The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode 525 ยท 3 weeks ago

Shaka Dyson: Effort vs. Time and Making the Most of Both


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Shaka Dyson is the Founder and CEO of Dealer F&I University, He was also a teenage father, a high school dropout, and somebody abandoned by his mom at two years old. Today's guest truly knows how hard life can be. Today, as an entrepreneur, a business expert, and a powerful speaker, he's managed to turn that pain into purpose and grow his business to massive levels!

In this episode, Shaka shares the background story of how he got started in the car business leading all the way up to what he's doing for dealers today.

Shaka encourages dealers to look beyond their challenges: "I tell dealers to remove themselves from staring at the challenge and start staring at the target, right? Hurdles, issues, mountains, walls, and challenges all come with pushback. It's always gonna be there. But if you keep your eyes on the prize, if you keep your eyes on the target, then you'll never worry about the challenge."

Relying on or bragging about one's time in the business indicates that someone is stuck on what he used to do and where he's been rather than what he currently brings to the table and where he is going. The skillset you acquire for your next job is far more critical than tracked time. And if you're in the market for an employee, it's time to start looking beyond the rรฉsumรฉ. "They used to hire based on a resume, but if you hire the right person with exemplary character, work ethic, integrity, honesty, and somebody who's goal-oriented - if you hire that person, you can teach them the skillset."

In times of uncertainty, the key to long-term thinking is to remain committed to the goals, core values, and mission you are working towards each day. More importantly, ensure your team is aligned at all times and that everyone is rowing in the same direction. Alignment is greater than assignment, and the alignment will always keep the long-term vision in focus.

What do you care about more: effort or time? You're familiar with the phrase, "in due time." But what if we flipped it to be, "in due effort." Time can tick by, and maybe things aren't due to you in time at all. But the effort, well, that's when you get your dues! Both time and effort are important. Not everything can be rushed, and sometimes things just take the time they take. But your efforts can certainly help speed things up!

Listen to the full episode for insights and context from Shaka Dyson!

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The car business is rapidly changing, and modern car dealers are meeting the demand. I'm Michael Cirillo, and together we're going to explore what it takes to create a thriving dealership and life in the retail automotive industry. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with subject matter experts that are designed to help you grow. This is the Dealer Playbook. It's been a long time coming. We're walking in here and I was like, I wanted to do this virtually, but I think the universe just wanted it to happen in person. Man, thanks so much for taking some time with me today. So I've known about you for a while. I've followed from AFAR, but it was actually Glenn's breakfast with Champions that brought us into the same room at the same time, and that was kind of the first time I got to Actually we've crossed passed so many times. The first time I got to hear you speak. You talked about some personal experiences, some health challenges, things of that nature, and I was like, I'm hooked. I'm hooked on this guy. Everybody needs to everybody needs to know if they don't already know, in my audience. Yeah about you. So tell me tell me a little bit about how how did you get started in the car business leading to what you're doing for dealers today on the on the finance training and all that. Man. Uh getting started in the car business, Man, I was just a broken dude, uh coming up man. Uh. I was a guy living in poverty, a teenage father of high school dropout. Uh, A guy who was abandoned by his mom at two years old. Uh. And and you know, kept flitting the streets man, and uh, you know, the car business kind of kind of found me. And what I mean by that is, uh, you know, I had a young friend working at a dealership. I didn't know he was working at a dealership, Man, And he happened to pop by my the building that I was living in, which was run down, and he happened to drive up in a new m O.

And I thought he stole the car, that's the truth. And I said, what what do you mean you get to tell you get to drive cars? And and he's telling me all these wonderful things about dealerships. Man. So I actually went over there and checked it outfield out an application got denied, right, They didn't hire me. Uh, and ended up continuing to fill out credit apps. I mean not credit apps, but applications to work at a car dealership. And Man, I came across the classified ads back in the day, it's at forty five thousand first year, no experience necessary, Come applied, Heubler Dodge this Tuesday Wednesday. And back then, Man, living in poverty. I thought forty five thousand, I'd be rich. I thought forty five thousand dollars. Wow, I'd be rich. So I went and applied. Man, they hired me, and uh, you know the rest has been history. Man. And I'm gonna tell you, Uh, the moment I got hired, the moment I walked through those doors. Uh saw all these professional people that had desk and and they they they were dressed in slacks and ties and the same the same clothes I would wear the church, they wore as a profession. Man. And all this was new to me. Man. Again, I was living in poverty, right. I was a broken person. Uh, overcoming challenge after challenge after challenge, just trying to make it and and get breathing room in my life. And uh and uh, I happen to get into the car business. And when when I happen to get hired, Man, I was so grateful, uh that I get to work in an environment where I see other professionals. And when I found out, man, uh, salesperson told me he made a hundred thousand last year. That's what this conversation, I made a hundred of casually. I couldn't believe it because I had never met someone in real life that made a hundred thousand dollars and uh. And when I met him, and I said, wait a minute, you made a hundred grand. And you're gonna be doing the same thing that that I'm supposed to do. That I'm gonna be taking customers. Yeah, You're gonna be taken ups. So what do you mean up? Man? Well what does that mean? No? No customers? I said, well, why don't you just call him that? But I was so grateful and uh, it was the opportunity of a lifetime for me, man. And so one I got that position at...

