Plenty of Options, None Good

WI 2

I took my car into the dealer to identify what was wrong with it. It was $100 diagnostic pricing. The day before I had talked with my Dad and brother regarding what my plan would be regarding paying to fix it or doing the buyback program. We talked over a few ideas but really knowing more information should help.

I got some work done while waiting, but it was hard to schedule meetings due to uncertainty with my car situation. After a while I got the news it would take $10,000 and the service representative said it was the easiest call for the buyback he’s ever seen. I had an issue with the diesel particulate filter, turbo charger, boost hoses and exhaust pressure sensor. The buyback was the way to go. I had even started to do the online paperwork to make it happen.

I had failed in one large aspect. I didn’t fully research ahead of time how it would work. Buying this Volkswagen, I had previously had an old Acura Legend that I put forth during the cash for clunker program a few years back. It was simple, I had my car, I got money for the down payment and I was good to go. The buyback process is quite different to the cash for clunker experience I had.

Through starting the process, I needed some paperwork. This paperwork, of course, isn’t with me in Wisconsin, rather with my brother in California. Additionally, it will take 2-X number of weeks. The earliest is 2, and really it could be far longer. Not too convenient when half way across the country in a state without any close friends or relatives.

Some options being weighed were to stay around in a cheap hotel, air bnb or other options, drive a rental car to relatives in Illinois then come back, drive a rental car and continue my trip, ship my car to California, fly back and regroup, or get a new car and move on. Technically I could quit the trip, but of all the options, that is the least like me to move forward with. I’m far more likely to figure it out, make it work, and move forward.

As the title says, there were plenty of options, but none of them were truly good. Perhaps those reading have other options, I likely had more I didn’t list but those were the most notable/easiest to recall.

I consulted with my brother and parents a lot during the process. My brother was willing to help me get me some of the paperwork. I thought the best approach would be to move forward with the trip in a new car. I wanted a used car, but not the cheapest due to the fact I had 38 more states to go and thousands of miles to drive. Having a bad used car would be nerve racking, wondering if it would break down and lead to more issues. I thought about a newer used car, but at 3 years old and 40,000 miles there were some mild concerns, especially when it was about $2,500 more for a brand-new car, far better warranty, and not subjected to the harsh winters.

Part of the trip is to have some fun, enjoy good experiences before working hard. Sometimes plans can shift a bit, but that is part of life. I know that when I finish the trip, it will be a lot of hard work for me. I’m not afraid of that by any means. I have worked very hard over many years to achieve things I’ve achieved. I will work hard, to take care of my responsibilities and through this trip, I may have other additional avenues of cash flow as well. Plus, the buyback will cover a large majority of the car, once I get it settled.

This whole process took a bit over a day, but the amount of thinking was incredible, not only by me but by members of the family, and other friends too. My brother even bounced ideas off good people as well, to add more thoughts in the mix. I’m very grateful for their willingness to help. Especially because this is how I make my best decisions in any leadership roles, not that I’m in charge of anyone, but it helps with my comfort and confidence. I have my own thoughts and like to add in those from others and consider many options. What helped was my Dad providing opposite thoughts of my brother, forcing me to truly consider various options. In the end, due to the unusual circumstance, I’m in and the other factors, I made what I believed to be the best call and stand by it.

Getting back to my normally planned events, the next morning I had some meetings planned and my Dad called me saying I had a place to stay in IL that night. A bit of pressure trying to get 4 meetings in 1 day. I had 3 scheduled, but there’s never a guarantee it will pan out as scheduled. I went to Monkey Bar Gym in Milwaukee, but the timing was a little off as I didn’t have a set schedule for them, but I did for the next one. I had to cut out after a tour, but timing and Jeff’s kindness allowed for me to come back after that appointment.

I met with Kyle at CrossFit West Allis who was in process of getting their expanded location to the level of their vision. He told me from day one that he has been about community, but after one year did some critical looking at his focus and programming and realized that it was catered to a small group of athletes. Instead, he shifted it and it has been much more inclusive and effective. He told me I could work out that afternoon and I was able to come back and do so, including a shower. It was certainly a good workout, as most WODs are and I was ready to leave for IL. It was a day later I realized I had left my towel there! Kyle was kind enough to set it aside for me and gives me a good reason to stop back in.

The other gym meeting was with Monkey Bar Gym, where Jeff had a desire for a gym but was struggling with the right brand and development. He came across Monkey Bar Gym and loved the message of functional strength and conditioning, yoga, and nutrition. Quite an unusual gym, but people enjoy it.

Some emails had been sent to breweries and Sweet Mullets got back to me. I showed up and Chad was kind enough to take a break from his brewing work to chat. He had been wanting to buy a brewery after missing out on a previous chance. It was always an idea, and he didn’t realize how close he was. Buying a place gave a chance to integrate into something that was functioning and not needing to worry about all the small details of size and arrangement of items in the taproom and brewing area. After chatting, Chad made a couple of phone calls on my behalf to set up my last meeting.

I went back towards Milwaukee to meet with Mob Craft Brewery thanks to Chad. It is the first crowd sourced brewery and really it is the result of two partners coming together. They look to customers for ideas for beers and sometimes true gems are the result which is enjoyable.

I was ready to head to Illinois in my new wheels, having a place to stay. I’d have to work on quite a bit of paperwork while in Illinois and more, which I’m sure will be easy and smooth.

(I wasn’t sure, I thought it’d be a bit of a pain, so that was some attempt at sarcasm which is not the easiest to convey in text, but really, it’s been a big pain. More information to come!)


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