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Dollars & Sense

7 Habits of High-Earning Expediters

7 Habits of High-Earning Expediters

By Sean M. Lyden, Staff Writer
Posted Oct 12th 2015 9:00AM

Motivational speaker Tony Robbins often says, “Success leaves clues.” What he means is that you can succeed in virtually endeavor, if you study the “clues,” the habits and actions that are most common among the top performers -- and then apply those principles in your own life.

So, if you’re looking to fulfill your highest earning potential as an expediter, look for the “clues.” What are the habits most common among the highest-earning expedite owner-operators?

EO spoke with John Elliott, chief executive officer for Load One LLC, and John Mueller, partner and head of safety & recruiting for The Premium Group, to get their perspective since they’ve worked with numerous owner-operators over the years. Here are seven habits they’ve observed that distinguish the most successful expediters.

Habit #1: Develop a positive attitude

“Your attitude goes along way with all the people you interact with on a daily basis to get the job done,” says Elliott.

So, how do you cultivate a positive mindset?

Ask yourself these questions when you start your day (and think about them throughout the day):

  • What am I thankful for?
  • What am I most excited about?
  • What do I like most about being an expediter?
  • What are my greatest strengths?
  • Who can I encourage today?

Habit #2: Master the business of expediting

“Top earning owner operators are always businessmen first and drivers second,” says Mueller. “They know the true costs of operating their vehicle and base decisions on those costs. And they understand the best locations to increase probability for the next load. They’re smart about fuel purchases and don’t allow their trucks to idle while sitting for long periods of time.”

A key part of the expedite business is managing and maintaining your equipment for maximum efficiency, says Elliott. “You need to understand the lifecycle and cost of ownership of your vehicle to manage the finance and equipment aspects of your business. You look at maintenance as a preventative thing, not a reactive thing, because long-term maintenance is cheaper than repairs.”

Habit #3: Expand your credentials -- and income opportunities

Do you have hazmat and TSA certifications? Are you qualified to deliver loads to Canada? Do you have the credentials to haul “white glove” or “special services” freight?

“The more you can do by increasing your certifications, the more load opportunities you’ll have and the more money you’ll make,” says Elliott.

Habit #4: Strengthen your finances

Says Mueller, “Successful expediters understand the business fluctuations in expediting and plan accordingly. They are financially prepared because you will not survive in expediting living paycheck to paycheck.”

For practical tips on how to bolster your finances, see “Plan Now to Build Your Emergency Reserves.”

Habit #5: Be a continuous learner

“Seek to further your knowledge of the industry and regulations by reading, participating in seminars and workshops, and by attending your company-sponsored meetings,” says Mueller.

Here are some resources to help you expand your knowledge -- and your network:

Says Elliott, “Get advice from other successful expediters. Find out what works for them and what their challenges have been, and how they’ve overcome those challenges. Always be learning.”

Habit #6. Dress as a professional

“Top earning owner-operators dress as professionals because how you dress affects how others perceive you. And how you dress affects how you feel about your job and the level of respect you communicate to those you interact with throughout the day,” says Mueller.

Habit #7. Make health a top priority

“High-earning expediters maintain their health,” says Elliott. “They understand how important their health is to their long-term success.”

After all, having to take time off due to health issues means lost freight opportunities … and income. So, how can you cultivate a healthy lifestyle when you’re having to deal with the typical schedule fluctuations that’s common in expediting? See “Fitness that Fits the Expediter Lifestyle.

The Bottom Line

Which of these seven habits do you still need to work on? Focus on each one until it becomes ingrained in your everyday life and puts you on track to fulfill your highest earning potential as an expediter.

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