Growth hacking gearhead.
A little over a month ago, I FINALLY got a chance to sit down and talk shop with Chris Rhoad. We’ve been on each other’s radars for more than decade. In fact, my earliest memories of him were from chats we had back on Twitter before Gearbox Magazine existed.
Yeah. OG AF.
Chris is Founder and CEO of Studio Rhoad, “a branding and consulting agency for the automotive market.” Knowing many of you in the audience might not be familiar with, if not fond of, the language of the trade, let’s just say Chris makes his living helping automotive brands do a better job of listening to gearheads like us.
As gearheads, we’ve all had friends and family suggest we get jobs at the local dealership because we’re so into cars. And we hate this suggestion, because being into cars doesn’t mean wanting to dick people around with sleight of hand and psychological parlor tricks on the sales floor or trying to convince broke-dick vehicle operators to actually, you know, maintain their vehicles.
Of course, we then completely overlook the whole world of exciting ideas between those jobs and race car driver or CEO, right? (Impostor Syndrome strikes again!)
Chris found himself making more money working with more meaningful clients on his own outside regular office hours. He decided to go into business for himself. And he went all-in, believe me. A decade later, his On the Rhoad podcast is quickly becoming one of my must-listen favorites.
As a gearhead marketer myself, I love listening to Chris and Co-Host Davin Sturdivant’s conversations with other automotive marketing professionals. But even if you’re not the least bit interested in marketing—you know, because labels—it’s still incredibly interesting hearing how gearheads like us ended up being responsible for the ways our favorite brands talk to us.
In this episode of The Gearhead Project, Chris and I talk about when, where, why, and how his automotive and professional interests merged, the realities of being your own boss, and see if we can’t break it all down into something that maybe—just maybe—you could see yourself doing.
Put another way, this is a conversation with a guy who realized he could make more money doing what he did for a living on his own, he could make a good living helping other gearheads do gearhead shit, and his podcast is a fantastic peek behind the curtain at some of the performance aftermarket brands we’ve come to know and love over the past decade.
This cat is a true scholar of the automotive arts. He puts in the time. But it’s like the saying goes, “Do what you love for a living and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Check this one out. And then go check out On The Rhoad. It’s legit.
Note: The audio may not reflect the correct episode number or link. Brian lost count of episodes so we had to re-number them.