The guys in the detail shop never ceased to amaze me in their abilities and with their miracle working skills. The befouled Denali was presented to them. I was in desperate need of a hook up and they were looking far less than confident. The next morning the Denali was sitting in the detail shop with the doors open as it dried from the cleaning and deodorizing it had received the previous day. The two detailers were smiling because they not only saved my ass, I now owed them. Later that day I sold that Denali and they were rewarded for their efforts with burritos for lunch and drinks that night which cost me about $50 with tips included. The sale was a “12 pounder!” (That is that the profit on the Denali was $12,000 on the front end. (“Take it or leave it” works on such a vehicle when you present it the right way to the right person.) Of that, my cut was 35% because with that sale I hit my 30th car of the month increasing my percentage on the sale from 30 to 35. (Selling 25 units you go from 25 to 30% with all things below that being 25% if you can maintain the profit margin in the unit.)
The sale’s manger and finance managers saw ever greater percentage sharing on both the front end and back end of the sale. What came to me in the form of $4,200 for the sale they saw closer to $6,500. Keeping in mind that there was but one sale’s manager and two finance mangers controlling interest not only my sales, but that of 18 other salesmen! The general manager and owner saw similar profit sharing which included service work and accessory sales. The higher up the food chain you go, the money you can make.
From burritos and beers, to $4,200, to $6,500, to no telling what; each one of us decided our fate within the food chain and were rewarded in relative terms. The detailers could have sold cars, but did not want to risk the inconsistency of sales work. I could have been a finance manger or sales manager, but chose instead to work my hustle from the sales floor. The sales manager could have vested and become a general manager, but did not want the risk and liability. The sales manager could have opened his own store, but did not want to incur the start up debt.
This is how capitalism works. You choose your role and you get compensated for your choice. As a car salesman I could easily maintain upper middle class income and in a good year put back six figures. That came with a cost of 12 hour days (often longer) and six days a week of GOING HARD and never really being off the clock because prospecting sales was a 24/7 job. It’s a tough grind. The detailers worked 40 hours a week for minimum wage or slightly better. They had a life outside of the lot, I did not. We each made our choices. So why is it then, that capitalism is bastardized because people fall into the food chain at the lowest point? I will not work 40 hours a week for minimum wage, two burritos and three beers! I WON’T DO IT! Because others will does not make it wrong.
There was a point in my life where I did work for 40 hours a week at minimum wage; I didn’t like it. I quickly figured out that I had to make a better way. Others have not committed to themselves to progress; capitalism is blamed, but not the person’s lack of initiative or personal reasoning. The general manager, sales manager and finance manager all started in the detail shop and decided that they were worth more than what they were being given. Rather than BLAMING the establishment, they insisted upon themselves and progressed despite the challenges they faced in doing so. We can’t all be general managers; it defies the laws of economics, but at the same time we choose to be the detailers; some just stay in that position longer.
What we forget is that because there has to be someone in the detail shop of life; it doesn’t have to be us! Capitalism works best when we work capitalism.
It is almost amusing (in a sad way) to watch people condemning capitalism because they do not believe in themselves enough to make a better way. Because capitalism has its flaws, doesn’t mean we have to be a part of the flaw itself. We, because of capitalism, we live in a consumer based economy where spending is paramount. In terms of contradiction, to be financially successful in life, you cannot be one of the idiots spending themselves into oblivion. You must work your way up the food chain without feeding the economy that is supporting you in the manner that others do! The average American home has $1200 in savings and $56,000 in debt; they will work until they drop dead while they feed those that have sought to only support the beast of capitalism AFTER they have first been taken care BY the beast of capitalism! Because such individuals have figured this out, they and capitalism to many are bad and evil entities living among us. Let’s face it; this is only because the masses are not smart enough to figure this out.
What you have not heard me complain about it the economy itself. Economies constrict from time to time; it is what they do. Because it constricts does not mean you cannot excel. You cannot excel because you have not committed to excelling. It is just that simple. Selling cars was profitable, but living the lifestyle of selling cars was hazardous to my health. We would work 12 hours, go out drinking to the wee hours of the morning and be back on the grind the next day. (One binge lasted 17 days of continuous work and partying.) We fed the hell out of the beast during those weeks while we destroyed and compromised personal relationships. Stopping the party habits (or slowing them I should say) was not enough. Before long, I found myself delving into other ventures that gave more time and less money to show for it; it was a fair trade. Having less money, but more time gives the ability to figure ways to… make more money! LOL! It is laughable, but true. And that is exactly what I continually do despite the tightness of the economy. Because the economy sucks does not mean I cannot excel in it; it means I have to effort the cause all the harder TO excel in it. I am and I will continue to do just that because I believe in myself enough deliver for myself.
The harsh reality is this: The American consumer is so stupid that they will feed the beast before they feed themselves. Period, end of discussion. That’s right! You read it correctly; STUPID! There was a day that the average American household contributed almost 90% of their income to necessities. Today, the average American dedicates a little over 30% to life’s necessities; the rest goes towards luxury items. The beast is being fed like never before, yet it is only criticized because people have chosen to be the detailers and not finance managers or better. This of course coming from people feeding the beast as it has never before been fed. Please pardon my directness, but it is hard to criticize not only what you so willing support, but what you freely choose to not allow to be empowering. One year selling cars I raked in 130K in pursuit of being a part of the nation’s elite top 5% of income makers. In half killing myself in that venture it became apparent that being in that group was secondary to a comfortable lifestyle. Being middle class is very poorly defined in terms of economics standards. You can bring in 85K, have $1000 in savings and 350K in debt and barely have the ability to enjoy a decent income level. This person is by definition is middle class, but has indebted themselves to the poverty level. STUPID! The American consumer has zero understanding of what they can do for themselves and consequently bases their choices on that which others have made. They have 30 year mortgages and 72 month car notes and cannot understand why they are struggling to make ends meet with good paying jobs.
The idea is to make capitalism work for you; not against you. You do this by (I know this is novel in ideology) SAVING. If you have to pay for 30 years to buy a home; can you really afford that home? NO! The average American pays as much in interest on a home as they do for the home itself. That is an economic waste factor of 100%. Buy a home for 150K and paying 300K for it when all is said and done makes about as much sense as buying a $100 dollars in groceries and handing over two hundred in cash and walking out. We would NEVER do the latter, but have based an economic lifestyle of doing the former while multiplying thousands of percent. STUPID! When the money stops getting wasted so egregiously, financial successes become achievable goals. The cause? Greed that starts in the home and becomes manipulated by capitalism. You can either be of weak mind and be manipulated or you can go against the grain and buy only what you can actually afford. (I know, I know! Yet another novel idea!)
The economy isn’t bad, capitalism isn’t bad; the American consumer is just stupid that’s all.
Capitalism is not bad, but it can be cruel to those who fail to understand how to use it.
The bottom line. In front of my house sits a BMW in desperate need of a detailing. The question of who details it is only a matter of who wants to! But then again, I would be more inclined to do it myself than feed the beast. Think about that.