A wise man has often said "Training doesn't cost, it pays"
There is a question I hear often repeated before and after training events, phrased in various ways, but the core meaning is the same: “Why should I invest my time and money in training?”
The answers to this question are many, but one answer that I have come to love is Jim Morton’s saying “Training doesn’t cost, it pays.”
I am sitting here writing this as I reflect on the past few days and the Super Saturday training event put on by ASAPA. To say that the entire experience was phenomenal is an understatement, but better words currently escape me. The turnout was high, including 14 techs from the UK whom I was most excited to meet. These techs, as well as every technician and shop owner that showed up at this event (and the countless other training events), impressed on me just how true Jim’s words are. These words are so important that I’ll say them again, “Training doesn’t cost, it pays.”
When you see the ads, flyers, and reminders about upcoming training events, you may be looking at the location, the pricing of the class and other expenses, the content, or whether you are the “right” type of person to attend training. There is nothing wrong with this as none of us can go to every single training event, no matter how much we may want to. The goal for all of us should be to attend training as often as we can, be it events, classes, or online. There is such an abundance of training available that there is something to fit almost every single situation, from a young tech paying their way, up to multi-location operations employing large numbers of techs.
Most of the people on this site already understand this, and I’m not here to preach to the choir, but rather to ask the choir to spread the word to those outside of the congregation of continuous learning. Each one of us has a responsibility to ourselves, our community, and our customers to constantly strive for mastery and efficiency within our trade. This responsibility extends further though, to those who have not yet seen, understood, or accepted the way forward and upwards. There will always be those who choose not to believe in the value of education, and we also have to accept that for what it is and focus our attention on those who have the ambition to be something more.
Training to many may conjure up memories of school days long since past; uncomfortable chairs in small rooms with some instructor droning on and on while expecting you to take notes and not question what they say to be gospel truth.
Modern-day training is nowhere close to that. Walking into my first training class on Saturday with Brandon Steckler teaching Pressure Waveform Acquisition, I looked around, and I saw faces both familiar and new. I saw an instructor whom I also call a friend. There was no preaching, no “take my word for it.” Rather, it was one of us up front, passionately passing on knowledge to fellow technicians who have a hunger to learn. The same is true of John Thornton, my second instructor, he brings an understanding and energy to teaching that makes any topic fascinating. He blends theory, service information, and real-world experience in such a way that you are absorbing more information than you thought possible.
The education I received was worth every penny. There is so much more to training than just what happens in the classroom and the spiral-bound books you take home with you. Networking and building the community of dedicated technicians is the real value at any training event. We may forget specific tidbits of information learned, but it is not nearly so easy to forget those we have learned and laughed with throughout an event.
I have seen first hand how quickly the community builds, total strangers striking up conversations, and existing groups of friends welcoming in new faces. There is no room for arrogance or selfishness, there are only like-minded people banding together to build something more of themselves and the community. The relationships that are built last long after the event is over and they become a foundation of further success for the future of not only individuals, but the community entire.
I am honored to have met so many amazing techs this past weekend, before, during, and after class. I won’t even attempt to name them all, and I regret that I didn’t have a full day to spend with each one of them. There are few times in life where you can sit down with a tech from across the country or the ocean, break bread, share drinks, and within minutes you could be mistaken for old friends getting reacquainted. A few weeks later you’ll find yourself chatting with these very same people, working out problems or ideas, or perhaps even just seeing how life is treating them.
I say all this from experience. I have been incredibly gifted to have some amazing people take an interest in my progression as both a person and a tech; they know who they are and I am eternally grateful for them taking the time. They also imparted on me the importance of paying it forward to the next tech and the community as a whole. That community is not limited to our own state, region, or even country. It is worldwide, groups of like-minded techs working together and building networks among themselves, then taking those networks and creating even larger ones by banding together as family with networks across the globe. These relationships aren't all about theory and processes and learning though, they are also true friendships that generate their fair share of inside jokes and goofy presents.
There are also friends you meet who pass along tooling and advice, as well as pushing you to outperform your current best. These friends become part of your core network (Cody is but one of many of my core network that I rely upon daily), the ones you can call day or night for advice, to vent, or just to crack jokes. These things make you a better person and a better tech.
I've rambled on quite a bit here and so perhaps it is best that I phrase my message more concisely. Training gives us the opportunity to better ourselves both in and out of work, as technicians and as human beings. It allows us all to build bridges and accomplish feats that were previously thought impossible. It gives us the opportunity to continue building our global community.
