Lone Survivor Luttrell inspires dealers to attack each day

Marcus Luttrell inspired independent auto dealers Tuesday during the NIADA Convention and Expo keynote conversation in an entertaining and enthralling hour.

The decorated Navy SEAL, best-selling author and podcast host, whose story inspired the Hollywood blockbuster Lone Survivor, reminded dealers to keep pushing through the hard times.

“You gotta love what you do and you gotta want to be good at it,” Luttrell said. “You gotta want to do it all the time. No matter if there’s pain involved or if it’s the good times or the bad. Get good times and bad times out of your head. It’s the times you need to shift into a lower gear and go down in your paychecks and everything like that to remind yourself what it’s like to have the good ones.”

Glenn Lundy of 800% Elite Auto moderated the conversation, covering Luttrell’s draw to serving, sacrifice and survival.

“Life’s designed to kick you in the face. It’s designed to break you down,” Luttrell said.

“Look at every scenario that you get into like it’s a test to make you harder. We don’t get battle-weakened around here. We get battle-hardened. That’s what Americans do. We’re different than everybody else. We’re the mutts. We got kicked out of every other country.”

Growing up near Houston, Texas, Luttrell was drawn to military service at a young age, training alongside his twin brother, Morgan. Luttrell credited the tough training of a neighbor for preparing him for military life.

Luttrell enlisted in the Navy in 1999 and two years later graduated as a SEAL.

After recovering from his injuries suffered during the fateful Operation Red Wings, he served one more tour before retiring. He was awarded the Navy Cross, Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service.

Luttrell paid tribute to the fallen heroes of Operation Red Wings in his New York Times best-selling book Lone Survivor released in 2007. In 2014, Mark Wahlberg depicted Luttrell on the silver screen in the movie based on the book, Lone Survivor.

Luttrell told dealers to get up each day ready for battle.

“When you get up in the morning, if you don’t go out to attack the day, the day will bring something in there to attack you,” Luttrell said. “So, get your fighter mentality online. No matter what you do. You go out tired. That’s your tired day. If you go out full of, you know, and vinegar, get after it. But at no point in time do you stand down ever.”

Standing up to those daily challenges that life throws at you requires self-belief.

“Never let anyone’s perception of you become your reality. Especially for a snapshot in time,” Luttrell said.

But you are not in this alone. His missions and time in the military reinforced lessons in teamwork and the need to surround yourself with the right people.

“Stack your deck,” Luttrell said. “Know what goes behind them, their family. What makes them laugh? What makes them cry? What do they like to eat? What’s their favorite day off? Know your teammates and focus on them and then they’ll focus on what you want.”

He emphasized picking up others, even when it’s difficult.

“The first person that you always run into make sure you’re a blessing to them because you don’t have any idea what kind of day they’re having,” Luttrell said. “No matter what kind of day you’re having. I don’t care if you wake up in the morning, the first thing you do is step in dog crap. That means the end of your day is gonna be better.”

Luttrell told dealers never to forget the value of relationships.

“When you go into a town, make a friend over money and do whatever it is you could possibly do to harness that friendship and to sharpen it. In this realm, that’s how we do business,” Luttrell said.

His final piece of advice produced a few laughs.

“Don’t sweat the petty stuff and don’t pet the sweaty stuff. Y’all remember that and life will be great,” Luttrell said.

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