By Ashley Reyes
Wade Kawasaki, president and CEO of Legendary Companies, is the latest industry icon featured in recently released video footage from the 2019 SEMA Show STAGE. Produced by SEMA Education in partnership with the SEMA Wheel and Tire Council (WTC), the new series episode includes Kawasaki as he shares his career path and stories of being exposed to the automotive industry at a young age, what advice he would give his younger self and more.
“Work hard, that’s really the name of the game—if you’re willing to focus and apply yourself in a meaningful way to whatever your dream is and have a great time doing it,” said Kawasaki. “You know, as they said, I’m so blessed to be in this industry. I love going to work every day.”
Additional topics include the benefits of selling direct to consumer, his experience selling product internationally versus in the United States and how working at his local speed shop trained him for a successful career in business.
“After getting into business and realizing that it’s the relationships that you develop that are really the important thing, then you realize that if you focus on the relationships with your team and with your customers, then the money will come; and the money will come for a long time,” said Kawasaki.
When asked about his experience learning from industry mentors at such a young age, Kawasaki also shared his thoughts and advice for the younger generation.
“That’s my encouragement with young people today, and why this education program is so great. If you ask, all of these guys are glad to help you. We want to share this passion; we want this to spread and we want everybody to be able to enjoy it.”
In addition to his role at Legendary Companies, Kawasaki is the SEMA immediate past chairman and secretary of the Board of Directors. He is also an avid collector of vintage and classic cars.
Check out the full video and stay tuned to SEMA eNews for additional interviews from the STAGE, powered by SEMA Education and the SEMA WTC.