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The Paintless Dent Removal industry throws many different scenarios at you and there are many opportunities for growth and Profit. Listen to Shane walk us through his mindset as he adapts to unique work quickly so that his bank account can adapt to more commas.

Also a tool review for the Blehm 21 Piece Hand Tool set


Keith:     I’m Keith Cosentino, he’s Shane Jacks, and this is the PDR College Podcast – your No.  1 source for 30 years of PDR excellence distilled down into a podcast that you can use to go out today and make more money in the dent removal business.  That’s why we’re here.  That’s what makes us happy.  Now let’s get to it.  This episode is going to be brought to you by AutoMobile Technologies, the makers of ReconPro, which is a software you should be using to do all of the business end of your dent removal business.  It’s a mobile application, works on your iPhone or your iPad, syncs by way of magic to your computer at home and no longer will you be entering or losing paper invoices.  Guys, check them out if you’re done being stupid. ReconPro.

Now this week you are going to be hanging out with Shane all by himself.  I’ve got a little bit of a situation so I asked the man to take over.  Plus, I felt like every podcast up to now has been too good so I want to reduce it by at least 50 percent in greatness and we’re going to do that by taking me out of the show for one episode.  Thanks, guys.  Catch up with you next week.

Shane:     And good morning, afternoon or evening wherever it is in your day.  Welcome to PDR College Podcast.  I am one of your hosts, Shane Jacks.  As you can tell by now, Keith is not with us.  You heard him in the production there but he actually had a bit of an accident this week and he is recovering from that accident.  Now don’t freak out, he’s okay.  It’s not anything physical.  It was more emotional and it had to do with…

He’s got a lot of work to do and he’s still doing that work right now.  He actually went into his vault on Wednesday – in his underground lair at his palatial mansion out there in Sacramento – and he accidentally knocked over one of his stacks on stacks of cash.  And he is still cleaning up as we speak.  Keith will be back with us – I hope he will be back with us next week.  It takes a while to clean up that devastating – what happened to him out there, so…

But that’s why we’re in this business, to make cash and that’s what we’re here to help you with and to help you with some other things also in the business – repairs, tools – whatever you need we are here to help you.  And that’s what we’re going to try to do today.  So, again, welcome and we’re – I’m – glad to have you hear and I’m sure I speak for Keith also as he is cleaning up his colossal mess in his basement.

We’re going to talk about several things today.  The first thing that we’re going to talk about is what happened to me this past week and, man, I had one heck of a week to tell you the truth.  I took off to do a hail gig, drove 12 hours, only to find out that it had fallen through at least temporarily.  I’m not going to go into any more details.  I don’t like to share everything until everything’s a go and everything’s going well, so just kind of keeping this close to the vest.

But it fell through after I got there – for the time being, anyway – and 12 hours of driving is a long ways and so I was miffed about that and had been hassled by some people while I was up there quite rudely, actually.   When I traveled this time… I have two bikes.  I have a mountain bike and a road bike – and just got this mountain bike not too long ago.  And went to the room – I had them both on a receiver hitch rack on the back of my truck – found a hotel room to stay the night before I headed home the next day and I took the bikes off the rack to put them in the room so I could go eat and not have to worry about the bikes being on the back of the truck and somebody attempting to steal them.  I have them locked down but if a thief something, they can get it, and these bikes are really expensive bicycles.  And had just taken them off and that’s the good part of the entire day that I took the bikes off of the back of my freaking truck.

Now here comes the bad part.  I travel two miles from my hotel room and I’m sitting at a stoplight for 30 seconds to a minute – and I’m in a downtown area that’s really busy and the outskirts of a big city that’s pretty busy – and I’m sitting there and I hear “Boom.”  The guy barely got on his brakes before he hit me and absolutely demolished the bike rack and the rear end of my truck.  Bike rack, no big deal.  The rear end of my truck, big deal.  I’ve got a lot of money worth of tools in the back of that truck that I was really worried that I wasn’t going to be able to lock them up.  Eventually I got them locked up, got the tailgate bent back by jumping up and down on it with all of my force to get it – at least the middle of the tailgate bent back so it wouldn’t… nobody could reach in and grab anything so…0

What a terrible, eventful week that happened there to me.  But several guys that know the situation that’s going on texted me and they were like, “Man, that really sucks,” and I’m like, “Yeah, but it happens.”  And you guys hear me say this quite a bit and I actually mean it when I say it.  You’ve got to be a chameleon in this business if you’re doing any type of hail work, especially.  Keith –not so much – Keith is a retail guy and so his chameleon-ism doesn’t have to be in full effect but he still uses it, just not quite to the extent that possibly I do doing retail, wholesale and hail work – having so many hats in the ring.

