe the arc of of the entrepreneurial journey that I think you'd like to bend as as much as you can as quickly as you can and effectively as you can, because because the sooner you can get out of the operational day to day talking to upset customers, handling orders, all of those things that just eat your day up and stress you out and get to the strategic stuff, the better your business is going to grow.
[00:34:54] Yeah, but the other side of that coin and again, back to people trying to do everything too quick, I see these people when I speak all over the place and they get on stage, they say just delegate everything, only do what you're good at. And people are delegating themselves right into the poorhouse because they didn't put in that all those years that you did to learn every nuance and what you know, how much things should cost and how long they should take so that you can delegate it effectively.
[00:35:24] So and to develop the people
[00:35:27] Exactly how to delegate to if you just grab somebody off the street. So so. Yeah. So you definitely did it, did it right. And you're an inspiration to people that have the the the intestinal fortitude to stick it out and you can reach as high as you want and do all the great things that you're doing. So back to my question. What did they look like for you now in the morning, a new strategy, you just think. Or what? Do you have a morning routine like a lot of people talk about?
[00:35:59] No, no, I guess, you know, I maybe the reason I took that question is kind of interesting reflection on my personality in a more general way that I thought might be informing to listen.
[00:36:13] I'm glad you did. But we still want to know what's the inside scoop on. Yeah.
[00:36:18] So I just. Yeah, no, that's fine. I mean, to the extent that, that has as I has an interest you're asking it's all answer. So I get up, I eat the same thing every day so I don't have to think about it, which is I'm a vegetarian. So I start with oatmeal which I have made in quantity. So I don't have to make it every day because I like to be time fish and I don't really like cooking that much. So I'll make a week's worth of oatmeal. I keep it in the fridge, I get up and I serve some of that and I like I'm very active, so I would try to make sure it's nutritionally balanced. You know, it's got a peanut butter for four protein. It's got some blueberries for antioxidants. It's got a maple syrup to just because, you know, meal without any sweeteners is very much fun at all. And then I sprinkle some some some nights, maybe some walnuts or almonds on it. And I read I read The New York Times every morning while I'm eating there just to kind of get get the big picture in the world. And and then I go up to and start my emails for the day and I try to schedule my appointments mid-morning when when I've woken up and I'm still at my best mentally, as the day goes on, the quality of my thinking and my concentration declines.
[00:37:33] I can't believe this is already happening me at forty nine years old, but it is that I just don't have the attention span that I used to. I mean, I used to go all day and I just I can't do that anymore. So by the by after lunch afternoon, I like to be done with, with whatever work responsibilities there are. And and I'm embarrassed to say how much time I spend cutting wood. I bought a property and I we heat with with variable and we have a really long driveway. The trees are always falling over. So I'm always tightening. And I find that you've got to remember, I spent seven days a week for the first six months. We were open back in 1998. I spent the next ten years, six long days. I'm still recovering from from all of that. That time spent under fluorescent lights, literally. I have I had physical I had vitamin D deficiencies so bad that I end up having a terrible femur break in a mountain biking accident because I have the bone density of a very old man, because I spent so much time working under under fluorescent lights. So I'm kind of recovering from
[00:38:45] Fluorescent lights at the time. And because you could have done an alternative, right?
[00:38:51] I think it was just a function of not not supplementing with vitamin D or getting enough sunshine. That and that's the thing I like to I'll take this opportunity is to share with people if they if they're not already entrepreneurs, that that I think it's easy. You know, you read books, you read articles about people that have succeeded in business. And it looks really appealing. And it tends to have this magnetic effect on on people who want to do the same thing. And and we've done really well. And I'm really proud of that. But I paid a really high cost, too. And I think that that should be part of the calculation. I don't have any regrets about doing it. I just think it should be understood for people that that the the the stories of those Instagram founders, you know, start a company three years later, sell it Facebook for a billion dollars, very rare. I mean, most businesses that get started, small, medium sized businesses, they're just they're long haul, tedious grinds. And if you do it well and you have a lot of luck, then you wake up one day in middle age or late middle age with a nice cash flow situation. But but there's certainly no guarantees of that.
