[heart] & Soul

Feb 2, 2012

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s customary to profess your love. But would you agree with one of those little candy hearts with the words on them that read: I [heart] Work?

As a performance aftermarket professional, my guess is you would. As much as in any other industry, those who build cars and engines for a living are by-and-large driven by a passion that goes far beyond simply collecting a paycheck.

The vast majority of people I’ve met in this industry were enthusiasts first, deciding at a young age to forge a career doing something they love. Sure, they have their moments of frustration and anger like anyone else, but most wouldn’t change places for the world.

Heart and passion fuel what we do every day-even as the industry continues to battle through the recession and other challenges. Don’t think for a minute that’s a coincidence.

“One thing I’ve found is that everyone who is making it in this industry, or plans to make it, is doing so with a lot of heart. And let’s face it-forging ahead in the performance aftermarket is not for the weak of heart!” says Dick Dixon in a recent column on vision planning.

Open any issue of Performance Business and it’s not difficult to find multiple examples of professionals pouring their heart and soul into this business. It’s one of the main reasons why putting out this magazine is so much fun!

For instance, in a recent profile on his shop, Bob Joy explains how a love of speed and excitement led him to a 50-year career that’s included stops in racing, hot rods and even working for Carroll Shelby.

“One day when I was 8- or 9-years-old, I caught a stock car race on television. All I could say was, ‘Wow!'” he recalls. “I remember that I went outside and got some wood and took the wheels off the wagon and made a car. I took it over to the hills and got a bit of a ride out of it. I guess I’ve never looked back.”

In fact, passion and heart can be considered job requirements for many local speed shops. Drivers expect you to not only know the ins and outs of the business, but to connect with them as enthusiasts as well.

“Attending races as a shop-from the viewpoint of the customer, it separates the shop that just treats its business as a business from one that mixes business with its passion,” says Thor Schroeder of Moroso Performance Products. “A shop that’s involved with racing does gain credibility in the customer’s eyes. It elevates the business from one that just sells parts to one that has a specialist or specialists to help in the buying process.”

So go ahead and use your passion for the industry as fuel to forge ahead. We’ll continue to applaud you here at Performance Business, where We [heart] Our Readers!