7 years ago I did not know how to wash a car. I did not even know about the importance of microfiber in regards to detailing. I think I turned out alright.
My first ever real detail went as follows: wash, clay, non-abrasive Klasse AIO by hand, sealant. My sealant was Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0. A year later I washed, clayed, applied Poorboys White Diamond Glaze, and then 3 layers of Pinnacle Souveran Carnauba paste wax. I was the stereotypical kid in a candy shop. Sometimes I even asked embarrassing questions on impulse without doing an exhaustive search.
My first time doing a paint correction, asking if it was a good idea to use sandpaper, feels like night and day from the work I perform now. But I was proud no matter how it was going to turn out. You should be proud of the work you put into your car too! That person that is putting you down and laughing at your best effort, I have a suspicion if you put their work and processes next to mine they would be singing a different tune.
Many people ask where all of the negativity is coming from. For starters, this is not limited to the detailing industry, but most prevalent in industries where people struggle for relevance. Being a niche field (especially if we are talking about detailing at a high level) our passion and efforts to legitimize ourselves are trolled on a regular basis by potential customers. A lot of the abuse we received is passed on to an innocent enthusiast. A person tries to apply a ceramic coating for the first time and messes up. The so-called professional put this person down, thinking to himself, “see that’s what you get for not taking us detailers seriously!” While basking in anther’s anguish that person does not see their own and ultimately all of our reputations are affected childish behavior on social media. Would you hand the keys to your pride and joy and write a $1200 check to someone, who posts laughing emojis at someone’s misfortune?
To help explain my feelings on responding to others with positive versus negative energy, I will share my experiences. I have been hung up on, labeled dishonest, a car washer, told I would go out of business for charging my worth. Dialogues with others include; “On TV for (detailing) that’s stupid!” “(Appointment!) So you don’t want to work!” I have then fielded calls from people who needed troubleshooting on how to detail their own cars. I have taken calls from people in my area that were looking for advice on starting a detailing business. In this respect, my compassion and generosity are stronger than my fears, personal insecurities, or other feelings of lack in my life. Yes, friends and family have argued against that. I have been cordial and befriended detailers in my area who are starting up. Yes, some people told me I am crazy. There is no place in my heart for a scarcity mentality. I have been that person detailing a car for the first time. I have been a brand new business owner. I want to do my part in making the professional detailer a trustworthy source. When you put others down to passively validate your rank in the world, you will only reap praise from other small-minded people.
Let’s be perfectly clear. I have no compassion for someone who insults my business in favor of an unprofessional establishment, and then returns hoping I can fix the other detailer’s cheap work. But taking time out of your day to belittle someone asking for help on social media speaks so loudly about your character I cannot see your 50/50 before and after paint correction photos you like to brag about. My intentions are to conduct myself in a way that shows I respect myself (regardless of what others think of me), but also to do so in a fashion that would bring attract the clients I do want.
Do not feed the troll. Do not give the self-righteous class clown the validation he or she is seeking, which is acknowledgment. When you see people demeaning someone, I encourage you to proverbially put your hand on that person’s back. Instead, express yourself by helping and making friends with the person that is bullied.