Published in Automotive News Oct. 13, 2014
Auto dealer Mike Wood is living proof that the harder you work, the better your chances of getting ahead.
"I came from nothing," he reminds people, proudly recalling his small-town upbringing, working odd jobs to pay his way through life, the son of a West Virginia sawmill operator.
Through long hours and hands-on involvement in every corner of his business, from tending to his service department to driving cars back from auctions, Wood, 49, has rapidly built a group of four dealerships in seven years -- two Kia stores in West Virginia, a Toyota dealership in Pennsylvania and most recently a Ford store closer to home in Morgantown, W.Va.
He has more growth plans. But first he says he is learning to master a new business skill: letting go.
"I've been on top of every decision we've made in these stores," he says. "And I've got to acknowledge that I can't do that anymore. I'm going to have to let my managers make their own decisions. And sometimes, it just drives me crazy. I'll be on the verge of asking, 'Why are you doing it that way?' But I can't."