On the Rise: Daniel Horn
Director of Sales | McCarthy Tire Service Co. Inc. | Age: 30
What was your first job in the industry?
I worked pumping gas at one of our locations, but also had some days where I worked in a warehouse boxing up old documents that were damaged in a flood and transporting them to another building.
What attracted you to the industry?
Growing up, I had the opportunity to see my father, aunts, uncles, and grandfather work in the industry. I always wanted to be like them. As I grew up and had the opportunity to work in several different parts of the industry, I fell in love with sales. I loved the competitive atmosphere and the opportunity to be out of an office all day meeting new people.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
Age. As a whole, the tire industry is made up of an older group of people. The idea of working and handling dirty tires isn't the most appealing job for an 18- to 21-year-old coming out of school. I think that is why you see such a huge age gap in this industry. Age has been a big hurdle for me personally, due to my positions I have been in over the last nine years. When you take on a regional sales manager role and now the director of sales role, you are overseeing people who might be double your age. That is sometimes a hard pill to swallow for someone who has been in the industry for 20 to 30-plus years. The only way around that is to show them your work ethic and win them over with it.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My entire family. As I mentioned above, I had the opportunity to watch them in this industry and learn from them. My grandfather, father, uncles, and aunt have all directly impacted my work life and have helped shape me into who I am today. I learned by example since I have had the opportunity to work at their side for years.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I think my biggest accomplishment came in the last year when taking on the role of director of sales. The trust that was given to me to manage the sales force for our company is by far my biggest accomplishment at this point in my life.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your workday?
Typically, my day is spent in the office reviewing compensation for reps, reviewing pricing files for customers, handling any other sales-related issues that come up during that day, or out in the field with our team calling on current or new fleets.
What did you do before you entered the tire industry?
Nothing. This is all I have ever known!
If a friend expressed an interest in joining the industry, what advice would you give them?
Be prepared to work hard. The tire industry isn’t the easiest of jobs in the world, but it is rewarding if you are willing to put in the hours.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Continuing to grow McCarthy Tire’s market share. I hope to still be implementing change each day and driving our company to new heights.
Aside from the basics like health insurance, what’s the most important perk/benefit an employer should offer?
Time off. We have seen that more and more people are looking for a healthier work/life balance. Some people would rather be paid less but have more vacation time.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
Private equity money. You are seeing more and more private equity groups coming into the market and buying up dealers or larger chains. The issue with that is that they lose touch with the employees and just look at them as assets, rather than people.
Tell us about your family.
My wife, Jackie, and I met in college. We got married in August 2015. We had a daughter in 2017, Sutton. My wife is due with our second child, who should be arriving soon.
What’s the worst cliché or generalization made about your generation?
Millennials don’t want to work. I think millennials do want to work. We just want to work differently. We want to use technology more. We want the opportunity and time to analyze an issue and come up with a unique way to solve the problem, rather than just putting our head down and working hard until the task is complete.
Name a talent you wish you had.
I wish I was able to play a musical instrument. My brain just doesn’t work that way.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Growing up at my grandparents’ lake house will all of my cousins. Most people don’t get to spend that type of time with their cousins. I feel that was something very special.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I would say my grandfather, Jack McCarthy, who passed away in 2015. At that time, I had been working for four years, but obviously not as heavily involved with the management side of the business like I am today. With my new job and responsibilities, I would love to pick his brain on people and certain situations.
Do you live by a mantra or motto? If so, what is it?
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” I have always felt that this relates to me and what I do in the sales side of the business. Wins are great and need to be celebrated, but know that it can always be taken away. On the other side, mistakes are very valuable to an individual. As long as they aren’t massive mistakes, you will have the opportunity to correct them. You need to keep your emotions, both good and bad, in check and continue to push forward each day.
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
I’m a pretty transparent person. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head.
What’s your go-to song for a road trip playlist?
Nothing in particular. I just need variety for a long trip.
If tomorrow you could move into any other position in your company, what would you choose, and why?
I think at this point I am very happy with where I am. It is a high-stress job, but I love it. I do miss being a commercial sales rep though. Being on the road all day, every day, was fun.
What’s your favorite weekend activity?
I love to golf when I can. However, with a growing family, it has become more and more difficult to find time for that. Spending time with my daughter has taken precedent.
Who’s your role model?
I don’t have one specific person. It would be by committee (grandfather, father, aunts, and uncles). They all have special qualities that I look up at and admire.
If we gave you $1,000 and one hour, how would you spend the money?
Key to my heart is food. I think I would need to go for a nice dinner!
What advice would you give your high school self?
Not to take everything so personally. You need to let some things rolls off your back and not affect your life.