Once upon a time there lived some ordinary Americans in a familiar struggling economy. Like most American’s, these particular individuals all liked to drive cars. And why not, they are great for getting around.
Charlie Bryson was an ordinary man. He grew up in small town America where the pace was slow and the folks were friendly. Charlie owned several small businesses, one being a new and used car lot. Charlie was a humble man, but found it humorous to call his businesses Charlie Bryson Enterprises.
Charlie Bryson Enterprises was associated with a motor company called Chesterfield Orville Baker Motor Company. If you say, “That’s a funny name,” you are right. As you may have guessed, it’s an old name and an old company. The Chesterfield Orville Baker Motor Company started out on the right foot, which proved to be crucial to its existence.
A popular and well-loved book called Principles of the Auto Industry for Dummies was used in creating the company’s founding principles. In fact, the company respected the principles in this book so much that they decided to base their entire company on this book and simply use it as the guide for everyday business operations. The book carefully lays down guidelines as to how a business should operate and conduct itself. Ever since this decision was made, these guidelines, or blueprint as you may call it, seemed odd and raised criticism from many. Nonetheless, the Chesterfield Orville Baker company flourished because of its rigidity in purposing to obey and fulfill all points in the book.
Sadly, as time went on, the entire company was changed from within so much that it was literally indistinguishable from the original company. If someone was to say, “Chesterfield Orville Baker,” no one would associate it with the book Principles of The Auto Industry for Dummies. The vehicles produced were so different that the only similarities were the fact that they had an engine and approximately four wheels. No longer was the company producing simple efficient machines; now it turned out anything, whatever was popular, even if it was highly impractical.
As I said, Charlie Bryson owned a new and used car lot. He was a dealer for the Chesterfield Orville Baker Company and worked with them for the sales of new cars. But sadly, Charlie’s business was lacking sales compared to the other dealers. How could Charlie, with a clean conscience, try to sell a twelve ton, four passenger car to someone? Or what was Charlie to think when Chesterfield Orville Baker started producing cars with Chevy engines, Honda drivetrains, and Toyota electronics? The problem was not with the lost identity, but with the lost principles that the company flourished on in the beginning. If Chesterfield, Orville, or Baker, either of them, were to stand up from their grave and see what their company was producing, they would most likely shove an axle through themselves and fall back into their grave.
Obviously, something needed to be done; and fortunately it has been being done. A group of activists, led by a Chesterfield Orville Baker company dealer Billy Raphe, had begun a mission of influence within the company. His little group began calling themselves Billy Raphe and Friends. This group was made up of company dealers such as Jack Dawson and Henry Metaphor, men who met occasionally to discuss action plans. They always attended auto shows in order to speak to people and influence them. They send out emails to dealers and even the company itself every month, and even published short e-books on the founding principles, yet they have to wonder how much good they are really doing for the ones who really mattered. The end results: much good, but yet continually losing ground. The emails, e-books, and personal conversations were very positively accepted for various Chesterfield Orville Baker dealers as well as some independent dealers, but it seemed even as this positive influence was exerted, the company continued to go against the founding principles. As time went on, sadly, even Billy Raphe and Friends would find themselves compromising, choosing to call some wrong actions by the company ok when they are not. Actually, now the fact is that the Chesterfield Orville Baker company is struggling to exist, and is doing so only by incorporating so many parts from other automakers that it may as well not even exist as a company anymore.
Our friend Charlie Bryson of Charlie Bryson Enterprises fully supported the work of Billy Raphe and Friends. He earnestly longed for their work to take effect and stimulate the people into right thinking based on the Principles of The Auto Industry for Dummies. Charlie, a great friend to Billy Raphe, had an idea to help Mr. Raphe and the many dealers struggling to know what to do.
Charlie proposed that a group of dealers should meet and decide together that they would only sell the good, efficient cars that the company produced and not participate in selling the ones that blatantly went against the Principles of The Auto Industry for Dummies. Billy Raphe discussed it with Charlie and said that his idea is excellent and well thought out, but added that he thinks Charlie should execute his idea separately from the efforts of Billy Raphe and Friends. Charlie said ok.
Time went by. Charlie didn’t do anything for a while. In fact, he waited over five years. He felt that such a big decision should not be made quickly. He decided to wait and see what would happen; suppose someone else will come to him with the same idea.
Meanwhile, Charlie and his friends sent letters to the company only to be turned down. They tried talking to them, but it just wasn’t working.
Five years later, Charlie fell sick with a life threatening illness. Charlie was a Christian, so some of his close friends, Gary and Floyd, came to see him and prayed for him together. Charlie was miraculously healed; the doctors literally could not believe it!
About a month later, Gary and Floyd met with Charlie to have coffee together. To Charlie’s surprise, both Gary and Floyd excitedly started talking of an idea they had. Neither Gary nor Floyd had talked to each other about it, and had not spoken to Charlie. But to Charlie’s amazement, both of them presented the same idea about forming and association of concerned car dealers who would stick together and only sell the good, efficient cars that the company produced and not join in selling the ones that unashamedly went against the Principles of The Auto Industry for Dummies. It was as if God Himself set it up, and had allowed Charlie to live for it.
Charlie was happy. He knew Billy Raphe and his Friends would be glad to hear the news, so he had him over for lunch. But suddenly, to the surprise of Charlie, Gary, and Floyd, it seemed there was a change of mind: Billy Raphe, Jack Dawson, Henry Metaphor and the rest of the Friends banded together against Charlie and the fellows. What was going on? Charlie was very confused at first, because all along he thought they were all working towards the same goal – returning to what the Principles of The Auto Industry for Dummies says about manufacturing and selling cars. Now it was as if Billy Raphe and Friends were threatened by Charlie. Well, they thought they were threatened, but they really had no reason in the world to feel that way. Charlie and his buddies would always be there to continue supporting Billy Raphe and Friends.
Perhaps they thought, “Its good, but not the best step.” Well then what was to be done? All other logical steps were tried and deliberately rejected. It was clear that Billy Raphe and Friends were not having enough affect as it was, but Charlie still supported them. Obviously he wasn’t trying to oppose them whatsoever, but wanted to support them in their mission.
But the oppression continued, and stupid clumsy cars kept pouring into the crowded lots with false information written all through the specs. To the dismay of Billy Raphe and Friends, the leaders of the company continually slapped them in the face by rejecting the concerns of the huge majority of dealers and go against them in making decisions.
As Charlie, Gary, and Floyd tried to figure out why Billy Raphe had teamed against them, they were met with more news—now not only was Billy Raphe opposed to Charlie’s idea (after saying it was great earlier) but now he is sending messages frantically to all those who would consider joining Charlie in his idea. It’s a shame, especially when Billy is presenting false information about Charlie. But truth will win, Charlie hopes, pressing onward.
*This allegory is not endorsed or affiliated whatsoever in any way with Charlie Bryson Enterprises or his friends.