From the struggles of self publishing to Budweisers for breakfast with Sir Stirling Moss

Today's guest is Dwight Knowlton of Carpe Viam. I first discovered Dwight's work while looking for cool automotive children's books prior to having my son. And that's exactly how Dwight's business got off the ground in 2013. You see, Dwight wanted to share his automotive passion with his soon-to-be born son as well and scoured the internet looking for books that were a little less "kiddie", and more "car guy." When he came up short, he decided to write one himself and "The Little Red Race Car" was born. In this episode, Dwight and I discuss his journey from self publishing his first book, to having Budweisers for breakfast with none other than Sir Stirling Moss. We talk about the struggles of having to learn everything about self publishing on the fly, how Carpe Viam indirectly became a full time endeavor when he found himself without a job, and how you know you've really make it when others start knocking off your apparel brand.

Carpe Viam
Growing a brand and executing on your vision, even if you didn't originally start the business

Today's guest is Bruce Piefke, CEO of High-Octane Events which produces both Caffeine & Octane and Caffeine & Exotics, two of the largest "cars and coffee" type events in the country. This is a great conversation about how Bruce went from consultant with Caffeine & Octane to purchasing the show from AutoTrader and then growing the brand in multiple directions. Today, Caffeine & Octane is not just a car show, but a television show on its 5th season, an apparel company, an app, and soon an actual real-life coffee shop. Bruce has a great story to tell and we get into a ton! We talk about his elevator pitch for the TV show to a random stranger, who turned out to be the VP of Programming for NBC Sports; how the first event under his ownership was almost held in a flood; and what it takes to bring your vision to life. So, without further ado, please enjoy this conversation with Bruce Piefke of Caffeine & Octane.

Caffeine & Octane
If these guys did it, why can't we? Jakub and Yuri on their 7 year path to 11 million views on YouTube.

In today’s episode I chat with Jakub Wrobel and Yuri Tereshyn, aka The Straight Pipes, aka the #1 reviewers of new cars in North America on YouTube. Now, this title didn’t happen overnight. Jakub started The Straight Pipes channel when saw an empty space for high quality exhaust sounds on YouTube. Uploading occasionally, Jakub saw some initial traction with his videos getting shared by a few media outlets here and there; but it was more of a creative outlet for his love for cars than anything. Then along came Yuri who at the time, was working as a drone pilot for an automotive TV show, and they began to ask themselves, “if these other guys can review cars, why can’t we.” So they stood in front of a couple cars, did weird journalist stuff on camera… and the rest is history. We talk about being embarrassed by your first attempt, their five year path to a million views, and the crossroads of having to make the decision to quit your job and focus on YouTube full time. These guys are hilarious, some of my favorite reviewers for sure. Enjoy this conversation with Jakub and Yuri, The Straight Pipes.

The Straight Pipes
Taking the unconventional route when things don’t go as planned and you’re left to learn everything on your own.

Today’s guest is Jeremy Porter, founder and CEO of Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville, GA. What started out as just a business plan to give to others in the industry turned into a piece of paper with a lot of promises to keep after the 2008 financial crisis took his conventional real estate investors out of the picture. But instead of folding, Jeremy got creative and took an unconventional approach to financing his dream. And 8 years later, the Atlanta Motorsports Park is a playground for car guys with not only a track, but hundreds of garages, one of the top karting tracks in the nation, and now condo’s and a restaurant in the near future. Jeremy’s is a great story of learning everything on the fly, doing right by the community, and running with the ball against all odds. Please enjoy my conversation with Jeremy Porter of Atlanta Motorsports Park.

Atlanta Motorsports Park
Building a brand, sticking to your DNA, and focusing on your passion in order to be fulfilled in your entrepreneurial endeavors

Today’s conversation is with John Temerian of Curated, a dealership in Miami specializing in vintage supercars. John’s journey started at his father’s Lamborghini service business where he grew from sweeping floors & cleaning cars to doing a clutch on a Testarossa at the age of 16. Eventually he would leave the proverbial nest to chase a lifestyle inspired by his father’s big clients who had the money, who had the cars, and who he thought had the life he wanted. He hosted parties, supercar events, and eventually ended up running a successful exotic car rental company, Lou LaVie, but something was missing. He just wasn’t fulfilled. And that’s when serendipity stepped in and he realized that everything he had learned at a young age from his father, how to evaluate a car, what’s correct about a vehicles history, was baked into his DNA and a valuable asset to collectors. Thus Curated was born. This is a great story about building a brand, sticking to your DNA, and focusing on exactly what you know as you run the entrepreneurial marathon. Please enjoy this chat with John Temerian of Curated.

