Conversations with Big Rich

Business Builder, Dan Dubose, shares his insights on Episode 122

August 04, 2022 Guest Dan Dubose Season 3 Episode 122
Business Builder, Dan Dubose, shares his insights on Episode 122
Conversations with Big Rich
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Conversations with Big Rich
Business Builder, Dan Dubose, shares his insights on Episode 122
Aug 04, 2022 Season 3 Episode 122
Guest Dan Dubose

Alabama business builder, Dan Dubose, shares some amazing insights on building a business, defying death, and finding that miraculous work-life balance on Episode 122. Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app – Apple, Spotify, even YouTube!

5:59 – we’re not going to pass you to go to high school unless you agree to go to trade school.

11:59 – my life sucks, I’ve got all the symptoms, I should probably try some of the samples I’ve got in the back seat

14:16 – I thought someone was messing with me

21:37 – big paradigm shift…metal fabrication is an art

26:23 – well, that’s what the people want

34:10 – I don’t go halfway on anything, ever

37:18 – are you willing to give up everything, because everything means everything.

46:26 – Here you go, this is how you fix it!

57:41 – the Dothan double-wide strip club

1:02:02 – lit me up like a Christmas tree and separated my soul from my body

1:08:59 – one way or another I’ll be involved in off-road 

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine. 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.


Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

Alabama business builder, Dan Dubose, shares some amazing insights on building a business, defying death, and finding that miraculous work-life balance on Episode 122. Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app – Apple, Spotify, even YouTube!

5:59 – we’re not going to pass you to go to high school unless you agree to go to trade school.

11:59 – my life sucks, I’ve got all the symptoms, I should probably try some of the samples I’ve got in the back seat

14:16 – I thought someone was messing with me

21:37 – big paradigm shift…metal fabrication is an art

26:23 – well, that’s what the people want

34:10 – I don’t go halfway on anything, ever

37:18 – are you willing to give up everything, because everything means everything.

46:26 – Here you go, this is how you fix it!

57:41 – the Dothan double-wide strip club

1:02:02 – lit me up like a Christmas tree and separated my soul from my body

1:08:59 – one way or another I’ll be involved in off-road 

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine. 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.


Support the Show.

[00:00:06.370] - Big Rich Klein

Welcome to conversations with Big Rich. This is an interview style podcast. Those interviews are all involved in the offroad industry. Being involved, like all of my guests are, is a lifestyle, not just a job. I talked to competitive teams, racers, rock crawlers, business owners, employees, media and private park owners, men and women who have found their way into this exciting and addictive lifestyle. We discuss their personal history, struggles, successes and reboots. We dive into what drives them to stay active and offroad. We all hope to shed some light on how to find a path into this world we live and love and call offroad.


[00:00:53.790] - Advertisement

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[00:01:20.290] - Advertisement

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[00:01:46.990] - Big Rich Klein

On today's episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Dan Dubose. Am I pronouncing that right? Dan?


[00:01:54.730] - Dan Dubose



[00:01:55.580] - Big Rich Klein

Dabos. Okay, Dan Dabos. It depends on what part of the country you're from or how your parents said it. It can be said ten different ways when it comes to the D and something else. There we are. Hey, Dan. He was the founder of Bluetorch Fabworks and now he is running Motobilt and another company. We're going to get into all that. Dan and I have been friends for actually quite a while and a lot of people out there know Dan. So, Dan, thank you for coming on board and spending some time with us.


[00:02:32.670] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, man, absolutely. Thanks for having me on.


[00:02:36.010] - Big Rich Klein

So, real easy question to start off with, where were you born and raised?


[00:02:42.010] - Dan Dubose

I was born and raised in southern Alabama in a little town called Dothan. And it seems like we put Dothan on the map in the off road industry with Bluetooth Fabworks back in the day. And I've tried to move away a few times throughout my life, but I always end up back in this area.


[00:02:58.960] - Big Rich Klein

That's pretty cool. It is a small town I've visited before under Bluetorch when you guys were like in your first or second building and I was really impressed with the city and the whole atmosphere and everything. Is it still small townish or have you made it grow too big?


[00:03:19.630] - Dan Dubose

Dothan has been growing quite a bit. I'd say it's a little bit different than when you were here. More population there's a lot more development and things like that happening. So, good little town.


[00:03:32.470] - Big Rich Klein

That's not a bad thing. So what was growing up for you, like in Dothan, man?


[00:03:39.770] - Dan Dubose

I grew up in a neighborhood called Ford Country. Wasn't like the poor neighborhood, it wasn't the rich neighborhood. It was just kind of the average American neighborhood. Kids out riding bikes till, I don't know, the hours of the night. Yeah, hop on your bicycle. And I even go many miles away during the day and didn't have anyone wondering where I was or worried about if somebody was going to get me. It was a safe environment, right? Made a lot of friends and had a great time.


[00:04:19.330] - Big Rich Klein

And was school something that was easy or you just didn't care, or what was it like?


[00:04:27.010] - Dan Dubose

School for me, I was bored and just got to the point where I didn't care. So I started skipping school and actually failed a grade from not going, so that didn't turn out too good. So if you got somebody young in school and listening, don't skip school.


[00:04:47.050] - Big Rich Klein

Right? Because no matter what you try to do, they're going to get you back in it.


[00:04:53.110] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, I was in the third grade, I used to ride BMX, race BMX, stuff like that. And I was practicing like, gate starts on my driveway and ended up going through a plate glass window in our backyard garage and cut my throat. Pretty much just about killed me. I was in the hospital for close to three months. They told my parents I probably wasn't going to live, things like that, but made it through that. Continued to ride bikes, got into skateboards, doing crazy stuff after that, still. But school, I guess was second. Two other things I had going on. I guess that's where, like the learning the fabrication skills and things like that came in. There were a lot of times I just get school, stayed at home and worked in the backyard garage, building things.


[00:05:47.470] - Big Rich Klein

Right. And did you try to in school when you were there? Did you try to especially later on, I don't know if you guys had shop classes or anything, but did you take any of that kind of stuff?


[00:05:59.110] - Dan Dubose

Like 8th grade? I had the guidance counselor tell me, well, we're not going to let you pass and go to high school unless you agree to go to trade school. And I was like, okay. So we ended up taking electrical trades, of all things, and learning to wirehouses and do commercial wiring and things like that. I got pretty good at it, and I mentioned failing me and getting in trouble for skipping. It's kind of a bad thing. Kind of got kicked out of school and ended up working for a local company, wiring houses with no GED and no high school diploma for probably close to a year. I was looking around at people I worked with, things like that, thinking, man, I'm better than this, I'm smarter than this, I'm screwing up. So I think the man that owned the company kind of caught the vibe that I had that I wanted to go back to school. Well, he laid me off at Christmas and I looked across the desk from him. He was kind of worried what I was going to say. I was, I thanked him. I was like, thank you, and immediately went back, got my high school diploma, got back in high school and did that through a private school and immediately went to college after that.


[00:07:15.250] - Dan Dubose

So got my life turned around a little bit there. Haven't wired a house since.


[00:07:22.010] - Big Rich Klein

That's a good thing. Now you can hire people to do your buildings and stuff. That's a much better way to do it.


