Eight months ago Dr. Trace Pirtle and his wife were sitting in their RV – stuck in a San Antonio traffic jam. Frustrated with this grind when they were supposed to be relaxing they ditched the freeway for the back roads and that’s when it happened. “That’s it! That’s what I’m going to do!”
After retiring from the United States Air Force where he tended to our country’s ballistic missile arsenal, Dr. Pirtle embarked on what would become a 25 year career as a mental health counselor, school counselor, and professor of counseling at Texas A & M International in Laredo, Texas.
“I would tell people that I went from a ‘hurter to a healer’ to explain my transition from a military career to one in counseling,” says Pirtle. But after several decades of listening to and helping people with their troubles Pirtle was looking for a sideline business that he could transition into as he moved towards retirement.
“I’d been in prayer over this for some time and I always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” says Pirtle. It was on that San Antonio detour when he spotted a guy beside the road with a tent setup offering windshield repair services. “That guy had a tent, and RV, and was travelling around without strings,” he added. “It was perfect.”
Now, eight months later The Windshield Professor has no regrets about his decision to start the new venture. Drawing on his research skills he checked out a lot of companies before settling on Delta Kits. “The fact that Delta Kits has websites like the [windshield repair] forum that provide so much good information and customer testimonials, and in my conversations with them, I knew the service was going to be there after the sale and it has been.”
Having decided on a business model and supplier, the Windshield Professor sprang into action. He secured a tent location, renting the space from a local business, and got to work. When asked how he spread the word about the business, Pirtle indicated that he does no advertising, relying instead on referrals and networking. Additionally, he works with local charities and a program that allows them to receive a percentage of revenue from windshield repairs.
“I just finished a fundraiser for a local 7th grade softball team, Team Penn State, where they were trying to earn money for a team trip,” says Pirtle. Charity work gives Pirtle a deep sense of satisfaction that he’s doing something to help others and put smiles on faces. On a professional level he said it’s a great way to let the community know he’s not there just to turn a buck, but to support them.
Dr. Pirtle sees windshield repair as his own personal therapy and a way to relax. He enjoys the work and the opportunity it affords him to talk with people in a non-clinical environment. If you are in San Antonio or Laredo, Texas and could make use of the Professor’s services be sure to look him up at .