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How Sharing a Passion Can Fuel a Dream

Expert advice from car enthusiast and entrepreneur, Eric Sandoval.


  1. (dramatic music)

    On screen: BIG DREAM MOVEMENT, AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE

    MITCH MATTHEWS: Beautiful cars, what do they make you think of? For some, a specific car can bring back a flood of memories. For others, that right car can make the heart race. For Eric Sandoval, beautiful cars do all these things. And he's turned a lifelong passion into a business that gives people the opportunity to drive the car of their dreams.

    (light upbeat music)

    MITCH MATTHEWS: Eric.

    ERIC SANDOVAL: Good morning, Mitch, how you doing?

    MITCH MATTHEWS: How are you? Oh, this is fantastic, I can't believe this place.

    ERIC SANDOVAL: Isn't it cool?

    MITCH MATTHEWS: It's like the Smithsonian of cool.

    (dramatic music)

    ERIC SANDOVAL: I've always owned exotic cars.

    MITCH MATTHEWS: Yeah.

    On screen: Eric Sandoval, Founder, Oxotic Supercar Driving Experience

    ERIC SANDOVAL: Well, for like the last 18 years ever since I started making some money, I had something kind of cool in the garage. I'd be the guy that would, Friday night, like get my car prepped, it would be, you know, there wouldn't be a hair on the interior. You know, tweezers, getting stuff out, polishing it.

    ERIC SANDOVAL: So I could go out on Saturday and go to the Cars and Coffee. Forever, I was always the guy that, if you're my buddy and you're like, "Oh man, you got a Ferrari. I've always wanted to drive a Ferrari." Throw him the keys, right? And say, "Yo, just take it out. Just be back in like 30 minutes and don't wreck it."

    (car engine revving)

    ERIC SANDOVAL: Five years ago.

    MITCH MATTHEWS: Yeah.

    ERIC SANDOVAL: We started in a go-kart facility.

    (laughs)

    MITCH MATTHEWS: Yeah.

    ERIC SANDOVAL: We had just a little corner.

    MITCH MATTHEWS: Yeah.

    ERIC SANDOVAL: In their big atrium. And we operated out of there. We had the cars parked out in front. I basically said, "Okay, what do I need to do to open a business like this?"

    MITCH MATTHEWS: Kind of that smallest, that minimal step.

    ERIC SANDOVAL: Yep, exactly. And I thought, "Okay, I need at least two cars 'cause I need two cars for people to pick from because they're two very different types of cars." So I had a Ferrari, and a Lamborghini, right?

    MITCH MATTHEWS: Why wouldn't you?

    (laughs)

    ERIC SANDOVAL: Exactly.

    ERIC SANDOVAL: That was like my version of, "Okay, these are the basic cars that we have to have in our fleet to get started."

    MITCH MATTHEWS: Yeah.

    ERIC SANDOVAL: If you don't take that first step, it's never gonna happen. If you just keep it in your head and it’s a dream, days will go by and years will go by, time will go by. The longer you wait, the higher probability that it's never gonna happen, right? You have to start small. You can't wait for all the stars to align so that perfect moment when all the stars are aligned, that's when you go.

    ERIC SANDOVAL: Because if you wait for that time, it's never gonna happen.

    MITCH MATTHEWS: Right.

    MITCH MATTHEWS: Eric has turned a passion for beautiful cars and a heart for sharing them into a business. It's not always easy and it involves some risk. But he loves what he does and I can sure see why. As you hear Eric's story and see others give themselves permission to dream too, I hope it sparks some of your own dreams. And no matter how big those dreams might be, take some advice from Eric and find a way to start... small.

    (upbeat techno music)

    On screen: WANT MORE INSPIRATION? VISIT https://www.amfam.com/dream-support
    AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE, Insure carefully, dream fearlessly.
    BIG DREAM MOVEMENT

For some, discovering a passion isn’t easy. But even if you’re clear on yours, there’s work yet to be done. After all, how do you begin pursuing a dream you’ve built up over a lifetime? We know someone who might be able to inspire your path forward — especially if you’re looking to share your passion with others.

From a young age Eric Sandoval has found joy in talking about, working on and driving cars. Some of his fondest memories involve him and his father turning wrenches in the garage or enjoying car shows.

“I know not everyone has a passion for cars. Maybe they live and breathe hiking, skiing, wakeboarding, etc. but for me, I’m 100% infatuated with cars,” says Eric.

So, naturally, he wanted to do something involving cars when he grew up. And while some may have gone into car sales or simply focused on owning a classic car for themselves to enjoy, Eric had a different plan — because more than anything he wanted to share this passion with others. And with that in mind, Eric opened Oxotic Supercar Driving Experience, where he’s built up a fleet of impressive cars and designed different experience packages for people who are interested in touring the scenic roads of Colorado in style.

When asked about the most rewarding part of pursuing this business dream, Eric had this to say,

“99% of our guests are overwhelmed and grateful to have the opportunity to drive these cars. The majority of the clients that come through are on vacation, celebrating a special day or checking driving a Lamborghini off their bucket list. And I think it’s just as much fun to own something as to give the gift of sharing the experience with someone else.”

Do you, too, have a dream you’d just love to share with the world? Eric’s got some advice that could help.

Seek out a community. Whether your goal is to open a business or simply share your hobbies, start by seeking out people who enjoy what you enjoy. Building up a community of people you can ‘talk shop’ with gives you the opportunity to learn new things and find new sources of motivation — plus it feels good to break down barriers and spend time with people you might otherwise not connect with. So talk with friends, join social media groups or meet-ups that are relevant to your interests. Take Eric as an example of what you could get out of it.

“Cars bring groups of like-minded people together,” explains Eric. “We may all be from different walks of life — ethnicity doesn’t matter, where you’re from doesn’t matter, how much money you have in the bank doesn’t matter when you share a similar passion. And that’s exciting.”

Just jump when you feel it’s time. Opening a business or leaning heavily into a dream pursuit is always scary, but it’s up to you to recognize when it’s a good time in your life to take the leap. If you’re thinking ‘if not now, when?’ then go for it. The longer you wait, the further away you push your dream.

“I had a great corporate career before starting Oxotic. I was always paid well and worked very hard to make others money, but I decided I wanted to do something for myself,” Explains Eric. “Timing is everything. I was moving into a brand new home, had my first daughter on the way and pretty much told my wife ‘I’m going to do something risky, because this is the time in my life I have to do it.’ I will say you will never have the perfect time, so you have to figure out how to squeeze your dream in while living your current life.”

Start small, learn as you go. You’ll never have all your ducks in a row when it comes to getting started. But the good news is you don’t have to!

“I have never met one entrepreneur friend that has said, ‘yea, it was the perfect time. I had the perfect amount of start-up capital, I had a product that was turnkey and dialed in, I had customers lined up and I had no risk.’ It just doesn’t work that way,” claims Eric. “First step is to get the ball rolling. Build a solid business plan, share it with friends, bounce the ideas off others and take in the positive and negative feedback. Once you feel like you have something that can be executed against, start making an effort towards your goals. You can’t figure it all out without the initial effort to get the ball rolling.”

When it comes down to it, having a dream to share your passion with others is a great thing. And you owe it to yourself (and others) to get started! You could end up inspiring others and living your best life along the way.

Need even more support? We’re here to help! Join the dream movement today — we’ve got just the resources to motivate and guide you along any dream pursuit!


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Related Topics: Adventure , Agent and Employee Stories