[00:07:28.430] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, I kind of keep my electrical knowledge to myself, so we have a full time maintenance person and some other people here at the shop, I just don't tell them I can do it, they just go handle it. But it is helpful to kind of know what they're doing and how long it should take and things like that. But I think I did gain some good skills from the instructor I had in the vocational school and high school, a guy named Rusty Griffin. I think I learned more about life skills from him during that time than I did electrical, and I still kind of reflect back on him during that process.


[00:08:07.140] - Big Rich Klein

Okay, that's awesome. Is it somebody that you have touch bases with over the years?


[00:08:13.490] - Dan Dubose

I've ran into him from time to time. Like if I'd say he and his wife out to dinner, I usually just pay for their dinner and not say anything and walk out the door.


[00:08:21.930] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, that's awesome.


[00:08:23.390] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, he called me out on all my bull crap back then, skipping school. And it's more like a father figure to me than an instructor.


[00:08:34.130] - Big Rich Klein

That's really good when you can especially for a young man when you can find somebody that's that way. And hopefully if anybody's listening to this and your kids are having problems, man, if there is somebody else that can help with the guidance, by all means. If it's a friend, another family member, a teacher, reach out to them because a lot of times kids just don't want to listen to their parents.


[00:09:04.430] - Dan Dubose

No, I think, you know, I grew up just my dad and I, my dad was a great guy. He wasn't very educated, but worked his butt off. And it was helpful though, just hearing points of view from other people. My dad's work ethic in life is one thing I took from him, just work like crazy, but he took a very hardcore approach to work and so it was helpful having guidance from people outside of that too.


[00:09:35.680] - Big Rich Klein

Right. Have you ever done any mentoring yourself with anybody?


[00:09:41.790] - Dan Dubose

I have, I've taken interest in people that a few people along the way that have worked for us and kind of sharing things that I've learned from entrepreneurial spirit to how to get ahead in life, to managing finances and investing and things like that. And just overall motivation, pretty much explaining if anybody's going to do it, you are, right? And no one else is going to do it for you.


[00:10:09.970] - Big Rich Klein

Very true. So what I'm when you went back and got your high school diploma, and then you said you went to college, what kind of courses did you take in college?


[00:10:22.830] - Dan Dubose

Well, when I went to college, like I mentioned, I didn't really grow up around money, things like that. I mean, we struggled a lot growing up, and I was like, well, what kind of jobs do you get where you make a lot of money and people respect you? In college, my goal was to go to law school. So got into might make a lot.


[00:10:43.360] - Big Rich Klein

Of money, but I don't know if people respect that.


[00:10:45.910] - Dan Dubose

Right. Well, at the time, I mean, where I grew up with just working class type life, it was like, okay, a doctor or lawyer. Those are like the two big ones. And I was like, I have no interest in being a doctor, so let's do the lawyer thing. So that was kind of my goal all through undergrad. And at the very last semester, I actually went to University of Alabama in Birmingham, which is where I got into offroading and things like that and touch back on that in a moment. But at UAB, my last semester, after taking Constitutional Law and doing all this stuff and talking to some of my fraternity brothers that were in law school and a couple of them that had just graduated law school, I was like, I can't picture myself doing what they're explaining. And all through college, I had built bumpers and things for Jeeps and stuff like that and never dawned on me to do that for a business. And so I graduated college and went to work for a pharmaceutical company, and I was actually a pharmaceutical rep selling drugs, of all things legal. Right?


[00:11:57.450] - Big Rich Klein

Not as much money in that.


[00:11:59.970] - Dan Dubose

No, I mean, I made good money for 27 years old back then, working, doing that, making well over six figures and building Jeep parts on the side. It was a good time, but I hated the job. I was selling an antidepressant. And I don't know if I'm getting ahead of myself here in the store in this, but I recall leaving a doctor's office one day, and we'd been talking about symptoms of depression and reading some clinical studies on the particular one that I sold. I was thinking about all the symptoms, sitting there in the car and looking in the mirror. I'm like, Man, I got that symptom, I got this, and I got this one. My life sucks. I hate doing this. I should probably try some samples in the backseat, I think it was like, at that moment, like, yeah, I should probably just be building Jeep parts for a living.


[00:12:51.930] - Big Rich Klein

Good decision.


[00:12:53.550] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. I mean, backing up, I think, leaving the electrical job and ending up in Birmingham, going to college. That's where I was introduced to Jeeping and Offroading, and there were a lot of trails and a Jeep community that we didn't have in Dothan at the time and got my first Jeep. And really where all this started, I had some fabrication skills from working in the shop growing up, and I wanted bumpers and I wanted to lift the Jeep and do things like that. And I was looking through magazines and dreaming of purchasing lift kits and bumpers and things, and I didn't have any money to do any of that. So, like, my Christmas breaks and spring break and stuff like that, I just go home and build my own bumpers and did my own spring over and did all that stuff. And I guess that's kind of the start of where we are now.


[00:13:52.950] - Big Rich Klein

And so you're working, doing sales with pharmaceuticals and then on sidelight work, you're doing bumpers and stuff and then building Jeep parts. And then just one day, that's it, I'm going to go do this.


[00:14:13.470] - Dan Dubose

Well, there's a little bit more to that story.


[00:14:15.720] - Big Rich Klein



[00:14:16.270] - Dan Dubose

When I was working for the pharmaceutical company, even before I got that job, I had a little shop behind the forklift shop. I just listened to a podcast where you were on with James, and he'd mentioned that little shop, and that was kind of the part time little business. And I put up a website called Bluetorch Fab Works that nobody knew who it was, but on the website I put on there, this isn't a business, don't call me. I'm just putting pictures of cool stuff that I build. I mean, technically it was a business. I just didn't have enough time to do stuff for everybody. And so we kind of operated it that way for a couple of years. And then one day I was out of town for my drug rep job and got a phone call, and I thought it was somebody messing with me. It was someone on the other end saying, hey, we're with the Original Productions and we do Monster Garage. We want you to come on and do the Rock Crawler. And I'm like, Man, I'm busy. I've got to get to work by. And I hung up on them because I really thought somebody was messing with me.


[00:15:15.960] - Dan Dubose

And they immediately called back and they were like, no, I'm not messing with you. I'm being serious. I'm like, whoever this is or whoever put you up to it, man, I'm late for work right now. I hung up on them again. They called me back for a third time, and then that's when I got to talking to them, and they were for real. Unfortunately, I was unable to go do the rock Crawler on Monster Garage due to some work things that we had going on. We were in the middle of launching a new drug at the time called Lexapro, and I had to be in at the national meeting for that kick off launch and all that, so I wasn't able to take off work and go do it. Fast forward. Probably three months later, they called and asked me to do a TV show called Drive Shaft, which would air on FX and later air on the Speed Channel for a little while back around 2003. And it was during that time when they called me back when I had that kind of epiphany of I'm selling an antidepressant and I've become depressed from hating this job so much.


[00:16:23.260] - Dan Dubose

So I negotiated a pay rate that I was acceptable with to do that TV show. And that's when I turned in my notice and quit and flew out to California to Long Beach on an Easter Sunday to start that TV show the following Monday. Interesting, that's when Bluetorch went from a little part time, don't call me, I'm not a business, to we're a business when I return about eight months later back to Alabama.


