Enjoying the Journey
Mobsteel Owner Believes in Hard Work, Virtue, and Good Company
Adam Genei and his wife Pam have a recipe for success: work hard, surround yourself with good people, and conduct business with virtue. As simplistic as this may sound, Genei’s success didn’t happen without challenges to overcome … Adam and Pam persevered through the economic downturn that started in the 1990s and their perseverance has paid off—they own Mobsteel, a design/build company that manufactures automotive aftermarket products and builds custom cars, and Detroit Steel Wheel Co., the manufacturer of the original Smoothie Wheel.
“The journey I’ve been on that led me to opening my businesses was a great time, though it was extremely challenging—it built great character, taught us to be business savvy, to take baby steps, and so much more,” said Genei. “The journey is something I wouldn’t trade.”
Genei is grateful for where he and his businesses are today and believes businesses have a responsibility to make product in the US. “Many people in the community want to buy products made here, and anyone starting a business has a social responsibility to make the product in the US. Of course, you can import a product from China, but that doesn’t solve anything. Plus, we have a skills gap and we need manufacturing jobs to be filled.”
Genei often visits schools to talk with children about careers in manufacturing and skilled trades, and points out how lucrative these careers can be if you work hard and apply yourself.
“Nowadays there is something to be said about being educated and knowing how to work with your hands,” said Genei. “You can get into an organization and work from the ground up. I tell kids they need to figure out what they are good at and what they like doing. If you develop a skilled trade right now you can be as successful as you want to be. It’s just the way it is—it’s that simple. I am proof of that, and my guys are too.”
As Genei grew up, his interest in the automotive industry started by hearing his family and friends’ families share stories about working in the industry.
“While growing up I heard stories about back in the 1950s—how great businesses were and what great product was created back then, and now this type of thinking is back—I am a testament of that.”
Regarding work ethic, Genei thanks his parents for passing their strong work ethic on to him. “You can buckle down and go after what you want. Nothing comes easy though ... It’s a different world we live in now.”
So how does one go about creating great products and successful businesses?
Genei has three key areas he focuses on for success: working hard; doing business with virtue; and keeping good company—the people in the business are the true assets of a company.
“If you value relationships, you build a brand that has value and a good reputation—it’s all about comradery and wanting to build a great product while taking care of employees,” said Genei. “Right now, there is a huge opportunity to go into business and be a virtuous business owner. When opening businesses too many people are quick to focus on themselves, but there is a bigger picture here—community.”
Genei is quick to point out that when starting a business in the manufacturing industry it’s important not to be driven by profit alone. “There are other measurable besides money,” explained Genei.
Genei uses the following questions as a way to measure business growth:
- Who were you when you started the business and who are you now?
- What are your relationships now compared to when you started your business?
- What is your journey? Does your journey read upward and onward?
Genei admits that starting a business is hard work—there are no shortcuts to take if you want it to be a success.
“In my businesses, we go out every day and we kill it—we work as hard as we can,” said Genei. “We do business with virtue and diligence. And most of all we realize that my guys are the true assets of the businesses.”