Change is abounding at Marinelli Auto Service. I’m leaving my job to help at the shop more, which has caused Andrew and I to reconfigure how we’re going to pay our bills.
When I was little, I remember waking up on a Saturday morning to see my dad sitting in the kitchen with our bills placed neatly across the kitchen counter. Checkbook out, he methodically wrote each check and placed it in the cellophane screened envelope. The tidy stack would then be delivered to the mailbox with heavy steps as I sat inside watching cartoons. As the years went on and my dad became successful in his job, those steps became a little lighter…and then I went to college and the bills mounted once again.
I was a rather disillusioned college student. I thought that having a college degree and a strong work ethic would assure me a job that would allow me to live comfortably with minor financial worries. My 10-year college reunion was this October and nothing has ever been comfortable about my finances.
When Andrew and I got married nearly four years ago, we were both going through job transitions…which is a nice way to say we were squeaking by paycheck to paycheck. I always laugh about how our wedding cost about as much as the average American bride pays for just her dress. Truthfully, it was because the people in our tight-knit community all pitched in that made our wedding so special even though we planned it on a dime.
The following years began meagerly. We pinched and planned every penny and were able to begin saving. In 2014 that savings account was what allowed Marinelli Auto Service to become a reality. We felt strongly about starting this business without going into debt. We don’t have car payments, a mortgage or buy on credit. If the money isn’t there, we just don’t spend it. Our cars don’t look pretty but they are reliable and get us where we need to go.
We’ve been pleased to see that the business MAS brings in covers our overhead and leaves a small amount to help with bills at home. As we built the business this year, my non-profit job has helped maintain a foundation for our personal finances. I believed in the work I was doing but then they offered me a promotion – a full-time salaried position that I could take or be replaced.
I turned it down.
“What?!” you might say.
You are right – on paper this does not seem to make sense. However, the nature of the job increasingly began to draw me away from everything else that’s important to me. Andrew and I hope to have children and we don’t think we should both be working full-time while our kids are young. My boss’s hope was that I would establish a long-term career with the organization. I couldn’t in good conscience take the job knowing I wasn’t after a long-term career. Additionally, as the shop has grown, so has my heart for it’s success.
A Growing Business
Andrew is one man. He’s an Automotive Technician, that part is clear, but he’s also required to be a Service Writer, an Accountant, a Marketer and an Office Manager. While I can’t be The Mechanic, I can be The Mechanic’s Wife, taking on many of those other responsibilities that distract Andrew from fixing your car.
In January, 2016, I will no longer be working at my other job. Instead I hope to jump into the shop with full abandon doing whatever I can to draw customers to the shop, help Andrew work alongside them, and keep the business organized. In order for that to work financially for our family, we need to double our customer base. I’m not talking about doing twice the number of oil changes, but twice the number of people who consider Andrew their mechanic so we can rely solely on the shop to pay our bills at home.
Will you help us get started?
Like our wedding, it’s been our community embracing our business that has allowed us to make it this far. Our most loyal customers are those who were referred to us by friends, family, and other loyal customers. If that’s you, thank you!
Here are three ways you can help:
1. Bring your car to us!
We aren’t looking to take you away from a mechanic has already built a relationship with you and does trustworthy, quality work. However, if you aren’t sure you’ve found him/her, please come. You are most welcome.
2. Write an honest online review
3. Refer us
Tell your friends, family, coworkers or anyone else you know who may be looking for a good mechanic. Everyone who owns a car needs a relationship with a mechanic they trust and we would love the opportunity to get to know them. If you want business card or shop invitations to share, please contact us and we’d be happy to get them to you.
Thank you for being a part of Marinelli Auto Service. We value you, not just because you drive a vehicle that might need our services, but even more as a person.
-From the Mechanic’s Wife