Mafia Memoirs has GONE WILD at SEMA 2018 with William Lara of Miami Luxe Detailing
SEMA 2018 Mafia Memoirs has Gone Wild with William Lara of Miami Luxe Detailing. You know it’s always entertaining with William. Plus, Mark Elliott of https://www.firehouseautospajax.com/Firehouse Auto Spa drops in the conversation.
We discuss growing your detailing business, narrowing your service offering, the power of networking with detailing pros, on-going training and more.
William is a serious business owner but also know how to make it fun! You never know what will happen when he gets behind the camera.
Jody: All right welcome to another episode of Mafia Memoirs my name is Jody Sedrick my partner,
Rod: Rod Puzey
Jody: And we have the man, the myth, the legend, the jokester.
William: Not yet, not yet
Jody: You’re more myth than legend so your pranks are legendary
William: My wife would agree with you.
Jody: yes, I’m sure she would. Yes, we’re recording this live from SEMA 2018 and it has been an awesome four days we’re on the last day and we just had to grab this guy because he makes life fun when you’re with the mafia.
William: It’s definitely overwhelming
Jody: Why? you have to be the token jokester?
William: I always have to be the center of “William don’t do this, William don’t do that”
Rod: look up William. Look up William.
Jody: So nothing’s changed since fifth grade
Jody: Fourth, so tell us a little about Miami Luxe Detailing. You’re out of Miami tell us what you do man.
William: Um yeah, I’m out in Miami. I’m a mobile detailer. I constantly do detailing. I’m a mobile detailer I don’t have a shop or a fixed location yet. It is in the works. It will happen one day. Yeah, I’ve been doing it full time for a little over two years now
Jody: That’s awesome. So when you started, how did you get started
William: I didn’t want a boss.
Jody: you didn’t want a boss? You got a boss in your wife so
William: that’s the only one I want
Jody: That is the only real boss
William: It’s funny because I worked in retail for almost like fourteen, fifteen years and I’ve always enjoyed detailing cars, I always cleaned cars when I was younger. I was working at the car wash detailing cars I was maybe fourteen, fifteen years old working at the local car wash. and it was it was like, I like it, I enjoy it but I didn’t think I could make any money at it. So I was like nah, I’m. Okay, I’ll stay in retail, right? And just one thing led to another. You know I got married a little over three years ago
William: thank you. If you told me three years ago I would be detailing or I would be here as a detailer at SEMA I’d think you are full of it.
William: it’s just one thing let to another. I wasn’t happy where I was at. It’s like if I’m gonna do it, I have to do it now and it’s just how it was. I need to be my own boss. I kneed to enjoy what I’m doing and it grew from there.
Jody: So one thing you have is an awesome Instagram account
William: Aw come on
Jody: Aw come on he’s super humble. So obviously you’re doing some pretty trick cars are you also doing boats and other things as well?
William: I was doing boats. But I outsource that service. I’m trying to Focus on the automotive side of my business and focus on that and other things I have going on instead of boats and try to stretch myself like a damn octopus or something
Rod: So talk about, um a lot of people will ask us, you know what advantage of being involved in a network of dealers like, the Detail Mafia, the IDA and this group of people that kind of hang around here, kind of you perspective on that.
William: I get goosebumps just thinking about it. It’s definitely changing my life. I met Justin Labato two years ago at SEMA. It’s just showed me the picture earlier today. I said, wow, I remember that.
Jody: Wow that’s cool
William: I’ve always watched videos of Renny online or Mike Phillips or you know all these industry leaders. And like three years ago, I was like there’s hope, there’s hope. And it’s because of people like that I had hope. You know, And the benefits of just joining the IDA brings value. We need to elevate this industry because if we don’t do it who will?
Rod: right, right
William: You know we’re, we’re true professionals at what we do. Like you go to your lawyer, you go to a doctor, you go to mechanic for what they know most of time not for what they do. Yeah, it’s just like a lawyer has a paralegal doing everything for them. Think about it
Rod: That’s, that thing with that detailing industry. There’s been a lot of legitimization, I would say in the last four to five years. Uh, it’s not just a guy with a bucket there’s a professional organization that can elevate the level of everybody that is doing this to the point that your educating your customers. And, just even Instagram showing that you do.
