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Life is Good

January 2, 2019

I’ve been reading the book Life is Good: How to Live with Purpose and Enjoy the Ride, by the brothers who started the Life is Good apparel company. The authors Bert Jacobs and John Jacobs share how they struggled for years with the fledgling t-shirt company until they stumbled upon a personal mission to share the power of optimism. Their simple message that life is, in fact, filled with goodness, resonated with a diverse audience, people who were hungry for positive energy in times of turmoil. The brothers knew they were on to something when they sold out of the first 48 Life is Good t-shirts in one hour- to customers ranging from bikers to librarians. They even sold the t-shirts they were wearing, and went home elated, inspired and shirtless. From that moment forward, they focused on their new vision, and watched the business grow from double digit revenues to six figures, while providing a work environment where others could match their talents to an organization with broader goals than sales alone.

This story reminds me of Jim Hudson Lexus team member Colby McKnight, our Technology Specialist, product knowledge trainer, in-house video maestro and overall guru. In responding to his blog questionnaire, Colby’s replies sound like those shared by the Life is Good founders. When asked who inspires him, he describes a pastor and author who “lives what he preaches”, espousing an authentic lifestyle based on his beliefs. He also talks about his best friend Chris, with whom he has “built a friendship around constantly trying to make each other better spiritually, professionally, and emotionally”. For Colby, as for the Jacobs brothers, work must have a profound motivation tied to living faithfully to one’s conscience. It is also clear that this commitment is a recipe for success.

Building a career in a company which in sync with individual principles is not something everyone ponders, but those who aspire to live authentically find this pairing essential. When asked what he likes about working at Jim Hudson Lexus, Colby’s own words say it best: “Finding a job you enjoy has a lot to do with fit.  Fitting in with the culture, the tasks assigned to me, and the people has a lot to do with why I love working here.” He goes on to explain that he takes pride in the fact that the dealership is driven by a passion for customer service, compatible with his beliefs about how people should be treated. In his role as Lexus Technology Specialist, Colby fixes problems and answers questions for guests getting to know their new cars. He tells us that every day is different, and he leverages his degree in teaching when he explains complicated technology to guests and coworkers in a way that makes it easier to absorb.

In addition to ongoing learning, another one of Colby’s values is family, and he considers his wife Adrienne an integral part of his career decisions. Over three years ago, they talked extensively about the possibility of Colby’s giant leap from teaching Spanish to selling cars, not realizing at the time that he would eventually serve the dealership in a training capacity. Colby bounces work ideas off his wife, who is an entrepreneur herself, and finds that her perspective helps him to make sound decisions within the framework of living deliberately. Colby and Adrienne have 2 adorable children, Cayden Michael, who at 4 years of age loves to wrestle with his dad at the end of the work day, and Penelope Kathryn, 2, the family fashionista who is passionate about wearing bows in her hair and looking pretty.

In addition to his varied days at work and time with family, Colby enjoys reading non-fiction books, dabbling in photography and being outdoors for walks or picnics. He tells us that when he is at home, he tries to take pictures of mundane things that are interesting in a new perspective. Closeup pictures are a favorite because they “show a level of detail that people rarely get to see every day.” That fascination with knowledge and new perspectives is what makes Colby such a genius at his job, and such a delightful human being. How fortunate we are to have Colby in our Lexus family, and what an inspiration he is to each of us, challenging us to find our “perfect fit” with our work and our life values. What he brings to his job and our dealership is a dedication to a perpetual state of learning and helping others, one that radiates out to the rest of the team in a positive way. Life is good, indeed.

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