Welcome to Cars For a Living! It’s my intent that this podcast, blog, and newsletter will be a resource to those of you out there that would love to take your passion for cars and turn it into a money making venture. For some that may be selling new or used parts, for others it may mean restoring show-quality cars full-time, and for others yet it may mean engineering the replacement for the turbocharger. Honestly, the direction is up to you, and my hope is to give you the hand in getting there that I wished I would have had.
It’s my goal that each podcast show and blog post will be a place where I can give you a few helpful nuggets of information that will short-cut your path forward. Sometimes the shows will just be me flying solo, where in other shows I’ll bring in the great industry leaders that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and ask them to share their success secrets (which I’ve found they are HAPPY to do). My biggest hope is to answer a lot of your questions and tailor this to your needs as much as possible. I don’t claim to have all of the answers by any means, but it’s amazing how much learning you can do just by trying something with all of your might for a few years. Plus, when I don’t know how to do something I’ve become an expert in asking the real experts for help. That may be the thing I do best.
For the past several years I have built my business, The MuscleCar Place, from the ground level into what it is today. I started it all out on the side while working as a software engineer (I’m a mechanical engineer by degree) and then made the leap full-time once things got up and running. Through the process I have had a few great successes…..and a few million colossal failures (click HERE to read how my first year went). It’s allowed me to work in media as a podcast show host, as an automotive freelance writer, as a business development specialist for automotive technology companies, all while feeding my family and getting to play with cars for a living. I wouldn’t claim at all that it was easy, but I wouldn’t change it ever. It’s the journey that I’ve been on that has led me to talk to others that have made it big, as well as learn from those who didn’t, and I hope to pass that all on to you.
So why am I creating this? Well, the biggest reason to create it is because I really wished I could have had something like it all along. Knowing what type of business to form legally (S-Corp, LLC, etc.), whether or not a website would be needed, how to charge people for parts and services, where to get financing (or not), when a good time to bring in (and let go) employees was, and just plain knowing if there was a market out there were all things that I struggled with. I personally hired career coaches, went to seminars, read self-help and business books, begged my wife and friends to tell me what to do with my life until they couldn’t stand me, etc.. Those were all valuable to me, but I really wished that I could get help from someone who had actually been there. The automotive world is a tough nut to crack, pure and simple.
I’m also doing this because I decided to go go out and ask my gearhead friends if it’s something that at all interested them. I knew many of them were talented enough to do it, but just didn’t think it was possible. When I surveyed nearly 200 of them I was blown away by the results. It proved to me that something had to be done. Here are the stats:
I’ve found that the real key in success in this industry is having a deep passion for what it is that you’re doing, and to not try to force yourself into becoming something you’re not. If you’re not a Donald Trump ram-charger kind of person, don’t put yourself in a position that requires that; you’ll fail if you do. If you’re a super-nerd that’s great with data, stats, and have a huge passion for aftermarket wheels, embrace it and become the next TireRack. I fully believe that God built us all with interests, passions, abilities, and talents, and only by combining those while SIMULTANEOUSLY embracing your personality and demeanor will you find success. The thing is though, you’ll be shocked at how good it can get when you do.
What’s the catch, you ask? Do I have a book to sell, or a secret that I’ll only share for $19.99/month? Honestly, no. I don’t have a book or a course to give you at this point, though if you’d like me to create one for you in the future I’d be honored to. My approach right now will be to create 10 podcast shows for you that are jam packed with as much information as I can cram into them to help you on your journey. I’ll do the same via the blog here at The MuscleCar Place as well. After that, if it makes sense to continue forward, I will. If not, this will simply live on the internet forever and will hopefully benefit someone, somewhere.
Everything that I do will be sent out via the special Cars For A Living Newsletter, which is separate from the regular MuscleCar Place newsletter that many of you already receive. I decided to take that approach because, well, if you’re not interested in this sort of thing I’d rather not wast your time with it. This will be a fairly infrequent newsletter with the latest podcast or blog info, but I’d expect it to just go out 2-3 times a month, if that. From time to time I may share a few resources with you here and there, and while some will be free, others may not be. Rest assured, I’ve tried them all, and I know what it’s like to be burned by things like that, so I’ll only pass on things to you that I think may be worth your time.
I’ll include a few links below to subscribe to the podcast and newsletter. I’d suggest that you start there and check it all out. If you feel it’s of value please share it with your friends, and if you don’t….then don’t!
Here’s to your automotive fueled passions – and your success!
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The above section was written when I (Rob) started Cars For A Living and was working on it solo. Since then (and not too soon after) Dan Kahn joined me in not only hosting the podcast show, but also in building up C4AL into something to help people launch and build their automotive businesses into something special. Dan is a veteran in this industry and brings a TON to the table. Be sure to check out his bio in the About Us page!