William: Let me just clarify something I’ll go back and forth. A lot of individuals in this business. They don’t see the value of investing in themselves, into their education or their knowledge. It is like the more you learn the more you earn, Right? Now
Jody: I like that,
William: People, people see my Instagram but they’re like that’s badass. But listen we all of issues. We all go through personal stuff. We all go through business struggles. Everybody likes to post and want to show all the amazing things they do , and oh yeah I got a big shop, but in reality they’re broke.
William: So what happens is the benefits of, Let’s say training with Renny, I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been emailing Diane, Renny’s wife for like, 2013. I saw how much it cost and I was like, no way, Like naaah, I’m not doing it. I sat down with him, I believe, Moto Tech 2017, and I said it’s a wrap I got to. And it’s been, after joining the Mafia, the Detailer’s Network, being able to do Air Force One. Who can really say that?
Jody: Oh Yeah, Phenomenal
William: So it’s like you constantly have to be involved, you constantly have to be moving and doing something. But you have to be real with yourself.
William: So you don’t want to yourself a damn illusion that everything is good, everything is perfect. For me personally, I’m never satisfied.
Rod: Well and that’s good. You got to constantly be learning. The thing about that, I was telling somebody yesterday you’re going to get out of it what you put into it. If you join any organization and you never do anything you’re not getting anything out of it. But when you jump into it with both feet and absorb yourself into it you going to get a ton of stuff out.
William: Yeah, and you know again it’s probably investing your money into your business. It’s like you see guys locally that are doing mobile. (Laughs) I got Mark Elliott over here
Jody: Come on over Mark, You can come
William: So you got, a perfect example. I had a local guy. I told you the story earlier right? I had a local guy you know comment on one of my posts, talking about blowers are for losers, alright I have a Metro vac, it’s an amazing product. I’m thinking to myself, like, ok, what should I say? I didn’t know. Why take the time out of your day to focus on something else that doesn’t benefit you or your business.
William: So he’s like, I’ve been doing mobile for 15 years. I’m like, ok you’ve been doing mobile for 15 years but you’re still charging $40 per car. So where’s the evolvement
Jody: The evolution
William: Where’s the evolution of you and your business? But not just your business but you as an individual.
Jody: you as a person
Rod: You are constantly growing. The thing we were talking about with Dave Phillips earlier. This industry is changing, the products coming out are completely different.
William: It’s phenomenal
Rod: From pads, to compounds, to, from everything from microfiber towels. You want to nerd out for awhile go talk to The Rag Company That stuff is changing all the time.
William: Oh my god
Rod: So every single time, machines, you know like Metro Vac, everything is changing, some of it is production, some of it is perfection. There’s a difference. If you’re doing 15 mom mini-vans in a row its not the same technique and it’s not the same products as if you’re doing a Lambo that is a three day job
William: if you, but listen, if you’ve been doing like that individual if you’ve been doing mobile for 15 years there is something wrong with you. It’s the truth. It’s like Renny says like “we live in a gypsy world environment”. And it’s like people need to invest in to their education. You need to come to events like this in order to grow your business.
William: If you’re a paint correction specialist then how do you know when the new compounds are coming out? How do you know when the new coatings are coming out? How do you know when the new pads, the new polishers? It’s like.
Rod: And people get to try them out. People come into this booth all the time and ask can I try, I need a sample, I need to see how this works. There’s a pad and a machine don’t just sample it, go use it.
William: So, So,
Rod: and learn from the experts that created it
William: So we’re going back into investing in your education, our business and stuff like that. Once you do that you bring value
William: You bring value, right? So one of the benefits of doing Air Force One with The Detail Mafia is that we get personal sponsors. Right, so I have a company down in Florida, Formula 88, an all-purpose degreaser, I promote them, I do social media stuff for them. But you bring value, now the thing is you got new up and comers coming into the industry always asking, (can I curse),
Jody: I don’t know, can you?
