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My Professional Detailing Journey: Part 1 – Knowledge Of Self And Business


For a potential new business owner, perhaps reading these articles, my lessons, and my experiences could bring clarity and positive momentum towards fulfilling your ambitions. For the consumer or even just the enthusiast this is a view into my world.  I would like to take you on a tour of the past 4 years of my professional life.


What sane person spends this much time working on a car? Sometimes I even ask myself these questions.  When casual observers ask me this question, I hear the patronizing undertones that are accompanied with the terms side gig, hobby, and side job.  The concept of spending multiple days on one car as an actual legitimate business is very real to me.  I hope those who read through these series of articles truly understand the importance of not being distracted from your goals by outside influences.  I hope this becomes an example to you that the act of believing in yourself leads to finding people who will support your insanity.  The owners of the cars you will see are some of the nicest and most enjoyable people I could work with.  Even when I felt the body aches post detailing, the fulfillment of detailing for the right clients was felt even more.

I have been in business for over 4 years, October of 2016 to be exact.  As I take some time to reevaluate things during this pandemic.  I wanted to share my experience working in and on my business.

I wrote this two years ago as a foundation and a blueprint for a series of promotional advertisements I would work on (still incomplete).   I came across these notes (pictured below) recently.

Business-Plan Identity

Not a coincidence, I remember this was a major turning point professionally in my life.  Having the mindset to put something like this together was indicative of the positive direction my business was suddenly headed towards.

Close Up Of Business Plan

I am still evaluating (continuing to learn) what Mirror Reflections Auto Spa represents.

The spirit/soul of your company lays the groundwork for discovering our company mission statement and values.  Yes, it can evolve, but more often the message is diluted.  I suspect many businesses (especially detailing) came and went out of business because of this lack of substance; in other words, a lack of core principles and a lack of an identity.

Yes, we work in exchange for money.  That is a job.  But who are you?  I remind myself there is only one individual like me and consequentially only one business like mine.  The same can be said for any business owner.  Yes, that means you!

With most of the world debating between the cheap and fast versus nature free (i.e. rainwater) detailing why would I choose to invest in starting a business like this?  Enthusiast level auto detailing is not only a niche, but it can be one of the most confusing industries to most detailing consumers?  Although the low barrier to entry provided me an opportunity, it also served as an obstacle.  Why would I think it would be a good idea to start a business with these apparent and hidden challenges?

What amounted to years of my own frustration (and failures) exploring the job market set the stage for one of the many turning points in my life.  Meanwhile, I was doing something others around me looked at as a passion but felt normal to me.  The words of someone who observed what I considered just a basic wash; “I get my car detailed all of the time, but I have never seen anyone do what you do.”  I ultimately decided to bet on myself.

Rodney Tatum
Mirror Reflections Auto Spa
Gainesville, Florida
YouTube | Facebook

2 comments on My Professional Detailing Journey: Part 1 – Knowledge Of Self And Business

  1. Charles Schober says:

    You’re always spot on, Rodney. I love your posts, very helpful to a weekend warrior.

  2. Adam Miano says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Rodney, your a breath of fresh air in the industry… from the few articles I’ve read that you’ve done I can say that I completely resonate with your heart and passion! Thank you.

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