The USA enters it’s second month of restrictive measures so there is no need for me to formally introduce and explain COVID 19 and what it is doing to all of us. This enemy seemed to come out of nowhere to the world but with further research and understanding the world economies and regime tactics this was clearly a calculated bio attack on the USA and parts of the world. The reason for my post here is not to discuss and explain politics or theories because no matter what, the entire world is in this together. What I am here to discuss and share with you are the effects it is having on business, life and the future. I live 10 minutes from the epicenter with the highest number of cases and fatalities in the entire USA. I knew all along that NYC was going to be the worse with 8.5 million people, a congested mass transit system and a majority of people living in shared quarters such as apartments the spread to this level was inevitable. Politicians and the media like to play the blame game yet they still are keeping the NY Mass Transit system open and making poor governing decisions state to state
What we are facing now was always talked about and portrayed in many motion picture films but society always led you to believe that was just fiction and never a reality, well it is time to wake up and start to be prepared. This is as real as it gets and it’s coming to a city near you very soon!
I have spoken to many of my fans and customers all over the world regarding this and sharing what is actually happening. Watching the news channels on any given moment is creating more fear and doubt of the future.
Few quick facts, there are millions of businesses affected, millions of people infected, global economy is shut down, manufacturing has come to a halt in every industry, millions are unemployed now with no income and there will be mass casualties of loved ones around the world.
I lay awake at 3:45AM writing this post because I have been triggered with anxiety for weeks and cannot get a single good nights rest. I suffer from underlying health conditions that put me at the extreme high risk of this Pandemic and living so close to the epicenter emphasizes my fears each breath I take. The fear of the unknown is the most debilitating thing for anyone to face in this world. The fear of economic stress, the fear of loss and the fear of the future is now a reality. Since facing the aftermath of 911 in the NYC area and living so close I have said it 20 years ago I wanted to move from this area but every time I try I seem to always get lured back into my comfort zone. Now 20 years later I am still in the NYC area yet facing the 3rd world crisis firsthand. I almost feel exhausted and almost not motivated to even deal with this over the past few weeks and I guess you can’t blame me. I have learned so much in the past 20 years and consider myself quite in tune to dealing with crisis management and restructuring for the future. I can never forget how thankful I am for all that I have accomplished professionally all these years from a challenge perspective. I create ideas, solve problems, work hard, challenge through it and the result for me can be a happy customer, a new custom car I completed, a new product I developed and so on. That is what drives me each and every day in the automotive world.
The effects so far on COVID 19 are on a magnitude the world has never seen before. You see sometimes in life there arises a crisis which can be an isolated incident but not in this case. The entire world is in the same position. This is a situation that nobody has the game book on how to fix and correct it. This is a situation that even experts do not know what to predict anymore. This has affected all of my businesses just as much as the local restaurants and other service and retail businesses face. In NY 95% of all stores and business are shut down. What I am getting at here is not just what we all see on TV with the stock market going up and down. The damage so far is so bad that it is going to take years to come back from this. I said to myself how is this even possible, the world cannot be shut down forever, crisis never last forever and why will it be so hard to bounce back? Well the simple answer is clear that we all go about our lives each day interacting with stores, people and business and we all think no matter what those same people, stores and business with always be there day by day as we walk by or pass them by. The reality is and the scary reality is that these businesses now will be destroyed and cannot sustain such. They maybe were not as secure as the owner may have thought they were. The question also popped into my head that if shutting down for 30 days can put you out of business than maybe that business really had no long term strategy to even stay alive. As a small business owner for almost 30 years I can tell you running a business is not easy but running a successful one that can sustain crisis is even harder. After the 911 events hit NYC it destroyed my exotic car customization business that same day. A business I worked so hard to build on my own that enabled me to live a life I could have never imagined at such a young age. At that time my overhead from the office, showroom, shop, insurance, staff and all running costs were staggering per month. After 911 my phone did not ring for new business for over 17 months. The 911 attacks were a wake up call and it severely impacted the luxury marketplace in all sectors from cars to fashion to luxury goods because individuals were having a different perspective and fear on spending their money. It was devastating that I had to change my life around, sell classic cars I owned and worked on for years just to cover living expenses but the one thing I never did was throw in the towel and give up. I paid all my vendors, accrued zero debt and refused to take a loan or file for bankruptcy. A successful business needs to be able to have enough cash reserves on hand to sustain a crisis otherwise leveraging debt is a doomsday waiting to happen. I lost all of my wealth because I refused ruin my reputation. I made changes in my life on spending and to what was really important. Gone were those days of spending $500 on a pair of designer jeans or $30,000 on a new fancy watch. None of that shit matters when you look at it and from that moment on my life took a complete U turn. I took this crisis to focus my life on what was important and I hope what I say here can resonate with whomever reads this to encourage you to see the future ahead and remain humble. I used this period of isolation to become more creative in my skills and interests. It gave me a chance to learn new skills, perfect my craft in other areas and learn so much about businesses and organizational management for the future. As change in our lives are happening each day we must adapt to these changes regardless if you agree and accept them otherwise you will fail. As the months went on I started to become more confident in myself over failing and picking up the pieces and I applied various strategies that completely eliminated me from having the enormous monthly overhead of running my automotive business. I created new products and services and also became more self sufficient in what I was able to do on my own which explains why I have such an enormous skill set today. The only one who has your businesses best interest is YOU! I built up so much confidence as I turned things around that everything I lost over 17 months I gained 3X back in 6 months. I decided this story needed to be shared with others that I reached out to my undergrad and business school professors seeking a way to share my experience to others. I began speaking to business students at NYU, Pace University and Fordham University sharing my story and strategies I have learned. The knowledge I shared was not only about being a successful entrepreneur and how to overcome crisis but I also emphasized the passion you need for running a successful business. This later led me to mentoring many students in strategic directions of life and business.
