I just got back from my 95 year old Grandfather’s house in New Haven. He was the original solution provider. He may not have been able to articulate it, but his mission statement was certainly the same as ours. He believed that everyone should drive a nicer, newer car. And, he was certainly a solution provider and not a product pusher. He was truly the original Dealer For the People.
Grandpa Sam started the Merriam tradition of the automobile business back in 1948. He came home from WWII, poor as could be, without a college education, with a wife and a 3-year-old son and with no job. He took a job at a factory working nights. Then, he got a job at a Sunoco Gas Station, eventually leased the gas station himself, opened a used car lot, got the Lincoln Mercury franchise and moved from New Haven to Wallingford. I’ve often wondered, how could a man of so little means make it so far? I just guessed that times were different and opportunity was different then. I was 100% wrong.
I’ve heard the story many times before but today I heard something different that really made my ears perk up. The opportunities weren’t different then. They were just as difficult. He was poor and uneducated. He was a Jewish immigrants son. The cards were stacked against him. So, you’re probably wondering, what did I hear differently today? Well, my Grandmother said, “your Grandfather took that night job so that during the days, he could poke around for different opportunities and find something more.” The light bulb went off in my brain! That was his competitive advantage. He knew that he wanted more. He didn’t let education or social status get in his way. He didn’t spend his days sleeping or complaining about his night job. He used the opportunity of available daylight to search for something better.
And, he always went above and beyond to make sure one opportunity led to another. My Grandmother told me that my Grandfather was so successful running the gas station because he recognized that the people that stopped there were on their way to the beach. So, he allowed them to use the bathroom to change into their “swimming trunks”. Pretty soon, everyone was stopping there for gas.
You may be reading this and be in the same situation. You may lack a college education or grown up poor. Ask yourself if you are using those “excuses” to limit your potential to live your most fulfilled life. If you are, then take some time to think about what you can do to change your own situation. If you know you want to grow but don’t know how, reach out to someone and ask for advice. Ask your pastor, your manager, or as always, I am here for advice and guidance at any time.
Thank you, as always, for being a solution provider.
Jill Merriam, Dealer For The People R