THA 127: Overcoming Owner Burnout


Jon Bockman owns two locations; Bockman’s Auto Care in Sycamore, IL and the newly opened Bockman’s Truck & Fleet in DeKalb, IL.  Jon is a second-generation owner of a business that has been around since 1964. He is a member of ASA and sits on the local college advisory board.  He is the treasurer of a NAPA Business Development Group and is the winner of the 2019 NAPA AutoCare’s Shop of the Year.  

Jim Hayes is originally from North Carolina, but spent time in various places growing up and has lived in the Monterey Bay area for the past 23 years. He grew up playing sports and spending as much time as possible in the outdoors; hunting and camping are among his favorite pastimes. After high school, Jim joined the United States Army where he served with elements of the Intelligence and Special Forces communities. After completing his goals in the Army, he moved to the Monterey Peninsula where he turned his focus toward becoming a golf professional. As a member of the PGA, Jim held the title of Manager of Instruction for the Pebble Beach Golf Academy, where he taught golf to individuals from around the world. True to form, after achieving what he set out to accomplish in the world of golf, Jim made a transition to the automotive industry where he currently serves as General Manager of Pacific Motor Service. His background keeps him dedicated to the building and development of the most important asset any company has: its team. With a strong desire to maximize the potential of those around him, Jim has created a leadership and personal development course that is attended on a volunteer basis by 90% of the company’s staff. Jim’s goal for the business is to optimize performance and maximize efficient profitability by using the fundamentals of business finance, strategic planning and by creating a culture built on a foundation of principle-centered leadership.

Gerry Frank has been in the auto repair industry for over 39 years, Gerry has worn all the hats. From technician, manager, owner and now business coach. Gerry still owns his repair shop in Cleveland OH and is a principal member in Repair Shop Coach, helping repair shop owners to work smarter, not harder. Gerry started working in a Shell station while in high school when gas was 69 cents a gallon.

Garry is known as the numbers guy – They say everybody has a special god given talent or superpower and for Gerry, that’s the ability to see the holes in the bucket in any business by examining a few financial reports. Look for Gerry’s other episodes HERE.


Key Talking Points:

Jon Bockman

  • Join a peer group – I belong to the RLO’s 20 Group and after leaving a meeting I’m stoked to go back to the shop and get things done. 
    • Peer group can and will hold you accountable to the changes you want to make
    • You will need to delegate a task but not the responsibility to the task
  • Take a class in either karate or tai chi.  I’ve done both and prefer karate (I’m a 2nd-degree black belt)
  • I go to Disney to recharge.  I say Disney because they really know how to take care of their customers.  It’s the get-a-way I need.
  • Try a stay-cation.  We installed a pool in our backyard a few years ago and just being in or around water helps my stress level.   

Gerry Frank

  • Date was probably 20+ or so years ago. Should have been the happiest time in my life2 young children at home, loving wife. Just recently purchased our home. I had every reason to be the happiest guy on the planet!
  • BUT life for me seemed to suck – I was burnt out
    • Working 50+ Hrs a week
    • Seemed everything in the business revolved around ME
    • If you want it done right you have to do it yourself
    • I would leave it all at the shop & have nothing left for my wife & kids
    • Worst of all I had lost the passion for the business.
    • Something had to change & that something WAS ME

6 steps to overcoming shop owner burnout.

  •  Our thoughts become our destiny.
    • I remember reading your mind is like a garden, your thoughts become the seeds. You can either harvest a bountiful crop or a bunch of weeds.
    • Become a success student (Read, listen to audio books)
    • By changing what you are putting in your head, you change your life
    • I remember listing to Zig Ziegler on my ride into work & telling myself “Some repair shop is going to have a record day today & it is going to be me”
  • Learn to say NO.
    • I was exposed to the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) and quickly realized…
    • I made 80% of our revenue from 20% of our customers. (Treat them like Gold)
    • In reverse, I got 80% of my headaches from the bottom 20% of my customers.
    • Beating me up on price, always complaining, I just didn’t enjoy dealing with them.
    • I politely sent them packing
    • Doing business with clients that appreciate you make each day so much more enjoyable.
  •  Work in your genius mode – delegate the rest.
    • I realized when I was writing service, or spending time building a team the business was growing. I was doing rewarding, fulfilling work, utilizing my God-given talents. The $100 work.
    • I was great as a technician, but quickly realized the business would never grow & I would never be free if I continued to wrench.
    • Also, I was fortunate, that my wife was able to take over the bookkeeping duties, which freed up more of my time to work on it, not in it.
  • Hang out with other successful people.
    • “You are the average of the 5 people you hang around with.”
    • I was hanging around with losers, as I grew and reached for more, they wanted to pull me down to their level.
    • Attended Dan Kennedy’s Super-conference. Met millionaires & celebrities
    • Joined a coaching group (A few within our industry. some outside our industry)
    • Exposed me to Big Thinkers
    • Even something as small as joining BNI helped me meet successful business people.
  •  Set Goals & work the plan
    • I remember my goal was to earn $100,00 (That seems so far out of reach at the time)
    • What did we need to do in revenue, margins, cars each week to make that dream a reality?
    • This was before the days of the I-phone, endless apps & reminders.
    • I laminated a small card & carried it in my wallet. Looked at it 2-3 times a day
  • Love your people
    • People are a business’s greatest asset.
    • They are hard working people, with families of their own.
    • Help them grow, teach them what you learned, elevate them to become leaders, better husbands, wives, fathers.

I have gone from working 50+ hours a week at the shop, barely paying the bills. To now working 5Hrs per week at the shop in strictly a leadership role, and the shop continues to thrive.  I now love helping other shop owners, get out of the trenches & create the life of their dreams.

Jim Hayes

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and protracted periods of negative stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet demands.

  • Causes:
    • Distraction:
      • Loss of purpose
      • Loss of focus 
      • Loss of interest
    • Overwhelmed/lack of support:
      • Absence of a wing-man 
      • Insufficient staffing (empty seats on the bus)
    • Ambiguous time-frames
      • Too far from the end of the tunnel — no end in sight
        • Lack of coherent, long-term goals
      • Too close to the end of the tunnel – no succession plan
        • Insufficient time to prepare for a soft landing
  • Change your thinking, change your life
  • “If it isn’t written, it isn’t real”. Jerry Kezhaya
  • Jim Hayes reads books with his team and discusses them and helped out their team, culture and purpose



  • A special thanks to Jon Bockman, Gerry Frank, and Jim Hayes for their contribution to the aftermarket.
  • Books Page HERE
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of 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 of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!