Some people say doubt is your best motivation. In my case, this is very true. However, first let me tell you about my background. I grew up in a hard working family with my father being a doctor and a lawyer. My father always offered to give me what little money he had, but every time I took it I felt guilty because I knew that when he was growing up he never got handouts but always gave his hard-earned money to his father. My father grew up being very poor, but this gave him motivation to go out and work hard to make money. When he was 18 his grandfather taught him how to detail cars and make money off of other people. Eventually he would become such a success that he had enough money to go to medical school.
As a successful doctor he did not want his sons to grow up spoiled and for them to learn how to make money and not ask for handouts. About 4 years ago he taught my brother and me how to detail cars just like he did so I could pay for medical school by myself, too. At the time that my dad began teaching us, I was only 14 and my brother was 21. He taught us how to speak to people, detail the cars, and learn the key points to running a successful business.
When we first started learning from my father, my brother and I were not very positive about whether this car detailing business would work or not, but with my father being successful, we had faith in him. I remember when we detailed our first car, it took us forever and the car did not even come out that well. Due to our inexperience we only charged $60 to do the entire car, which is really cheap in the car detailing industry. That first car was the start of something that would shape me into who I am today.
Everything was going well that summer;we did about 20 cars all year. If you do the math that makes it $1200 for our first year. However, we had to invest almost $600 to start the business to buy all the supplies and equipment. After that you have to take the net profit of $600 and split that into 2 because my brother and I were partners, which means we made about $300 each that summer. After all the hours we put into that summer, my brother decided it would be better to go back to school rather than be an entrepreneur.
I had a real issue with the business because at the time I did not have my license. Since this was a mobile detailing business, I did not have a way of driving to customers. Since I have loving parents they decided they would drive me around from site to site to continue my business for the next year. This time I was alone every time I detailed a car and it almost took me twice as long because I was still inexperienced. My second year of detailing I believe I only did about 30 cars because I had the guilty conscious of making my parents drive me everywhere.
Going into my third year I got my license which meant I was going to work as hard as I could to detail as many cars possible. That year I got so many new customers and cars I needed help to finish the cars faster, so I hired my first employee. With me being able to drive and with the help of an employee, we were able to complete over 50 cars last year, and I raised the price of detailing to $110 per car because I had an employee and more experience. That year I made about $4000 profit, after paying my employee, and I knew that was pretty good for a 17-year-old. I was pretty happy with my success last year, but I knew I could do better.
Since I got really good at detailing cars, I decided to raise my price to $150 per car this year, which is quite a leap from splitting $60 a car when I first started. With the help of friends, teachers, and most importantly my parents I was able to take my car detailing business to a whole new level this year. As detailing season is coming to an end for me, because of the harsh winters in Massachusetts, I can say I had a very successful season with detailing over 200 cars this season. However this money is not going towards tangible items but being invested into my future of becoming a doctor. With the help of my parents I know anything is possible.