[00:16:51.450] - Big Rich Klein

Awesome. And during that time, did you meet a lot of other I would imagine you met a lot of other fabricators and stuff. Was that kind of the premise of the show?


[00:17:02.430] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, the premise of it was absolutely fabrication. And there were two teams on the show. You'd build things during the week and compete on the weekends, and each week you would have a specialist or professional in whatever given area working on. Like one week we turned a car into a boat, so they had some boat experts. One week we built a Sandrail, so we had Sandrail experts, which was Troy Johnson from the Fab School.





[00:17:31.950] - Dan Dubose

And Troy at the time, this was way before he started the Fab School. He had a little shop and building sand rails and things like that. He and I became pretty good friends over the years. And then when he started the Fab School, we continued our relationship. We started hiring people from there at Bluetorch, but also met the brothers from Anarchy out there. They were building pre runner trucks and things like that. And I picked up a few new Fab skills from Troy and those guys like things that working in my small little world, pretty much teaching myself everything. It was like, wow, man, if I could be around some people like this, my learning curve would be better. Right? Certainly. Open up some doors. I met quite a few people at Car Tech and Corona to be able to get parts easier, and I was able to go visit a lot of those places during that eight months I was out. So didn't even know CarTech existed until I was out there.


[00:18:32.850] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, there's a lot of companies like that on the West Coast. Especially back then when the Internet was still so raw.


[00:18:40.950] - Dan Dubose

Right? Yeah, it was more magazine based and everything at that point still. And very small world. Yeah. Especially for like out here on the East Coast with automotive fabrication, stuff like that. Just there really wasn't anybody doing it and hard to go ask questions or you just kind of had to figure it out on your own back then. No Internet to go, Google search or something.


[00:19:07.410] - Big Rich Klein

So after the show and you get back to Dothan, you get a little more serious about the business aspect, I guess, right?


[00:19:15.450] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. When I returned, I already had probably about 40 or so products that were ready to be manufactured and selling on the website. I knew at some point that I would do that. So some of the projects that we're building back then, I'd already started collecting those items to put up for sale within probably a week of my returning. The website had parts on it and we were already selling parts.


[00:19:39.870] - Big Rich Klein

Were you doing the website work yourself?


[00:19:43.350] - Dan Dubose

Man, I was so broke. I did everything myself. Website, I did get some help like designing parts and CAD a little bit from a couple of friends early on and then ended up hiring people because I didn't really know how to do that part of us and how to go handmade everything. Eventually taught myself SolidWorks and 3D CAD and was able to do a lot of that myself now. But back then it was like all the photoshop stuff, all the website stuff, had to teach myself how to code the website, do photoshop to make magazine ads, all of it. There's a lot of long hours which definitely take their toll on you after so many years.


[00:20:23.470] - Big Rich Klein

Correct. And during that time you got pretty heavily involved with Pirate four x four.


[00:20:32.250] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. The first probably two years, I was just lurking on Pirate and didn't want to get involved because I wanted to let the company grow at a pace where I could have products ship it in a reasonable amount of time because I was bootstrapping it just pretty much funding the whole thing out of my own pockets. Didn't have like bank funding or anything like that. So it's probably two years into it. It's like, okay, we're ready, we've got parts on the shelf, let's start doing it on Pirates. So we started advertising on there and things started to really grow really fast. We had a good product offer and started to get a lot of attention.


[00:21:17.410] - Big Rich Klein

It sounds to me that talking with a lot of others that Pirate was pretty instrumental at kind of like the right time in everybody's life. I know. It made me advertising for our Rock Crawls a lot easier because that's where the enthusiasts were at.


[00:21:37.390] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, absolutely. I think during that time too, there was a big paradigm shift going from people purchasing things that both own on a Saturday on their driveway, like a chrome roll bar in the back of their pickup truck and things like that. It transitioned. And I think a lot of it had to do with the Motorcycle Mania show that Jessie James did. Before that show, I was doing fab work. Nobody wanted to come over. People in college call me a grease monkey and things like that. And with a show like that coming on TV, it really taught people that metal fabrication is an art, it's a skill, it's not something for everyone kind of thing. And I think a lot of that really helped transform what was happening on Pirate at the time. And it was during that time, too, with all the builder parts that had amassed to launch as a product line. Everything that we built back then required someone to do something to it when they got it, meaning they had to weld on it, or they may even have to cut on it and grind or whatever.


[00:22:42.490] - Big Rich Klein

It helped with that whole mentality back then, and it still kind of is persuasive now.


[00:22:50.410] - Dan Dubose



[00:22:51.240] - Big Rich Klein

Bought or built? Not bought.


[00:22:53.710] - Dan Dubose

Right. And again, there's been a paradigm shift, like we were discussing earlier in our conversation, where now people back then, it was like the experience. I want to get a welder, I want to get a two bender and build cool stuff. And that's my experience. And I think a little bit of the paradigm shift in the off road industry now is more of the experience about adventuring those types of memories, and more people are wanting things that are more complete, where they bolt on versus the heavy fab work. So certainly see a little bit of that, I guess, come in full circle back to that a little bit.


[00:23:27.710] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, I agree completely. Yeah, I'm definitely seeing it. And even though we're retiring it's from the competition scene, I'm not getting out of off road.


[00:23:39.370] - Dan Dubose



[00:23:40.630] - Big Rich Klein

And I won't get out of off road until I can't drive anymore. That's the way I look at it.


[00:23:45.390] - Dan Dubose



[00:23:46.250] - Big Rich Klein

I just may drive a little differently.


[00:23:49.210] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, that's definitely ingrained in me. I sold Bluetoorch in 2009 and had a three year non compete, and I was like, well, man, I probably won't do it again as a business. I just do it for fun now. And it was probably like, a year later. It was like, my God, I miss it. I want to build stuff. I want to do things for people. I want to build cool stuff. I got two more years. Will this ever end?


[00:24:15.670] - Big Rich Klein

And during those two years when you made that realization, were you planning to come back?


[00:24:24.410] - Dan Dubose

First year, no. Second year, I thought about it. Third year, yes. I started planning. I was working in Iraq on a government contract, working at the US embassy in Baghdad, and that's where I worked on the motorbike name the website, worked on a few new products, but we were talking about paradigm shifts and things, how the industry changed. Well, me as a person changed, too. During Bluetoorch days, I wanted to build cool stuff. The business just happened to grow along with putting together a cool team to help me build stuff, like vendor and Matt and James, Cofield and Red and everyone else. We had pretty much a team in the industry. I feel like building really cool stuff, and the focus wasn't really building a good core, solid business to go forward with. Well, during that year of planning with Motobuilt, it's like, okay, I'm a little older now. Cool stuff, that's cool. But I want to build a good, solid financial future for myself and all the people that work for us or that would be working for me during this go around. So the focus shifted more toward building a really cool business versus just go build really cool stuff, if that makes sense.


[00:25:45.350] - Big Rich Klein

Absolutely. Making something that's more sustainable.


