How does it really feel to accomplish a childhood dream?

My childhood dream wasn’t typical. I didn’t want to be a vet or an astronaut. Instead, I grew up watching car shows like Fifth Gear, Top gear and Wheeler Dealers with my dad. I remember thinking how fun it would be to drive fast cars for a living. But how did an ordinary boy from a council estate in Scotland convince car brands to loan him £120,000 supercars? It was a challenge, but the results were game-changing for me.

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Like most people, I stumbled through life, unsure of which direction to take. I felt lost working in fast-food restaurants, bookmakers and banks, hopelessly trying to find a career I enjoyed. Finally, my dream opportunity came knocking. A friend of mine, Corey, worked as a product genius for a large car dealership. I always envied him because he drove, photographed and filmed luxury and performance cars for work. Corey was living my dream, and I was watching from the side-line. When he called me and offered me a job next to him, I couldn’t refuse.

I went for the interview. It was with the general manager and was the most informal interview I’ve ever had. I got asked two questions:

“How do you know Corey?”

“Do you know much about cars?”

After a short 10-minute chat, I was on my way to head office with a signed piece of paper from the general manager offering me a job. I accepted and was driving sports and performance cars on my first day!

The following two years of my career were unforgettable. I met wonderful customers, got to know them and understood their needs to help them find a suitable car for their lifestyle, sent personalised videos, and invited them for a test-drive with me. Building trust with customers and helping them make the right choice was wholesome. I even had people in the local supermarket say, “You sent me a video of a car! It’s perfect for us and our dog, Oscar. We’re coming to drive it tomorrow.”

Seeing how much I improved lives by listening and sharing my knowledge made me realise that deep connections and empathy are essential for becoming a better person. 

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. I wasn’t allowed to stay in that role forever and progressed to a salesperson. Most of the work I had been doing was part of the sales process, so the transition should’ve been seamless. However, I struggled. Being told to spend less time with customers took away the part I loved most – getting to know people.

It slowly became transactional and soulless, so I changed careers. I moved into an accounts-based role with incredible people. It’s great, but I severely miss helping people and the automotive industry.

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How I turned things around

I had to figure out how to continue building relationships and helping people while following my passion for cars. The test drives and explaining the features and benefits of each vehicle to customers inspired me to start my car review channel. I began posting photos of cars with brief descriptions on Instagram. They would get a few likes and sometimes a comment, but I had a long way to go. I set myself a goal: I want to become an automotive journalist.

I created a blog, subscribed to various newsletters and hopped on social media trends to gain more exposure. Then I researched notable people in my desired field and reached out to them. Most of the time, I wouldn’t get any response. Nothing could prepare me for how tough it would be. I wanted to give up a few times, but I knew if I persevered, I would succeed. I had to learn more about digital marketing, design, video editing and analytics to improve my work and grab attention.

After work, I dedicated my evenings to an online college course. The digital marketing for business course taught me an array of methods for social media, press, and other forms of marketing. I saw an improvement when I applied my knowledge and created a digital strategy with SMART goals and analytics in mind. Testing different types of content to find out what my audience enjoys and engages with has been a vital element of my growth and affirmed my belief that listening to people and finding out what makes them tick is the best form of connection. My followers grew as I watched my engagement skyrocket. Suddenly, brands were reaching out to me.

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My most recent achievement was overwhelming. I applied to join the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers. Part of the application was to provide a few articles to be reviewed by top journalists from newspapers like The Herald and The Times. I was thrilled to receive an email confirmation that it was a unanimous vote in favour of making me a member – I was overcome with a sense of relief and felt proud of myself.

Now I benefit from over 4 million monthly views across my social media, get to travel, meet interesting people and drive supercars in my spare time. My childhood dream has become a fruitful hobby, and I couldn’t have done it without stepping outside my comfort zone and pushing boundaries. This journey has also helped me discover my love for journalism and interest in digital marketing.

I believe anyone can make their dreams come true with enough passion and perseverance. What are you going to achieve this year?

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