THE NEXT CHAPTER
When I’m presented with an either-or choice, I usually look for ways to choose both. There are times when this mindset is a good thing. But it can also lead to problems. You can build a race car OR build a magazine. No. I can build a race car AND build a magazine. Well, not exactly.
Doing anything well takes time. By now, you’ve probably heard about Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers. I know I’ve mentioned it a couple times over the years. In Outliers, Gladwell makes the case it takes 10,000 hours of focused practice to become an expert at something.
The gearhead example, say you average 250 hours a year (just over three 8 hour days a month) focused on learning how to build your machine into whatever you’re after. In 10 years, you’d be a quarter of the way to being an automotive expert.
At the same time, working 8 hours a day, full-time at work, you bank 160 hours a month. That’s almost 2,000 hours a year. Theoretically, you could become an expert in just 5 years.
This is the big reason to focus on chasing what you love doing before chasing the paycheck. The 25 year old gearhead working full-time in the shop – and making relatively little money – has the potential to become an expert, making much more money doing what he loves, 35 years before the one who chased the money first and only has a couple days a month for hands on learning.
There is only so much time in the day to get things done. Every decision comes with an opportunity cost – when we do this, we’re not doing the other thing. It’s a good idea to stop aiming for work life balance. Instead, we want work life parallel.
10 years ago, I bought my first Galant VR4. It was going to be my rally car. The 10,000 hour “rule” in mind, becoming a rally expert would have required spending as much time as possible engaged in rally related activities; working on the car, running rallycrosses, volunteering at every rally I could, finding a motorsport related job – that sort of thing.
My interests were just too diverse. I discovered my love for writing about gearheads and finding ways to help us all build high performance machines and lives. I spent money on travel and all sorts of other things. Meanwhile, the rally car sat in the garage collecting dust.
I haven’t driven my would-be rally car in over 7 years. It’s been JSB (jack stand baller) since sometime in 2007. I still love rally and sliding cars around on dirt, but I obviously no longer care enough about it to put the time and money into the Galant.
So I sold it. This past weekend, I cleaned it off, rolled it outside, and loaded it on my friend Keith’s trailer. It’s his car now.
I’m fortunate Keith wants me to help him finish it this summer and race it before the end of the year. I’ve volunteered at the Prescott Rally the last 10 years in a row. It’s entirely possible my eleventh year at Prescott will find me actually wearing a helmet – in my old Galant.
195’s departure marks a turning of the page in my life. A new chapter begins. And I’m pretty excited about it.
I’m extending that optimism to GBXM. For almost 6 years, I’ve stood by the belief real gearheads are willing to pay a little bit for high quality, original content that means something. I believe hearing gearhead success stories inspires us all to rise to the occasion and live better lives, not in spite of our passion for “playing with cars,” but because of it.
I’m going to continue interviewing gearheads like us, but I’m going to actively seek out our brothers and sisters who own their own companies or are experts in other fields. We’re still going to talk about cars and trucks (and bikes and boats and maybe even airplanes), but we’re going to spend more time talking about how gearheads have modified their lives.
You can expect to hear more about our brothers and sisters leveling up in life, making more intellectual horsepower, carving life’s corners, and getting more miles per gallon (going further per liter, for our metric friends).
Coming up next, I’ve got an interview with a gearhead whose Kickstarter campaign raised four times what he was after. You’re going to meet a Miata owner who’s started his own engineering company. And I’ve even landed an interview with the gearhead CEO of an online parts retailer doing over US$10MM a year in sales.
Being a gearhead is something special. It teaches us to be self sufficient and master one aspect of our lives. GBXM is going to introduce you to the next level.
This little magazine has spent years focused on what we don’t want – lowest common denominator, clickbait fluff, ads, and boredom. The next chapter is all about focusing one what do want. It’s about the outliers.
If you’re a self employed gearhead or have a Kickstarter project or are using your automotive skills to make the world a better place, I want to interview you. GBXM cares about gearhead owned businesses. If that’s you – or somebody you know – let me know.