A New Start

A New Start

More than twenty years ago, I was working as a mechanic at a dealership when an inspector came in to examine the car I was repairing. The car had a bad transmission. It was out of the manufacturer's warranty, but it had an extended warranty. The inspector was an independent contractor hired to verify that the vehicle needed the transmission fixed or replaced. I had seen these guys coming in to do extended warranty inspections for years. I’d never paid much attention. But this time I did. I was ready to get out of the daily grease monkey grind and I needed a Plan B.

This Plan B grew into more than I'd ever envisioned.

Twenty years later, Lemon Squad had grown into a national company that offered pre-purchase inspections to clients looking to buy a vehicle. We had inspectors all over the country and a staff who answered customer inquiries and handled day-to-day business.

That company changed my life, my family’s life, and the lives of the independent inspectors and employees we were able to hire.

I sold that company. Then I bought it back.

I sold the company again in 2021. As part of the sale, I signed a two-year contract to stay on as general manager.

When that contract was up, I was enjoying the work so much that I negotiated to stay on longer. My role was satisfying, challenging, and in line with my lifestyle. I was no longer overworking. My career was in balance with the rest of my life, and I appreciated it. But even that changed.

Last week, I parted ways with Lemon Squad.

It was an amicable parting. Over time, my role with the company gradually diminished. More people had taken over my responsibilities, and I was doing less. What I actually did day-to-day didn’t match my title. So when the owners called a meeting to tell me, it was a shock, although it made sense. It was a change that was coming for a while, and it was time to make it official.

Maybe the strangest thing is that every single morning for 17 years, I have logged into the Lemon Squad system and checked what was happening with the company I started from that one-bedroom apartment. And then one morning, I didn’t. And I won’t, ever again.

It’s bittersweet, sad, and also exhilarating. Because a new space has opened in my life, and there are new ideas coming in to fill it. My memoir is coming out next month, and I have another book in the works. I am grateful to Wrench for taking the company I started to a new level beyond me, and I can let it go. And I'm also really excited about what's coming next. 

'Cause I always got a Plan B in my back pocket. 

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