Darron Shubin, YEN Member Insight, June 2010
Darron Shubin on… Building a Foundation for Success
Darron Shubin, 31 Years Old
National Sales Manager - Performance, Magnaflow Exhaust Products; YEN Member
At 31 years old, Darron Shubin of Magnaflow Performance Exhaust is already considered a veteran by his peers. His success has shattered any notion that there are age defined glass ceilings in this industry. Through hard work and perseverance Darron spent his 20’s building a solid career foundation and has moved up the ranks of one of the worlds most respected and successful automotive manufacturers.
You started out in this industry at Energy Suspension then went to work for Magnaflow. How did you get to where you are at today?
When I took a tech position at Energy Suspension in 1999, I was simply looking for a way to be more involved with modifying cars and thought to myself, “what a better way to get involved than to work for an aftermarket parts manufacturer.” In 2001, an opportunity came from MagnaFlow Exhaust Products by way of Larry Norris to work for Jim Cates in the tech / inside sales department. 9 years later, I look back and realize that I am very fortunate for the essentials I have learned, things I have participated in and the opportunities that have been given to me; all this to ultimately be a part of a successful growing business.
Coming from someone who started out on the ground, how important is it to build a strong professional foundation at an early age?
Not only was I trying to start a career in my 20’s, I was still growing up. Taking every opportunity my boss would throw my way and sometimes volunteering for more than I could handle - allowed me to learn the business, and succeed at various positions that were offered to me. TRUST ME, I have made my share of mistakes, but working for MagnaFlow has given me the chance needed to learn from my mistakes and help make the best of a bad situation.
What attributes/actions would you say helped you build that strong professional foundation?
2 things in my mind stick out. Direction from my leader, Larry Norris and the experiences I gained year after year that include, but not limited to: answering tech phone calls, making jobber calls, doing power point training presentations, building show cars, meeting with buyers, VP’s and owners of our accounts, setting up and attending trade shows, working with buying groups, working with other aftermarket manufactures at conferences and most recently building strong relationships with our sales team and manufacturer sales representatives
You’ve proven that you can start at the bottom and successfully move up. How frustrating was it? What kind of attitude does someone in their 20’s need to maintain to “keep the eye on the prize”?
I have to start out by saying right next to my keyboard are 3 books (The 360 Leader and The Power of Attitude by John C. Maxwell and Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude by Jeffery Gitomer) that have step by step help me overcome my frustrations and understand the cards that are being dealt. I also learn from my peers and how they handle certain situations that I have or have not found myself in. Although I still have my immature moments, having a positive attitude is something that is always on the top of my mind when making a decision.
Networking obviously played a role in your success. Although a little less convenient then, as it is now. What are your thoughts on how to network effectively in this industry?
Networking for me started when I was really young. Participating in numerous sporting activities gave me the opportunity to meet many kids, coaches and sporting goods suppliers. My interest quickly turned towards my passion of cars. When I was 18, I joined a car / truck club by the name of Kontradictions of which I shortly became co-president. We turned it into a nationwide club that was eventually supported by over 20 aftermarket manufacture sponsors, and we had over 100 members. I took a lot from those 2 times in my life and expanded them by participating in associations like SEMA and SEMA’s YEN program. To be effective, you really have to build positive relationships with just about anyone your meet. The industry I work in is very small, and the YEN network allows me to network with peers in our industry of about the same age and with the same goals of bettering the industry and bettering the company they are employed by.
What’s your advice for someone that is young and looking to get into the automotive aftermarket?
Have a passion for some form of automobiles and work with excellence. Whether your passion is for aftermarket, OEM, segments such as trucks, European, muscle cars, diesel or even action sports, always try and learn more than your passion.
Who do you look to as a role model? Why?
My boss Larry Norris. This is not a shameless plug to score points, its a simple fact. Larry has not only helped me grow up by learning life lessons, but has kicked me down a path of experience that I learn from and respect on a day to day basis. Larry is always there to snap me back to reality or focus and gives me faith to trust and respect our company and it’s decisions. Majority of any success I’ve had or will have in my career is because of Larry.