But you have to be a chameleon and you have to be able to adapt, not only the type of work you do – especially in the hail world, you guys have heard me talk about this before – whenever you’re a gig, if they’re paying X percent and they’re expecting X percent completion, don’t overdo it.  They’re paying you for a job that they understand is not going to be absolutely perfect.  And then, again, if I have to, I can turn that switch off and I can do 70 percent work, 80 percent work.  I have no problem doing that.  Many of you guys are the same way…

And mentally, for a long time, I think some guys misunderstand me when I say that.  I’m not bragging that I can do 100 percent work and then I can shut it off.  I used to have the same problem shutting it off when I needed to.  I had a problem shutting off that 100 percent even when the money wasn’t there.  But, man, I just had almost an epiphany one day and – well, it really wasn’t one day, it was over a short period of time, though – and I’m like, “You know it’s really not worth giving 100 percent when they’re not expecting it and they’re not paying for it.”  They’re wanting the job to get done well.  It would be like me being a homebuilder and somebody telling me to build them a spec house and I go in and I’m trying to put granite countertops in and trying to keep it under X amount of dollars and it’s just not doable.  And it’s not what the customer – does the customer want granite countertops?  Of course they do.  But you know what they’re expecting – they’re expecting Formica, is what they’re expecting.

So be a chameleon with the type of work you’re doing because it’s needed.  If you’re going to make money in this business, it’s needed.  And Keith does that also.  Keith will – if it’s a smashed hood and it’s not going to come out 100 percent – he doesn’t promise these people it’s going to come out 100 percent and he knows what they want.  If they say, “Dude, I just want it better,” Keith will jack up that price to a point where he’s going to make good money at it and he’ll jack the dent up in the time period that he wants to get it done and do what the customer wants.  And that’s what it’s about is doing exactly what the customer wants.  You hear me preach it quite a bit.  I stay on it a lot but, man, it’s one of my soapboxes that I stand on.

So not only do you have to be a chameleon in the level of work you do but you also need to be a chameleon with being able to adapt to situations such as what happened to me this past week.  I came back home, I’m going to do some work this week while things get sorted out with this situation and, if it works out, I’ll take back off, go make a ton of money.  If it doesn’t, I’m going to sit here and I’m going to make money also and my guys are going to make money – they’re going to make me some money – so it’s back here at home at my retail shop.

You’ve got to be a freaking chameleon in this business.  Don’t take things too personally when things don’t work out.  I see guys that really get their feelings hurt when they don’t get called to a gig because they had worked at that gig or a gig with one of the guys going there last year and he thought, “Well, he should be able to get me in.”  Man, it’s not always that simple.  Just be a chameleon.  Adapt.  Water off a duck’s back.  It is sometimes hard – I do understand that – if you don’t get called and you’re expecting that call.  But man, be a chameleon.  Be ready to go to the next point.  If your mind is filled with resentment or with sadness that you didn’t get to do this or that, you’re going to miss the next opportunity.

You’re not going to be open.  Whenever I’m mad, sad, resentful, my eyes are halfway closed.  Whenever I am not – whenever I’m looking on the horizon for the next thing, my eyes are wide open.  You’ve got to keep your eyes wide-open, guys.  Things don’t always work out exactly like you want them to but something is going to work out if you keep your eyes open and just keep pushing – you just got to keep pushing and keep getting better.  All right?  Keep looking for the next opportunity to get better and to get in a situation that is going to make you lots and lots of money.

And speaking of adapting, I’m adapting to something right now or am about to go through that adaptation process of adapting ReconPro into my business.  And Keith uses ReconPro and I’m about to start.  This hail season’s been crazy busy for me and just sitting down with my wife to figure this out and to get the customers put in has not happened yet but it is going to happen very soon.  And a lot of guys square – swear – square – they swear by this software, ReconPro from AutoMobile Technologies and this stuff is good.  You can just immediately see what’s going on in your business, see how much is being made, and you don’t have to use this paper system that is so…  It’s not necessarily flawed but it is so slow, so time consuming.  Get on board with ReconPro AutoMobile Technologies.  I promise you will not be disappointed, guys.  All right?

