Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with President Gary Rome Auto Group

May 24, 2023 00:16:32
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with President Gary Rome Auto Group
All Things Considered Franchising Podcast
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with President Gary Rome Auto Group

May 24 2023 | 00:16:32

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Show Notes

Gary Rome, President of the Rome Auto Group, is my guest this week on "All Things Considered Franchising Podcast", which is dedicated to entrepreneurs seeking to learn about business ownership.

Rome is a pillar in Western Massachusetts and owns two car dealerships, Hyundai and Kia. He is also involved in philanthropy and has a slogan, “It doesn't cost anything extra to be nice.” He believes that at the end of life, what matters is not what a person buys but what they built and shared, not their competence but their character, and not success but significance.

Gary and Scotty discussed business ownership and the importance of having a passion for what one does in order to be successful. Gary shared his own story of working for his father at a young age and how he has always been passionate about what he does.

He encourages people who are interested in exploring business ownership to find something they are passionate about and have a positive attitude. He emphasizes that instead of thinking of work as something one has to do, one should think of it as something one gets to do. He gives the example of taking his son to hockey practice as an example of how to approach something with a positive attitude.

Gary is a successful businessperson with a positive attitude. He starts each day by writing a list of 10 things he is grateful for and focuses on the positive. He advises that if he had to do it all over again, he would have sought out advice from someone outside of his family business and worked elsewhere for a few years before joining the family business. He also recommends surrounding oneself with people smarter than oneself. Finally, he was recently recognized as the Dealer of the Year, a prestigious award in the auto industry.

Gary discussed his recent success at the NADA conference, where he was acknowledged as one of 759 dealers in Massachusetts and one of 48 nominees at the conference. He is humbled by the accolades he has received, acknowledging that it is not all about him but rather a result of the hard work and dedication of his team. Gary is a humble person who gives back to his community and emphasizes the importance of working together as a team. He believes in the power of collective effort rather than relying on individual success.

Scotty Milas can be reached at [email protected] and at (860)751-9126.
Gary Rome can be reached at https://www.linkedin.com/in/garyrome/


#allthingsconsidered #scottmilas #businessownership #franchiseopportunities #garyrome #romeautogroup #dealeroftheyear #itdoesntcostextratobenice

