Tuesday, November 22, 2011
SUCCESS INTERVIEW: JOHN HAWTHORNE (Part 1 of 3)
INTERVIEW WITH JOHN HAWTHORNE
HAWTHORNE TIRE AND AUTO SERVICES
877 E. RANCHEROS DR. SAN MARCOS, CA 92069
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing a local business owner in my town and I am sure you will find this interview very helpful and insightful. I want you to concentrate on the positive message and the sense of confidence that John Hawthorn exhibits in a sincere and honest manner. I also want you to realize how easily his faith guides him to making natural decisions and acting in line with the universal laws like the Law of Attraction even though I did not discuss the law of attraction in any way with him. In fact John wanted to me to put this before the interview:"Regarding the Law of Attraction: I believe first and foremost in a sovereign God who is in control of something as grand as the universe, and also in control in something as minute as the individual aspects of circumstances in our lives. While I respect certain aspects of the law of attraction, I don't believe it's a science. I do believe in cause and effect, and "you reap what you sow" but I don't technically believe that I can create certain outcomes based in my life based on my beliefs or true desires for those particular outcomes. In the end, this is because I believe it takes away "control" from a sovereign God."
AJ: Today I am interviewing John Hawthorne the owner of Hawthorne Tire and Automotive Services in San Marcos California.
John good morning, and thank you for your time this morning. Tell me a little about how your parents started this business and then how you became involved in it.
John Hawthorne: Well we have had this family business for 30 years this year, so we have been here since 1981. My Parents met in 78-79 and got married pretty quickly. They had each worked in the automotive industry before. My mom in particular. Her parents had opened and operated two tire shops in the LA area from 1950-51 and on which are still open today. So my mom literally grew up in that atmosphere and met my dad at a social function between two other local shops. Long story short, they met, got married and they decided to branch out and open up one of their own. They moved here to North County and decided to open up Hawthorn Tire. So they opened it up. They had me about 2 years later. Literally my mom raised me here in the shop. There is a little, what’s now a storage, that was my nursery room. Really early on so I think I was literally raised here and I probably never really left it seems like. So other than schooling and what not I ended up back here. So it was a pretty established business for the most part while I was in college. My dad and I discussed this, he came to me when I was in college and wanted to retire and gave me the opportunity to purchase the business and long story short we ended up doing that about 6 years ago so I have owned it 5-6 years now.
AJ: Why did your parents go into owning a business as opposed to working for someone else? Did they ever discuss things like that with you while you were growing up?
JH: What my dad always said was that “yes the liability is always higher of course of owning your own business, but the responsibility and the onus is on you and you can control your destiny to a degree as a business owner. With hard work, with effort, with a little bit of grace too generally you are in control of your own destiny to a degree. He was drawn to that. He was a real entrepreneurial spirit, much like I am and he got the opportunity to open his own shop. They each had the experience he and my mom and wanted to provide a family atmosphere for the customer, and so that’s what we continue on here today, but I think the idea of ultimately being able to have control over how much income you can make is what drew them in.
AJ: How about any challenges when they started off?
JH: Back in the 80s when they first started off there wasn’t as much competition as there are today, but granted there wasn’t as much population in San Marcos that there is today too. Not long after that the University opened and so I think that started to draw in a larger population and what not, and grow the city of San Marcos in lots of ways, but the challenges of course are always getting your name out there and letting people know that you are out there so you can get the opportunity to do some work for them. I know that was their biggest challenge starting off, so what they did starting off was to open up as a wholesale distributor and deliver tires and deliver parts, and then started doing service on vehicles with in a couple years after that. After they had casted a wide net and got to know allot of people and then built up a reputation for having a personable type of business where character is highly valued and the customers really appreciated it. So after they grew the desire to have customers actually work on their cars they started doing that too.
AJ: Did either one of them have a MBA, or business school experience or was it the school of hard knocks?
JH: No my dad did not graduate college. My mom graduated college about a year ago at the age of 61.’
AJ: WOW congratulation.
JH: So neither one of them opened the business with a degree of any kind let alone a business degree. I myself dropped out of college and am running the business for myself.
AJ: You have done well.
JH: I am a college drop out.
AJ: Most successful business owners I have met and spoken too, education as far a traditional education has not been a significant factor in their success or their failures.
JH: In my experience, yeah, talking with customers and getting to know people over the years and building relationships with people who have MBA, Bachelors, Masters and all that, really it is a door opener, it’s good to have, and I like to have one myself someday because I do value education, but business owner that I talk to value experience highly, highly, highly and people who like you referring to in the school of hard knocks, I mean people who get it in the business world are very highly regarded too.
AJ: So that brings up a question that I had not thought about. Do you think that a traditional business school prepares people to be employee mindset, as opposed to getting that education in the house from a parent that has a business and getting the real experience?
JH: I would say a traditional business degree will give people a fair foundation. It will definitely be an asset. I think allot of employees of businesses will make pretty good business owners in the end mostly because through experience you kind of end up knowing what it takes and what you need and expect from employees to be able to run a particular business. So I think a good business degree is valuable. Yes it is not everything. Because every business is its own entity. Each one has different needs. Each one is like a different person in a way. There are certain things that is required to survive and each one is different. So I can say even a trade school sometimes, is even more valuable to a degree. I know trade schools are really on the rise now. There is allot of generated interest from recruiters and what not. People are thinking of trade schools as a more cost effective option for allot people. Given job openings if they know someone is specially trained for certain fields, that actually is really nice. So you can go and get a business degree and possibly fit in to allot of businesses, but allot of businesses want someone who fits in perfectly. So it does help to have a degree; it does open doors because in my opinion when I see people with a degree and what not it tells me that they have done their due diligence, they have put in the work. They know how to put in the time and what not. Because they have committed to that to get a degree but it doesn’t mean they are going to make it pay or play so it’s not the end all.
Join us next week for the 2nd part of this interview.