Another thing, being able to adapt…  The hardest thing to be able to adapt to, especially on the hail trail, is adapting to being away from home and, guys, techs talk about this all the time.  Talk about how tough it is being away from home and how their kids are asking them, “Daddy, why do you have to leave?  Daddy, when are you going to be home?”  And wives worrying about their husbands and worrying about what they’re doing out there.  That’s what they mainly should be worried about with most these guys but we won’t go there.  But adapting to the hail trail is not easy if you have a family.  But I actually got a personal message from a gentleman this past week named Rick and Rick said, “Hey, it would be cool to do a show from a standpoint of a successful tech that’s been on the hail trail and how successful techs not only in the hail world but also with a pretty good family life and talk about…”

Guys, I’m not going to try and sit here and try to fool you.  I don’t think I have the world’s best family life.  I think I have a great family life – my family loves me and I love my family to death – but there’s always room for improvement and I think that’s one of the keys to adapting to being on the road.  If you think you have to do X, X, X and X and your wife is going to happy and your kids are going to be happy, then you’re going to fail.  You have to be able to constantly adapt to those situations, also, and be able to move when you need to move.  And I don’t just mean move physically, I mean move mentally, emotionally when you have to so you can adapt to that situation of being out on the road.

It’s not easy.  I don’t stay out on the road a ton.  I am out on the road a few months out of the year normally, if that.  This year, I believe, I’ve been gone away from home four weeks and a few weekends, also.  The rest of the time I’ve been here but I’ve been extremely busy here so I didn’t get to see my family that much.  So Rick asked, “How do you balance that?”  And honestly, I know this gentleman – I’ve never met him, we’ve sent messages back and forth and I know the kind of guy I believe I think he is – and Rick, you’re probably doing pretty well, man, and you’re doing what you should.  If you have a guilty conscience about leaving your kids at home and leaving your wife at home, you’re probably going to try to do the right things.  If you don’t care what’s happening back home, you’re probably going to be the guy that is going to end up in a divorce very shortly.

One thing that I have going for me – and I believe this is the biggest thing I’ve got going for me – has absolutely nothing to do with me.  It has to do with my wife.  I’ve got an absolutely awesome wife at home, two beautiful kids that love me to death and love her to death and she takes care of everything.  Now, she doesn’t work which helps.  So she’s a stay-at-home mom and these kids get her at home all summer long.  She’s there to take them to school if I’m not taking them to school – she’s always there to pick them up – and we try to explain if Daddy didn’t work like he did, if I didn’t push as hard as I do, that Mommy may not be able to stay home like she does and they kind of understand that.  They get it.  They see that Daddy has to – they don’t like it – they see that Daddy has to do what he does for us to maintain our lifestyle.

I’m not going to lie to you, we have a lifestyle that’s pretty doggone good compared to most people, especially in our area, but the kids enjoy that, too.  They enjoy being able to do things.  They enjoy going on three or four vacations a year, going on a cruise or going to the Caribbean.  And two weekends ago we went to the mountains and spent actually a pretty good bit of money doing some pretty fun stuff in the mountains just for the weekend and stayed at a cabin.  And that’s one of the balance things you can do – when you’re home, make that time right, make that time good, make it special.  Don’t make it just regular and ordinary.  If your reasoning for going out on the road is to make a bunch of money, when you come back home, don’t not spend it on your kids and your wife.  All right?  Spend some time with them, spend some money.  All right?  We’ve been to Disney this year, we went to the mountains, we’re probably going on another trip – well, we’re going on another trip to California in November for a week – and probably going to go on another trip in December.  Sounds like a lot, yes, but me being gone… I have to have that time myself to reconnect with my family other than the time that I have at home.

A few weeks back, there was a tragedy in our community and an 11-year-old boy died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He was an acquaintance of my son’s – not a real true friend but they knew each other, they spoke – and it was the very next day I had to leave just for the weekend, just two hours away, but I was staying the entire weekend.  And it takes me awhile telling how it was so terribly hard for me to leave that morning.  I walked in my son’s and daughter’s rooms and I just stared at them for a few minutes before I left and just I don’t know what’s going to happen next.  No one knows what’s going to happen next.  So it was really hard for me to leave the house that morning.  So I left, I sent my wife a text later talking about how tough it was to leave and how worthless of a father I felt having to leave all three of them for periods of time like I do and that I felt like I was a failure.  And she sent me back a text saying that it’s not the amount of time you spend, it’s the kind of time you spend.

And I don’t completely agree with her – yes, it is the kind of time you spend but if it’s only one minute a year and that minute is absolutely awesome, that’s still not enough – but I understood what she was talking about.  And I’m not going to go into detail but she told me some things that my daughter had said about me that really lifted my spirits.  So Rick, all you other guys out there that are listening, that balance is not easy and I’m not saying I’ve got it even closed to figured out.  I don’t know that anybody that’s away for the kind of periods of time that we are does have it figured out or can get it figured out.

