10/10 Reflections

I used to hate my birthday, and I can’t tell you why but with the advent of social media I love my birthday now.

I love hearing from people that I typically only watch from afar throughout the rest of the year, pausing to give the occasional “like” or encouraging word to let them know that I am there (so I don’t feel creepy). Sometimes hitting the “Like” button for me is like the gratuitous throat clearing when you have come up behind someone doing something they didn’t intend for anyone to see, or something that was meant for someone else.

Seems like a lot of people on FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc… occasionally forget that everyone can see and read their posts. Sometimes I think it’s the equivalent of a person sitting in their car at a red light picking their nose; they know they’re in public but they just don’t care.

I love my birthday because it’s a day when some people that don’t get mushy any other time of the year will take the time to tell me that I mattered to them at some point, and in some way. I love when my kids call me and say, “Who is so and so…” after reading a post about some training I might have offered, or some advice I might have given, or a time when I was just able to be there for someone. What greater legacy could I leave my kids than a dad who tried to make his world a little better, one relationship at a time?

I received several of those mushy messages this year, and there were some tear-jerkers.

I am proud of the fact that my wife and I are occasionally able to make a small difference in the lives of the people we come in contact with. We’re not superstars, but we do love people and that seems to make us exceptional, which isn’t as great as it sounds because caring about others should be the rule not the exception.

I figured out early on that I had my choice of epitaphs, “Helluva car salesman”, “Couldn’t sing a lick”, or “Cared about people”. I didn’t come by this particular value of “caring” on my own, and I definitely wasn’t born with it (I don’t think many of us are).

I was adopted into a big family that was itself pretty well thrown together, but man did those people love each other. And they loved me, even though I was a jerky little kid with a smart mouth and 0-sense of propriety, discipline, or self-control. Being adopted I was given a name different than the one I was born with, but I was never treated as anything less than a Simpson. I really do feel like I owe it to my parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles etc… to honor the name that I was given, and I believe that means doing everything in my power to insure that when people hear that name it means something positive to them.

Every time my phone beeped on my birthday with people taking the time to reach out and let me know they were thinking of me, every time I read a message from a friend or acquaintance, I thought about the massive amounts of kindness and grace I’ve been shown in this life, and how thankful I am for the people who have loved me in spite of all the reasons they might have had not to.

As Jan and I sat at dinner that night, reflecting on the day, Jan made the statement that it was a “best day”. I believe that our best days are definitely the ones where we are reminded to be grateful. If my 10/10s going forward are like this one, I think the days of loathing my birthday are behind me.

In the Fog

Burying his mom was the hardest thing he had had to do since…well, since burying his dad 25 years earlier.

Now, 6 days post-funeral he is back in the office.  He thinks to himself, “Things seem so clear…” but everyone around him is thinking, “His head is not quite right yet.”  And why should it be?  6 days ago he stood beside his brothers and sisters as they lowered the matriarch of the family, the most constant and consistent part of their lives, into the ground alongside their dad.  Things were different.  They were orphans now.

He has been about his work since his return, glad to have the distraction however there is no escaping those moments when he is alone with his thoughts.  Thoughts that don’t just creep up on him, they rush his mind like an invading army of Huns.

He is solid; mentally, emotionally, spiritually tough.  The way his mom was.  One of the traits that they had in common.  One of the many.  Mom was caring, but transparent.  You knew that she loved you, but you also knew what she thought about you, your friends, your choices…  That integrity, the fact that right or wrong you knew where you stood with her, was a turnoff to some but he had always found it refreshing.  He thought to himself, “Mom’s integrity, dad’s charm.  A golden combination.”foggy-cemetery-01032017

He hadn’t been sleeping well since the funeral, but he found himself feeling well-rested.  Since mom died on Christmas Day, the year-end business that had to be done was a week behind so there was some stress in his world however, he found that in spite of the presence of stress he wasn’t necessarily “stressed”.  This had not been the case just 7 days ago.

So now he is wondering if he is in a fog?  Nah!  He knew the difference between “intensity” and just being “tense”.  He is aware of his circumstances, he knows what needs to be done and what has to be done, and he knows the difference.  He knows you can maintain your “edge” without being “edgy”.

Clarity of mind and purpose; this was his meditation each day, and he felt as clear about where he was and where he was headed as he had in a long, long time.

But he also realizes that you can achieve clarity within the fog.

  • Big Wave Davedavid on Sea-doo
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There were many changes for the Simpson’s in 2016.  At the beginning of the year I was the Regional Sales Manager for GM Financial; the finance arm for General Motors.  I was responsible for 187 dealers across 5 states and 5 area reps.  The job entailed a lot of travel and being in a different car dealership every day.  When I accepted this position my strategy was to build relationships with my dealers that would result in an opportunity to eventually become a General Manager.  With my territory being the Midwest, I anticipated my opportunity to be a GM to be somewhere in the Midwest as well.

