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If you're on the fence about joining the Shop Fix Family you need to read this:
It was late 2008 when I met Aaron Stokes. He had 1 store, a Euro shop in the back of a warehouse with no drive by traffic, behind a cemetery, a few blocks from me, my shop on the other hand is sitting on a main road getting around 20K cars a day pass by. He came by and introduced himself, offered some advice, we talked a while and he was on his way. He's a little younger than me and I thought, that's a nice, ambitious, go-getter kind of kid. We have stayed in touch off and on through the years and he always gave me advice with whatever I was having trouble with.

About 3 years ago, still struggling with my shop while he had expanded into several successful locations, I called him totally stressed out because I lost my main advisor and was ready to let the other one go, he offered to let me hire someone new and send them to his store to train for me. Though I didn’t take him up on it, he still followed up a month or two later and referred me an advisor which I hired.

10 years after that first encounter, this past fall I had about decided I was in the wrong business. I have been stuck at 1.8M for 3 years straight with chaos everywhere I look and just getting by. All the while Aaron had not only established a chain of successful stores, he now had a growing coaching company to share with everyone else. I was praying about it one morning and realized I needed his help and that I should call and try to buy some of his time to get some direction, however, being stuck in my own head and not wanting to bother him, again, I didn’t act.

A couple weeks later I got a divine intervention which the rest of you probably called the mailer for the Shop Hackers event. I signed up expecting to go to the event and hear about all the struggles other owners were having and reinforce my idea I should be doing something else with my life.

Day one of the Hackers event I got a huge slap in the face… repeatedly. By the end of the day I realized that it was all in my head. During the break before dinner, I just sat in my truck trying to process the emotional overload of it all.

Sunday I was in a different state and knew I needed in the mastermind group, but would Aaron have me? After all I am a pretty large shop 5 miles across town from him. I asked during a break and he welcomed me in.

When we went into the mastermind info break out lunch, all I needed was the paperwork, there was nothing to sell. If only I had Aaron's composure and lack of stage fright I wanted to jump up in front of the whole room and tell this story and tell them all they would be crazy if they didn’t sign up because I have something many of them probably didn’t, 10 years of crystal-clear hindsight.

While I tried to figure everything out for myself and had gotten about 40% of the results I should have, he had gone out, networked, studied, and apparently never rested until he figured it out.

So is Shopfix worth it?

*I would say the Facebook groups alone are worth the cost of admission with all the shared information between shop owners, and the coaches with their tribes.

*I would also say the sales tracker is worth the cost of admission, while it’s technically just a fancy google sheet than an excel nerd could make, I have an IT background and strong excel skills and didn’t make one for 10 years because I didn’t know what I needed to be looking at. I have just finished my first month with it, and the data provided to use as a scan tool for the business is incredible. Yes, your management system will give you allot of it spread out over several reports that you could try to mesh together, but again 10 years later, I hadn’t.

If you have studied successful people, you would find something most have in common, Mentors and Mastermind groups.

If you’re the smartest guy in the room you need to go find a new room, and not 10 years later. I had been running on a hamster wheel for years listening to the voices in my head and in my shop. How could I help my guys if I didn’t get out and help myself first?

Having access to sit down and talk to other owners in one spot, that have collectively dealt with everything you are likely dealing with, is worth the cost of admission.

Having a dedicated coach/mentor to help you with your specific situation is worth the cost of admission.

The training calls with Aaron, with his knowledge, inspiration, and motivation are worth the cost of admission.

If putting all your faith in one guy seems like a lot to you, consider his network. Having a pathway to the wisdom of Greg Sands, Mike Daniels, Rissy Sutherland, and more, is surely worth the cost of admission.

If you still wonder if you should join, then I have a question for you.

Do you have 10 years to try to figure it out yourself?

While I’m a tech turned owner and like figuring things out, my son is turning 14 Monday and I sure feel like I could have better used the last decade.

I just hope that once I get my mess sorted out, I can give value back to Shopfix, because its been helping me since before its inception.

-Jamie C, from inside the Shop Hackers Facebook Group
About Aaron Stokes:
Aaron is the operator of 6 auto repair shops and the radio show host of "Fixin' Cars with Aaron Stokes" on Nashville's 99.7 WTN. His story is compelling and proves that little is impossible with hard work and determination.

