From the Driver's Seat: Everything Ends

July 1, 2023
Life and business both carry with them a series of endings—it matters most what you take away from them.

I want to talk about "Succession." Note the capitalization and the quotation marks—we're not talking about planning for retirement. I'm talking about the acclaimed HBO series that concluded its award-winning run several weeks ago. Whether you're like me and consider it one of the greatest works of television of all time or you've never heard of the show, I think we can take some lessons away from thinking about how things end.

For the uninitiated, the premise of "Succession" is right there in the title: it is the story of a family-owned media empire and its aging, acerbic patriarch. Who will take over is the running plot line of the series, whether it be one of the sibling heirs to the throne or somebody else. It's not a spoiler to state the obvious, that there can only be one successor and many people end up upset that it isn't them. For some of them, they wind up right back in the same place when the series began, rich, but without power nor direction.

To paraphrase an old saying which I cannot confidently state the origin of, the way it begins is the way it ends. If something begins positively, it will end positively—and vice versa. You get what you give. You don't get to control the way or the manner in which something ends, change is the only thing that doesn't change.

Life and business are full of endings both expected and unexpected. You know a relationship with a customer is temporary, but who can predict if that relationship will end positively or negatively? Building leases expire, equipment breaks down, valued employees leave. Nothing is permanent; expect change.

All an ending is is change, and change can be difficult. But to toss another saying at you, you don't lose, you learn. Even if your ending had a negative outcome, certainly there is something you learned from it that can be a positive going forward. Bidding goodbye to a favorite show isn't the same as bidding goodbye to a valued employee, but in both cases, it was the experience you had that matters most.

There is no end in sight for FenderBender as we bring you another month's edition. We enjoyed bringing you the story of Chris Amato's Body Werks (PROFILE p. XX) and how they've managed to stay independent and do things their way as they celebrate 10 years in business we think you'll enjoy reading about them. We also think you'll enjoy this month's strategy stories as we offer information on how to bring green practices into your shop (CASE STUDY p. XX) and what to consider as you start to work on more electric vehicles (STRAT 1 p. XX). Thank you for continuing to support FenderBender. 

About the Author

Todd Kortemeier

Todd Kortemeier is former editor of FenderBender magazine.

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