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Auto Recycling – Where are the opportunities?

Dave Luehr, a Nashville, Tennessee, based writer, international keynote speaker, and founder of The Limitless Entrepreneur, a company dedicated to helping small businesses discover their own limitless potential through leadership education, discusses the possibility of how auto recyclers can find opportunities through challenges.


Auto Recycling - Where are the opportunities? p
Dave Luehr

I recently heard the story of an unhappy automotive recycler. This gentleman was, by all accounts, a big success in his industry, but things became just awful. In years past, he always knew where the next opportunity was and was quick to exploit them. Sadly, all he could see were the immense challenges he and his company faced each day.

Remembering a mentor who helped him grow his business many years ago, he thought, “Maybe this person can help me find new opportunities to get my business back on track?”

Before leaving for home that evening, he reached his old mentor by phone. He told the mentor, “I don’t know what to do, my industry is faced with so many challenges I don’t know how I will survive!”

The mentor told him, “I only have a few minutes to talk, but I want you to do exactly what I tell you, okay?”

“Okay, great,” said the business owner. “What should I do?”

“I want you to write down all the challenges you are facing in your business right now, and by tomorrow, you will have your answer!”

“What?” said the business owner. “How is that going to help?”

“Listen,” said the mentor, “I have to hang up now, just do what I tell you, and you will have your answers.”

Reluctant, but hopeful, the business owner stood up and walked to the large dry-erase board across the lunchroom from where he was seated, took a black marker, and wrote in large letters across the top of the board, ‘CHALLENGES.’ Then, he began writing out his list.

Industry consolidation, talent shortages, increasing customer expectations, and supply chain shortages made the top of the list. Then, he added a few more, stood back, and looked at his work as if something magical would jump out. It didn’t.

“Well, that was a waste of time,” he thought to himself. “I could have been home eating dinner by now if not for that kooky mentor’s ridiculous suggestion! Heck, I’m even more depressed now than before I called him!”

The next day the business owner went to work and headed straight for the coffee pot, passing by the list of challenges he had written the night before. As he poured his coffee, he stared and reread the list. “Industry consolidation, talent sho… —. Wait a minute!”

The list had not changed, but the large black letters across the top no longer said ‘CHALLENGES’. Instead, it read ‘OPPORTUNITIES.’

Looking around and seeing no one there; he exclaimed loudly, “What the heck is going on here?!”

Puzzled and amazed, he sat down with his coffee at the table closest to the dry-erase board and looked up at the list again.

He never found out who or how the wording changed to ‘opportunities,’ but felt he could see clearer than ever before and knew exactly what he needed to do to turn his business around.

The business owner could see that the real magic contained in this moment was his own shift of perspective, and he immediately set out to use these ‘challenges-turned opportunities’ to his company’s benefit.

Soon he dominated his large consolidator competitors by differentiating his business. Knowing other businesses struggled to find and retain great talent, he built a culture of winners and soon had the best in the industry working at his company. And, because customer expectations were so high, he and his team created a customer experience that no other automotive recycler could come close to!

This fable is based on the realities of the businesses that continue to dominate. The greatest businesses are the ones that are absolute in their purpose yet flexible in their approach.

Every challenge, every adversity, contains opportunity. What really separates the winners from the losers is not circumstance, but mindset.

I hope you discover your power by looking for all the opportunities in automotive recycling today.

Dave can be reached at, or you can visit