[00:25:50.490] - Dan Dubose

Correct. Then it was more everything we built was a custom buggy. And we would end up with parts to sell off of it. Whereas this go around. It's more. Okay. Let's go buy all the manufacturing equipment. Bring it all in house. Let's find a good product line that the people want. Not so much build exactly what I want to do on everything. But build what people want. And let's go do that and go do it very well.


[00:26:19.530] - Big Rich Klein

I think that's a much better business plan. Absolutely.


[00:26:23.970] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. My wife, she reminds me of it every now and then because we'll have customers calling, asking, hey, do you guys build this? Do you guys build this? And I'm like, there's no freaking way I'm going to build that. That's dumb. And she's like, well, that's what the people want. So I found myself bending a little bit because of that. It's not always about what I want to do or what I think is cool.


[00:26:51.930] - Big Rich Klein

Right. I know that there's somebody that we all know that's in the industry. Like he says, he goes, you know, I don't care if the hardcore guys like it. If I've sold this many units, there's enough people out there to like it, that love it and want it on their Jeeps, he's dead. Right. Whether we like that product and would ever put it on our own stuff doesn't matter, because there's people out there with credit cards and cash that are buying that product because they think it's cool.


[00:27:31.170] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. At the end of the day, you create that financial stability for your team and yourself. That's what matters. I take it very serious. Everyone that works for us, their wife, their kids, everyone, those are all my family. I've got to take care of them. And we absolutely look at it that way to get there.


[00:27:54.700] - Big Rich Klein

How did the sale of Bluetooth come about? Was it something you guys were just working along and somebody walked up and said, hey, do you want to sell this business to me or did you actively look to get out at that point?


[00:28:09.870] - Dan Dubose

I wasn't actively looking to get out. Jason had approached me in 2007, and he's a guy from Pasadena, California. He was living in Birmingham, Alabama. I didn't know him. He had visited a fab stock event where we built Aaron Peters Jeep on Pirate for him back then for free. Had, like, a big fab day where people came in from all over the country. He had visited that particular event. A little later, he called me and said, hey, I'd like to open a shop with your name in Birmingham, like a retail store. It just kind of caught me at the right time. I was a little bit burned out, like, trying to struggle between, hey, I want to build cool stuff, and hey, I need to worry about PNL statements, right? So it's like, I don't want to worry about PNL statements, I want to build cool stuff. And so I called him back probably a few weeks later and said, hey, I would rather just sell you part of the company and let you run that part of it and just let me build cool stuff and focus on what I kick ass at. And so that's how that deal started.


[00:29:20.130] - Dan Dubose

And so I sold him half the company. We moved to Birmingham and we're operating there. And I found myself out in the shop working crazy hours, like, 20 hours a day, building, like, one particular project, the Koh car that we built. Then I started on it around Halloween, and I didn't come back to Dothan to visit family until after the Koh Trace. So I came home. I'm sorry for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That was it. I remember being in the shop on New Year's Eve, like, firecrackers and gunshots going off in downtown Birmingham, and I'm in there working away. Yeah, it was a hell of a time, but, I mean, I spent so many hours in there working on that car by myself. I ended up bringing Red down from Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked for us at Bluetoorch helping build chassis. So called him up and he came down for a couple of weeks to help me finish out on a few things. I'm not taking away anything from, like, Jay Clegg or JamesSchofield or anybody that was working with us. They pitched in a good bit on that car, but, man, I was like seven days a week, 20 hours a day, a lot of time on that thing, and then kind of just burned myself out through that process.


[00:30:38.140] - Dan Dubose

We were out at the Hammers that year. Racing car was doing really good. The car had a little bit of an accident pre running a couple of days before, so I think it was probably about halfway through the race that year. We were kind of on the leaderboard at that point and the. Car lost a rear unit bearing, which timed us out. And I'm sitting there thinking, man, I just spent three months of my life building a car, singular focus to make it halfway through a race. And I think in that moment, I think I'm done. I need to figure out a different way to do this. And we return back to Alabama and basically cut the roof off the car in the back end and lengthened it and changed the roofline and stuff like that to prepare for the Vegas Arena 1000 miles race with that car. And we got the car out there and it was pretty much we left and came home from that and then made the deal with Jason. And I was out probably a month later that September of 2009.


[00:31:46.510] - Big Rich Klein

And that was a complete walk away.


[00:31:49.950] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, I was done. I don't know how to explain it. Maybe liberating a little bit. Like it felt good some, but it also felt like turning around and walking away from a baby, if you will.


[00:32:08.920] - Big Rich Klein



[00:32:11.170] - Dan Dubose

But I'd spent so many hours in the shop and neglecting my kids and things like that, I kind of regretted some of that stuff. And I went from never, like, taking my daughter to school and never putting her hair in a ponytail. Didn't know how to do any of that. So now I'm at home working from home for about three months and the first day I'm there by myself and I'm going to take her to school. I didn't know how to do hair in a ponytail. I was kind of completely freaked out. I'm like, I can go build a car, but I don't know how to do a ponytail.


[00:32:49.070] - Big Rich Klein

I know that feeling that you were just talking about that. Liberating and then with the sale of Jake Good coming in to We Rock and him taking over, all the duties at the event, the unloading of the trailer and setting everything up and getting running the event, and then when the event is over, packing it all up and heading off to the next event, for us, that was the part that was becoming more difficult. Harder and harder and harder. I always love the people. I love the challenge of the chess game against the teams and using the terrain as a chess board, and I love that part of it. But, man, that physical labor part, it just wore on me. And after 22, 23 years, it was like, okay, I got to stop. And with Jake taking over now, shelley and I didn't even go to the Tennessee event this last week because not stuck in California, but we're in California helping with my parents and their health and I'm good with it. I'm satisfied. I'm not like, Man, I'm jones and I need to have to do this, at least so far.


[00:34:10.010] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, I can relate to that. I mean, priorities change a bit and your focus changes a bit. It was like a mixed big ball of mixed emotions. When I left Bluetorch, it was like, happy, happy. Like, oh, man, this sucks. Happy, happy, this sucks. Got this big hole in my life that's kind of, for lack of better words, being in the industry and building things and running a business like, hey, man, that's part of what defines who I am, and now who am I? I spent a little bit of time trying to figure that out. So I think once that non compete ended with Bluetooth and Jason, like, that December 2012. I turned the website on and ran Motobuilt for part time until 2014. And then in 14, it's like, okay, I think I do want to do this. I'm going to keep it small and manageable and have a few people and just do it really good and then I start doing it. I was like, well, I don't go halfway on anything ever, so let's take the breaks off of this and let's go. That's what we did. I mean, people laugh at me because there's plenty of people in the offroad industry that were like, hey, man, are you going to do it big again?


[00:35:29.260] - Dan Dubose

I'm like, no, I'm going to keep it small. And they just kind of laugh a little bit. And then I've gotten called out on it quite a few times, like, hey, man, I thought you were going to keep that small. I guess, like, 85,000 employees and pushing a half million pounds of steel through here a month. That's small. I want to be bigger. That's still small.


[00:35:52.470] - Big Rich Klein

It might be small in most manufacturing or some manufacturing, but for the off road world, it's pretty dang big.