...that car dealership sell the cars. I grabbed on with both hands, both feet, and I never let go, man, because I know I knew what it was like before, and all I had in front of me was all the opportunity man, and I was bound to determine to make sure that I'm maximized it for sure, for that at that point and for the rest of my life. You have this. I feel this, and I've tried really hard in my own life to articulate this desire to then see other people go and be able to do the same thing or or even far exceed that thing. Where did that all start for you? Because I mean I can see you're just up there motivating a group, right eight d percent club. We're here at Beaver Toyota. I've never seen a facility like this in my entire life. Um, but Glenn, you know, our friend Glenn Lundy comes up to you and he's like, yo, I need to go up and pump this group up, and just on a on a whim you up, you go, And every time you speak, I get this sense of like he finds joy and helping others seeing other people that level we're that come from. So you're in the dealership, You're you're you're turning your life around, You're going from poverty. Yeah. Do you know the moment when you you were able to say I want to help other people do this now? Yeah? Man. You know, um from from working in a car dealership. Man, I stumbled across this book called Success is a Choice by Rick Pettino. Man. And the way I stumbled upun it was because car sells people will want to know this, but you know it sells people. If there's a salesperson that gets fired, the first thing that the sells people do is gonna rap their desk. They're looking for pens and note pads and things of that nature staplers. And I did the same thing, man, and I stumbled A guy got fired, and then I went and stumbled through his desk and I found this Success is a Choice and uh and I couldn't put it down. And at the time, it's funny, Man, I had no furniture in the department. I was had an air mattress. Uh and uh, I just I was so captivated by this book that I would go home and lay on my carpet and read it every day. And that was the AHA moment for me, Man. And when when I realized that that...

...was real, Like, it's not it's not it's not a catchphrase, that's life, that's reality. It is all the choice. Um. Once I realized that and really started hammering about my success and being responsible and accountable for my success. Opportunity started opening up. The more accountable you become, the more you staring at accountability mare, and the more opportunity UH shows itself. It reveals itself because in reality, it's all on you and what I like to do now. That was the AHA moment and what I like to do now, because you know, I've had successes in my life. Now I'm the number one F and I trainer in the country. Now, I'm business partners with grant Card own. Now I speak all over the country. Now me and you are in the same network, right, we have the same friends, we speak on the same stages. I have a big UH F and I training company. Right now that I've seen some success, I know that it's possible. And if I come from the bottom and I can do it, I know it's possible for anybody if they see it the way that I see it, if they would just remove them selves from staring at the challenge and start staring at the target. Right. Hurdles, issues, mountains, walls, challenges are all with pushback. It's always going to be there. That's life, right. But if you keep your eyes on the prize. If you keep your eyes on the target, then you will never worry about what the challenge is. What you do is you're back into that target with game plans every day. It reminds me of this quote, and now I can't remember who said it, and I'm gonna feel like a moron if you're like, oh, that was that was Mr Rogers. Yeah, it's um. You know, a lot of people go through life with the attitude of you know, they're they're complaining because I'm the product of my circumstances. But the quote is, You're not the product of your circumstances. You're the product of your decision. And you know, and and that really stands out to me because I think, man, at any given moment, I'm faced with multiple decisions. What's my attitude, my focus, my paradigm, and my looking at things from the right angle. And I just get that sense as you're speaking. So so then you you know, let's let's fast forward... today to your point. You're you now got this this largely successful F and I training partners with Grant Card Owned. What is it that you find as you're working with dealerships across the country around the world. What is the commonality between them when you're first starting out that that's like that lightbulb moment for them, going from three copy to like you said, today, a copy. What's that like? Oh? I didn't even see it from that angle. So understanding the complexity of the F and I department, Understanding from a dealer standpoint, how to construct one, how to construct an F and I department, how to hire the right people in there, how to get the right benchmarks in there, install the right production based pay plans in there, install the right processes and the right training. Um. When I teach them and showed them exactly how to construct the right F and I department and install the right people uh, and the things to look for when hiring the right people uh, such as your resume doesn't matter, but it's all character, right, so I I hire them different. Um, The AHA moments come through what they look for in their people. Now, what they used to do is hire based on what somebody said they did write. What they used to do is hire based on a resume. The AHA moment is okay, if you hire the right person with the right character, the right uh work ethic, the right integrity and honesty, right, whose goal oriented? If you hire that person, you can teach them the skill set. Right. And so in my store, we hire very intentionally, right, we hire very intentionally. We make sure that we get the right person. And once I had the right person there, who's gonna work hard, who wants to work harder than they complain, who wants to work harder than they're comfortable, who wants to work harder and outwork their goals and targets. Once I have that person, then it's just a matter of time. At that point, this this goes full circle of what you're saying earlier about accountability, because you know, I immediately think, well, in order to identify that in somebody...