Curated
Taking advantage of extra capacity to pivot into a business better suited for your personality

Don Mettler is the founder of Black Diamond Motorsports, an automotive storage facility located in Atlanta, GA. In today's episode, Don and I discuss the origins of his first "version" of Black Diamond as an exotic car club that grew into a profitable business allowing members the opportunity to get behind a number of exotic cars; and how he came to the realization that his personality just wasn't suited for that particular business. Then we get into how extra capacity at his car club location allowed him to pivot into the much more profitable (and easier to manage) car storage business that he runs today with over 100 cars in storage and 2 more locations opening early next year. Enjoy this conversation with Don Mettler of Black Diamond Motorsports.

Black Diamond Motorsports
How going with your passion and filling in the gaps can lead to market dominating growth

David Jacobson is the founder of PCARMARKET, the fastest growing Porsche marketplace in the world. In today's episode you'll learn a ton from a serial entrepreneur who is driven by creativity and has followed his passion for Porsche cars to fill in the gaps in the market with Porsche specific businesses. We discuss how when doing something you love, there’s always something more to do and the gamble he took buying a famous 911, and then listing that car on his website at no reserve. Incredibly interesting conversation with a very humble and driven guy. Please enjoy my chat with David Jacobson of PCARMARKET.

PCARMARKET
From lawyer with a passion to growing one of the world's top restoration shops

Alex Ruozzi is the co-founder of RB Collection, an automotive restoration shop and sales showroom in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In this episode I sit down with Alex to discuss why America is paradise for classic car enthusiasts and how he and his brother went from restoring and preparing their own cars, to where they are today with one of the top restoration shops in the country. We get into classic cars as a hobby, growing via word of mouth, hilarious auction disclosures, and why hiring young employee's in order to bring the next generation into the restoration business is so important. If you've ever thought about restoring a car as a side hustle, this episode is must listen. Please enjoy my conversation with Alex Ruozzi.

RB Collection
Capitalizing on the 2nd mover advantage and replicating another’s abandoned business model for your own success

Rudy Samsel is the co-founder of Guyswithrides.com, an online marketplace for classic and fun cars. In today's episode Rudy and I discuss how getting downsized from his former employer enabled him to go all-in and focus on growing his business. We also get into growth through gamification, 2nd mover advantage, being community first, and how one major player's abandonment of their original business model left a void for consumers that Rudy was able to fill. Really interesting discussion with plenty of nuggets to help you grow your business. Please enjoy my chat with Rudy Samsel!

Guys With Rides
Saying "YES!", the benefits of being early, and building a plane after you take the leap of faith

Kevin McCauley is a freelance graphic designer and photographer based out of Houston, TX. He is the man behind Capturing the Machine, Automoji: Stuttgart, and numerous other projects you've seen online. In today's episode Kevin and I chat about the launch of his career after saying "yes" to creating the iconic Seinfeld emoji's (without having any idea of how to actually pull it off), what it was like to be the go-to emoji guy for numerous brands, and finally scratching his own itch by launching the Porsche sticker pack, Automoji: Stuttgart. We talk German lawyers, getting in on the launch of iOS 10, and the serendipity of becoming a suggested user on Instagram. Enjoy this conversation with Kevin McCauley of McCauley Creative.

Capturing The Machine
McCauley Creative
From the brink of burnout to building SEMA showstoppers; a 17 year journey.

Ryan Gary is the founder of Area1320, a prominent Subaru tuning shop known for many of the marques top builds. In this episode I sit down with Ryan to talk shop and dig into how he's grown Area1320 from a side hustle in his garage into what it is today. We discuss the power of word of mouth advertising, how he almost gave up on his dream, and the build that put him on the map. This is a great episode all about resolve, hustle, and never giving up. Enjoy my conversation with Ryan Gary.

Area1320
Good things don't last forever; hedging your bets and starting a second business by leveraging your first

Doug DeMuro is the founder of cars & bids, an online automobile auction site that features interesting cars from the 1980's to present. In this episode I talk with Doug about how he came up with the idea of cars & bids and how he got such an ambitious project off the ground. We also chat about how he leveraged his social media following to find both sellers and buyers for the auctions and what the future holds for the platform as sales beat both his and his teams expectations week after week.

cars & bids
The unexpected traction channel and unexpected monetization of the VINwiki app

Ed Bolian is the founder and CEO of VINwiki, a user-generated, social, vehicle history report. In this episode we talk to Ed about how an unexpected traction channel propelled his app's user base from 5,000, to over 300,000 users AND became the company's source for revenue. We also get into why he's glad his initial round of investment didn't go through, the power of your network, and possible exits for an entrepreneur who thrives on bringing new ideas to life.