William: always asking for free shit
William: Why you going to keep asking for free shit? When like what value are you bringing to me. Let’s say I’m P&S, what value are you bringing to me to really send you free stuff?
William: It’s like, I do Social media for P&S and stuff. All the time guys are asking for sponsorship, “I want”. I’m like, What do you gotta do? Again you got to invest in yourself and your business in order to bring value not just to other companies, and you want sponsors but value to your life and your business
Jody: That’s an important thing. Last night I was visiting with Matt Morman at The Rag Company event. And, I asked him if he got a lot of sponsors for the products you are reviewing. He goes, “Oh know, I go out, I invest the products. I get to know the products for myself, because I’m an obsessive guy. I want it to work for my application. And, I’m sharing my experience with that”. He said, “ I’m not going out and asking for the sponsorship. He goes “the sponsorships are following after I do the investment.” I think that’s an important thing that you as an individual and others that are leading the industry and taking their markets little by little is you’re investing in yourself.
Rod: The one interesting thing is the educational opportunities, even if it’s a one day training, or the thing happening on Saturday. And the way I look at it this industry, the key components that everyone talks about is you are educating your customers on the value and the reason why you’re using certain products or doing certain things. Coatings, why would you do a coating? When you educate your customer of what that does. How are you going to educate your customers if you’re not educating yourself?
William: You nailed it, you nailed it. And how do you expect to offer something that you really don’t know about?
William: Also why are you using that compound? Abrasives, or you name the reason, You don’t know that. You constantly have to be. It’s like doctors they’re always going to school, learning and shit
Rod: So when you go through the IDA and you take the initial test there are additional events that you can go and get credit for. And the reason that they offer those is so that you can educate yourself.
William: So, So, you know cuz the IDA is doing something great for the industry. Like mechanics have ACE or whatever certification they have right? Now, it’s not just investing in to yourself and your business well it’s investing in your business but it’s a great marketing tool
Rod: Absolutely and people, don’t think about that. You’re getting educated at the same time you’re getting a piece of paper, but the value of that piece of paper is now you can legitimately say that you have a certification from an organization that say’s I am recognized as somebody that understands what I am doing.
Jody: And I think we really saw that when we visited Shane Mayfield of Perfection Plus Auto Detailing
William: Oh what guy
Jody: You walk into his office and the whole wall was ceramic coating authorized, Glassparencyauthorized installer, just … and you go “this guy knows what he’s talking about”, Right, I need to have my car done by this guy
William: But let’s say he doesn’t, which he does. Let’s say he didn’t. You walk in there and you are opening up that wallet
Jody: Yeah right,
William: There’s a reason to do that. Again you gotta focus on your business. You know be presentable. Invest in yourself, your education, and with that business is going to constantly grow.
Rod: Yeah, and the other thing is that you are doing really well. A lot of people don’t know how you do it. Is the brand recognition. Everything you put out there has your brand on it. Everything you do. You know what it is. Before we even met you the first time, I was telling Jody, who is this Miami Luxe it’s everywhere
Jody: He’s Everywhere
Rod: Everything has a little symbol on it. We gotta do that. We gotta put
William: Your logo everywhere
Rod: yeah, and again that is another thing that you learn when you’re investing in yourself and your brand to put that out there so that people come.
William: A lot of people of the misconception that it 100% business, 100% detailing, you need to focus on your personal life also.
William: So, so part of the benefits of training with Renny, being part of The Detail Mafia its like you’re working so hard, making all this money
Jody: what are you doing?
William: What are you doing? Listen, going back to what I said earlier a lot of people like to promote and advertise all the good shit going on in their life.
Rod: Oh yeah, Absolutely
William: Why not post the bad?
Jody: Yeah, oh man I really screwed that up, how did I learn?
William: let’s hear this out. You have issues. We all have issues.
Jody: Especially you
William: my wife will agree with that one. So it’s like
Jody: my wife too
William: So were together on that right? The thing is we gotta be true to ourselves.
Jody: Yeah, yeah
William: If we can’t do that we can’t take care of business first.