...else, I need to be holding myself accountable there, personal discipline, Like I need to be in a place where I'm prepared to identify the qualities personality, character traits, all live by things. You gotta live by it, live by it, and and so have you ever run into that where you're like, hey, like you're the leader, but you're not pointing all the time. Yeah, all the time. How do you address that though? Because directly, yeah, directly, So if you if you if you talk to any of my dealers who were here. I encourage you to. They will tell you very specifically. I'm very direct, and but I'm direct out of love. I'm not direct out of sarcasm, hate or anger. I'm direct out of love. And what I mean by that is is I want to see you succeed. I'm putting my name on it. I'm putting my brand on it. And my brand is about winning. My brain is about excellence. My brain is about being number one right. And if if I'm called the number one F and I trainer, if I say I'm the number one F and I trainer, I have to be able to back it up. I need to have statistics. I need to have receipts. I need to not be able to say that myself, but have dealers take say that. I need to have them the owners say, oh, man, I increase my PVR thousand dollars a copy fift. We've increased it, we met it increased to grand They need to say it. So in order to do that, man, I have to be direct. I have to cut through the chase and I need to say here's the issue, here's the opportunity, and here's the game. Plan, let's go to work. Yeah, there's I you know, my my team and I talked about this quite often, and it's this almost acceptance that each of us has more time than we think, but less than we want. And what I'm what I'm learning, or what I think I'm finally settling into in my own business, is something's like, the good things really just take time, and if it's going to be worth while, then it should be worth the while in a in the car business, which is very much a today right, what's right in front of... Gotta gotta get the deals right, we're in this thirty days cycle. Sure, How do you help the dealer break past that so that they're thinking longer term, maybe more an infinite game, not not the finite game. How do you help them break free from that mindset? Yeah? Man, so that's what it is. It's a mindset. Right. So you've heard the phrase in due time? Yeah? Okay, so in my stores, right they they have dealers. Let's say that gms who say that finance menasures in due time. You know, we're getting into the due time. If you replace that word time, what effort? What does that phrase it? What's the phrase now? And do effort, and do effort. Man, the harder you work, the faster it gets to you. The harder you work the more, the faster it comes. Right. So it's in due effort, it's not in due time, right, if you want to if you want to be a Kobe or Jordan, it's the one that's in the It's the one that's in the gym, right shooting the free throws right the most and the longest with most intentionality. Man, it's the work. It is not the time. And I'm gonna tell you, I tell you what what else? Man? What I found is that, uh, we've we've got to do it with a sense of urgency. Man. I train, and I live my life, and I chase success with with a severe sense of urgency and desperation. I've got to get this done. I don't know how much longer I have here on earth. Right, So what I'm doing now is not about me anymore. Right, I've lived a good life. I'm in a good space. If I wanted to stop right now, if it was all about me, I could live well the rest of my life. But I'm on legacy now. And what I mean by that is, Man, I got daughters that I need to be able to hand over and give them a good start in life, the moment they turned eighteen, the moment they get started in life, and whether the Good Lord allows me to see them both turn eighteen or if I leave next year. Right, we're in six months. I still need to have it in place. Right, So I work with a frivolous sense of energy that we got to get it done right. My dealers will tell you, man, my mantras are O n E rown results only no excuses. Right, So I go hard, and I'm the first person to hold myself to the highest accountability because of what I'm working doing it for, That's why. So it's for legacy.

