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Tuesday, 01 May 2012 15:48

Former MLB Pitcher, Mike Robbins, Now Motivational Speaker Engages the East Bay CAA

In a tough industry full of trials and tribulations, body shop owners are very susceptible to stress and burnout. If they’re not encountering issues with customers, insurance companies, vendors and/or employees, they have to worry about things like their cycle times and car count. It’s a never-ending struggle just to earn a buck and make their payroll every week in this ever-changing business.

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And that’s why it was refreshing when the East Bay California Autobody Association (EB-CAA) Chapter featured an inspirational speaker at its monthly meeting held on March 20th at Scott’s Seafood restaurant in Walnut, Creek, Calif. Sponsors for the evening were LKQ, Diamond Standard Class AAA Safety Parts and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Best-selling author/motivational speaker Mike Robbins was the featured guest and presenter of the evening. His first book, Focus on the Good Stuff, reached #4 on the Amazon bestseller list, and his latest book, Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken, reached #17 on the Amazon bestseller list Robbins and his work have been featured on ABC News, the Oprah radio network, in Forbes, Fast Company, and the Washington Post, and on over 500 radio and TV shows in North America.  He is also a regular contributor to and the Huffington Post.

As a former professional baseball player in the Kansas City Royals organization, Robbins’s sports career was on track for stardom in the major leagues until he suffered an injury that ended his playing days instantly when he blew out his pitching arm. Through the healing power of appreciation and authenticity, as well as his own personal journey of self discovery, Robbins was able to move beyond the injury to find more meaning and purpose in his life, he said to the approximately 60 EB-CAA members in attendance.
Robbins has worked with clients such as Google, the San Francisco Giants, Wells Fargo, the US Department of Labor, Apple, Chevron, the State of California, New York Life Insurance, Genentech, the Gap, Stanford University, Adobe, Banana Republic, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kaiser, UC Berkeley, AT&T, The Atlanta Braves, Sutter Health, The Vancouver Canucks, US Bank, and many others.

In a nutshell, Robbins’ message was: 1) People need to be more authentic 2) Be appreciative and show it and 3) Hey—quit complaining!

About authenticity, Robbins said, “If you want to be a true champion in your life, be 100% real all the time. If you’re afraid to tell people the truth, try it sometime and you will discover that it’s empowering. Many people massage the truth and it breaks down relationships and can lead to big problems. Why do people lie? Because they’re scared of losing business or being embarrassed, among other reasons. But if you can be totally authentic all the time, your life will change. Be real with your spouse, friends and employees. Sometimes it might result in a 10-minute sweaty palm conversation, but in the end both parties will feel better and respect each other more.”

Robbins’s second point was to appreciate your life and the people around you and show it every day. “Acknowledge your employees for their work and let them know that you appreciate their hard work. Many employers don’t want to pass out the praise, because they feel as though their employees will get complacent, but just the opposite will take place. And also humbly receive praise when people show appreciation to you. Many individuals can’t take praise, so they deflect it or re-direct it. Being authentic includes accepting praise as well as distributing it.”

And lastly, Robbins said stop complaining all the time. “In this culture, we’re chronic complainers,” he explained. “If you’re busy being a victim, you can’t be the victor. There are a lot of things in life we can’t change, but we can control: 1) Our attitude 2) Our effort and 3) Our perspective. So, why complain about things we can’t control? Complaining is highly counterproductive, so concentrate on breaking that cycle.”

After his presentation, EB-CAA members asked Robbins a series of questions and then new Chapter President Tiffany Cichon-Silva made announcements and talked about upcoming events sponsored by the organization. Notable dates include May 22, when the EB-CAA’s monthly dinner meeting at Scott’s will feature Richard Forness, an industry writer who will talk about the future of the collision repair business, sponsored by Audatex. Also, on June 2nd, the EB-CAA will host its 26th annual golf tournament at Diablo Creek golf course in Concord, California. On July 24th, there will be a summer barbecue at the PPG Training Center, where Aaron Schulenburg with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) will be the featured speaker.


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