RR 307: Chris Cloutier – Entrepreneurial Lessons from a Serial Entrepreneur

Chris Cloutier is co-owner of Golden Rule Auto Care in Dallas, Texas for the last 5 years and is an expert at software development who understands what customers want in a digital sales process. He came from the software industry developing solutions for companies like Southwest Airlines, and Wyndham Intl. Chris worked for companies that understand the marriage of service and software and have applied it in an effective way.

After opening his shop, he founded autoflow.me, a workflow and communication solution, specifically to give his shop a competitive advantage. As he talked to more shop owners he realized there was a need for better technology and has since worked toward helping the industry embrace and move forward with it.

Chris has held many responsible roles throughout the years:

  • Business Manager/Owner at Golden Rule Auto Care
  • Architect/President at autoflow.me
  • Former Software Engineer at Southwest Airlines
  • Former President (title) at Lone Star Auto Repair
  • Studied Computer Science at University of North Texas
  • Owner and partner in several businesses.

Talking points:

  • Many entrepreneurs find themselves in a ‘struggle’ on their success journey. At the top of the org chart, you are alone.
    • Read the referenced article “About the Struggle” HERE.
  • You need to know where you are in your struggle.
  • You must be a continuous learner.
  • Everyone starts somewhere and has been or continues to be in their life struggle.
  • Why do we attack the young guy who is starting in his garage? Let’s encourage and embrace them.
  • Entrepreneurs are always on to the next mountain.
  • Gary Vaynerchuk says you get a four hundred trillion chance to be alive. It is amazing what we complain about when we get such great odds to be here.
  • Chris has the utmost respect for everyone who starts a business.
  • Our job as an entrepreneur is to have ideas. They are going to change the world.
    • Next comes leadership/management.
    • Working on your business, not in it.
    • I want to replace myself. I don’t want that job. I don’t want to manage my shop on a day to day business.
    • You don’t have a boss affirming you. You don’t have anyone to validate you.
    • You don’t want to be the person putting out fires. Not a good choice of a good leader.
  • You need advisors and coaches in your business to guide you and hold you accountable. Get over the fact that someone will tell you to do something. That may be exactly what you need. They will also affirm your success and give you positive guidance and direction.
  • You need to have a superpower.
    • Follow your gut because the numbers may not make sense.
    • A lot of people have done great things by following their gut, however, the feeling in your gut is not magic, you need to work hard to make your gut work. Not easy if the numbers won’t work.
  • Leaders are readers.
    • Books are wisdom.
    • Entrepreneurs must read a book a week at the minimum one a month.
  • Every business person must have a business plan
    • When you go on vacation and have no destination you will find yourself in a place you hadn’t planned.
  • Chris says: Listen to all 300 episodes of the Remarkable Results Podcast and apply 60% of what you learn you will be successful in running a profitable shop.
  • Are you fixing cars or are you serving your community?
  • Chris is helping to change the industry for the better.
  • When you start to accumulate cash, you’ve got to invest in hiring good people. They will help you grow your profit and cash position.
  • Hire people who will multiply what you do.
  • Salesmanship is not a dirty word. Communication is a key to success.
    • Selling is about building relationships and offering solutions.
    • Join Toastmasters.
    • Not understanding communication is what gets us into fights with our spouse.
    • Listening is the key component of good communication.
    • If you become a master communicator you have the keys to the kingdom.
  • Podcast episodes mentioned:
  • Books mentioned in this episode:
    • 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership John Maxwell
    • Bare Knuckle People Management by John Kulisek and Sean O’Neil

Chris Cloutier’s previous episodes HERE.

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast; the only one of its type in the automotive aftermarket. Carm calls on his 35 years’ experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ path to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.