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[Podcast] RR 409: AJ Nealey: Living the Dream. Turned His Vision Into His Reality. No, is Hard To Say for AJ!

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AJ Nealey got the mechanical bug at a young age playing with Legos. The bug quickly escalated to wrenching on his own car in high school, to his first full-time job as a technician and also to a racing career.

He started Nealey Auto Service, Edgewater, MD, out of his one bay garage in 2011 after his racing career came to an end. After he married his wife, Stephanie, in 2014. AJ and Stephanie decided to focus all energy and resources to grow Nealey Auto Service. It all started with taking RLO Training’s Guerilla Shop Management course. Since then, they have grown to a 9 bay facility with 8 employees and have increased sales a total of 1172% since then.

Key Talking Points:

  • Passion for cars
    • Always had a passion for cars since got a license to drive- wanted to learn how everything worked
    • 2008 wrenched on the side out of house garage
    • 2009-2010 professional race car driver career-learned about marketing during a racing career  
  • Started shop in 2011
    • Scouted and wanted a new location in 2015- had 30 days to put in a bid
    • $900,000 facility from the ground up.
    • Purchased existing location- was a transmission repair shop, built in late 50’s early 60’s
    • Learned buying power isn’t about current credit history/buying power, it’s about what you could make in the future with a business plan and you must surround yourself with the right lawyers, bankers and financial advisors
    • 3 customers invested
    • Wrote a heartfelt letter to the seller
    • Got property but environmental inspection showed contaminated soil and tanks that needed removal- started at 150k to start removal of issues
    • AJ paid for environmental studies
  • Took Guerilla Shop Management (GSM) course with ROL training- a life-changing event for running the business
    • Hired business coach after GSM course
    • 123k in sales in 2014- jumped to 1.441M in 2018
  • Reaching goals
    • A goal setter. Short, Mid Range and Long Term and his BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)
    • Positive attitude and surround yourself with people you aspire to be- they will hold you accountable
    • Execution- get things done
  • Best book to read
    • The E-Myth- Michael Gerber
    • Traction- Gino Wickman
    • The Ideal Team Player- Patrick Lencioni
  • Reaching goals
    • Positive attitude and surround yourself with people you aspire to be- they will hold you accountable
    • Execution- get things done
  • Best book to read
    • The E-Myth- Michael Gerber
    • Traction – Gino Wickman
    • The Ideal Team Player- Patrick Lencioni


  • Thanks to AJ Nealey for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.


Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
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Subscribe to a mobile listening app HERE.



The auto care industry is revving up.  New technologies are changing cars and the way people use them. To stay in the driver’s seat of all these advancements, you need to take charge of your learning, your business, and your legacy. That’s where the 2020 NAPA AutoCare-Logo-Color-Horizontal-1440x525.EXPO comes in. With help from industry experts and the best suppliers and manufacturers, the 2020 NAPA EXPO will provide the innovations and answers you need to charge forward into the future.

This is your chance to: network with experts in the industry, discover the latest innovations that will help you stay market competitive, and learn more about the new products, services, and equipment you’ll soon be using every day.

Join us in Las Vegas, April 6-9, 2020!  Contact your NAPA AUTO PARTS store today to reserve your package for this can’t miss event. Enrollment is going on now.

To learn more about NAPA AutoCare and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio

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