It's not for me. It's who's coming after me, who's paying attention to me? Right? Who loses if I don't win? Who loses? Right? Right? I think about this too, like my you brought up Kobe, who, of course, I mean, is so many his favorite? Right? Your favorite? My son DLin his favorite? And just this morning he went to basketball tryouts. He's in middle school. We moved from Canada to Texas about a year ago, so he's getting he's getting the experience I never got so like I wrestled in high school, I fought in provincial championships because they were like fifty people in the auditorium and it was like everybody's momach to see my son, who just finished the football season in middle school in eighth grade walk out to fanfare like He's like, Dad, I felt like a W W E superstar. But it's opened up conversations, in particular to your point about Kobe and and you know, on Steph Curry and like all of the Jordan Pipen, you know, Rodman, all of the greats where where we're having these meaningful conversations about but look at the effort they put in to your point. I was like, have you watched Steph Curry warm up for a ball game? Is there's a reason why he's a ball handler the way he is. But he's got the tennis ball, he's dribbling, he's switching hands, he's doing and I'm like, so what are you willing to do? And he goes, Dad, I'm just in the eighth grade. I'm like, remove the just you're in the eighth grade because that's how old you are. But there's no just about that. There's no excuse about that. So I love your your acorative for round because it perfectly aligns and to your point about legacy, I think so deeply about that because I'm like, why am I doing all of this anyways if it's not for them. I look at my father. You know we our company stemmed from a family business, um and you know, him and I have had a lot of conversations about like, you know what, mom, Dad, the only way I could ever actually pay you back is by paying it forward, and that means something. So so it's it's cool, like I get a sense of your heart when you start talking about what you see and sure you're trying to set...

...up that next generation to you know, be able to go a little bit further. Let me ask you this because I think we see this a lot in the dealerships. We're now, second, third, some fourth generation dealer owners who I'm sure they're forebearers, all had that same legacy mindset of I want to set the next generation. But we start to see some of them get soft. What do you say or do or what's your mindset around like I want to make sure they're set up, but also that they're able to go and do not just get comfortable with the pass off. Yeah, man, So uh, what I do with my clients is ongoing, so there's no pass off one and done right. So I'm doing training every week with my owners and my dealers. I'm doing training every week with my finance managers, and so I do multiple touches every single week. Man, I ensure their success if they become my clients. Know, I vet clients very hard. Like, I don't take all clients. It's not you want to do business with me, Okay, let's for you. I because my legacy is success, My brand is success. So I have to vet them and make sure they're the right type of the people inside that group that are gonna do what I need them to do in order to get the results. I know that they can get um, so I'm constantly with them. I'm along for the ride, right. So the result throughout an entire year, it's not a pass off, man, it's it's let's go right. So, if if we need to hire somebody, I'm deeply involved in hiring that person. If they need to be trained, they need to be onboarded. I've developed software for F and I departments that that we installed in our f and I departments. Uh, that's a revenue and production tracker that gives us in sight different than what you can find anywhere else, right, because I know what to look for. So I have those installed inside my stores too. So it's an ongoing process, and that's what success is. Right. You may have destinations that you're trying to hit, but the target is ongoing, right,...

So you have targets along that journey called success, man, And whatever it may be for different people, is what it is. But we established from my stores. We established the targets up front, and then we back into it with action. I love it. Uh. In closing, I could talk to you forever. Like Wise, Man, I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing, but I could do it forever. How can those listening get in touch with you learn more about your program? Yeah, man, so they can simply go to Shaka Dyson, dot Com, s h A k A DS and David y s O N. I'm all over Facebook, um for dealers out there. I have the largest automotive finance dealer group in the entire world in automotive industry. It's called the F and I twenty group. Uh. We've have over four we have thirty five thousand members and dealers across the country UH owners, GM, sells people, sales managers, finance managers, directors UH in that group. So they can ask to join that group, a network with us on Facebook on Facebook YEP, the F and I Toy group. They can simply call me man directly UH six seven eight eight one or zero seven seven or email me man shock a shock at night and if they're trying to get at me, I can be found. Damn. Thanks all right, brother, I'm Michael Cirillo, and you've been listening to the Dealer Playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, please click the subscribe button wherever you're listening right now, leave a rating or review and share it with a colleague. Thanks for listening.

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