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Launching a new magazine comes with a lot of firsts—the first story ideas, design concepts and interviews, the first issue, the first year of publishing, etc. 

One of our “firsts” with Ratchet+Wrench is approaching at the end of this month—the end of our editorial advisory board’s first term. This group of eight shop owners, which you can find listed in the masthead on the previous page, has invested a significant amount of time each month to advancing this magazine.

Handpicked from a nationwide pool of industry- and staff-nominated shop operators, these individuals run some of the most successful shops in the country. And yet, they have dedicated hours month after month to voluntarily review magazine content, offer feedback on ideas and share their insight, all for the ultimate benefit of you, the reader.   

As I have said before in this column, all of our work, with the exception of the columns by shop owners Joe Marconi and Mitch Schneider, is done in-house by our editorial team. We are not out working in shops every day, so it’s essential that we stay in touch with the people who do. And not just anyone—but the people who are invested in the industry and committed to making it better for everyone. It’s the only way we can ensure that we’re providing the strategies and inspiration for auto care success that we promise to deliver each month. The only way to routinely make sure that are content is not only relevant, but valuable to shop operators at all levels.

I have been routinely impressed by our advisory board’s eagerness to be involved, and by the tremendous care they put into reviewing the magazine and offering thoughtful comments.  We have been able to make numerous improvements to Ratchet+Wrench over the course of the last year. From the story concepts themselves to the people we speak to, and the photos, graphics and other elements that bring a story to life, the board has had a hand in all of it.

Some of the board will stay on for a second term, but we’re looking for new shop operators to join them. If you’re passionate about making the industry better for all stakeholders, please send me an email expressing your interest.

In this issue’s main feature,Building Successful Businesses,” we get inside the heads of some of the industry’s big thinkers, folks who have not only dreamt big, but followed up with action to achieve their goals. They didn’t all set out to be where they are today, but they seized opportunities, took risks and overcame challenges to build businesses that should serve as inspiration for anyone in the industry.

For Matt Curry, a former shop owner who developed The Hybrid Shop to help facilities become hybrid repair experts, achieving dreams comes down to an individual’s frame of mind.

“I think people get caught in a mindset that they’re a small shop or this or that sort of shop, and they’re stuck doing what they’re doing,” he says. “You can’t think that way. If you think small, you’re going to stay small. You’ve got to always think and act bigger than you are.”

The feature also profiles successful shop operators Rissy Sutherland of Phoenix-based Honest-1 Auto Care and Rich Cox of Orion Automotive Services in Ann Arbor, Mich. Hopefully their stories will inspire you to climb toward your own goals, no matter how high they may be.

Jake Weyer

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