On the Rise: William Taulbee
Owner and head technician | Brogan & Folz dba Brogan & Folz Firestone | Age: 38
What was your first job in the industry?
I started out changing tires and oil and worked my way up. It was an incredible experience.
What attracted you to the industry?
I really enjoy working with my hands. I knew from a young age I wasn't going to do well in an office environment.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
The biggest challenge I have faced in my career has been learning how to deal with employees. I know that communication is a giant obstacle for me. Luckily I have a great business partner in Matt Brogan.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
There are a lot people that have influenced my career. Gary, Kenny, and Danny Martini were all influential because they all were willing to teach me. They let me make mistakes, but made sure I understood where and why I messed up.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
Having a successful garage where my customers trust us is my biggest accomplishment. This business is hard because it is always changing. Our customers know that we are going to put the effort in on our side of it to make sure we fix their cars at a fair price in a reasonable time.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Hopefully, I will still be doing this type of work. I enjoy the challenge and the reward that comes along with trying to stay ahead in the automotive field.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
The technological advances that we will be facing are going to keep coming. I expect that in the next 10 or 20 years the way we are repairing vehicles will look drastically different than today, and as a technician you have to embrace that. I believe you will make mistakes along the way, but that is part of the learning process and you can’t shy away from that.
What’s the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you entered the industry?
If you are going to be successful, you can’t be selfish. You have to be willing to learn from other people who have gone before you. I think a lot of times technicians have the mentality that it is every person for themselves, and that is extremely counter-productive.
How do you encourage others to enter the industry?
My business partner, Matt Brogan, and I have had great success by hiring young kids that have an interest in automotive repair, but have little to no experience. They work their way up from the bottom and it really has worked out well for us.
Tell us about your family.
I have two great parents and I am extremely close with my siblings.
What’s your favorite weekend activity?
My favorite weekend activity is either golfing or swimming.
What keeps you up at night?
I constantly am worrying about taking care of my customers. We have the best customers in the world and it is important to remember that they choose to come to my shop. Therefore we are always looking for ways to thank them for their loyalty.
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
I enjoy working out.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Popcorn at the movies.
Name a talent you wish you had.
That is a tough question. I have always tried new things. Some things I am good at and others I am not, but I feel like if you at least gave it a try then I can live with the fact there are some things I am not good at.
What’s your favorite food?
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
If we took your cell phone away and said it would cost you $1,000 to get it back, how long would you survive until you paid the ransom?
About four hours.