[00:36:00.630] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, well, people are like, have you accomplished your goals? I'm like, Well, I'll never accomplish my goals. I'm the kind of person that gives me a mountain to climb. I'll climb the mountain, but I'm going to look at the next mountain and go, okay, we're going there. Let's go. Yeah, that's an advantage, but it's also a big disadvantage, meaning never satisfied. Just want to keep going, want to keep pushing and want to keep doing more. And I don't look at other companies and think, oh, I'm competing with them. Other companies look at me and think they're competing with me. It's not that I'm better than their company. I need to think about them. I'm competing with myself, right? Like, me. And I've got personal goals. I've got things that I want to prove to myself, and that's it. I don't feel like I have to prove anything to anybody.


[00:36:53.470] - Big Rich Klein

That's good. So say somebody is listening to this and they're going, man, I want to do that. I want to get into manufacturing or designing parts, that kind of stuff. What do you suggest? The steps that somebody should take? Not necessarily if it's the right ones, the ones that you took, but what would you think it'd be? The best way for somebody to get.


[00:37:18.900] - Dan Dubose

Started, man, that's a tough question because I think it really starts with the person. I remember a guy from Dirt Sport magazine was out visiting Bluetooth one time, and after dinner, we pulled back up to the shop and he's like, hey, Dan, I'd like some business advice. I'd like to start a business. You seem to do very well with it, creating a brand and getting going. And I've got this idea I want to do this. And I just looked at him, I was like, man, let me stop you right there. You need to answer one question. Are you willing to give up everything? And he's like, yeah, I am. I'm like, no, you didn't listen to the question. This is a question you can't answer sitting right here. You need to go home. You need to sit in the dark. You need to really decide, are you willing to give up everything because everything means everything. Because the reason why I say that most people fail going into business because they already have outs they already have reasons why they're going to quit. They'll be, hey, I'll start a business. If I'm not making money within three months, I'll go back to my job.


[00:38:30.480] - Dan Dubose

You're going to fail if you have that thought, sir. Okay. Yes. So you can't go into business working for yourself with any kind of outs, any kind of doubts. You have to go into business thinking, no matter what happens, no matter what comes my way, I will figure it out. And the how word is where so many people get caught up, like, how am I going to do it? So a lot of people, they don't even start in business because they're like, I don't have enough money. I don't know how to do this, I don't know how to do that. So, I mean, they carry that sort into a business when they start it. Honestly, if you really want to do it bad enough, you're going to figure it out. Like, that house not important.


[00:39:19.550] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, that's absolutely true. I can relate to that.


[00:39:22.790] - Dan Dubose



[00:39:24.230] - Big Rich Klein

When I started Cal Rocks, I had to get my first entry fee in cash so I could open a bank account and get a business license. Yeah, that's how broke I was.


[00:39:36.470] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, I started Bluetoorch with, like, $3,000, and I hope it's like, okay, I'm going to go do this. Everybody around me tells me it's going to fail. Everybody around me can't see the direction I'm going to go, but you have to tune all that out. But I don't want people listening to think, oh, just go do it and figure it out because it's not meant for everyone. There's a lot of people that go create a very bad financial future for themselves just to go jump out there and do that. There has to be an educated guess to it as well, an educated plan to it. Don't just go do something and then figure it out, have some kind of plan before you go do it.


[00:40:23.180] - Big Rich Klein

I think people need to research if they have an idea. You find something that you love doing and you want to make a career out of it or a business out of it, you really have to research how that's going to work. You just can't say, okay, I'm going to open the door and let's see what happens.


[00:40:49.350] - Dan Dubose

Well, I tell people a lot of times when they call me and they're, hey, I really enjoy doing this, so I want to do this for a business. And I tell people, if you enjoy doing that, you should go get a job doing that. You shouldn't go start a business doing it. Because if you start a business doing it, you won't be doing that.


[00:41:06.200] - Big Rich Klein

You're going to hate it.


[00:41:08.130] - Dan Dubose

So I think that was the difference between bluetoors and motorbill. But one bit of advice I tell everybody, even people that own a business, there's one particular book that I tell everyone considering going into business or a small business that might be struggling a little bit. It's called the Emyth revisited the reason why most small businesses fail. That book talks about some of the stuff like we're talking about. The technician is the person that enjoys doing, say, building rock crawlers. But in order to run a business, you've got to be the technician, you've got to be the manager, and you have to be the entrepreneur. You have to find some way to balance those three roles within a company. And if you want to be the technician and build cool rock crawlers, don't get a job building rock crawlers, do not start a business.


[00:42:02.370] - Big Rich Klein

What I see is so many people don't understand the business side of things, right? They are very creative, they're talented, but they don't understand what it takes to make money and keep money.


[00:42:22.950] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, there's a big disconnect between that technician role in the management role. That way I've had to learn how to be the manager, learn how to understand money and what to do with it. That is definitely a struggle for a lot of people. I learned the hard way.


[00:42:45.210] - Big Rich Klein

Me too. Luckily, I met Shelley. And Shelley is great at the business end of things. I mean, absolutely phenomenal. And in 2009, I was walking away after that season, I was never going to put on another rock crawling event. I was done. I didn't care if the sport I didn't care how many other businesses or lives might have been ruined with the sport disappearing, because I figured somebody will pick it up, somebody will do it, but I'm not. And she was retiring from her job, and she was like, well, let me help you. You seem to be doing this part of it really good. You need help over here? And I'm like, yeah, I do need help over there, but do you realize what you're getting into. It's pretty deep over there. And she's like, no problem. So I thought I would be putting on rock crawls until they buried me at the start or finish gate someday. And now I don't have to do that because I found the right partner and then I married her.


[00:43:46.830] - Dan Dubose

Well, the same goes for me. My wife, Hunter, she had been around some during the bluetoorch days. We were just friends back then. When I started motorbike, I'd given her a call to help out with some of the administrative end of things so I could focus on still being that technician because I had to be during the early days of motorbill and she was around working part time. Well, life changed for her and me both. We ended up getting married, and she's been a very integral part of the motorbike process. And our dynamic here is she spends her days up front running the business side of things, where I'm out running more of the manufacturing and the engineering and marketing side of our business. So I don't have to focus so much on, is this bill paid or is it too much money for this or that? So we make a very good team.


[00:44:46.310] - Big Rich Klein

Now, and that's important. Yeah, it really is. And it's one of the things that I didn't have that early in my career. I had somebody that would come to the events, but not necessarily be an asset at the events. And that's changed, and that's a big deal.


[00:45:12.230] - Dan Dubose

You're exactly the same there. Like, man, it is super awesome having a partner in life where she understands what I'm thinking, what I'm doing, and we're both stride for stride, going in the same direction. It's an awesome thing to have.


[00:45:31.200] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. Not fighting you over every minute.


[00:45:34.150] - Dan Dubose

Right. And I'll tell you, though, before she and I got together, I mean, I worked around the clock, work weekend, just work, work, work, and didn't have a very good work life balance. And I've learned a lot about that work life balance with her. Normally, I would be walking out the door at 05:00 or slightly after I stuck around today to do this call with you. And that's one of the things that I really love about her. She's helped me change my life where I'm able to enjoy other things in life. Not just here now.


[00:46:11.890] - Big Rich Klein

Right. With that, have more. It's not just motor built, but you have other facets to the company, is that correct?