His journey as an auto repair entrepreneur started in 1999 when he was involved in a car crash that left him stranded cashless across state lines, inevitably forcing him to work side jobs and study car repair as a way to fix his vehicle to get back home in Franklin, TN. Fortunately, Aaron had a solid foundation already in basic engine repair as a result of many years of fixing and “tinkering” with dirt-bikes and four-wheelers throughout his childhood. By chance, it was this event that triggered his love for car repair and inspired him to go into business for himself offering fast, convenient and reliable European auto repair. In 1999, Aaron started his first shop in a one car garage near Downtown Franklin. A few months later, he moved his business to an old barn located behind his house in order to be closer to his family. Five years later, solely from the quality of customer satisfaction and word of mouth recommendations, Aaron decided to try and expand Eurofix to a larger location in town. This "tipping point" was the catalyst that paved the way for future locations across Middle Tennessee which grew to 3 successful locations. In 2014, Aaron began the process of expanding again and this lead him to eventually add 1 additional EuroFix store. Then start a new brand of shops focused on American and Asian cars called "AutoFix". AutoFix has 2 locations. Along the way, he also started a Rental Car company and also hosts a very popular local radio show.

Aaron's decision to start Shop Fix Academy began after Aaron and several other shop owners who were friends with Aaron found themselves dissatisfied with other coaching and master mind programs they had joined. They found these other programs to be incredibly expensive, but offer little actual substance in their teachings. Because these friends had watched Aaron use his unique talents and techniques to grow, they encouraged Aaron to begin his own training and coaching program. He decided he wanted his program to be unlike anything else in the market!

When Aaron started Shop Fix Academy, he didn't want it to be like the other coaching companies that charged a fortune, but delivered weak content and little value. That's why Shop Fix Academy goes deeper, offers more content, and provides more value than anything else. We aren't looking to get rich off the backs of fellow shop-owners... we are looking to change the independent automotive industry from the owners down.
Articles by Aaron:
The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that small businesses spend anywhere from 2 to 10 percent of their gross sales on advertising. While I think that advertising is a worthwhile expense, I often encounter entrepreneurs who have launched ad campaigns without READ MORE...
Auto Repair Shop Management Challenges and Solutions - Motor Age 7/7/17

The Fixer: The Key to Building a Team You Can Trust - Ratchet+Wrench Magazine, July 2017
Isn’t that always the go-to response? Don’t worry; I’m not judging here. I literally just gave the same answer to someone a moment before writing this. We all have a lot going on. Right now, my family and I are moving into a new house (which, obviously, means selling the original one, finalizing last-minute fixes and work on the new one, packing and unpacking—and all those other fun things you often forget until the last minute). I’m also setting up my next meeting for my group of shops that I coach. And there’s that whole 
The Fixer: The Big Picture - Ratchet+Wrench Magazine, August 2017
Picture yourself in a cornfield, or a maze, or surrounded by really tall weeds. Whatever it is, you can’t see a clear way out. Sure, there might be a path in front of you—or maybe in a number of directions—but you have no way to know if that’s the path you need to take to escape.

You’re lost. You’re stuck.

And it’s not because
The Fixer: Get on the Path to Success
- Ratchet+Wrench Magazine, June 2017
Trust me, I know just how you feel. I remember feeling the exact same way, and it wasn’t even that long ago. Even from the beginning with my business, I was trying to learn, I was trying to find the right ways to do things—the strategies, processes, overall business philosophies that have led so many others to success. And I did learn a lot. But nothing changed. And there wasn’t a tangible reason why. 

I can remember—clear as anything—trying to
Doug Rogers of Autohaus | Raleigh, NC

"So, I took my eye off the ball, and watched my business decline by 40% over a 2 year period. Getting involved with ShopFix Academy helped me begin to see my business with new eyes, and renewed enthusiasm! I trimmed unproductive staff members, implemented a few new systems, reclaimed my sales counter, and watched my ARO more than DOUBLE in the first 2 weeks. One simple, inexpensive marketing idea paid for itself the very first day, and has been pure profit since then. Most importantly, I am having FUN doing it! I actually ENJOY owning a shop again."
Ashleigh Lucas of Lucas Auto Car | Cypress, TX

"I've worked with Aaron for several months now and he has really opened our eyes. He taught us that we were being "situational managers". We fix things ourselves as they arise. The reason our second location failed, is because we couldn't be two places at once. Aaron, has been coaching us and helping us build trainable systems that allow us to have a staff that can operate independently. Aaron has also been able to help us do a cost analysis on our budget to help us maximize our spending. I could actually go on and on about the things that Aaron has taught us."
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