Sofía loves motorcycles, especially anything old, vintage or retro. She rides one of her collection of bikes every day, and spends her spare time attending motorcycle rally’s auto-jumbles and tinkering with bikes.
Sofía has worked in many motorcycle shops over the years and is a factory trained technician for Honda, KTM, Royal Enfield, and Harley-Davidson. She is an ITV tester (the equivalent of an MOT in the UK). She is a well-respected mechanic with a wealth of knowledge.
Sofía's starting point for working with intention
After many years working as a mechanic in some of the top dealerships, Sofía decided that she wanted her own workshop. Her desire and drive to achieve this were unshakable, but deep down at an unconscious level she lacked belief in her ability to run a business.
step 1: Initiate intention
Sofía decided that she wanted to open a workshop specialising in vintage and retro motorcycles. She wanted it to be a cool hangout for hipsters and classic bikers. She found a great industrial unit 30km from where she lived. It was a little out of the way, but she figured that her target customers would be willing to travel.
As an ATV tester she noticed that when customers were waiting for the ATV to be completed they would walk round the dealership and buy things, or talk about tuning and upgrades that they had been thinking about. She decided that she would fit an ATV testing bay.
step 2: Distil, test and refine
Step 3: Embody and embed
Sofía was not a great planner, she was a doer, so she skipped steps 2 and 3 and launched herself straight into step 4.
step 4: Take Action and grab opportunities
Sofía gave notice to her employer who was sorry to see her go. Working on a very limited budget she spent her spare time gathering the necessary second equipment and bike benches. She also applied for the necessary training to run her own ATV testing area. Studying for and taking the training was more costly and mentally stretching than she imagined but she got there – just. A friend set her up a basic website and created a bit of interest and engagement via social media.
Sofía engaged a young apprentice (the daughter of a close friend) to help her. The business launched quietly without fanfare, and customers who knew her and respected her work started to trickle in. She felt unsettled – as if something wasn’t quite right, but decided not to think about it. Sofía was on a steep learning curve, learning how to source and manage suppliers, juggle customer demands with deliveries and phone calls. Fitting the ATV station turned into a costly and time consuming process as the standards required for installation were precise and exacting. Eventually the ATV centre was up and running.
At about this time things started to go wrong. Demand for ATV tests was much lower than expected, and created a huge administrative burden. The apprentice turned out to be lazy, disengaged and work shy. When she did work she needed micro managing which defeated the object as it took Sofía away from her work. To top it all the landlord of the premises turned out to be an unpleasant character who kept on making unreasonable requests for additional money. Sofía had no formal contract (despite asking repeatedly for one and even having one drafted for the landlord. When she finally caught up with her accounts, she discovered that the business was haemorrhaging money. She did not know what to do and this made her feel highly. The daily commute was also grinding her down. Her journey by passed a major city which was congested at peak time, so she started to leave home very early to avoid being stuck in stationary traffic. Sofía felt stressed, lonely, and stupid. Her fuzzy intention at the outset of the project had succeeded in manifesting the business she asked for, but had given her premises that were too big, too expensive, and too far from home.
Sofía started to reach breaking point. Deep down she still wanted to run her own workshop, and did not want to be beholding to any single employer. She was not short of job offers but accepting them felt like a personal failure.
Revisiting steps 1 and 2 of the IDEA framework with a friend one evening over a much needed beer, she identified that:
Her core intention was to run a small motorcycle workshop specialising in retro motorcycles on a part time basis.
Her nested intention were to keep her skills up to date by working part time in one or more dealerships, and to bring the fun back into her life.
Revisiting step 3, she had a word with the managers of a few of the best local dealerships. She also asked some friends to put out feelers for a small industrial unit closer to home. She gave the landlord notice of her intention to quit and had storage on standby if she could not find new premises. As expected the landlord became threatening, but with no contract in place, there was little that he could actually do. A friend contacted Sofía about an old farm building on her families land. It needed some work, but it was very affordable, close to home and just the right size.
Revisiting step 4 of the IDEA framework Sofía took on the new premises, this time with a friendly landlord and a legal binding contract. Her friends pitched in to help her repair it, paint it and make it cosy and fit for purpose. Sofía made arrangements to work 2-3 days a week in dealerships. This created some certainty of income and met her need for sociability and interaction with other mechanics.
Operating her workshop closer to home again, many friends were happy to bring their bikes to her for work. Her previous experience had helped her identify the best suppliers to use and she now had a better idea of how to run both the fun (engineering) side of the business and necessary (admin and accounts) part of the business.
Six months later sitting round a fire at a Rally one evening, she told an old friend that running her business part time from her new premises was as easy as starting a bike with an electric button (as opposed to kick starting a grumpy vintage BSA). In her tent that night she reflected and
for the first time she felt a sense of mastery. She now knew that she could run her business.
Sofía's OUTCOME OF INTENTION
Sofía is now been running her business from her new premises for three years. The two key ingredients of intention were now working together - her deep sincere desire to run a retro bike business was now coupled with a belief that it was possible.
She has found the right balance of work to meet her needs, and is earning sufficient money to fund the life she wants to live.
She is now more aware of the need to be clear on what she wants and is learning to slow down and think about things more before launching into them.
Her initial 'fuzzy' intentions had lost her a lot of money and created a high level of stress and unhappiness in her life.
By setting clearer intentions about her desired work and having belief in her ability to run the business, she now has a successful retro motorcycle workshop, open on a part time basis, and is again enjoying life to the full.