Blessed with a Burden…

Mitch Schneider
January 22, 2021

Have you ever run into something that stopped you dead in your tracks? Something that paralyzed you and stole all the bandwidth you just pledged to someone or something else?

I have! In fact, I’m reeling from the impact of just four words as I write this: Blessed with a burden.

It doesn’t sound like much, but it is. Especially, if that phrase encapsulates the entirety of your professional life. One minute you’re talking to a friend or colleague. Maybe, even a stranger… And, the next, your brain is flooded with the fireworks of new concepts and ideas rivaling anything you’ve ever experienced!

Derailed by a moment of clarity that destroyed what would have otherwise been a highly programmed Friday afternoon. We were talking about legacy one moment when suddenly, I was transported to Napa, California, and an afternoon in mid-October 1984. A moment that changed nothing—and, yet, changed everything. A State of the Industry address message I was blessed to deliver for the Equipment and Tool Institute and the opportunities that followed. A chance to work for a segment of the automotive aftermarket whose need for advocacy often goes unrecognized.

A Seat at the Table

I started my career as a writer, speaker, and advocate as a result. And it helped me ensure the largest segment of the aftermarket—the repair community—had a seat at a table it hadn’t often been invited to share.

It afforded me the opportunity to write, Misfire: What to Do When Things Aren’t Running on All Cylinders, and offer shop owners the tools they need to succeed.

It’s almost a tragedy that this epiphany ends with the word burden because of its connotation. That of hardship. It isn’t, really. Not, if it’s the right burden… A burden of service, empathy, and trust.

If it is a burden, I hope it’s one we’re all blessed with. One we are willing to accept and respond to.



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