Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
9/17/18 9:53 a.m.

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Story by Tim Suddard • Photo by Tom Suddard

Recently I was sitting on a plane and noticed the young woman sitting next to me fumbling for the light switch in the dark cabin. I reached …

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jharry3 GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/17/18 12:51 p.m.

"If you keep your destination firmly in mind, and the desire to get there is great enough, you can usually get to where you want to go."  Daddy Warbucks

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/17/18 5:51 p.m.

Excellent article.

I hope that it has its intended effect, which is nothing less than to help people to change their lives and achieve their dreams.

bobpink New Reader
9/18/18 4:20 p.m.

The brief period I spent in the mid-90s writing some articles for GRM started with approaching David at Road Atlanta with an article I had already written for the Georgia Z Club. Nope, the content didn't fit the scope of the magazine. David said I would need to do something else. I changed my focus and it turned into the Z vs. Z article in 1995 amongst others. Great memories working with the folks at GRM. My qualifications were a love of motorports, getting As in english in high school, finding a mentor along the way (thanks Ardy) and being able to tell a story. No college degree in journalism. It can work just like Tim says if you keep at it.

Captain_Buddha New Reader
9/18/18 4:35 p.m.

I lucked out, I was literally born into the business (Grandfather started it waaaaaay back) and now I'm the 3rd gen, but I did not get here just by luck - a LOT of hard work, when you are SOB (Son of Boss) the expectation level is MUCH higher (at least here!)....I'm media but not your typical "media" guy - we are a B2B media company - there are literally THOUSANDS of B2B titles out there. We cover manufacturing technology - we look at your current skillset, your editing skills, ability to interact with others, interest in learning, creativity, etc...next thing you know, you are on a plane! That's both good and bad...it's better to fly as Exec Plat than as someone with no status at all...but it is a LOT of butt-time to get to that status...of course, a few trips overseas build that up really quick. There are always opportunities with B2B media, both on the sales and editorial side - it is a BLAST!!!!!!!!! And I have been to MANY countries and had amazing experiences all because of "work"....but you have to enjoy the journey along the way....oh, and all of those miles/points? Did the Bucket List of LeMans 24hr this year!


So, my advice to a newbie (especially the younger folks): a journalism/advertising/marketing degree will go a LONG way! Whatever your passion is - try connecting with your peers on LinkedIn, social media, drop an email, etc. That is where we found a recent hire - he approached me about covering my racing side of things with video/social media (ie - as a Team PR guy) - I said "let's talk bigger picture...we have a need for that with our company, we can discuss the racing thing later..."

driverUX None
9/18/18 4:35 p.m.

Although I was hoping to get my break by becoming a tire tester for Vredestein, I still plan to keep at it. I don't think I can shrug off this passion for motorsport, so until my chance shows up, I'll be writing and creating my own content to improve. 

rogerbvonceg Reader
9/18/18 5:16 p.m.

Good advice here for any industry.

Pick something you love.

Get your foot in the door.

Work hard.

Don't give up.

Recognize opportunity and grab it.

Fake it 'til you make it.

qdriver New Reader
9/18/18 6:12 p.m.

Back in 1996, I emailed Tim S. at “ Autocross magazine” to ask how the hell I can get into the automotive business. From my email, it was obvious that I could not write and there was no mention of writing for any magazine or testing for anyone, ever.

Instead, the suggestion was to explore some marketing and brand awareness industries, like auto show and this thing called "ride and drives." I was making a serious career change from newspaper production and leaving a well paid corporate job and Tim replied something like: "take all jobs and do anything." 

Somehow, people believed in me and contributed with small job offers, and I was hired doing things like hot laps, early electronic stability demos and automatic parking demos. And I also had jobs just opening doors for participants once they completed their drive on a closed course.

I’ve done some stupid S*#@ and loved every day of it. I got to drive a SLS-Rat Valley of Fire North of Vegas, and that ended up on a magazine cover.  And then the day I had a Russian Arm plus helicopter chase me around Florida in a pre-production 4 door sedan somewhere on a Florida coastline highway.  Cool running high speed past FHP, who had the highway on lockdown while the filming was going on.  

Driving onto a complicated stage for press-release day with thousands of journalists and camera folks documenting my every move. I look back 30 years ago to that first SCCA autocross that I entered in Mesa, AZ in a Pinto, and really had no clue on what I was doing and only could use the handbrake to go around cones because I just didn’t know.

Always do what you want and have a plan “B."

qdriver New Reader
9/18/18 6:15 p.m.

In reply to qdriver :

I still don't know what I am doing.

thedoc GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/8/20 8:23 a.m.

This is so timely, right before the New Year!

Let's do Something!  (the specifics are up to you!)

Tom1200 Dork
12/8/20 10:45 a.m.

"Maestro I would give me life to sing like you"

"My dear I did" replied the Maestro.

 All one really needs is some tenacity and a bit of dedication. So many people want to achieve X level of success but aren't willing to do the grunt work.

As for twists and turns you never know where you'll land. I had planned to be a writer, I'd even sold a couple of short stories (fiction) but the pay, or more precisely the lack of it, made me move on.  Fast forward 35 years and I'm writing contracts; my son tells me it's not the same but I remind him I have to use the same level of creativity and have to be able to conjure up all sorts of "what if" scenarios in an effort to keep things from going off the rails.

At the end of the day most of us have an innate skill set and the point is to use that skill set. The manner in which you use said skill set is likely inconsequential to your peace of mind.


ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
12/8/20 11:22 a.m.

I am envious of people who have a driving desire to something specific. I was born without that bone apparently.

Datsun310Guy MegaDork
12/8/20 12:28 p.m.

In reply to ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) :

My son teaches chemistry at a University - sometimes I tell people about when he was 8 years old he would set up chairs in the basement and pretend to teach school. 

He enjoys what he does and has wanted to do it his whole life. Life wasn't that clear to me.

Tom1200 Dork
12/8/20 12:52 p.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

Tom what are your plans for the future  "goin fishing on Friday"

My wheeler dealer nature coupled with writing skills made me a good fit for a Purchasing Analyst but I'm pretty sure no one ever said " I want to be a Purchasing Analyst when I grow up".

At 16 I wanted to be 125cc World Champion but I only lacked three things; money, dedication & other worldly talent.

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