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Turning Obstacles into Opportunities with Patrick Connell

January 18, 2022

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities with Patrick Connell

Most of us, especially in our businesses, change things when we are forced to. Of course, there are other times when we create a plan, design a course of action, execute the plan, and arrive at the desired destination. But for the most part, life is unpredictable; things out of our control happen and force us to pivot. What we decide to do with what life imposes can differentiate us from the rest, help us thrive and succeed, or just stay in an eternal loop of trying to figure things out. 

When life hit our guest, Patrick Connell, and it hit him hard, he realized he needed to do something about his business. The small automotive shop and the carwash that was just getting complete weren’t generating enough revenue. Patrick walked down the street and told an electrician he was in the fleet business, and they were doing fleet repair. That is how he got his first client; he’ll eventually figure things out later. A formula that would help him grow for years is listening to a client’s needs, saying yes to all, and figuring out how to do it later.  

Fast forward some years, Patrick Connell became the President, CEO, and Owner of two successful businesses, ARS Truck & Fleet Service & Delaware Truck Refinishers. 

In this episode, we go through Patrick’s journey of becoming a successful entrepreneur and inspiring leader. We talk about how his approach changed with time when he would first say yes to things and figure out how to do them later, to have a more organized and established procedure and list of services. We also talk about active listening, providing and promoting a culture that represents who we are, working hard on the behind-the-scenes of our business when things are good, and more. 

Tune in to episode 12 of Maximum Octane and learn more about Patrick’s unique leadership style, customer service, and team development.

Some questions I ask:

  • Do you want to talk a bit about your original business model and how you came to change it? (2:49)
  • What kind of things did you do to transition from the retail to the fleet business? (6:40)
  • How long do you think it took you to really understand that the fleet business would grow as it grew? (14:23)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • About the moment Patrick realized he needed to pivot and start a new kind of business (4:33)
  • How Patrick’s new business evolved and grew in the first three years, what changes it forced in him and how he approached his company (7:59)
  • Some advice from Patrick about how to be in the fleet business (12:50)
  • Active listening. The number one skill every entrepreneur should train (18:15)
  • Patrick’s advice on how to treat our business when things are going right for us (21:27)


Jimmy Lea | Product Evangelist at KUKUI

These are what you will get from listening to Kim Hickey on Maximum Octane. Kim is not shy nor will she hide behind the safe questions. She will always dig deep asking great questions to get to the core of the issue/topic.

Insight, Information, and Engagement 

Barney Fein

Take it to the Max with Kim, her peddle to the metal energy and insight will spark your business success!

Go to the front of the pack

Amy Rookwood

Never would have thought a podcast by an auto repair shop would have such useful information for a life coach! Kim is open, unconventional and totally easy to listen to. Loved her background story and this non-auto-centered woman can’t wait to hear more!


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