Jones Business Solutions Ltd | Rev it up!
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Rev it up!

Rev it up!

Last month saw me travel to the Coromandel (last visited when I was 19) to attend the 2024 Beach Hop. This is an annual event for car enthusiasts – and the biggest event of its kind in the southern hemisphere. For those who know me this appears to be a surprising thing for me to go to – especially so close to the end of the financial year.

I’m no petrolhead. Travelling and driving to me is about getting from A to B. Any trip longer than an hour and I become restless. I can however fully appreciate the time and effort that goes into restoring, building and maintaining classic cars – and, in the case of my husband Bob, a one-off unique design that resulted in a custom built trike (registered as a car) that generates many second looks!

Having an idea is one thing – being able to take that idea and come up with an end result is testament to many hours of hard work, thinking and planning, meeting compliance requirements, and then using it or putting that original idea into practice. So many takeaways here for a small business owner like me.

Vision

Ideas can sit around for a long time and are often not shared with others. Bob announcing he was going to build a trike wasn’t a new idea to him – but did surprise me. Where would you even start? Is it allowed? What was the point? The starting point was the collision of imagination and mechanical parts and other materials.

Permission and Boundaries: Is it allowed? Legally, practically? Bob navigated these questions. He sought knowledge—researched regulations, safety standards, and engineering principles. The point wasn’t just to build a trike; it was to do so within the boundaries of what’s permissible. The process with the regulatory body LVVTA was thorough and took several months, along with a costly final compliance process. Understanding these rules and what was required helped with the design, planning and build stages.

The Point: Why build a trike? Beyond the thrill of creation, Bob’s trike carried symbolism. It represented breaking the rules, celebrating creativity, and finding joy in creating something one-of-a-kind. There was also a lot of banging and crashing accompanied by bad language emitting from the workshop!

Resourcefulness: Bob is handy at lots of things and has the physical and mental strength to test and create things. He has a knack of ‘figuring things out’ and being able to visualise how components fit together and work. Thinking and then drawing concept designs followed by building sections for the trike contributed to the overall plan coming together. Lots of modifications were needed along the way (this was where the idea came from to cut a car in half!). Challenges came along – Bob researched and tested alternatives until he got a satisfactory result.

Achievement: Getting the trike ‘on the road’ for the final testing was a big moment! Still nerve-wracking at this point as it needed to be delivered to the LVVTA compliance officer for the certification. Several weeks later Bob got the news it had passed! Result! He drove it to work, collected a home-kill mutton and some beers – all in the boot – and drove home triumphant!

I am so proud of my husband for tackling a project of this scale. As a small business owner I see some really big lessons for me too:

  • If the same idea or dream for something keeps coming into your mind it is likely a sign that you need to take some action. Be bold – take those first steps to get things underway.
  • Knowing what compliance is required before you charge into a business project or new revenue stream is prudent. Seek expert advice and research from official sources.
  • Have a plan and be flexible. A unique project doesn’t always have something that can be easily copied. Test, adapt, discuss, retry. Keep that original vision firmly in view.
  • Pause and acknowledge the progress ‘wins’ as you go. The journey itself is rewarding. Don’t wait for the final completion to feel good about what has been achieved. Acknowledge those who have helped along the way too.

So, next time you encounter an idea—yours or someone else’s—remember Bob. He sliced a car in half and birthed a trike. What could your vision create?

“Anything the human mind can believe; the human mind can achieve.”
Napoleon Hill, self-help author (deceased)