Meguiar is a “car guy” driven by his faith. His
cleaners, polishes and waxes are favored by car manufacturers,
car dealers, detailers, body shops, car museums, car restorers
and serious car enthusiasts the world over. He is the host of
Car Crazy Radio, which
airs in 85 markets across the United States, and Car Crazy Television, which
airs every Thursday night on SPEED Channel. He sponsors the
Meguiar’s Award at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, which
honors the Person of the Year for the Car Hobby, which has 30
million active participants. Throughout the years, the driving
force behind his company’s extraordinary growth has been
the platform his company provides him to share his faith. Meguiar
spoke recently with Associate Editor Kirk Noonan.
PE: How did Meguiar’s
become the top-selling brand of car wax in America and one of
the largest in the world?
By surrounding myself with very talented people who are passionate
about cars and the creation of products that can make cars look
their ultimate best … but, who are even more excited about
doing that within a Christian environment that strives to honor
God in everything we do. All of our vice presidents are Christians.
We recognize how dependent we are on God and marvel at how He
does exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever ask for
or even imagine.
PE: What was the
inspiration for your Car Crazy radio and television
Many of the most famous people in the car hobby, like Carroll
Shelby, are personal friends with amazing stories about why
they are so car crazy. It occurred to me that millions of car
guys would love to hear their stories and millions more might
decide to join the car hobby after listening or watching this
kind of a show.
PE: Why have your
programs been so successful?
Car guys — and gals — love to listen to other car
guys tell their car guy stories. It makes us feel normal when
we hear other people talking about their emotional relationship
with these mechanical objects.
PE: Why are people
so passionate about their cars?
There are a multitude of things that drive the passion —
from the sheer beauty and design of certain cars, to the brute
force of enormous horsepower, to the deep throaty sound of a
hot rod, to the historical significance of the car, to the joy
of feeling 16 years old all over again driving a car from that
era of your life.
PE: Why are you
so committed to growing the car hobby?
I love the car hobby because I love cars and I have great appreciation
for the roles they have played in society over the last 100
years. The car hobby is playing a powerful role today in breaking
down ethnic, social and economic barriers. Working on cars keeps
kids away from the negative influences of life and, when their
dads are involved, it builds unbelievable bonds between kids
and their parents.
PE: Do you share
your faith on the programs?
Every chance I get — but I do it subtly. I often refer
to God or a passage of Scripture in the conversations I have
with my guests. When I interview a believer on the show, I make
sure that what they say about their faith does not end up on
the cutting room floor.
PE: When did you
accept Christ as Savior?
When I was 12, an evangelist came to our church and I went down
to the altar and gave my life to the Lord. But I really came
alive in my faith when we started attending Santa Ana First
Assembly in California, which is now called Orange County Worship
Center. It was there, 35 years ago, that God used a pastor named
Sevelle Phillips to revolutionize our lives. He introduced my
wife, Karen, and me to the wonders of the Spirit-filled life
and ministering to others.
PE: What principles
have made your company so well-respected?
We’re far from perfect, but we try to honor God in everything
we do from the way we conduct our personal lives and treat our
people to the integrity of our products and our product claims.
We are consistently the top-rated car wax for brand loyalty
because the performance of our products almost always exceeds
the expectations of our customers.
Everyone who knows
me knows that I live by Proverbs 3, which tells us that by trusting
the Lord with all our hearts, instead of depending on our own
talents and wisdom, and by honoring Him in all our ways, He
will direct our paths. The management of our company stands
as a living testimony to the truth of this promise.
PE: How do you
cope with the stress of running an international company?
I don’t really have stress. We’ve had our moments
when we thought we might lose the company because we were growing
too fast, but those experiences accelerated our spiritual growth.
Our confidence is in God, not our company. I tell our people
that when we fret, we are telling God that we don’t trust
Him. If the business should ever go away, it will only be because
He has a better idea for how we should be spending our lives
and our resources.
PE: Talk about
the one time in particular that your business struggles taught
you a spiritual lesson.
biggest trial was a year-and-a-half struggle when I was making
panic calls to find bridge financing to keep us afloat. I was
praying more than ever with nothing happening. Most of my calls
were not returned and those that were said “No.”
I literally shook
my fist at God saying, “I have served You all of my life
and I don’t deserve this.” I guess I thought I was
someone special. Then one day I heard a radio preacher say,
“Whatever fills your prayers is your God.” That
hit me right in the forehead because all of my prayers had become
focused on my business. I fell on my knees and said, “God,
I’m sorry and I release this business to You.” By
simply allowing God to take control, and trusting Him completely,
I immediately experienced the peace that passes understanding
and my faith allowed God to put my life back together again
in short order.
PE: Besides God
and cars, what else are you passionate about?
Almost 30 years ago, I prayed a fervent prayer asking God if
I should leave my business and go into “full-time”
ministry. Fifteen minutes later, a Christian brother named Dave
McNutt walked into my office and told me that my business was
my pulpit, and that my business gave me the opportunity to minister
to people that pastors could never reach. God allowed me to
see that we are all in full-time ministry. From then until now,
my passion for winning others to the Lord has been my top priority.
PE: Your goals
for the next five years?
We are witnessing the results of the church losing its saltiness
and being trampled under the feet of man. Most Christians feel
if they attend, serve and give to their churches, they are doing
all that God requires of them … while they are surrounded
every day by people who are lost and heading for destruction.
For the next five years, my goal is to build a ministry that
reminds laypeople that we are the church outside its walls,
and that the responsibility for where we will be as a nation
in the years ahead rests squarely on our shoulders.
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