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My Professional Detailing Journey: Part 4 – My Fulfillment


I attended the Mobile Tech Expo over two years ago to further advance my business acumen.  Mobile Tech Expo is a consortium of members in the detailing industry who provide wisdom and various other resources for detailing business owners.  I would highly recommend any detailing business owner to attend this event at least once.

One of the speakers at the event was Brian Brown.  He is the owner of a very successful detailing business, Exclusive Detail in Charlotte, NC.  I remember him speaking about the value of being passionate about what you do.  “Business is run on passion”, he said.   He also spoke of the significance of our clients knowing that we care about them, with respect to our trustworthiness.

Running my business to me was more than having the best before and after pictures.  It was not all about standing next to a Bugatti or working out of the fanciest shop.  Being that person that everyone believes gets carried away detailing his own car, that is my special trait.  Being that person that could possibly annoy someone with his lectures about wash habits, you could say accurately describes me.

Being myself just makes too much sense.  In hindsight, I never do enough of it.  “No one in this town is ever going to pay more than $100 for a detail Rodney!”  I have been told this a few times.  But I am betting on people supporting whatever I put all of my heart into. How often have you NOT bet on yourself?

My Last Detail In A City Parking Garage

Why do I require consultations prior to booking, knowing this will alienate many people?  There is nothing like meeting someone face to face, developing a rapport, and looking at a car together while exploring detailing options.  Although it may seem counter to logic, I believe it is in the best interest of both parties to determine if we are the right fit prior to booking.  It is something I would embrace as a consumer if I was putting my trust in someone who was detailing my car.  Communicating my core values as a business owner is done with the intention to attract clients who share those same beliefs.

Until very recently, I provided the option of detailing vehicles in a city parking garage for those clients that did not have available garage space.  I will most likely eliminate this option in the future, being exclusively mobile for the time being.  To say working from the garage was far from ideal would be an understatement.  But it did serve a purpose for me and was a vital part of my business growth.

The owner of this lovely car (pictured above) messaged me 6 months prior to being available to schedule a detail.  She had traveled nearly 50 miles to see me.  We looked at the car, discussed options, and I gave my aftercare product recommendations prior to booking a detail for 3 weeks later.  We then talked for another hour.  I did not even realize an hour had passed until I checked my phone. The photo was taken by her (below)


The answer to the question, what sane person spends this much time working on a car?

It could and has been argued that many people would be more successful in life if they put in the work I had put IN and ON my business in the past 5 years.  Probably too many sleepless nights doing both!  What fuels me?  I have learned in my 40 years of life, when something is completely MY vision the motivation comes naturally.

I love making people like this happy by detailing.  I spent a good amount of time on this blog writing about wealth and legitimacy.  Running my business with a certain level of dignity and making no apologies for charging what some consider very premium pricing allows me to offer my gifts.  A consistently great product is easier to come by when I am taking care of myself by earning a worthwhile living and lifestyle.

Rodney Tatum
Mirror Reflections Auto Spa
Gainesville, Florida
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2 comments on My Professional Detailing Journey: Part 4 – My Fulfillment

  1. Tim Wallner says:

    Great read Rodney. I’m no professional detailer, but as my passion and hobby grow it’s easy to relate to how you feel about detailing. Having friends and family give me money for doing what I love to do is a blessing and a curse. When they ask for me to give their vehicle a “quick once over”, my body aches.

    • Adam Miano says:

      Hey Tim, it is exactly as you say… a blessing and a curse… but don’t turn away from them… our explanation to people that our long time clients and friends that ask for this service (knowing we don’t offer it)… is can I do it on a weekend (which may not be available for you…) but we offer this service for a select few on our off days and generally do it for free because we believe the money can be a limiting factor… what we want to charge and we want to do we’re not allowed to do within the constrains set by the client… but they do love us and appreciate what we do… and they believe that 10 min with us (usually 30-50 min when we actually finish)… is better than hours themselves or another Detailer doing it… take it as a compliment and offer it for free if you can … just once… and see what kind of blessing comes back… keep on pressing on my friend

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