I am clearly a little bit of a tech geek. My entire business life is wrapped around helping people find a way to manage and use technology well. This is the first in a monthly series (or whenever I find something really cool) focused on the tools and technology that really work. I find there are lots of tech tools an EBOS (Executive, Business Owner or Salesperson) should never be without and even more they should never be allowed to have. Many of these tools are free, or relatively inexpensive.
Some of these tools are so obvious we have them, use them and see them around us every day and don’t realize it. In the book The Millionaire Next Door , Ford F150s were listed as the most common vehicle of the millionaire class. Since I’ve been driving an F150 for almost 15 years now, this one is obvious to me.
The first F150 in my fleet was a crew cab, three door 2 Wheel drive, typical contractor white. My current F150 is a super crew with a carpeted bed and shell. It is a “Lariat” edition fully loaded leather, six disc CD changer, overall a pretty nice truck. Everyone still sees it as a “work truck”. As I read the book the millionaire next door, the F150 just seemed like the obvious choice and I kind of found a strange that it even made the book. By the time I finished the book, I realized the whole point was not to teach me or other small-business owners, rather is was to teach people that wanted to become millionaires which generally means business owners according to the author.
I realize that this is in the “technology” section of Beach Street News. I put it here because technology is a tool, and our vehicles are a critical tool in many businesses. Most of what makes this series will be about technology, but think about this. How good is that portable GPS when your car goes in the shop and you left it in the trunk? Most of our technology usage is situationally and location dependent. Your vehicle is what gets you there. Since men don’t look right in costume jewelry, low cut shirts or pumps, society dictates that we grade men on their car, shoes, watch, grooming and technology. Technology is the mans accessory and therefore, any executive man or woman is graded on their tools and technology.
My uncle owns a printing and custom graphics company in Los Angeles, Custom Photo Craft. He doesn’t drive an F150 but it’s pretty close, he drives a Ford Explorer. When you really look at it pretty much any good sport utility or pickup truck will serve a EBOS well. Even if you’re not a business owner, as a salesman or executive, the same rules apply. I also have a BMW station wagon that makes a great little vehicle for sales calls and long drives. It gets great mileage, holds everything I would need to do a demonstration and has a great stereo system. The best feature of the BMW wagon is on the long drives. The cabin is very quiet, so I can talk on the cell phone without yelling. My F150 is a little on the loud side once you pass 60 miles per hour.
That leads to the next months articles on essential tool for the EBOS, the cell phone. For now, I have understood the rules of business vehicles to be this: They must be simple, clean, utilitarian and not over the top. You can fix them up a little, buy a few upgrades and no one will care. Show up for an important sales call in the Ferrari or Bentley and your customer is going to have an entirely different opinion of you. There is a reason that pickups and sport utes are so popular. Simply they work, and no one thinks twice about them unless you have an AMG G-Wagon and don’t play pro sports. I have heard it more than once that my wifes car is too nice, and my Mercedes SL needs to stay in the garage from my customers. It is a bummer since I am a car guy, and would rather drive something much more fun than the F-150 every day. I guess that is why I have a $500 race car So one said success was easy.