[00:39:58] Yeah. And again, before we started, I told you about my dad. I just got lucky and inherited good genes, I guess, because, you know, I'm going to be sixty six in July and the physical and the doctor said, I quote, because I tease around with people, I hit his back. He says, other than being a fat ass, you're I can't find anything wrong with you. I go people half your age falling apart. You can work, you know, circles around people you're on, no medicines, no nothing. And so basically, I attribute it to my dad because I don't I don't deserve it, by the way I eat and stuff.
[00:40:41] And let me just interrupt by thinking your dad made it into his 90s. There's a genetic, you know, advantage that you've acquired. And I, I like to say I was talking about my parents earlier, and I don't think I got very good friends. Yes, but but I did I had a lot of luck in the sense of coming into the family that I did, it was intact. My dad was a teacher. My mom was a bank teller. They got along well. It was a healthy marriage. There were not pots thrown right. There was no violence in my house. They were good schools, good public schools. And the community ended up going to a public public university for college that was available to me. I had a lot of advantages that kind of set up the success that would that would that I would encounter later. And I think it's just important to to bear that in mind in our lives. You know, to I hear a lot of entrepreneurs talking about how smart they are and how hard they work. And it may be both of those things are true. But I know a lot of hard working smart people that that don't end up with anything close to the the financial results that we do. And it's not because they're not smart enough and working hard enough just because, you know, there's there's fate and luck involved, too. Yeah.
[00:41:55] And I'm hoping that the parents out there think about that, you know, what they're doing to their to or with their kids. I saw on TV the other day, screentime above two hours a day for a young person is starting to damage their brain. And that's all I see is people just shoving a tablet in front of even babies, you know, to shut them up. So there's a lot of things that parents can do out there for their kids so that they they have the best chances to so, so. Well, this has been great. But I told you I had a surprise question for you here. I would like to have and I'll tell you, I would like to have a plan at Subaru sticker for my back of my car. I'll tell you why I'm reading about this. This person that had a flat tire and not even one of your employees, but one of your ex employees saw the Planet Subaru stickers stuffed and changed the tire. That's a culture right there, buddy.
[00:42:58] Yeah. You know, thank you. I'll send you a sticker. The other way you can get one is is to go
[00:43:03] Buy a superhero. Yeah, good idea.
[00:43:06] But if I can tell, it's because you've been so good to me. I'll send you the stickers. You can buy the car later. But it does. I like to think of cultures is what your people do when no one's watching. And it's true. We had one of our people just that's the way you identify the smart Subaru or Jeep buyer in the Boston areas. They have a planet sticker on the back of their vehicle. And it just tells you something about the kind of people we hire in the kind of situations we try to create in our workplace. And that thank you. It's a great way to conclude.
[00:43:35] So, Jeff. Yeah. Thanks so much for coming on, man. So so how could people reach you? How can they get the book? Is it the Amazon? Is it physical, off your website, what is it?
[00:43:48] I love to hear from listeners and readers at JeffMorrill.com or just Google Profit Wise book and you'll come to it. Yeah, you can get the book on Amazon. You can, you can get a link to it from my website. And we have a lot more resources there in terms of bonus chapters that the publisher couldn't fit in the book. I have a lot of the tools we use every day in our businesses. We didn't spend a lot of time on hiring or those kinds of things. But the actual interview templates, the questions we ask our our people when we bring them in for interviews are available on JeffMorrill.com. And if people are interested in learning more about the dealerships of some of the zainy stuff we do in the dealership philosophy, the best place for that planetsubaru.com.
[00:44:34] Beautiful. We have all these in the show notes for everybody, so you can just click on them, but definitely grab a copy of that book. I got my copy in you. Yeah, great tips. I mean, I said I've been in business for four years, but there's things that really made me think I could change that and really improve and help more people. And so, so very, very cheap and easy. Easy to read. It's not some highfalutin PhD kind of stuff. It's stuff. It's real usable, practical things. And I especially like negotiation chapter. We all have to deal with that. And yeah. So just really, really great, great thing to get a hold of. So so Jeff, we're going to run to Amazon and get the book and we'll catch you next time. Hopefully you'll come back.
[00:45:22] Thank you. I'd love to.
Join my distance learning school: https://www.IMTCVA.org
Or join the mentor program PLUS get a FREE Scholarship to the School: https://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com