Tribute to Car Talkers for their Inspirational Career

Car Talk

Since 1987, Tom and Ray Magliozzi have been a fixture in many American homes. The two radio hosts stunned their fans with their recent announcement that, after 35 years on the air, they would be ending their “Car Talk” program later this fall.

Their success offers us an example of a distinctive but inspirational career. They showed off the importance of persistence, a strong work ethic, passion for their job, and excellent customer service.

The brothers never intended to become national celebrities. But even though there is a perception is that were simply a pair of grease monkeys who got lucky, the fact is that their success was a result of a willingness to take chances.

Proof that by devoting your energies to something you love, and then putting 100 percent of your efforts into that task, it is possible for a passion to be turned into a career.

Tom Magliozzi went to MIT, served in the Army, got his MBA and taught marketing at universities in Massachusetts. His brother Ray also went to MIT and ended up becoming a teacher in Vermont. Neither one was very happy.

For most people, when they are not happy in their job, they complain a lot, but don’t often do anything about it. The Magliozzi’s put their heads together and decided to open up a business that was based on something they actually enjoyed doing: car repair.

They opened up a do-it-yourself garage in the late 1970’s, where they would rent out tools and space to people who wanted to fix-up their own cars without paying exorbitant prices to professional mechanics. The pair ended up losing their shirts, because they ended up helping doing most of the work for their clients, and at a price well below the norm for the amount of labor they were doing. But they had tons of fun, and in the process, learned more about their craft than most.

Because their business was such an original idea, they were asked to appear on a show at the Boston National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate. They were a huge hit, and a new career was launched. Ten years later, the show went national.

“Car Talk” has long been the top-rated show in NPR’s Saturday lineup thanks to their unique combination of real expertise, a sense of humor, and the fact that the brothers really do care about their listeners. It is syndicated on over 650 stations and nearly 3.5 million people join the Magliozzis each week.

Tom and Ray are proof that by devoting your energies to something you love, and then putting 100 percent of your efforts into that task, it is possible for a passion to be turned into a career.

In their case, the legacy they have created will also outlive their own involvement in “Car Talk.” NPR has decided not to remove the show from their airwaves and will instead repackage segments from the past quarter of a century into “new” episodes of compiled archive footage.

So, if you’re looking to make a career change and find yourself simply spinning your tires and finding little traction, perhaps you should take a page from the guys at “Car Talk.” Figure out what you love to do and see if you can’t find a way to transition from the job you’re doing now into something that involves your passion.

You may not end up talking about it to a national radio audience from now until the year 2047, but if you work hard and keep a positive attitude, you may well end up as happy as the Magliozzis.

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