Often a greater purpose is discovered via the byproduct of an intended objective.
Many times in our lives we have and will experience the joy which comes from blessings which were indirectly connected to or related to our intended goal or purpose. There exist a product and a byproduct. What we set out to find may never be discovered, but what we do find is often put to use.
When I first began to search for ways to expand my business I never dreamed that a magazine publication of mine would become any more than a means of advertising my products. Back then I did not expect “Auto Sports Magazine” to develop out of a four page product display advertisement. Before I knew it a fully fledged automotive rag came into existence.
You see, after the first few runs people started to ask for “The Magazine” and soon after I began to give them more of what they were asking for. Articles began to appear throughout the publication. Special interest pieces which reviewed customer’s vehicle began to materialize. This created a certain buzz in the local market and contributed to exponential sales increases in all three of our stores. To have your vehicle featured in the magazine began to carry a certain weight amongst enthusiast. People began to shop at our stores just too possibly be featured in the magazine and a competition to be the best on the streets launched our stores to number one in the region. We even began to sell advertisements in the magazine.
Funny thing is that when I look back to the beginning and reflect on what I intended I somehow missed the mark. If you could see what the original store looked like you would immediately see what I mean. The entire merchandising of the store was geared toward performance parts and accessories. It was the customer that would decide what the store would be.
Back then there were very few stores in the area. It seemed like the 1980’s had pretty much swallowed up many of the smaller performance shops. Only a few truck accessories stores and speed shops would survive. However, there was one business that was different. They carried boutique items which added visual value to vehicles rather than performance enhancements. It was a market that I was relatively unfamiliar with. Yet, I knew enough to listen to our customers and to find what they wanted. I refused to say “I can’t get that” and fueled my sales machine with whatever I could sell.
The concept of turning ordinary vehicles into extraordinary vehicles came to me during my third month of business. Initially I had three or four display wheels prominently displayed in the window of my first store. They were nothing too fancy; just a few old and new designs from American racing. The presence of those wheels seeded the market and soon became the staple of my business.
Wheels became the principle product that would escalate our stores to new heights and swiftly make us a major player in the industry. Back then we sold wheels and tires over the counter like there was no tomorrow. Soon I began to be known by my vendors as “The King of the East” because of the amount of wheels and tires we moved on a daily basis. I became addicted to success in the industry and in a very short time opened three locations and became the first store to stock custom wheels and performance tires in New England. People knew that they could now get what they wanted today!
The second key to our success was customer service. With the opening of our third store we added installations to the mix. It was an incredible operation the catered to customer satisfaction. The company slogan came from the words of one of our best and most difficult customers of that time. Guaranteed to make you feel it!
After our first six years of business we achieved what few ever achieve. We purchased a nine thousand square foot building on a busy main highway and created the areas first and only automotive accessories superstore. Custom wheels and performance tires were stacked to the ceiling and there were accessories from wall to wall. Here we began to cater to high profile sports professionals, musicians and area professionals. Local car dealers even began to have us redesign vehicles that would enable them exclusivity in the market. We became known as “Automotive Redesign Specialist” and our clients quickly realized double profits on every vehicle we created for them. Our stores were at the top of the game and our clients were at the top of theirs too.
This brings me to the next unintended purpose in my life. Remember, we bought our first property? Well, that property continued to increase in value. It seemed to double every year. This led me into the next leg of my journey. I began to buy more properties! Soon I drifted away from the retail business operations and went whole heartedly into buying properties. My plan was simple; acquire, renovate and rent. Everything I bought was to hold. In my mind I had come to know that real estate is a long term investment. There is only so much land and God is not making any more of it.
I really enjoy being a land lord. Although it was never a dream of mine it did turn out to be a byproduct of my intended purpose. As all of our life experiences create opportunities for us that we may or may not have ever considered. They bring us to places we never thought we would be. Today I am an author; you know I never considered being one. It was only by chance that I began to write a little blog that developed my platform and not so coincidentally became my first book. Now I actually get paid for helping others by doing something that I never thought I loved. Does that make sense? Finding my Gift was in fact a byproduct of my original intentions.
Even today as fate rights my next book this still holds true. I know that God sends me to certain places for particular reasons, but it usually takes a little while to know what those are. My plan is to continually move forward; never give up and never surrender. His plan is often a double edged sword. In it we gain sustenance. Through experience we gain knowledge and through applied knowledge come wisdom. Where will the next story come from? The ideas of tomorrow are conceived in the experiences of today.