William: So it’s like, you know I struggle with that like dividing business and personal and doing that. I need to focus more on my personal life, my wife, my blue print. Without a solid core or solid foundation it’s like a tree if the roots grow deep enough you can’t tear that shit down.
Jody: Yep, exactly
Rod: And that is something that is focused on a lot when you are talking whether its Renny, Bob or any of the events we go to, you gotta take time for yourself, there has to be a balance it can’t be sided one way or the other. We all know stories of somebody that bounces the other way in the life and all they do is play and all of a sudden they’re down. Well, No surprise there. But it’s the other way around that people don’t want to admit that they’re working to hard. There is a misconception that hard work is all there is.
William: Or, or, or they’re very proud that they work so hard. They’re making all this money. They’re working six, seven days a week.
Jody: But that’s all their life is
Rod: And to me they’re doing it wrong. I was in corporate America for a long time. One time I got critiqued because on of the guys that worked for me would put in 60 hours a week and another guy would only put in 40 only. And they critiqued the guy that only put in 40 only and they critiqued the guy that only put in 40. And they said if you’re gonna get rid of somebody I’d get rid of that guy. I said I’d get rid of the other guy. And they said “Why would you do that”? And I said because it takes him 60 hours a week to do his job and it only takes this guy 40. This guy is living right. He can do what he needs to do in the amount of time against it.
William: If you don’t take care of your, your personal self, your family, your core, your foundation mentally you’re not going to do it. I see a lot of detailers all the time working on a Sunday. I’m sorry but I won’t work on a Sunday
Jody: That’s smart!
William: You know, and like I worked in retail for so long it’s like, no freaking way! For me to work a Sunday man, there has to be some money laying there on the table.
Jody: or a big emergency, right?
William: Yeah, 100$ or Yeah, like I’m going to SEMA, I have to take care of those clients, I have to do it!
William: And I’ll still try to squeeze it in week days.
Jody: yeah that’s smart
William: So the thing is you’ve go to take care of that. Without that, I have all of these detailers in Miami locally that they’re klling it. They have the shop. They have everything but
Jody: That’s all they have
Rod: yeah and we know people that
William: Working until 8, 9, 10:00 but the reality is you’re not, you’re not enjoying life.
William: Come here Mark
Jody: Come on in Mark, you’ve been getting in here, you’ve been dying to get in here
William: Come on Mark
Mark: What are you guys doing?
William: Chocolate Thunder!
Jody: We’re doing Mafia Memoirs
Mark: Ok, how it going?
Jody: So we got the Man, the myth, the legend from Firehouse Auto Spa
William: This is a REAL legend right here
Mark: No way.
Jody: yes he is
William: He is Firehouse Auto Spa
Jody: Thank you for joining us.
William: So we’re talking about the quality of life and separating business and personal, what do you think about that?
William: What do you do to divide it?
Jody: All he does is work. He’s a fireman. He does detailing.
Mark: Um, you know you always have to take time out for family and stuff like that.
William: You know your core, your personal, your family
Mark: Right, right, you definitely gotta be able to separate both I agree with you on that
William: It’s like, there are, I have other local detailers in my area and they’re working until 7 and 8:00 at night and they’re back the next day at 6:00 in the morning or you got mobile guys that are advertising on Instagram that “I’m working at 5:00 am” but you’re crazy. I’m not a firefighter.
Jody: Those guys work 24/7
William: It’s like why are you slaving away? You don’t want to work for your business, you want your business to work for you.
William: it’s like, invetsting, a lot of guys what they do are like 100% detailing, 100% detailing. You gotta make multiple investments in order to get to that quality of life that you have. And Mark, he’s a firefighter, he does detailing, he’s also a P&S Distributor
William: You see what I’m saying?
Jody: Yeah, he’s got it really dialed in. I saw that when I visited him in Jacksonville a couple of weeks ago. I walked in and he’s got a team. Right, And the team, they have a systematic approach that they are attacking a car. So it’s freeing him up to run the business, to manage the business, to grow the business.
William: Even to step and just enjoy life, you know.
