Texas State of Mind

What was the last excuse you made to not do something you’re passionate about? Were you too tired, too old, too stressed out, too out of shape or too over committed? The majority of us make excuses like these everyday. We tell ourselves it’s not because we don’t want to do whatever it is we’re making an excuse to get out of, it’s just because…you fill in the blank.

Have you ever noticed what happens when you talk your way out of something you probably should’ve said yes to? Whether it’s working out, putting in the extra time at the shop or going to visit someone you know needs you, you don’t end up feeling free, instead you find yourself feeling deflated, cheated and guilty.

Now, I’m specifically talking about hobbies here. Of course there are people and things in your life you should say no to so you can have time to say yes to do things you find fulfilling. We all have families, friends, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, pets and jobs that naturally, come first but if your dreams are really your dreams you need to make them just as important as the rest of your life.

Recently, I had the privilege of talking with Rob Pinder, a former 30-year member of the Federal Aviation Administration and the newest member of the quick oil change family. At the time of my interview Pinder had only owned his Florida lube shop for 3 weeks. After retiring from the FAA, Pinder and his wife decided they wanted to buy a business in the service industry. Pinder had tinkered with engines for years prior and understood the mechanics behind why things work so it was a natural fit. First he started looking in his home state of Texas. (Yes, you read that right, Pinder and his wife live in Texas but they bought their first lube shop in Florida.) After looking for awhile, Pinder found a deal in Florida he couldn’t pass up. Pinder and his family had vacationed in Florida for years and he was originally from Miami so despite the obvious challenge it would be for his personal life to split time between Florida and Texas, Pinder decided to go for it.

“It was an independently owned shop that had been here since the mid-90s. The owner had a car accident a few years ago and his health has really deteriorated since then. He basically gave the operation away and I gratefully took it. I’ve spent many a night on my knees about this and everything just fell into place,” Pinder said. “You know the hardest part is the long distance thing but I told my wife, ‘Give me 9-months to a year and I’ll get a management team in there so I can be semi absentee,’” Pinder said.

Even though he has only owned the business for a short while it sounded like Pinder was well on his way to doing just that. He travels back and forth from Florida to Texas on the weekends and he’s working hard to get the right set of people in place in the shop. Luckily, the shop he bought already had a few good people whom he was able to keep on making things fairly easy.

“Two months before I purchased [the shop] the previous owner hired a new technician. His wife had recently lost her job and had management, computer and all the experience I was looking for in a manager. I hired her my first day on the job. [That in combination] with the technicians I’ve got in the shop, I feel like I’ve already got a semi absentee business. I’ve taken off two-three weekends to go back home and my team has proven very competent, and trustworthy. Everything has been great so far.”

Like many of us, Pinder has more on his plate than any single person should but that doesn’t stop him from staying true to himself, his commitments or his family. Long before a lube shop was ever on his radar Pinder decided to pursue other passions he had. In 2005, one of Pinder’s cousins came to stay with him and attend a Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America function. Up until them a dream of Pinder’s had always been to own a ranch but it wasn’t until 2005 that he became interested in Texas Longhorns.

“I grew up on the farm during the summer with my Grand Dad on his farm but it wasn’t until my cousin took me to the long horn event that I fell in love with those animals,” Pinder said. “That was when I made the decision, one day I’d have some long horns.”

One day came one year later.

“Four years ago my wife and I moved out to where we live now on some acreage. The first thing I did when we moved in was buy some longhorns,” Pinder said. “They are registered longhorns being raised for their horn length. Right now I have five but I only have 20 acres so I can’t keep a whole lot of animals. I sold four last Fall and I’ll probably get three to five in the next year or so. I’m just trying to get my genetics to where I can compete. It takes a while to build your herd up They’re non aggressive, very docile. It’s been a nice little hobby.”

Now, Pinder has more on his plate than ever before but he still manages to make time for his family and of course, the longhorns. A word to the wise, don’t ever let him catch you saying you have so much to do you don’t have time for the things that really matter because this is what he’ll tell you:

“I have a hard time classifying something as a passion if somebody can’t find time for it. I’ve been the busiest I’ve been since I’ve taken this business on and I’m still involved with the cows and the animals there. Even still, I find myself having time to sit down and watch TV,” Pinder said. “Everybody can find an hour here and an hour there no matter how much they’re working. You can find the time you just have to [make it a priority.] A planner and calendar are my best tools. If I schedule something on my calendar it’s on my schedule and I book around it. You have to commit. I commit to work my passion and work everything else around it.”

That my friends is what I’m calling for the purpose of this piece, a Texas State of Mind: The desire to want something so bad you can’t help but make it happen and be successful. Ditch your excuses, standby your passions, be confidant in your decisions and work your tail off.