The Car Wash Business Isn’t Rocket Science – Or is it?

Far too often academia looks down on entrepreneurs, business people, and even capitalism as a whole. I find this rather amusing on one-hand and somewhat telling on another. You see, it takes 4-years to get a bachelor’s degree, 2 more years to get a masters degree, and then 2-3 more years to get a Ph.D. – so that’s basically 10-years right? Well, what if someone runs their own business works 10-15 hours a day for ten years? Similar equivalent right, sure it is, and yet, society, and academia views it differently.

Indeed, that’s okay I guess, because most entrepreneurs who didn’t finish college don’t respect academia much either – hate to break it to you. Meanwhile, many folks that didn’t go to college have a disdain for academic arrogance as well. Consider if you will a mom who has 2-3 children and she raises them to 15-years old. Would a child psychologist with a bachelor’s degree know more than them about raising children?

Not long ago, someone said I wouldn’t know how to be a teacher since I don’t have a teaching credential, nor would I understand the world of teaching. Really, because I spent K-12 in that prison, and I know a lot more than you might think, not only was I learning, I was observing all of its shortcomings. Meanwhile, the same professors are still teaching teachers, what’s changed, anything really positive?

Okay so, enough critique or offense about the world of academia, let’s go on the defense. Not long ago, someone told me I couldn’t run a think tank, because I don’t have a Ph.D. in any of the hard sciences, or engineering. Amazing I thought to myself, of course, I knew where this was coming from, as this gentleman did have a Ph.D. and yet he was surprised how much I knew about so many subjects which our think tank addresses.

Again, I was a little taken aback when he said “your background is from the car washing sector, so why did you start a think tank? It doesn’t make any sense, does the car washing industry really have anything to do with think tank research, innovation, or the studies you are involved with?”

Yes! The local hand car wash industry also deals with surface tension, boundary layers, ionic-bonding, finite capacity scheduling (carwash is an assembly line), lighting, materials, water filtration, water conservation, micro-economics, traffic flow, building design, piping, tanks, retail, oil, landscaping, corrosion, safety, labor, motivation, management, marketing, I mean it’s hard to name something it doesn’t deal with and that’s just one of the industries I’ve participated in.

Likewise, I like most people are not linear, I also have hobbies too, and other endeavors in my life, for instance, I was an athlete too, and thus, you learn a lot about biology, health, performance, diet, training, etc. Also, I am a pilot and in flying one learns about aerodynamics, design, weather, navigation, electronics, and such.

You see, the problem is that too many academics want to put everyone they meet into a little category or box, but life doesn’t work that way. Of course, academics are just humans, like everyone else, so we shouldn’t expect too much from them. It’s just people sometimes think to be smart you have to go to school, it’s not true, you learn more and faster by doing. Of course, you have to study everything in the sector to be good at any particular industry or endeavor, which is what I did.

This is why merely having a PhD is not sufficient to join a think tank, and why there is a lot more to it than that. So, please consider all this.

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