The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
I am a lowly mechanic, often frustrated and frequently overwhelmed by the challenges of keeping farm machinery running and customers happy. Our dealership's owner is obviously a very successful businessman, with a personality and attitude to match. We are at opposite ends of the self-confidence spectrum. I'm amazed at the financial and people-related challenges businessmen like him face every day.
Once, while chatting with him before a company meeting, I commented, "I don't see how you stay so positive with so many people throwing problems at you." He literally froze for a moment with a puzzled look on his face. After he thought about it for a split second, he sincerely replied, "I don't have problems, I have opportunities. Sometimes they're to help the business, sometimes they're to help customers, sometimes they're to help employees, but they're always opportunities to make something better."
I've tried to incorporate that philosophy into my work as a mechanic. It's a tool I can use to adjust my attitude toward a frustrating repair or a challenging customer. It doesn't always work. Sometimes a big hammer is the best solution.
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