[00:46:26.510] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, we have some other stuff. I won't go into all of it on here because some of it just kind of needs to stay private. But we have another company called Envelope Industrial Group. We started that basically because I was going and doing consulting work in the industrial sector. And I would give someone a motorbull business card with a Jeep on the front of it and some of the engineers and things at one particular company, berg Pipe Down in Panama City, Florida, had an issue. I went down there and help them solve the problem. And at first they didn't take me very serious and I knew they weren't taking me serious. And we were going to lunch together after that meeting. So I took my laptop into the lunch with us and I drew the part in SolidWorks in like five minutes that fixed their multi thousand dollar problem and said, here you go. This is how you fix it. And all of them were like, looking at each other. And then the main guy was like, okay, yeah, build that for us. So it was kind of like then is where we needed to have an industrial name.


[00:47:34.700] - Dan Dubose

So in the beginning it was still kind of the same people in Motorbike helping out on the industrial type jobs. But the ambulance started to grow where we needed to have our own team over there. So now we have multiple service trucks like Mill Rights that are out doing work in Thaw Mills Peanut Miles. We're doing government contract type work and a few other things. The company got to be so busy where Hunter and I couldn't manage it anymore. So I actually brought in a managing partner, Kevin. He runs that company for us now. And I'm not involved with day to day operations with Amble anymore. We still own a vast majority of the company, but Kevin's rocking and rolling and making sure things happen.


[00:48:23.090] - Big Rich Klein

Well, that's great when you can find somebody that does that can do that.


[00:48:27.660] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. And we just gave him ownership in the company. We didn't make him buy in or anything like that. His skill set bought his way in. So he's a huge asset and he's doing a phenomenal job with it.


[00:48:40.800] - Big Rich Klein

Well, that's hell of a motivation too.


[00:48:45.410] - Dan Dubose

I've got another company that I want to kind of do the same thing with. And I've been talking to a few different people. We just haven't found the right person for this other venture yet. But hopefully we'll find them soon.


[00:48:57.690] - Big Rich Klein

Might have to talk offline. I might know people that can help.


[00:49:00.950] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, we can do that.


[00:49:02.170] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. So then in the future, where do you see Dan?


[00:49:08.270] - Dan Dubose

Well, at some point I'd like to retire before I'm too old to enjoy myself. And we've got a lot of very good people within our organization that can rise up and handle day to day operations and allow my wife and I to step back a bit. So at some point, I don't know how many years that will be when I'm ready to do that, but when I'm ready, I think we're grooming people to be in those positions to do it. We'll continue to grow motorbike. We want to add in some other product lines and things like that. But we're taking a very strategic approach to growth. We don't want to grow so fast that we grow ourselves out of business, but we're kind of going in the right direction, so we're going to keep doing what we're doing.


[00:49:55.190] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. And as long as they keep producing new vehicles, there's something to add to the SKU lines, right?


[00:50:07.370] - Dan Dubose

That's right. But I mean, there's still plenty of stuff to add to existing vehicles and add to the product line. Absolutely. Like building the YJ, and I'm building for myself, posting pictures of that. You wouldn't believe the amount of social media traffic that we get off of a Jeep YJ. A lot of other companies have forgotten about that. Moved on to the JK and the JL and ladiator and things like that. But I'm still building my roots back in the YJ days, building big one ton stuff, but parts for that kind of stuff still sell. But it's also fun to do.


[00:50:45.390] - Big Rich Klein

Right. So then you have Bender and he's back with you. I thought that was very interesting. I thought it was a good move.


[00:50:58.790] - Dan Dubose

Vendor left in 2008 from Bluetooths when we were relocating it to Birmingham. He relocated back to California to fight for custody for his kids.


[00:51:09.340] - Big Rich Klein



[00:51:09.840] - Dan Dubose

And after I sold the company, when I started Motobuild, I was like, hey, man, I'm going to need you out here. He's like, well, as soon as my kids graduate from high school and get off on their own, I'll come back. So that's kind of what happened soon as they graduated and joined the Navy and that sort of thing. He moved back out here about right, three years ago. And so it's like we never missed a beat. We're back working together. And that working relationship between he and I, it's very smooth. A lot of times we're moving very fluid together when we're working on things, like, don't have to talk about it, but we kind of know what each other are thinking they're doing. And it's also good having someone like Benjamin to bounce some of my crazy ideas off of because he has some.


[00:51:56.680] - Big Rich Klein

Pretty crazy ideas himself.


[00:51:58.850] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, he'll bring me things all the time, talking about stuff like, bounce this off of you. I was like, really? What? What, again? What? No, I'm not going to let you shock me. Yeah, vendors gains. But no, it is a very good dynamic. Like he and I working together and then working with our design staff and getting new products designed, and it's a very good dynamic.


[00:52:26.010] - Big Rich Klein

And he has enough experience with television shows now that if you ever wanted to go in that direction at some point, he's a fit.


[00:52:37.590] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. The Discovery Channel had called us right before COVID got kicked off, and we were in some pretty serious conversations about doing a show with Discovery here at Motoville. And then the COVID stuff hit and those conversations completely stopped. But who knows, we may revisit something like that in the future. But years ago, Bluetooth, I'd have been chasing that, like wanting to talk to somebody about doing it now. It's like that's short term benefit, short term growth that you grow really big, really fast, end up with big buildings and overhead that you can't sustain once the TV show ends. So I think it's smart just to focus on growing your business, growing your brand. And if something like that happens, it happens, but at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter if we do it or not.


[00:53:27.810] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, I remember the time I visited you. It was looking at a possible event site that we were going to turn into something that would be the whole television deal thing.


[00:53:39.620] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. We had filmed a pilot at Bluetoorch back then and that kind of, I don't know, kind of kept going on through the channels at Discovery and things like that and negotiations and things until the content was pretty much outdated. Some people that were involved were left their company and things like that, so it just kind of got dropped. And unfortunately that didn't go anywhere. But back then I was really hoping it would, but hindsight probably a good thing it didn't.


[00:54:14.570] - Big Rich Klein

Right. I know. That's the same thing that I look at on some of the opportunities that presented themselves with us. We shot some stuff for some sizzle reel and it turned out really good. But the group we were working through, the producers, were working with the Weinstein group with their television side, which was just getting started, and they were all over what we wanted to do. It wasn't going to be like a results show. It was going to be a why and the dream of the challenges to get out, to do the events for the team and everything.


[00:54:57.510] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, that's more interesting to watch than just the actual rock crawling and who scored a point or didn't.


[00:55:09.570] - Big Rich Klein

Get caught with his hands in the honey jar, you might say.


[00:55:12.990] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, I guess that pretty much squashed that.


[00:55:17.090] - Big Rich Klein

Oh, it did in a hurry. It went from we're doing this to like a week later, literally getting the call going, it's gone. They're going to hand us all of our footage back and said, good luck. From looking at production schedules to that. I mean, it was that fast.


[00:55:37.530] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. I don't know. I've been asked to do some TV shows, like one of them it was another Discovery thing. I guess it was probably around 2018 somewhere running there. I had a heart attack in 2017.


