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Exploring Life & Business with Brian Nichols of Hepta MFG

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Nichols.

Hi Brian, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was very interested in metal fabrication pretty young from watching my grandpa build race cars and dirt bikes and things like that. As soon as I was old enough to really start working, I got a grunt job at Big Bear Choppers and spent all my work hours grinding parts and doing the dirty work there.

I spent all my lunches and breaks teaching myself how to TIG weld and asking everyone questions about what I was doing wrong. That lead to me learning how to also machine parts, bend tubes, and a lot of general fabrication.

Once I left there, I started building desert race cars and that stepped up all of what I was doing until I started working for a company building airplanes. My love for everything off-road led me back to building Jeep parts for a couple of different brands until I realized I should just be doing it all on my own instead.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Smooth is really a relative term, I’m sure I struggled more than some, and I’m also sure I had it a lot easier than some.

I was very lucky to have a thirst for knowledge and spend my extra time making sure I was the best at what I did everywhere I have worked and that led to a large skill set. I also didn’t come from money, so starting a business was a huge financial risk and a huge strain on pretty much all of my life.

Every day is a different worry when you own a business.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I make high-quality products for the Jeep/Off-road market.

The biggest difference for me is I have a racing and aerospace background and that means I have a different thought process and much higher quality standard than any other company making Jeep parts right now.

I also spend so much time wheeling the Jeep that I can identify and make things that make everything work better.

So maybe we end by discussing what matters most to you and why?
My family and friends are number 1. Without them, I just have stuff and stuff doesn’t really matter.

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