As an internationally recognized speaker, consultant, and teacher, Damian Boudreaux has worked with automotive professionals across the United States and Canada. His recipe for success isn’t just about creating a career in the automotive industry. He has dedicated his life to educating and inspiring people to improve in all areas of their lives.
Recently, Ramon Ray had a chance to sit down with Damian to gain a few nuggets of wisdom that anyone can use to believe in themselves, their product, service, and company — one carefully crafted relationship at a time. Here’s what we learned.
Damian Boudreaux’s Approach to Life
Damian grew up “in a drugstore” in South Louisiana. This experience has served as the foundation for how he teaches and approaches selling, business, and life. With decades of industry experience, he’s worked with some of the highest achievers in the automotive industry. “And when they first met me, they weren’t,” he quips.
Their progress is proof that every one of us can grow, become better, and move to another level, says Damian. It all begins with an openness to discover our innate strengths and a willingness to grow.
“I introduce people to who they are at their best. So they can have their wildest dreams come true, in a way that works for them in their heart, in their mind, for their community, for their family, holistically — so, at the end of their journey, they look back and think ‘I did this right.’ ”
The Role of Fear and What to Do About the Amygdala Hijack
Getting to the point of growing beyond your wildest dreams doesn’t happen overnight. Most of us bring years of history into our current decision-making processes and may stop short of realizing our goals. Largely, this is because our brains get in the way. Specifically, it comes down to the part of the brain known as the amygdala.
The amygdala triggers an automatic “fight or flight” response to threats by releasing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. And while this fear response comes in handy, say, when we need to slam on the brakes to avoid rear-ending a car, it can also cause us to avoid situations where we could potentially grow.
It’s what Damian calls an “amygdala hijack.” Here, the body tenses up, the belly and throat get tighter, and a person appears scared. And oftentimes, this automatic response usually comes about due to events in our past. These events cause us to tell ourselves we don’t deserve success and happiness.
“We carry events that scar us,” says Damian. This results in self-assigned “rules” that we believe will keep us safe from negative events ever happening again. “Years later, you still believe it’s a good rule.”
What Are the Problems With Those Rules?
For Damian, part of being a coach, mentor, and dad is to say, “tell me about that rule.” The goal is to ask questions to reveal whether a rule is flawed. That is, is the rule keeping you from going after your dreams? Or from up-leveling your business and your life?
For the small-business owner who is just doing “OK,” or for anyone looking to grow and live their best life, Damian recommends taking time to dial in exactly who they are serving.
Grab a pen and a stack of papers, and address the following:
- Who do you serve?
- Who is your client? Your employee? The people you influence?
- Think about the subsets within each category, too. For instance, in the automotive industry, Damian’s client is not only the dealer but also the manager, the salesperson, the person buying the car, and the future employee looking for an opportunity.
- What does that subset of people want?
- What do they want to avoid?
- What are the problems they need to have solved?
- What are the problems that I can solve?
- For each of the questions above, continue asking “What else?” to keep drilling down into every detail.
This exercise will result in pages and pages of work, but it will be well worth it. “You’ll get so much clarity on not only you but your client,” Damian says. You’ll discover problems and possibilities, which is exactly what you need to serve your client effectively.
What Should You Do Next?
Once you have compiled all of your answers into one list, look at each characteristic individually and ask yourself if there are ways in which you could better serve your target.
If there are gaps in your answers to these questions, then it might be time to take a step back and figure out where you want this thing called life and business to go. While your initial idea of success may have been enough when it was just you and your ideas, it may need some refining now that it includes others.
It’s also a living, breathing document that you should study daily at the start or end of the day. Doing so will allow you to never get too comfortable with any level of success and continue to challenge yourself to do better — even if your amygdala would have you do otherwise.
About Damian Boudreaux
Damian Boudreaux is the founder of the Auto Training Academy, author of Keep It Simple Selling, and a high-performance coach for the 100 Cars Club. With a unique approach to relationship selling that has helped thousands of automotive professionals, Damian aims to teach everyone in the car business how to have a career and life like he’s had. To learn more about Damian, the art of selling, and how to build relationships, follow his LinkedIn page and check out autotrainingacademy.com.
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Precious L. Williams is a 13-time national elevator pitch champion. She has also been featured on “Shark Tank,” CNN, Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, Essence Magazine, and the movie “LEAP.” Her current clients include Microsoft, LinkedIn, Google, NBCUniversal, Federal Reserve Bank, Intuit Quickbooks, Yelp, Harvard University, and more. Precious is a dynamic international professional speaker, effective corporate trainer, and 4X 1 bestselling author.