Jody: And I asked him
Mark: To be here
Jody: And I asked him, what about the higher end cars? He said, “well there are certain cars, certain services that only I do.
Mark: Right, right
Jody: You are hand selecting certain customers, certain cars
William: We spoke about that earlier
Mark: Exactly, exactly
Jody: It makes a big difference having that freedom right?
William: But again, it’s like, it’s like you gotta be a good business person before you’re a detailer, a mechanic, a lawyer, whatever it is you want to do. You gotta know business before anything else.
William: It’s like we all have low seasons, we all have high seasons. A year ago I was like, Man should I get a part-time job? I said you know what I’m going to open up another business, that’s when I started doing the Social Media, I became a P&S Distributor. You know what I mean you gotta have multiple investments. You can’t always just narrow it down to just one thing. What if God forbid that fails?
William: What do you have to back you? What if you go through an emergency, you can’t work for six months? Or if you have some type of surgery or what ever? What money do you have?
Rod: And to me you shouldn’t have it so reliant on you being there 10 hours a day. I’ve missed four days it’s done, business is over. If you’re doing that you’re doing something wrong. You gotta have it set up where you can take care of you. We know people back in Boise, our guys are taking care of business so that we can be here doing this. And they work there butts off every day to make sure that we can do this just like your guys there. And you’re in the situation where you’re doing multiple businesses and you’re still finding time to do this. So to me you are doing something right.
William: But again, it’s like, people see us, they see all this stuff, all these amazing things but I was close to not coming but you know what I found a way, I had the will, I needed to be here. I had to make that work. So I had to do that.
Jody: And that’s the key, I think a lot of people say I don’t have time to do that in my life, instead they’re not crafting, not carving out time to do that.
William: But its going back to people only promoting the positive. Like I have personal stuff going on back at home. Like I almost couldn’t make it. You know what I mean, but I made it happen. A lot of people are like yeah, SEMA, Wooh, I get to meet celebrities like Mark and that stuff right. And it’s like, they’re promoting all that stuff, and people see it and you’re like and you give them the wrong impression then. We’re all human beings. We’re all here to help each other. If we can help each other out
Rod: Well and I’ve seen multiple people that have been here answer the phone for their business,
Mark: Oh yeah!
Rod: I watched Justin take a customer phone call and he explained to them exactly what he would’ve explained to them at home while he’s here. And that’s ok. But I guarantee you he didn’t answer his phone last night after hours.
Rod: Because he would not do that at home.
William: This guy doesn’t even pick up my phone call.
Jody: he picks up my calls, I don’t know about you
Mark: Yesterday before coming in I had to do payroll. But you know what I mean you got to make sure my guys get paid.
William: You got to prioritize
William: you got responsibilities
Jody: Yeah, So what’s coming ahead for you at the end of 18 into 19, what kind of fun things do you have planned?
William: A lot
Jody: Anything you can share or no? Or do we get to watch it unravel over time
William: I’d rather that happen
Jody: That’s good
William: I’d rather that happen. Again it’s about having a solid blueprint in your life. Next year is about building that solid blueprint
Jody: That’s good
William: For the next 3, 4, 5 years. So then coming over here, instead of coming for 3 days I can come the entire week.
Jody: All week
William: And have my staff back home. Next year’s going to be a very interesting year, personally, business, everything
Jody: That’s awesome! We wish you the best of luck in that and if there’s anything we can do to help at all in that, we would love to do that
Mark: I can help
William: Oh you see that, you see that he’s offering his help. He’s offering his help.
Mark: I shouldn’t say that on film
Rod: if I can help call Jody
Jody: He doesn’t know how to run a polisher but call him
William: So we are definitely going to have to have you come to Miami one day
Jody: it’s definitely on my bucket list. So thanks for joining us. We’re going to get Mark on separate either today or another episode but thank you for joining us for Mafia Memoirs where we’re exploring the detailers, the suppliers and the guys that are moving the detail industry. You guys have a great day!
William: So I’m taking over this account so make sure to follow me over @miamiluxdetailing
Mafia Memoirs is a production of Zenware and RoadFS The Official Software for The Detail Mafia.