[00:55:53.760] - Big Rich Klein



[00:55:54.410] - Dan Dubose

Died. Yes. And then 2018, I could ask to go out to Texas and do some filming and be out there for like six or eight months straight. I'm like, well, man, I can't run a business and be in Texas filming TV, so turn that down. Then another show called and said, hey, we want you to do some fab work. And Bender was in town visiting right before he was moving here, and Bender and I were standing out of the driveway. His wife and my wife stand there and I was like, man, I can't do it here, talk to this guy. And the guy on the phone knew who vendor was from truck night in America. So they started talking, but that didn't really go anywhere. Like the TV show didn't happen, but there's been a lot of instances that way where we've had the opportunity to do TV, but I've got to focus on growing a business and I can't leave and go do something like that. But it's very fortunate for Bender where you can leave and go do that.


[00:56:51.760] - Big Rich Klein

Right. So then what else is there with your life that you'd like to share, man? Like any good stories that are GP enough or not above the R rating.


[00:57:13.850] - Dan Dubose

I feel like my life's been a roller coaster. I mean, almost like the Forest gump movie. I've been a lot of places and done a lot of things.


[00:57:25.110] - Big Rich Klein

I talked about that time when we came out there a little. Rich and I, we started off at Hooters with dinner and then ended up out in the woods somewhere at that double wide that everybody talks about.


[00:57:41.530] - Dan Dubose

The double wide? Yeah, that was one of Dustin Webster's favorite places when he'd come out here and visit and we were building a red bull, that's where he wanted to go. Yeah, that was definitely an adventure. I guess the listeners probably wouldn't have any idea of what we're talking about.


[00:58:07.370] - Big Rich Klein

I'll let them know. It was a strip club out in the middle of the woods, and I don't know how long it took us to drive there. It seemed like it was 45 minutes, but we were having a good time on the drive. And it's a double wide strip club with the low ceiling and the legs cut off of the tables and chairs. It was pretty alabama given a leg.


[00:58:35.850] - Dan Dubose

Cut off of a dancer, too, I think at one point it was definitely, definitely an adventure. It seems like the only time I ever went there was like when people like you guys or people coming from some other place way away, we would end up there just for the shock factor.


[00:58:53.880] - Big Rich Klein

Exactly. The only other place that was like that, that I can remember was in Hannibal, Missouri. There was a pasty bar in there and it was called old milks, and I think everybody nicknamed it old milks.


[00:59:17.430] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. I don't know, man. You know, I've been around, done a lot of road traveling and seen a lot of crazy things, but it's hard to beat that place.


[00:59:27.510] - Big Rich Klein

Yes, definitely. If I ever write a book that's going to get a chapter, those just a couple of hours are going to get a whole chapter.


[00:59:37.770] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, it's chapter worthy. Yeah. I remember being in there, like the black lights on and some girl had like a scar, like, starting on her face all the way across her chest or something. Looks like somebody cut her with a box cutter at some point in life.


[00:59:52.640] - Big Rich Klein

Well, the time we were there, the girl had like a fresh wound on her back that was probably, I don't know, four or five inches long. It still had the stuff on it that's like a vaseline or whatever.


[01:00:11.050] - Dan Dubose



[01:00:11.600] - Big Rich Klein

And then she was wearing the stripper shoes that were like five sizes too small, so her toes were curled over the end. God. Unbelievable. I'm giving away my chapter.


[01:00:24.370] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, you better hold on to some of those memories. Yeah, definitely made a few trips there and definitely have some good memories, but yeah, I don't know, man. It's hard to say what really stories stand out the most. I mean, I think the biggest thing from being involved in the offered industry since probably the early 90s is pretty much everybody I'm friends with and everybody I know these days have something to do with this industry. People I've met, like yourself along the way, or customers that I've become very good friends with over the years, or people that have ended up working for us. And it's pretty amazing to see too, like, the number of people that have worked for us in the past that are now operating their own businesses and being successful with them. So that's awesome.


[01:01:18.230] - Big Rich Klein

That is that means that you did a good job whether you knew you trained them or not.


[01:01:25.730] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, I mean, it's awesome to see what James is doing up in Birmingham with his tuning and the Dino and just seeing his career come along. That's awesome. Matt, that used to design for us that Bluetooth, has his own business called Undercover Fab. He seems to be doing very well. He's not too far from us here in the DotOn area and he's still trucking on long and doing awesome stuff. There's quite a few others that own various types of other businesses that may not necessarily offer related, but very cool.


[01:01:58.790] - Big Rich Klein

Talk about the heart attack, if you don't mind.


[01:02:02.330] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. Never really been an overweight kind of guy. I felt like I was unhealthy when I was working in Iraq. I gained some weight just eating at the Chow Hall, the US embassy in Baghdad. Like they fed you war fighter food which high calorie packed on some weight. But I think my work ethic over the years played a big role in that. Just from I went years, like, sleeping 3 hours a night and mentioned earlier in the conversation that type of work will catch up with you. And when I started motorbike, I started doing the same thing. Just working around the clock, getting to bed at like one or two in the morning and back at it at five in the morning. And then on Sunday I was sitting watching TV, getting ready to go to bed. I was like, my back hurts a little bit. I think I might have pulled something and kind of thinking. About that for a little bit, and I laid down and go to bed and kind of hurt real bad. And I sat up like, oh, man, this sucks. This hurts. Sat there for a few minutes, and then I laid back down, and it hit me like a freaking freight train.


[01:03:08.280] - Dan Dubose

Felt like somebody stuck a hatchet in my back. I set up immediately, and that's when my arm was hurting and basically got in the truck and luckily lived close to a hospital, drove straight there, went in the emergency room, and the people just looked at me walking in. They didn't even, like, slow down to talk to me. I was found myself in one of the rooms in the emergency room. They're hooking wires up and cut my clothes off, and it went from, like, three or four people to, like, 15 people in there in a matter of a couple of minutes. And ten minutes or 15 minutes later, I'm in an operating room, and they're slitting me down on my leg to go put a stent in. When I'm on the operating table, I recall a nurse, like, getting down to my face and saying, hey, Dan, I need you to cough. I need you to cough right now. And I took a breath to cough. That was my heart stopping. That's when those things that were taped to my chest lit me up like a Christmas tree. It felt like it separated my body from my soul.


[01:04:10.250] - Dan Dubose

It hurt so bad when they shot me, but during that time, going into the hospital with those pain, I was hurting so bad, thinking, man, I wish they'd give me something for the pain. I was laying there on the operating table, and the pain subsided, like, oh, finally they gave me something for pain. I don't know what they did, but the pain is going away now, and the pain going away. That was just my heart stopping, like, going into AFib. Yeah. And after they shocked me, the pain was back. And then the doctor, he went in there and put the stent it was the widowmaker, the lad, and when he put the stent in, the pain went away. Long story short, the surgery process was over. And a nurse comes up to me while I'm kind of laying on the table in a hallway waiting to go back to her room, and she leans down and she goes, what did it feel like? I've never seen anybody get shocked while they're awake like that. I was like, who. Looked at her like, holy fuck, it hurt. She's my language, but oh, God. I would not recommend to anybody alive.