This is why training doesn't cost, it pays. I'll end with a quote from another wise man that I'm proud to call a friend, Steve Scott.
we all could of not said it better . And BRANDON is a great trainer and resource guy
You as well Richard, I really wish I had more time to spend with everyone. I may also have been a bit wary of you trying to talk me out of my Vantage. I hope to get some more time to chat with you and others at the next event.
Hello Chris , as always great post This was my second time at Super Saturday, 14 hour round trip drive was worth every mile The training was all tops I took the Keith Perkins J2534 class his knowledge that he shared with the class has given me much more confidence with the flashing repairs. These events I like to call therapy were we can network and share our day to day stories good and bad…
Great to hear you attended Mark. There were so many people I wanted to meet and catch up with that I only got a small portion of it done in the time allotted. I'm sure we will run into each other in up-coming events though. If you see me, just flag me down and introduce yourself. I would have loved to take Perkins' class as well, but not enough time to get everything in. The events are…
Chris, you hit the nail on the head with this one! I couldn't have said it better myself. The only problem with this event, was that it was too short! So here is to hoping that we can make next years event a 2 day event!
Training is expensive, but ignorance can’t be measured!
Well said Chris! Great classes and trainers. Need another day to be able to attend more classes.
Absolutely agreed Mike, 2 days would be an excellent start. I wish i could have been in just about every class there. It's definitely a great event with even more potential in the future.
I can assure you...changes/structuring for this event will continue to evolve 😎😉
That is an Awesome Quote. I'm going to share that quote
Dustin, All the credit there goes to Jim Morton, an excellent trainer and a mentor to countless techs. If you aren't familiar with his work, you can find some of his older TST seminars on YouTube and here is an interview with him. He's one of those brilliant teachers who make learning contagious. I'm proud to call him a friend.
can thank you enough for YOUR passion and how well you describe the importance of training. Thank you, Chris....my good friend!👍
You did an amazing job, as usual Brandon. It was absolutely awesome to be in your class with friends new and old, and to really start to grasp those wiggly lines and how much info they hold. As always, the training left me with all sorts of great questions and new friends to discuss them with. Can't wait to take some more of your classes. You do Jim a great honor with your achievements and…
WELL SAID, Chris and I'm Glad we have you HOOKED, Now we need to get you out to visionkc.com And just so you and everyone knows, I received calls and E Mails from some of the attendees and also from some of the Super Saturday group about what we can do to take next year's event even another step up. So I can re-assure everyone that the ASA-PA Super Saturday group REALLY care about…
Jim, Just to let you and ASA-PA know, if there is anything I can do to help with next year's event, just let me know.
Jim, Same as Chris said. I will have time to give to ASA-PA next year. Please let me now if there is any way I can help. I really enjoy the classes and would be happy to help out!
Chris, As we like to call it in my "circle" it is therapy. It is a chance to catch up with many of my friends I see at training events and to connect with others. ASA-PA should be proud. It was a great event no doubt.
“THERAPY”....I love that! It is always great to see you, John. Sorry i Couldn’t stick around too long
Chris this write up is incredible and could not have said this any better myself. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you in person and to network with you daily. You are and always will be one of the smartest guys I know. Keep up the good work #strongertogether
Cody, I realized rather late in life that there is one truly important thing when it comes to learning. That is to surround yourself with the absolute best and you will improve. I have been beyond lucky to become friends with you and so many others who I truly consider family now. I am now surrounded by mentors here and afar that drive me forward every day and have helped me realize that I too…
I agree 100 percent with you brother! I've been in the repair business for 29 yrs now and goes to show no matter how long we have been doing this we learn something new every day. With this new technology and complex systems in vehicles today I realized if I'm going to be doing this for another 10 to 15 years , I need to keep up with training and not fall behind. I also was in Brandon's morning…
Awesome write up chris. And as I’ve already told most of you, attending that was the best choice of my career to date. It has opened a door for me for sure.
Very well said Chris, lets keep spreading the word and get people to training. Hopefully I can convince some of the crew here at work to get on it. Always a pleasure. First Super Saturday, definitely will not be my last.
I wish I could have gone. In another life without kids it would have been possible, but I try to do as much with them as I can. Hopefully they will go with me to trainings later in life though! We'll meet up someday, and talk about diagnostic things and junk!