It’s not easy but – finding that balance is not easy – you’ve got to try and if you’re trying, you’re doing the right thing.  Again, the time you are home, spend it with your wife and kids, don’t spend it mountain biking – yeah, jumping on myself there – but you’ve got to make the time you spend with them at home, you’ve got to make it good time, valuable time, quality time.  And, again, I don’t have the answer – I honestly don’t – but I hope that may have helped some of you guys that are out there chasing hail, maybe it helped you out with that.  And try to find your balance and spend that quality time with your kids.

We also received a question via Speak Pipe on our website.  Now let me… Some of you guys listening may not know what Speak Pipe is, what I’m talking about here.  What Speak Pipe is when you go on our website there is a tab on the right side of the website where you can leave a message – leave a voicemail – for us and we really enjoy receiving those voicemails.  You can ask us any question.  You can cuss us out.  We don’t care.  We just enjoy hearing from you guys.  And if you have some recommendations for the show, if you want me to speak in a German accent or an Australian accent, just give the request – and I won’t do it.

But seriously, hit that Speak Pip button, hit that “Leave the Voicemail” button and leave us a voicemail asking us any kind of question you want or giving us any kind of advice or criticism – whatever you want.  We really enjoy hearing from you guys and we heard from one of you this week, Brian.  Brian asked us a question and that question was about access to cars.

Brian:     Hello, guys.  My name is Brian.  I was just wondering if you guys keep an access log for every dent in every car that you do?  Just so that it could maybe make your job a little easier or telling somebody over the phone if you can do the dent or not, you can look in your log, see if you’ve done a dent like that before, see if you had to take the taillight out or inner panels out, or the glass out or stuff like that.  I was just wondering if you keep records of that type of stuff and that was about it.  Thank you.  Goodbye.

Shane:     Now Brian asked if we have an access log – do we keep an access log – for each individual car so we will know either when we go up on the car to do the repair or when we’re looking at it to give an estimate, or if a customer calls or if they send us a picture by text, whatever we can tell that customer, “Yes, we can get into that area,” “No, we can’t get into that area.”  Or we can price accordingly if it’s a difficult area to get into.  That’s a really good question, Brian and I would have to say the answer to that is no.  I do not.  Keith and I both spoke about this before I did the show today – before I started the show today – and while he was cleaning up his stacks of cash, he said that he does not keep a log, either, but that he had thought about it in the past.

For me, Brian, honestly, I don’t remember a whole lot but most cars are basically the same.  And I know you have those odd cars that there is a brace that may extend farther than it’s supposed to or is in an area that’s it’s not supposed to be in.  A few that come to mind – Honda Accord two-door quarter panels – you can’t drill in the door jamb area to get on the quarter panels for most of the area on that quarter panel like you can other cars.  I’ve taken a mental note of that.  BMW 3 Series, a few years back, those two-door cars, those cars you just cannot get on those doors – there are very few holes in that door.  You can’t get on them through the window for the most part so you have to take the door panel off and try to snake your way in.

For the most part, I believe, Keith and I and most techs memorize that stuff.  It’s not a bad idea, Brian, and I can kind of see where you’re going.  A database of that stuff would be really cool and Keith and I actually discussed that a little bit – what kind of database could be made for that – but man, that thing would have to be changed pretty much every six months to a year when new models came out and that would be a really daunting task to have somebody to have that database.  But it is a really good question.  It’s not something that is a bad idea, keep a log for yourself, especially on cars that you didn’t know.

Let’s say you walk up on that 3 Series two-door car and you had quoted from a picture – not quoted but a customer sent you a picture and said, “Here, it’s in the middle of the door,” and you think, “It’s in the middle of the door.  I’ll be able to get on that.  Yeah, bring it on in.  I can fix that.”  And then when they get here, uh-oh, you can’t get on the dent.  So it would not be a bad idea to keep a log for yourself.  But it’s not something that we do but it is a great question, Brian, and not a bad idea.

Keep that log for yourself and just keep it – share it with other guys if you want to.  There may be some websites.  I know, they have many different forums on there and I’m not sure that they have an access – this just dawned on me is why I haven’t checked – I’m not certain that they have an access there but you may want to try there.  There is a ton of good information on that website, Brian, and they may have an access area on that website where you can post an access question or guys have posted where they have had access issues before.  So, again, thank you, Brian, for that question.  Excellent question and you guys hit that Speak Pipe button, give us those voicemails, comment, opinions, questions.  We do value them and will answer them.  Thanks again, Brian.