At the end of the Summer last year both of my kids left to go to their perspective colleges, so Jan and I effectively became “empty-nesters”.  Having raised our kids to this point in their lives ran parallel to Jan and I achieving this point in our lives where we could accept the right position at the right dealership regardless of where it was in the country.

I flew to several dealership interviews from one side of the country to the other, and once I had made up my mind of where we were going and who we were going to work for things moved pretty quickly.  I packed everything I needed and left Jan in Dallas to get my kids off to their colleges and to pack up our apartment in preparation for a relocation.  I arrived at my new store on a Friday morning, and by 11:00 I knew I had made the wrong choice.

A week later I got on an airplane and flew back to Dallas.  Before I left the dealership parking lot I made a phone call and accepted another GM position in another part of the country.  I called Jan from the airport with the news, “Don’t stop packing, but we’re going someplace else.”  I spent the next week helping Jan pack and the next Sunday I was on another airplane headed to our new opportunity in Maryland.  That Tuesday I started my next new career at my current store.  Walking into the conference room to meet my new staff, I knew in an instant that I was home.

In the 4 months since I accepted my current position, the store I manage has made a 180 degree turn, Jan and I are closer than ever, my kids are learning how to be self-sufficient, and I am finding things out about myself that I could not have learned in any other context.

figure-playing-basketballThe first day of the new year is a great time for introspection and reflection, and looking back I am so proud of the way Jan and I have embraced this new road we are on.  I am thinking this morning of the lessons that I learned along the way.



  1. Don’t lose focus on your goals, regardless of your circumstances or your geography
  2. The most important asset in any ones life is the quality of the relationships we make along the way
  3. We are capable of more than we think we are if we focus our efforts on our strengths and passions, and are willing to do the work and invest the time
  4. A person is never too old or too stuck to reinvent themselves into the person that they know that they can be
  5. Making a mistake is never fatal, staying in those circumstances becasue it’s easier than risking another mistake is the reason most people are dissatisfied with their lives


  • Big Wave Davesimpson-seadoo
  • David Simpson
  • Trainer-Mentor-Coach
  • (469) 939-0410 Mobile
  • bigwavedave@oictraining.com

Performance Selling

I do a lot of “stand up” training for dealerships, and I was thinking about how communicating in front of a room (which most people are terrified of) has a lot of parallels to communicating to a single customer.

1.  Credibility is everything

If you don’t have credibility when dealing with a customer on the showroom floor, you might as well give them a card and turn them loose.  They aren’t going to buy from you, and if they do it will be because your manager has intervened with, “How cheap do I need to sell this vehicle to make this make sense?”  Likewise, my credibility in front of an audience has to be established early, or I end up speaking to the backs of everyone’s smart phone.  Lou Holtz says that customer’s have to answer 3 questions about a sales person before they will make a decision to do business with them.  Those 3 things are, Do you know what you are talking about?  Can I trust you? and Do you care about me?

Whether I am speaking to an audience of 1 or 1,000 for me to be successful, they each need to be able to answer “Yes” to those 3 questions.

Microphone-on-stage2.  You have to have good timing

The best stand-up comics are good at what they do because they have good timing.  They respond to their audience, and they space the jokes and the punchlines appropriately.

A successful sales person has good timing as well.  They respond to their audience, and they don’t try to force the “punchline” (the close) on the customer too early.

There are a lot of little closes in a sales transaction, before there is the big one.  There is closing that I am the right sales person to help the customer achieve what they are trying to achieve.  There is closing the needs-analysis conversation, then the product presentation and demonstration.  The timing of those closes has to be perfect, or at some point the customer becomes disconnected from the sales person, or the process.

I had a sales person who rarely ever had to negotiate.  When this person brought me a deal, it was a deal.  I asked him once how he was so successful closing on the first offer and he told me, “Some sales people close the customer on paper, I just don’t go to paper till the customers are closed”.  He timed his closing right so he didn’t have to negotiate; it wasn’t a matter of “if”, it was a matter of “when”, “how” and “how many times”.

3.  You have to close with impact

Simply put, if I get to the end of a performance or the end of the sales process, I need to have earned the right to ask for commitment.  This means that the previous 1, 2 or 3 hours had to have been spent building value in me, my message and my conviction.  For these things to be true, I need to have been in touch from the start with what my audience/customers expectations were, and I should have spent the balance of my time meeting those expectations.

Credibility, timing and impact are 3 things that effective communicators have a handle on, whether they are communicating with an audience in a stadium or a customer in a showroom.


I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was on the big tractor with the 8′ brush hog on the back and it was the first day of Summer.  One of my jobs this particular Summer was to mow the back pasture of our farm; a vast expanse of knee-high hay grass that seemed to go on and on.  

In my mind my Summer was spent; this would be my June-August Purgatory.  

