The smell of coffee permeates the room around me. It’s a cool morning, still summer, but there is a hint of dying leaves in the air; fall is just around the corner. I should be gratefully sipping that first cup of rich black liquid and relaxing into my day. Instead, my heart is pounding, my breath shallow. I feel like I might pop right out of my skin at any moment. Fear has gripped my soul with icy fingers.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…you must do the thing you cannot do.” I flipped open a book while I was waiting for the coffee to brew, and that quote from Eleanor Roosevelt was the first thing I saw; suddenly it all made sense. I am terrified of moving forward. All the things I’ve been struggling with over the past few years: poverty, a crumbling business, broken dreams, authenticity, finding my true voice and passion and what the “grand purpose” of my life is, crush me like a 2 ton boulder, and I am paralyzed.
I have been on a spiritual quest to find some answers and to learn why I was going through so much shit these last few years. I took my business, Gearhead® to a dead stop because clearly it wasn’t working as it was. The Gearhead® Brand looked like it would be another causality of the shattered economy, but there were other reasons for my company’s downturn.
As I delved into healing my life, uncovering the many places where my actions didn’t match up with my intentions and making amends, I was willing to let it all go and start fresh and clean. But as you know, Gearhead® hung around, like some tarnished penny that kept turning up, begging me to pick it up. Which brings me to this moment in time, facing the fear head on that engulfs me.
As I rebuild this business from the ground up, I am starting to get some answers as to why it didn’t go away, even though I tried like heck to dissolve it, or just bury it. If I had any idea of how hard it would be to start a business back up from a dead stop, I would never have tried. It’s a good thing I’m a glass half full sort of gal. I let optimism and hope lead me forward.
I have struggled with how my loves for rock ‘n’ roll, pop culture and hot rods could serve any sort of a beneficial purpose to the world. I’m not a musician, I just know when I hear a piece of music that moves me in some way, I want to share that with everyone I know. I know almost nothing about cars except I have always enjoyed looking at them. I love the fact that mere mortals could create these amazing machines built from the elements of the earth. Ever since I built a model racecar in metal shop as a child I thought cars were neat! And pop culture? Well, that’s what has shaped who I am today.
I’m not a trained businessperson. I have simply followed my gut and was a bit taken aback when that led to successes as quickly as it led to disasters. This whole rollercoaster ride with Gearhead is really about courage and confidence, and stopping to look fear in the face, moving past the fear, judgments and limits that always surround a dream. Gearhead has hung around waiting for me to stop being afraid of following my dreams.
No other business out there is like Gearhead. It is a unique entity, born of steel, grease and grit and powered by the raw pulse of pounding drums and a burning passion in my belly that won’t be ignored. It has attracted brave souls who have followed their own inner urge to create something all their own. Gearhead essentially is a community of like-minded people, all following their own dreams and passions around the main themes of kustom culture and rock ‘n’ roll.
As I wake up the slumbering shell of Gearhead, I must face my own biggest fear of doing the thing I think I cannot do, the thing those around me think I’m crazy for trying. Fear can stop you, or it can be a motivator, giving one the courage to go for it. My business coach Jim Kaspari summed it up perfectly: "fear is the lantern that lights our way to success."
Gearhead Magazine has lain dormant since 2009, and as I start work on it again, the fear floods to the surface. “Maybe they’re right, I can’t do this, what am I thinking! It won’t be the same…” These thoughts fill my head and rattle around like old junk in the trunk. Starting up the publishing process has triggered these fears that once again led me to do some soul-searching. I realized Gearhead is simply the vehicle I’m driving right now as I learn the lessons of following one’s dreams.
Gearhead Magazine will not be the same publication my former partner once envisioned. It can’t be because I am not he. But it can be something new, something that honors the past, but lives in the present. It can still be a place that like-minded people come together at.
I’ve recently applied for a grant to help fund the rebirth of Gearhead. I need to get 250 votes by Oct. 3 in order to move onto the next round of the application process. Will you help? Click here to place your vote for Gearhead®! I thank you in advance for your support, and for sharing the dream.
Passion and the intent to shine a light on the people who serve the world by following their dreams has always been the foundation of Gearhead, whether it was rock ‘n’ roll, cars or the culture around these industries.
Are you one of those people? If so, Gearhead has a place for you as I get the magazine into production again for the long awaited issue #19. Take an ad out in the magazine, write a review of a favorite new record, book or movie you think our community should know about, or maybe even write a feature article. If you want to be involved in any of these ways, please email me today!
Gearhead Apparel is being revived with some old classics like the Gearhead Logo shirt the Spark Plug shirt, or the classic Runnin’ On Fumes Iron On shirt, but we’re looking for new designs too, so if you always thought your artwork would make a great Gearhead shirt, send it over!
Most of all, we need customers who can support Gearhead by buying the stuff we’re creating, and getting the word out the Gearhead brand is rolling again.
Gearhead will have a booth at the upcoming car show Billetproof; here I’ll be selling Gearhead® goodies and talking to the folks who stop by. If you’re in the Bay Area, come check it out! And while you’re there, put your name into the raffle for a chance to win a Gearhead® Goodie Bag!
I’m finally getting the You Tube channel crankin’ again too: the first video in 4 years, The Yolo County Demolition Derby, went live recently, and more videos are on the way! Become a subscriber to the channel! Facebook Twitter and Instagram have been a challenge for me to learn, but I think I’m getting the hang of it finally. New content is going up every day because I finally realized these forums are a place where community gathers. It’s been fun sharing pictures and information from the past and as I get more comfortable with the technology, there will be a lot more stuff coming! Please follow Gearhead and feel free to repost and share.
I’ve realized much of what Gearhead is about is being an inspiration to those who struggle with facing fear themselves, and providing an avenue to do what they think they cannot do. DIY baby, just go for it. You’ll never know if you don’t try right? Shake Rattle and Roll.
Till next time, be cool and keep the rubber on the road,
Stories about cars, pop culture, music, art, and other related topics written by GEARHEAD owner Rev. Michelle Haunold. Guest writers are also encouraged to get in touch to share content that might be of interest to GEARHEAD customers.