Patrick McHugh – 20 Questions in 30 Minutes [RR 563]

Patrick McHugh always tinkered with ‘stuff’. His dad bought an ’85 BMW. They learned all about that car together. A friend, Eric, had a lift and was a BMW person who helped Patrick and his dad learn everything about the CAR.

At 15 years old he started working in an airport, doing odd jobs, to earn credits to learn to be a pilot. He soloed at 16 years old. The day before college he got his pilot’s license

Patrick attended Purdue University where he studied aeronautical technology. He kept flying and earned his instrument license and became an instructor. He loves to teach.

As fate would have it, he became a pilot upon college graduation from Trans State Airlines a regional carrier for United. He was based in Richmond Virginia. With normal pilot downtime, he continued to tinker with BMW’s.

He discovered that being a pilot was not for him, so he went into avionics and shade tree work at home. There were too many cars in the driveway, so he had to decide to stop or go into business.

Bimmer Rescue was created in 2008 in Richmond Virginia and generates a big portion of its business through referrals. They earn their business through their professional service and attention given to each customer.

Patrick’s goal is to develop a relationship with BMW, Mini, Audi, and Volkswagen owners that allows them to get the maximum amount of value from their vehicle rather than buying a new one. Listen to Patrick’s previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

What do you do for fun?

  • Patrick’s definition of fun is Race Bar. 
  • He loves anything that has a motor in it.
  • Loves to have fun and loves to see people smile.

Any great advice that you still follow today?

  • The best advice would be to just “Be there or be around”
  • Get off the things you are doing and be around especially around your kids and family.

How did you decide to become a shop owner?

  • The county forced him to become a shop owner. 
  • Patrick was a shade tree mechanic in the backyard and he has 8 cars in the driveway. 
  • The county mailed him to get the cars out of there.

Do you still have the fire you had when you first started?

  • He still has a lot of passion in his shop and people see his drive. 
  • He just drinks his cup of coffee and kicks butts.

Message to yourself 10 years ago

  • Listen to his peers and seniors, use their wisdom. 
  • Don’t fall into the pits that other people have fallen in. 
  • Watch/Listen to Carm’s Podcasts

Manage work-life harmony

  • Always turn the switch off at 5 O’Clock or 5:30 latest. 
  • Other shop owners literally live in their shops and I have decided that’s not going to be me.

Biggest learning moment

  • Covid-19, we changed not just our operations but our budgeting specially in interacting with our clients.

Community is everything 

  • We are very active in doing community art shows. 
  • We put on huge parties as we bring in artists to show. 
  • We mix family and clients together. 
  • Stem classes for kids

A major pivot in your business

  • Covid-19, it changed us and pushed us to be a tier above everyone else. 

What drives you?

  • Internally driven 
  • Kids and family drives him.

If I asked a good friend or peer what is the secret to your success what would they say?

  • People would say that Patrick draws people, he’s magnetic and always does the right thing even if it doesn’t always feel good. 
  • Loves to help people.

Any secrets to ‘time suck’?

  • He struggles with this. 
  • He writes his goals before the year starts. 
  • Teach his daughter to think objectively. 
  • Be a better husband. 
  • He has a power-list ensuring himself always finishing up tasks and goals.

What are you doing to put the Customer first in your business?

  • We ask very important questions and we listen! 

Top three most important needs to open a shop?

  • Coaches
  • Finance 
  • Training

Strong teams always win

  • Pay-plans. 
  • Teams are paid as teams. 
  • Techs that have chemistry and could work well together. 
  • The team also picks which new hire to take.

A secret to a good job interview?

  • The questions and listening just like customer service. 
  • Asking the right questions


  • Thanks to Patrick McHugh for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!