My dad was going once more through the controls of the tractor; the gears, clutch, brake, etc…  I looked down at him desperately and said, “Look at how much there is!  I will never mow all of that in one Summer!”  

My dad patted my leg, hard but good, and pointed at the nose of the tractor and said, “Just cut the hay in front of you.  The rest of the pasture will take care of itself.”  


Jesus told His disciples not to worry about tomorrow.  Tomorrow has worries enough on it’s own.  He told the disciples, in not so many words, to just “…cut the hay in front of them.”  

How often do we lose our perspective by looking at the expanse of what stands between us and what we desire, or what we are called for?  We have been taught to appreciate the merit in “big picture” thinking, but there is a difference in seeing the big picture and getting lost in it.  Often we can look so many steps ahead thinking we are being prudent, that we lose our footing on the next step and fall where we stand.

Holy Week has meant a lot to me, not because of the power that God has shown me in what He has chosen to do in my life but because of the grace He has shown me in what He has chosen to withhold from my life.

I know this is His way of patting my leg, hard but good, pointing at the path before me and saying, “Just cut the hay in front of you, and the rest will take care of itself.”


ImageBig Wave Dave
(469) 939-0410 Cell



finding-your-purposeThe longer that I live, and the more that I learn about people, the more convinced I become that humans as a species are born for a purpose.  We are born with an inborn desire to discover our purpose.  We are conditioned by our culture that prosperity gives us purpose, but promotion without purpose is not prosperity, it is futility.

So what is “purpose“, and how do we inject our desire, our pursuit of purpose into our lives in such a way that we can live into that purpose and still assimilate ourselves into our culture?

Alignmentalways precedesassignment“.  Finding-life-purpose

I can only speak for myself, and in my own experience, that there is room for purpose in our pursuit of prosperity.  There is a way to live into our purpose even through the process of participating in our culture.

Once we align ourselves with our purpose, we are now ready to live our lives in the light of that purpose.  While others are chasing “careers“, those of us who know our purpose, that reason for which we are created, are able to live our “calling“.

dartboard bullseyeI say this who is a car salesman, not a preacher.  I say this who is not necessarily a “good” person, but who has identified his purpose.  Even in the activity of capitalism, I am determined to live into that purpose for which I believe I was created.

One aspect of purpose that exists in all of creation is relationship.  We are all born to live in relationship with one another.  We are all created as social creatures, that is a fact.  Denying our responsibility to relationship is not only counter-productive, and unhealthy; it is unnatural.

This is what I try to communicate first and foremost to the people that I am charged by my clients to train, nurture and develop; that whether we be salesmen, managers or top-level executives, the only things that we do that matter, the only investments we make in this life that lasts, are the quality of our relationships.

Likewise, the only value that we bring into our vocational lives is our ability to create, foster and manage relationships.

Business goes on.  Our free-market society by design demands that we buy, sell and trade to continue to turn the wheels of commerce.  There is nothing inherently evil about participating in our economy; whatever our role.  However, the same culture that is driven by this economy can become pervasive.  That culture tells us if enough is good, more is better.  So the question, “How much is enough?” is answered, “A little bit more.”

ProsperityThis takes our eyes off of our purpose, and so we begin to seek our identity in what the world has to offer us, rather than what we have to offer our world.   

From experience I can tell you, no matter your skill set, or the aptitude you have achieved within your craft; if you ignore your purpose, you rob yourself of any hope for peace, progress or real prosperity.


Stay Green!david on Sea-doo

David Simpson


Do you like to gamble?  (Whether yes or no)

You know how to play blackjack, right?

Every hand in blackjack is going to end one of 3 ways; win, lose or push, isn’t it.

If you walked into a casino and there were 2 blackjack tables; one of them was normal with the 3 possible outcomes, but the other was special, at that table you could only either win or push, which one would you choose?

The one where I couldn’t lose, of course.

Of course, that’s an easy one, right?  You’re buying your vehicle today, betting that it’s going to be worth a certain dollar amount down the line.  Let’s say that you expect your vehicle to be worth $10,000 in 3 years, but it is actually worth $12,000.  Did you win?


And if it was worth $10,000, would you consider that a push?


But, if something beyond your control was to happen and your vehicle was only worth $6,000, wouldn’t that be a loss?

Oh yeah       

That’s right, unfortunately you’d lose.  That’s why myself and most of my customers choose the lease option.  You see, our lease program offers the option that conventional purchasing does not, the ability to give it back to the bank and walk away.  That way, you can never lose.

Since you told me that you like/don’t like to gamble, and no one likes to lose, wouldn’t it make sense to play the hand you can’t lose?

I guess so.

Let me show you how it looks, and some of your available options leasing vs. buying.  Fair enough.


WIN                 LOSE               PUSH

EXPECT                                                      GET                                                      RESULT

$10,000                                                           $12,000                                               WIN

$10,000                                                           $10,000                                               PUSH

$10,000                                                           $6,000                                                 LOSE