[01:05:15.950] - Dan Dubose






[01:05:17.750] - Dan Dubose

But, yeah, I mean, luckily I was at the hospital, the cardiologist kind of came. We talked, and he goes, you know, I thought you were on, like, drugs or something. Like, everybody in your family, they kept saying, you're not on drugs. I haven't do a drug test. I just don't understand somebody young like you and how you look. This just doesn't make sense. But no, never done drugs in my life or anything like that. He's like, man, you're like a two percenter. If you wouldn't have gotten a truck and drove up here, you would have died waiting on the ambulance. He's like, absolutely don't recommend you get in the truck and drive here having a heart attack like that. I recommend people calling ambulance so they have some type of life support there. But if you would have done it, you would have died waiting on the ambulance.


[01:06:03.960] - Big Rich Klein

Wow, that's crazy.


[01:06:06.150] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. So changed my life a little bit after that. I still kind of work some crazy hours when I got going back at it, and then I came to the realization I couldn't keep living that way. I needed to do something different. And Hunter, she's been a big part of that, like, changing my life, where I don't work crazy hours like that.


[01:06:32.750] - Big Rich Klein

I'm glad you survived.


[01:06:34.790] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, me too. I'm a much better parent to my kids and a much better spouse to my wife and everything else. Now, how old are your life?


[01:06:46.400] - Big Rich Klein

How old are your kids?


[01:06:49.250] - Dan Dubose

I have my son. He just turned 21 this month. My daughter, she'll be 18 in September and then have a stepdaughter that's nine.


[01:07:01.110] - Big Rich Klein

Okay, awesome. And where do you think your son is heading? What's his goal?


[01:07:11.610] - Dan Dubose

My son is more interested in becoming, like, a home builder and buying foreclosure properties and flipping them. So he's learning to do that with his grandparents. Okay. I've told him if he decides this is what he wants to do, I'll teach him everything I know here, but I don't want to force him into it or encourage him to do something he doesn't want to do. So I'm kind of letting him find his own way in life a little bit, but we're here if he wants to be here.


[01:07:40.290] - Big Rich Klein

Cool. And how about the daughter?


[01:07:42.930] - Dan Dubose

I'm not sure what Ella wants to do yet. She's still in high school, and she seems to be more interested in building, like, video game stuff. She's already making money building character stuff for some different video games.


[01:07:58.670] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. Okay.


[01:08:00.020] - Dan Dubose

Seems kind of interesting, but I don't know if that's what she wants to do for a career. She hasn't said. I think it's just something she likes to do right now.


[01:08:06.950] - Big Rich Klein

Excellent. And of course, the nine year old has no clue what she wants to do yet except grow up.


[01:08:12.830] - Dan Dubose

She says she wants to be a lawyer. She wants to be a judge.


[01:08:18.250] - Big Rich Klein

Good. I know you got to take your steps and become a lawyer first and then become a judge. But if she's young like that and that's what she wants to do, that's awesome.


[01:08:34.090] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. She loves to watch Judge Judy or something like that with her grandmother and predict how the case is going to go, as if she were a judge. She's right most of the time.


[01:08:46.810] - Big Rich Klein

That's awesome.


[01:08:48.310] - Dan Dubose



[01:08:49.510] - Big Rich Klein

Well cool. Yeah. I don't know, whatever the questions I have for you, we've kind of covered the spectrum.


[01:08:59.750] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, it's been a long, crazy career. I've seen a lot of things come and go in this industry and a lot of people come and go. And like you mentioned, I think this will be what I do until I'm done. So one way or another, I'll be involved in offroading. Even if it's kind of a semi retire and let somebody run this place, I'll be off somewhere. Which I guess that does bring up one last topic we could talk about. If you ask me all the time, like, hey man, how often do you go wheeling? And my response is I really haven't been wheeling since the leaving the Vegas Arena race in 2009. My last time really wheeling was like the Hammers, probably 2009.





[01:09:46.970] - Dan Dubose

My focus has been solely on building a business and not getting out and learning and things like that. But the YJ that I'm building and the Gladiator that I'm building, I'm planning to take both of those two events. My wife and I were going to change up a bit and start traveling and go to wheeling events and things like that and get back out and get to the roots of what started me in this industry, which was the love for wheeling and getting out and talking to the people and doing stuff like that. So you guys will probably see us out at some events later this year and next year with the YJ and with the Gladiator.


[01:10:20.050] - Big Rich Klein

That'd be awesome. That's great. You need to get out.


[01:10:24.360] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. I think that's probably like talking about goals. That's one of I guess a personal goal right now is to get back out and go wheel. I mean, I've been wheeling a little bit, but some since 2009, but I wouldn't necessarily compare it to wheeling that I used to do, if that makes sense.


[01:10:42.310] - Big Rich Klein



[01:10:43.260] - Dan Dubose

I mean, going to some of the smaller off road parks in the area or even going to some of the bigger ones for vendor type stuff isn't like what back in the day, like load up and go hope you get it back on the trailer by the time the weekend is over.


[01:11:02.730] - Big Rich Klein

I just did a trip like that.


[01:11:05.490] - Dan Dubose

Yeah. But this YJ that I'm building, I've kind of pulled out all the stops putting it together and big horsepower. It's pretty much a rock bouncer with a widely body and I'm looking forward to having some fun. I want to hit places like get back out to Las Cruces. I want to go to Easter Jeep next year with it and get back out the Hammers. In this long career, I've had an offroad industry. I've never been to the Rubicon, so definitely want to get out there with it.


[01:11:32.550] - Big Rich Klein

And when you decide to come to the Rubicon, let me know. I'll do that because that's the trail I grew up on back in the mid 80s.


[01:11:47.360] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, there were a lot of opportunities, even during the bluetoorch days to go there, but just kind of so busy with working and everything else, it's kind of hard to get out there and do some of those things. But I'm certainly looking forward to getting back out that way and getting in the desert sun and tearing up a few things on the rocks. So that'd be a good time.


[01:12:10.490] - Big Rich Klein

Absolutely. Sounds great. Well, excellent. Dan, I want to say thank you so much for spending some time. I know we've been bouncing this for, I don't know, four or five weeks, trying to find the time when both of us could be available, and I'm glad we were able to spend some time and get caught up.


[01:12:28.530] - Dan Dubose

Yeah, man, absolutely. Well, if you and your wife are ever out this way, certainly welcome to stay a day or two and hang out and catch up, and I'll do the same, and I'll hit you up if we're out that way.


[01:12:40.330] - Big Rich Klein

Sounds great. I appreciate it. All right, take care. Say hello to everybody there for me, too.


[01:12:46.690] - Dan Dubose

I'll do it. I'll bend it in the ear or something. Tell him.


[01:12:50.860] - Big Rich Klein

There you go. All right, take care then, Dan. Thank you.


[01:12:55.160] - Dan Dubose

Okay, man. Thank you soon. All right, bye.


[01:12:58.110] - Big Rich Klein

Well, that's another episode of Conversations with Big Rich. I'd like to thank you all for listening. If you could do us a favor and leave us a review on any podcast service that you happened to be listening on or send us an email or text message or Facebook message and let me know any ideas that you have or if there's anybody that you have that you think would be a great guest. Please forward the contact information to me so that we can try to get them on. And always remember, live life to the fullest. Enjoying life is a must. Follow your dreams and live life with all the gusto you can. Thank you.