An example of a recent part of one of Rob's "hidden paychecks." He ran 12 laps at the Iowa Speedway at Rusty Wallace's Racing school...which was, or course, a legitimate business expense!



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Welcome to the Cars For A Living! This show is dedicated specifically to help out those that would love to find a way to turn their automotive passions into a career, business, or life long journey.

In this episode my co-host Dan Kahn and I took on the subject of the “hidden paycheck” of running your own business. During the show Dan and I really tried to break the myth that you need to make as much money in your business as you did in your old day job to break even. Both Dan and I entered into our own businesses thinking that would be the case….and we then learned that we were completely wrong. While we both technically bring home less cash in our paychecks than we did in our day jobs, we’d both make the case that we’re doing far better than we ever could have had we not gone into business for ourselves.  Here’s how.

Hobby Expenses are Now Business Expenses

One of the big perks of operating a legitimate business that’s wrapped around your passion is that (all of a sudden) the things that would normally be hobby-type activities that would come out of your personal pocket (like building cars, going to racing school, and even going to car shows) can now all potentially be legitimate business expenses.

I personally have benefited greatly in this area in that my ’64 Chevelle is being built – for free – as a gift for me by one of my listeners of The MuscleCar Place, and I’m supplying the parts (some of which have come from vendor sponsorship) via my marketing budget. This entire project is a feat that would have cost me tens of thousands had it been coming our of my own pocket, and at this point in my life would have been impossible.

I’m documenting the entire process on my blog and on the podcast shows in The MuscleCar Place Network as a method of marketing my business. When completed I’ll race the car at autocross and road course events, using the events to showcase the car, and effectively, my business. (I know….I know….it’s a rough job, but someone has to do it.)

If you’d like to learn more about how this all unfolded I’d recommend that you read my 2011 Year In Review: I Quit My Job, A Miracle Happened, and I (Sort of) Made a Fortune.

Living the Balance Sheet Lifestyle

Dan also introduced a terrific concept in the show in that the automotive entrepreneur needs to live by the balance sheet lifestyle, not the income statement lifestyle. Most people that make the leap from employee to self-employed business owner typically try to get their new venture into a position so that they can bring home the EXACT same dollar amount as they did in their old paychecks (as did Dan and I).

This is a bit of a mistaken approach however, as new ventures can sometimes take years before they reach their full potential, and while you’re working on them you may be building equity in personal skills (or in developing business products) that will pay off 10 or 100 times down the road.

With all of that said, neither Dan nor I are fans of going into debt for business ventures, nor are we stating that you should bring home an amount of money that neglects your personal family responsibilities, should you have any. What we are saying is that at times every entrepreneur needs to look at the big picture of things and realize that the value you’re building in your business may not be just in dollars that you can measure easily…..yet.

Wrapping Up

We’d love to get your feedback on how how you deal with these issues as well as what you’d like us to concentrate on for the next show. Feel free to simply reply in the post notes below, hit us up on Facebook or Twitter, or shot us an e-mail!

-Rob Kibbe



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