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:06 Hello, everybody. Scotty, my another episode of All Things Considered Franchising, powered by Scott, my franchise coach.com. All Things Considered franchising is a podcast dedicated to the entrepreneur, people who are interested in learning about, uh, business ownership, educating themselves about franchising or being an independent business owner. Scott, my franchise coach is a consulting organization, uh, free of charge to clients who are interested in building a business model and researching and exploring opportunities that I can present to them. Uh, again, there are no fees for my services. So today's guest is a pillar in Western Massachusetts, and I was just chatting with him, and it's a small world on the amount of people that we know, or people that we're familiar with or know, uh, commonly know. But, uh, he's a gentleman that has been involved in philanthropy, um, helping others. Um, I believe your father pillar, the, uh, the, the slogan, it, it doesn't cost anything to be nice. If that's correct, Speaker 2 00:01:12 It goes like Gary. It doesn't cost any extra to be nice. Right, Speaker 1 00:01:16 Right, right, right. So our guest today is Gary Rome, and before I start, and, and Gary is, uh, owner of, uh, the, uh, of two dealerships. Ha Hyundai and Kia, uh, again, pillar organizations here in the, uh, in Western Massachusetts. But I wanted to read something that I thought was quite an interesting, on one of the profiles that I read, uh, a quote that he has, and it says, at the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought, but what we built. Not what we got, but what we shared. Not our competent competence, but our character and not our success, but our significance. Significance. Live a life that matters. Now, I know that's a, Dale Carnegie comes out of a Dale Carnegie thing, but nobody knows what the author is. I couldn't find it either, so, but anyway, Gary, welcome to the show. All things Considered Franchising. Thank Speaker 2 00:02:07 You. Thank you, Scotty. Thanks for having me. Speaker 1 00:02:09 And I wanna be transparent with our au uh, with our audience that, um, we're connected in the community together, some organizations, but you and I have never spoken before. I just, I reached out and you were kind enough to accept my invitation, and I'm great, uh, and I'm grateful. So thank you very much. But one of the things that I want to ask you, Gary, is, is that, you know, I work with a lot of people that have, uh, coming outta corporate America or want to get into business ownership. And the two dealerships that you have, Kia and Hy Hyundai, believe it or not, are franchises. People don't realize that, but maybe you have some, some guidance or encouraging words for people that are interested in exploring business ownership. Um, you started working for your father at a, at a young age, but what encouraging words can you give about people who may be wanting to explore business ownership? Speaker 2 00:03:00 I think he, well, I could tell you, you know, from my point of view, what works for me is I'm extremely passionate about what I do, and I don't feel like I have to go to work. I feel like I get to go to work, and it's, I'm a little different than few, you know, than most I Sunday nights. I can't wait to go to sleep, so I can wake up in the morning and, and, and go to work. So I really love what I do, and I don't feel like I have to, I feel like I get to, so my, my advice would be find something that you're passionate about and be, and, and, and have the same type of outlook that you don't have to go to work. You get to, and I say the same thing, you know, when I, I, I don't have to take my son to hockey practice. I get to, I'm gonna do it anyway, right? So I might as as well have a positive outlook and say, I get to do this. Speaker 1 00:03:44 You know, you, you touch on, um, attitude. And I, and, and, and I, and I have this conversation with a lot of my clients, that attitude is very important to being successful. Um, you know, people that have a tendency to fail at business, whether it's an independent or a franchise, I've always found that they have a negative attitude. So can you elaborate a little bit more on what attitude, I mean, how, how that plays being successful, at least getting into the end zone, I call it? Speaker 2 00:04:14 Absolutely. I am, I am insanely positive. Um, in fact, if I see the weather forecast and it says there's gonna be a 70% chance of rain, I don't even hear that. All I heard was 30% chance of sun, right? So we are what we think about we are, and, and if I think about things are gonna be positive, I I start my day, uh, with a daily gratitude list that I share with some other gentleman that I'm in a business group with. And so there's 10 things that I, that I, that's how I start my day. And so I'm talking about 10 things that are positive, 10 things that I'm grateful for. So I don't have a lot of room in my life or in my day for negativity. So, you know, you're absolutely correct. Positively is the way, is the way to go. And, you know, they, they talk about the, the rear view mirror is this big, and the windshield is this big for a reason, right? So we can see what's in front of us. We can certainly not lose sight of what's behind us, but we don't need to focus on it. Let's just look and see what's right in front of us. Speaker 1 00:05:11 When you look at your history, where you are, uh, again, you started working for your father, um, any second, uh, second guesses on, would you do it again the same way? I mean, would you, would you take the same approach or are there certain things that you would do differently when you were younger to where you are right now? Speaker 2 00:05:34 I would say, oh, yes, I would do things differently for sure. Uh, it's, uh, being in a family business is, is not easy, <laugh>. Um, and it's, it's interesting because I wanted to look at, look at my father as iMentor for sure, but he's not