Boy, do we have an awesome treat for you guys next week.  This is going to blow your minds.  Tell all of your friends about our event next week – our podcast next week – whether they do PDR or whether they’re a dog groomer.  This thing is going to be absolutely awesome because we’re going to have, believe it or not, this…  I can’t believe we found one.  We’re going to have on the show a technician from – there’s a pause for tension, excitement – we are going to have a tech on from Temecula, California.

I know what you’re thinking, “How did he get away from the zombie apocalypse?”  I don’t know how he’s staying away from that and still doing work in the Temecula area, but he’s doing it and he’s going to come on and he’s going to tell us how he’s getting around these zombies.  Man, it’s going to be an absolutely awesome show.  He’s going to tell us about the zombie apocalypse going on there.  He’s going to tell us… he’s going to tell us the intricate exchange rate of avocado bartering and what you can get for X amount of avocados.  This is going to be an insanely educational show next week, guys, and not only educational but it’s probably going to be pretty funny, too.  But he’s going to come on and he’s also going to tell us how his business has changed over recent weeks and months and possibly some things he’s doing differently in Temecula.  Or some things that he has hunkered down on that he’s done before.  So we’re going to have another special guest on next week from Temecula.  Many of you guys will know him and I definitely do and so does Keith.  We’re going to have a lot of fun next week with this.  It’ll be a pretty cool show and extremely entertaining, I guarantee you that.

Now we have another announcement coming in just the next few weeks that will excite you guys also.  Keith and I are going to be giving an opportunity in the fairly new future to interact with us one-on-one in a personal setting and this is going to be…  We’re really excited about this.  Again, I’m not going to tell you exactly what’s going to be going on and what we’re going to be offering but we’ve got an announcement coming up and we’re going to be doing something really cool for you to learn some stuff from us – just you and us.  And it’s going to be really cool and you’re going to learn a lot of stuff about marketing from Keith – marketing and sales – he’s going to head that up because he’s infinitely smarter than I on that side of the business.

And I’m going to be giving you instruction on many, many different techniques to accomplish some things on the physical side of PDR – the actual repair process of PDR – from glue pulling to blending to creases.  We’re going to be offering something really, really, really cool here coming up shortly and you guys do not want to miss that announcement and you do not want to miss this opportunity to be with Keith and I and to learn this stuff from us.  So be hanging on for the next couple of weeks.  We will have more on this.  I just wanted to whet your appetite just a bit about that right now but be looking for that coming announcement here shortly.

Now is the time of the show when we’re going to do a little bit of a quick tool review and I just got these tools last week and have tried them out very little but the very little that I have tried them out, I am sold on these bad boys.  And what it is a tool set from Blehm and I’ve never ordered and I’ve never owned a tool from Blehm before now.  Lots and lots and lots of techs swear by these Blehm tools and I just haven’t ordered them before.  It’s not that I had anything against them, I just never used them, never ordered them.  But I ordered their 21 Piece PDR Hand tool Set – that’s what it’s called on the website.

And these are 45-degree flags and straight tools.  It’s a really, really good set.  These things are really strong – they have a lot of drive to them, very little flex in them and, man, these are some really good tools that you’re want to get your hands on.  They’re going to really help you out in this business and working in braces.  They’re not the slimmest tools that I’ve had that are brace tools and hand tools but they are strong and they do slide in fairly easily into braces and into slots in hoods, trunks, etc.  So these are some really good tools that you guys are going to want to get.

And one thing I think is cool about them is the handle is off-set just a bit – and you guys that own these tools know this – the handle is off-set just a bit so when you’re twisting them, the first bit of twist actually straightens your hand up to start the push.  And a lot of times you’ll bottom out when you’re twisting towards the… when your twisting, pushing the tip of the tool up, your hand will hit on the bottom side of the brace because you’re bottoming out or your hand’s just in less of a natural position.  These, the handles are off-set just a bit so that when you first start twisting, you’re in a straight up and down position and it’s a little more comfortable on your hand.  I really like these tools.  That handle position is really nice, really sweet, and you guys are going to enjoy them if you get them.  And just tell them we sent you if you do order those.  We’d be grateful for that.

And, again, guys, we’ve had – I’ve had – a good time here with you today by myself.  And I hope he gets his mess cleaned up before the IRS gets there.  That could be disastrous.  But he will be back with us next week we hope – hope he’s got it cleaned up by then – and, until next time, guys, just get better.

[Music playing] [00:33:08-00:38:28] [End of Audio]

Duration: 34 minutes

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