VINwiki
How throwing a few ideas against the wall and running with the ones that stick can lead to success

Sean Mathis is the founder of the Miles Through Time automotive museum in Clarksville, GA. In this episode Sean talks about the different business models he tried to get his museum off the ground from just one car, his grandfather's 1959 Cadillac, to over 40 cars on display today. We talk about how he came up with the initial idea he had to solve his own problem, storing the Cadillac and letting others enjoy it indoors, to the struggles he had as the museum grew and what it took for the venture to be self sustaining.

Miles Through Time
How tough times and tough love molded this prominent Porsche painter

Bryson Richards is the owner of Classic Livery of Atlanta and the man wielding the spray gun behind many amazing show and specialty cars. In his 20+ year career he's gone from worrying about whether he had enough gas money to make it home from the shop to painting cars featured on the lawn at Pebble Beach. His body of work includes cars for Nissan Motor Co., RWB Porsche's, the Keen Project Safari 911's, and much more.

Classic Livery of Atlanta
The electrification of his family's 100 year old motorcycle company

Marco Soriano is the founder of Soriano Motori Corp, producer of electric motorcycles. Throughout the world, SORIANO MOTORI AG unites people deeply, passionately and authentically. From town to town and country to country, SM AG's ideals of freedom and self-expression transcend cultures, gender and age. Being recognized as an iconic brand is gratifying, but igniting the fire within people on the many roads of the world is what we are all about.

Soriano Motori
Uber before Uber, how timing is everything

Toby Russell is Co-CEO of Shift, the platform to make buying and selling cars fun, fair, and accessible to everyone. Previously, he was Managing Vice President of Digital at Capital One, where he led the bank’s technology transformation, including building the mobile capabilities that are now driving the majority of Capital One’s new customers. In 2007 Toby co-founded Taxi Magic, the first on-demand mobile transportation booking technology.

Shift.com
Buying your way into entreneurship, and succeeding, twice.

Neal Maier is the COO of 3VE Auto, a marketing agency in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. What's extremely interesting about Neal is that he is NOT one of the original co-founders of the company; he's an entrepreneur who bought in to help grow the business and make it what it is today.

3VE Auto
Taking a leap of faith and starting a business days before a pandemic.

Shawn Ryder works with automotive dealerships to grow virtual and dealership traffic. His new agency recently launched to focus on SEO, digital marketing, social media, and email for franchise and independent dealerships.

Shawn Ryder Digital
The best people are car people.

Lauren Fix brings you the latest automotive news, car reviews, and expert information through her YouTube channel, Car Coach Reports. Whether she's perfecting her new line of automotive products, sharing her CAR SMARTS on her channel, or reporting live from the world's top auto shows, she's never done reinventing the wheel.

Lauren Fix
How to think big, be aggressive, and get after it.

Aaron Zeigler is the president of Zeigler Automotive Group and the worlds largest powersports dealer and action park, Zeigler Motorsports. After growing his families dealership business Aaron took his customer service and business know-how to the powersports world after being a frustrated customer himself.

Zeigler Motorsports
What it really takes to impact lives with your business.

Genera Moore is transforming the auto industry in West Africa through her business, Motorparts Nation. Motorparts Nation provides aftermarket auto parts to Africa along with the proper training and tools to the continents automotive technicians.

Motorparts Nation
Finding success by asking questions and doing what nobody else does

Tal Riesenfeld is a serial entrepreneur and experienced business executive with a track record of growing and scaling quickly through retail channels. Tal Co-founded and leads Sales for Sunbit, a fundamentally new way to pay those high auto repair bills, that eliminates financial waste and enables dealership service departments to earn more while customers pay less.

Sunbit
How to launch your automotive business, and be set up for success, by listening to a podcast.

Welcome to The Carpreneur Podcast, the podcast that gives you access to world-class automotive entrepreneurs. We talk to real entrepreneurs who took that leap into the unknown and put everything on the line to chase their dreams. They took risks, they hit obstacles, they got beaten down but kept their eye on the prize. These are the people you want to learn from, not the fake-money-to-their-ear business guru's plastering social media. So give this intro a listen, subscribe, and get ready to devour fast-paced, bite-size 20 minute episodes of amazing advice to help you get your ideas off the ground and start that business you've been dreaming about. Episode W