perfect or, you know, was not perfect either. So if I was gonna, I would've, I would've done a little bit more schooling. I probably would've gone and worked somewhere else for a, a few years instead of just going right into the family business, because I felt I didn't want to have anybody pointing a finger at me and saying something was handed to me because my father was the owner. So I worked twice as hard. I worked key to key. I just, you know, and it doesn't have to be that way. So I would've gone out and I would've found another mentor somewhere else. Speaker 2 00:06:16 I would've worked for somebody else for a few more years, a few years prior to coming into the family business. And then for me, uh, 26 years ago, I started my Gary Rome Hyundai dealership, and I bought, I purchased the old building where we were on the lower road in Holyoke. And now, of course, seven years have gone by already, and we're at the new dealership on Waiting Farms Road. So that would be my advice. That's what I would do differently, is I would've soughted advice from someone else, because we only know what we know, right? And, and the goal is for me, uh, in business is to surround myself with people smarter than me. Right? Speaker 1 00:06:52 Yeah, that's great. We're talking with, uh, Gary Rome, president of Rome Auto Group, um, uh, kind of an icon here in, uh, Western Massachusetts. And congratulations, because you are now national. You were dealer of the year. Uh, so congratulations. That's a definitely a big accomplishment. Speaker 2 00:07:10 Yeah, that was a, a time dealer of the year is a, is a, it's probably the pinnacle, it's the biggest award that, that you could win as an auto dealer. And, uh, you know, for me, I didn't know that I was gonna win when I was at the N A D A conference in Dallas with 25,000 people. But, uh, it's great to be acknowledged. Uh, each, each association, the Massachusetts Auto Dealers Association selected me as one of 759 dealers. And then of the, all the other associations, there was 48, uh, nominees there, uh, at the, at the conference, at the N A D A convention. And, uh, it was, it was fabulous to be acknowledged for what we love doing, you know, building a stronger community. It's really exciting and, and, uh, I'm humbled by it, but the accolades that I receive, it's, it's not all about me, it's about our team, because they do what they do, what they get to do every single day in the community, and it really makes a difference. Speaker 1 00:08:06 Gary, let's, let's, let's touch on that because if, uh, you know, uh, leading up to this conversation and talking to people that know you and have been around you, um, you're a very humble person. You give back to the community, you're very involved. Um, I think, uh, that probably comes from growing up and being around people that were similar or you learn from. So, and, and one of the key words that I hear from you when you speak about your organization, your company, you use the word we a lot, uh, it's not an I thing. So when you look at your success as a person, as a company, you've relied on a lot of people to support you and to kind of just say, Hey, Gary, maybe we shouldn't do it this way. How important is it being a business owner to rely on what you know best, but to rely on people that maybe you don't know certain things to give you advice or guidance to be successful? Speaker 2 00:09:08 Yeah, I think it's one of the important, most important points in leadership is to allow people, uh, to lead, right? And, and what we wanna do, when we do, when we pick, for example, we pick the charities that we're gonna be involved with. We include our team, we'll give them a list of what we think we like, but ultimately it's their team that's gonna pick the charities that we're involved with or the, the, the endeavors that we're involved with. Because I want them to be fully invested. I don't want them to, to agree. I want it to be their idea. As a leader of an organization, I kind of have a paid audience, right? <laugh>. So I don't want, I want, I want them to be involved. I want to hear from them. You know, it's interesting in some companies, the, uh, their, their employees, their team won't even tell the owner that that is, uh, his collar is turned up, right? <laugh>. So, Speaker 2 00:09:56 So I want, I want our team to be involved. I want it to be their idea. I want them to be invested. We have an open door policy. It sounds very cliche, but I'm always available. I give everyone, including all our clients, my cell phone number, and they say, that's not really your cell phone number. I said, why wouldn't it be my cell phone number? Well, people are gonna call you. I said, well, as long as I'm not doing anything wrong, I'm not gonna avoid you when I see you in town and go to the other side of the street. Right? Right, right. So it's just very important that people know that we're approachable. You know, we, we all make mistakes, but we all need to do this together, and it needs to be a group effort. Speaker 1 00:10:31 You know, those are great words. And your, and, and, and your connection to the community has, uh, I would, I would gather, has been a integral part in your success. I mean, uh, I guess it's very easy for that c e o owner to kind of sit behind a desk with the door closed. So being involved in the business, getting connected with your community, two important parts, getting connected with the people that are, are, are in, you know, in the company, uh, are important attributes to being successful. One of the things that I like to talk about to my clients about Gary is, is that putting yourself in a position to want to learn. You touched on this a little bit earlier, and what I find is, is that when people are looking to explore business ownership, they, they tend to be in more of a space where they think they know more than everybody else. So talk to me about, and, and it sounds like you're still learning every day is a learning experience for you. How important is