As of today I will let everyone know who reads this that yes there will be changes in my life just as much as your very own BUT I am focusing on some new exciting ideas to start doing things that I have wanted to do since those days lecturing at those NY Universities. The one thing I truly love which seems to come through in my content is sharing, teaching and helping others. If you pair those values with the passion I have for my craft and knowledge then you will always be able to understand what it means to be successful in life. Having a life doing what you love is attainable to everyone if you align your values and passion. This is just who I am and the values that identify who I have become. Caring for others and focusing on what is important is far more gratifying than any material object you can buy yourself because in the end material objects hold little to no value on ones life during a crisis.
Auto Fanatic as a brand will continue to operate and support customers worldwide to the best capacity we can right now. I am grateful to have reached hundreds of thousands of fans and customers in over 165 countries worldwide in just a little over 2 years all on my own through a grassroots approach. Talk about a success story that had no planning that was purely driven from my passion and value system. Little do you guys know that when I started the Auto Fanatic Youtube channel just to share my Shelby GT350 ownership I was facing a huge catastrophe. My main automotive engineering business that I poured over 25 years into forced me into a corner. A business that was the foundation of everything I am today. A business that enabled me to do things unimaginable in the automotive world and a business that I was able to change, restructure and survive two major crisis’s. I was being sued by one of the most powerful automotive manufactures in the world over specialized services that I was offering to automotive repair centers and authorized dealer service centers around the globe. They could not offer such services and felt my expertise was ruining their new parts revenue because it made up 70% of their yearly profits as a company. The automotive manufacture was not able to offer these repair services or even supply replacement parts. It was a double edge sword that made no sense to me whatsoever but there are some battles you simply cannot fight as a small business. I was able to repair thousands of cars around the world and resurrect cars that the very own manufacture ignored. I then got slapped with IP and other lawsuits and was forced to cease my operations. This was a huge blow to my income and livelihood but I was lucky enough to be involved in other businesses by applying my skills to other industries. This is why I stress to you guys to never be too comfortable and rely on what your doing today. Take time now to learn and perfect as much skill as you can to offset crisis in the future, for me it was my only chance of survival. No job and no life is 100% secure forever and when you become at peace with this reality you will start to take proper counter measures for your own life. This mindset is what kept me going until I created something new and exciting that I could be passionate about
(Auto Fanatic). When there is a bad situation something good can always come of it as long as you acknowledge and shift the energy just right.
As of today almost all my vendor and suppliers are shut down domestic and in Europe so please consider this regarding the limitations on some orders and custom projects at the moment. I will do my very best to stay active on social media but I will be frank with you all that my focus now is not social media, my focus now is on overcoming this challenge and craft something new and exciting to come from this moment we have. I have so many interests in my life that it would be a dream to pursue one day whether it is helping children, animals or guys and girls like you reading this with advice and coaching for moving ahead in life. Stay tuned because my life has always been a roller coaster ride but I always seem to make something amazing out of nothing and would like to share more of my story with you all soon. Take this time to become at peace with yourself. Spend each day on learning what is important to your life. Watch and listen to motivational speakers, read an inspiring book and take a moment to dream about the life and future you want to live. Practice your craft or take time to learn that new skill you always wanted to learn and remember remain positive and resilient. Do not let the television ruin your spirit and plans. Once you build your confidence you will find a pathway to make those dreams a reality. I want to wish every fan, friend and customer safety and good health around the world and we will rise and overcome this battle together and become stronger than ever. Thank you for the continued support in me and my products and services from Auto Fanatic as everything is passionately hand crafted in the USA. I am exploring ideas of creating a podcast, new product lines for other industries, live steaming content and maybe even shifting gears a full 360 to be face to face with people who really need the help and motivational coaching right now more than ever. I have faced and conquered many obstacles in life and feel I have the experience to help others right now. You are always welcome to reach out to me direct anytime to talk or express your own ideas and suggestions you might like to see me pursue in the future.
May God Bless you all and please stay tuned to my website and social media for further updates