learning and getting to know yourself and knowing what your passions are? Speaker 2 00:11:33 It, it's very important to me. I'm, I'm a, I'm a student, um, personal development. I'm continually learning and, and, and growing, and I want to expose myself to all sorts of dif different, uh, uh, different opportunities. And I think that, you know, for, uh, for someone, they just kind of need to get out of their own way and be open to things because there's messages, there's little, you know, aha moments, and there's little nuggets of it, of, you know, and there's little, there's information and messages everywhere. I just need to be available to receive them. So I think that that's very, very important. You know, they, I, I like that book. They call, it's called The Secret. Right? You know, you probably heard of that, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it talks about we are what we think about in the university's conspiring to help us succeed. And I just have a, a funny story about how I always get the front row well, and typically great. Speaker 2 00:12:19 How do I always get the front row? I may need to drive around four times, but I always get the front row. So we are what we focus on, and, uh, I'm always willing to learn from other people. I think that everybody has something to offer. Um, you know, one of the things that I, that that, one of my, the thing the I, one of the sayings that I say often and, and words that I live by is take what I need and leave the rest. Right? I don't want to be critical of people. I just want to, you know, everybody is something to offer. So why would I go in there and perceive that they have nothing to teach me? Speaker 1 00:12:50 Right? Right. I think it goes to that old, there's two sayings I think of when I, what, on what you just said, that, uh, no is okay, and a no decision is a decision. <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:13:03 That's true. That's right. Speaker 1 00:13:05 You know, so, uh, but listen, Gary, I, I, I promised I wouldn't take up a lot of your time, and I appreciate it, but any final thoughts about business ownership? I mean, I, I, I've always told my clients that it's, it's really easy to fail at business. It's really hard to be successful. And I, when, I mean, hard, hard work. But, um, would you encourage people to pick up the phone, explore business ownership? I mean, I know it's not for everybody, but should a, should people really kind of take that initiative? Speaker 2 00:13:36 Absolutely. There's, there's a lot of opportunities out there. I think that one of the things I, that I hear my father, uh, uh, telling me some of the messages that I've heard from him is, you have two ears and two eyes, and one mouth, right? So take the cotton out of your ears and stick it in your mouth and be a good listener. Because if you're, if you're a good listener, people will tell you everything and you'll learn a lot. I, of course, I'm involved in sales on a daily basis, and some of the sales people I've run into, um, uh, they just, they just, they keep speaking and they don't understand their audience, right? So they need to listen, and you'll learn a lot. And the, you know, one of the final thoughts in terms of being educated and being alerted and, and just, and, and, and being at the top of your game is whatever you put between your ears, nobody can take away. Right? Right. So, learn as much as you can and just, you know, every day I try to learn something. Uh, I read a lot. Um, I listen to a lot of books on tape, you know, so I can, so that I can learn as much as possible. And I, I want to be at the top. I know I'm not the best, but I want to continually be at the top of my game. Speaker 1 00:14:39 Great. Great. Well, Gary, we appreciate you being on the show. Um, uh, we wish you, uh, continued success. Uh, I'm sure we'll be bumping into each other, uh, at some point, uh, yes. Whether through the chamber or some events, charitable events, and I said, like I said earlier, we've, we've kind of, uh, figured out that we know some, uh, common people, so, uh, right. Yeah. Uh, so I, I appreciate you and your team, uh, you know, giving me the few minutes to be able to spend with you. Speaker 2 00:15:05 Yeah, thank you. And, and you know, I, I do now you brought up the chamber. Chambers of commerce are excellent opportunities for you to learn and grow, because we're all there for the same reason, right? We're all there to connect with each other and hopefully do business with each other. And you shouldn't feel like you're bothering somebody if you walk up to them and you've got your name tag on and you give 'em a business card, right? Right. So that's there for us. I, the chambers are a great opportunity for people to identify what they're interested in and, uh, and, and give it a shot. Speaker 1 00:15:34 Yeah. I've been serving on the e r c five board of directors for, um, I think it's almost two years now. So, uh, I, I've seen that organization, that particular chamber grow, and I recently just joined Springfield. So, uh, hope to get more involved, but again, there's so much time, uh, in a day, <laugh>. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:15:51 That that's right. Well, it's interesting cause we're, we're joining Springfield also. I mean, they have a great leader there. Yeah. And, uh, but it's, it's true. You need to have a champion. You can't be everywhere. Right? Right. You need to have a champion who's gonna focus here and, and make it their own. So Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:16:06 I'm a firm believe I'm a, I'm a firm believer. It's not what you know, it's who you know, <laugh>. Yes, yes. So, but, uh, but everybody, this is Scotty, my all Things Considered franchising, powered by Scott Myer franchise coach.com. We've been speaking with Gary Rome. Uh, Gary, thanks very much and enjoy the rest of the week. Speaker 2 00:16:24 My pleasure. You too. Thank you, Scotty.

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