We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Baily and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe that anyone who decides to go into business for themselves should know there are huge risks involved. Some risks are greater than others, but all are equally scary. I took a risk when I opened my performance shop in July of 2007. I was unaware of the economic situation that was unfolding, and I had just dropped out of college where I was majoring in business. I was learning how to run and keep a business in a failing economy and learning to survive at all cost. Due to the hardships that soon followed, I had to quickly adapt from my dream of being a performance shop to being a shop that did oil changes and vehicle maintenance just to stay afloat and keep the dream alive. The failing economy and hardships we went through as a company instilled a lot of fear in me but at the same time taught me and helped me grow. As things turned around, we were able to transition back into our original business plan. As my business started to improve, I was able to cease doing maintenance and oil changes. I started hiring more people, buying specialized equipment, and put my focus back to being a performance shop. I got aggressive with marketing and attended any race event and car show that I could. It was all these things, collectively, that helped Baily’s Hyperformance Shop build a name for itself. However, I was still scared to make changes and make moves that would expand my business and help the company grow. I had a fear of jeopardizing my lively hood or even losing my business. It was that fear of failure that drove me to take greater risks. I knew I had to change my mindset. I started to view risk taking as an opportunity to grow and learn. If I take the risk, it might not work out, but if I don’t take the risk, I’ll never know. If the risk didn’t end in the desired outcome, I was able to learn what I needed to do differently in order to do it better the next time. It took time to learn this. Through trial and error, I learned to have faith in my decisions and my judgement. Leaving the fear factor out of risk taking, I was able to take more and more risks which allowed me to start making bigger decisions and moves for my company. This took me from being a guy that owned a 2,000 square foot shop with one lift, a toolbox and a dream, to expanding my business to a 14,000 square foot shop and purchasing state of the art equipment and technology that would set me apart from other companies. We now build and customize anything from GM and Dodge all the way up to Lamborghinis and Ferraris. We have built customized cars for professional athletes and other celebrities. Our builds have been featured in magazines, SEMA Auto Shows, DFW Auto Shows. Currently, we are working on building the Baily’s Hyperformance Race Team. Running and owning a business is a long, bumpy, weathered and unpredictable road. The object is to stay strong and keep pushing forward and looking for the next move, that next risk. Sometimes, the bigger the risk, the greater the reward. My risk not only led me to grow my business, but they have granted me the opportunity to learn new things and meet some extraordinary people along the way. I’ve learned that wisdom isn’t something that is given, it is earned, and it’s earned through taking chances, making mistakes, and taking risks.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The biggest thing that sets us apart is our attention to detail. We focus on everything from the proper torque specs and record keeping, to the quality of fittings, wires and hoses we use. The businesses we work with share our passion for business and people. We give our best to every customer and expect no less from the companies and suppliers we affiliate with. We strive for the best customer service and we expect the same from our vendors. We have worked with some of the most exclusive high-performance auto part vendors in the industry who have created a partnership with us for over 10 years. Relationships are important to us because before we can help you build your dream car, we need to get to know you. That’s the Baily’s difference. I am most proud of how far we’ve come and how hard we have worked to get here. We have been in business for 14 years and that in itself is a huge accomplishment. I am proud that every year we have found a way to get bigger and better. Most importantly, I am extremely proud of my team. I have such amazing guys working hard every day to ensure that we are providing our customers with their dream vehicles. The road to get to where we are today has not been easy, but every day is a learning experience and every day we continue to make progress and leave our mark in the industry. Baily’s Hyperformance is here to stay. We stay competitive in a cutthroat industry that demands your best-and we are the best.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many places to go to in the DFW area. The obvious would be attending a professional football game at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium or a baseball game at Globe Life Field. When we have friends come into town, we always love to show them around our favorite restaurants. Shinjuku Station has some of the best Japanese food in our area. If BBQ is what they are looking for our favorites are Heim BBQ in Fort Worth and Marty B’s in Bartonville. If a good steak is what they are craving, we love to go to B&B Butchers & Restaurant. We also love to hang out at the Bomb Factory to enjoy a good concert or the Scatt Lounge to enjoy some live Jazz music. Lastly, we cannot forget the Fort Worth Zoo and the Dallas aquarium.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is always an easy one for me. Behind every strong man is an even stronger woman. My wife, Marlene, is no exception to that. It is she that pushes me to be the best that I can, not only in business, but in life. She supports my decisions and helps me slow down, view things from different perspectives and take calculated risks. We work together every day, and we love every minute of it. I am forever grateful to have such a strong, caring, loving, and dedicated woman in my life. I am a firm believer in the old saying, “you are who you surround yourself with.” Even with a strong wife and family support system by my side, I still needed someone to consult with that was knowledgeable in the ins and outs of business. There were certain situations that required more expertise and knowledge. It is in those moments we consult our “oracle”. For me, that person is Mr. Cochise Rounds. Cochise has been more than a business coach- he has been my mentor, father figure, life coach and so much more. He is the person I can always call on for whatever I need. I truly believe that the risk I’ve taken, and the current status of my business successes, are due in large part to his coaching and constant push for me to strive and reach for more. He has encouraged me to make decisions that aren’t always based on emotions. If something isn’t bringing happiness to my family or myself, then I need to make an effort to change it or get rid of it. He has taught me that above all things it is important to take time to love life and all parts of it, that the world is a beautiful place, so take time to travel and enjoy it, and overall to not let making a living consume me to the point that the world passes me by. I cannot thank him enough or express the amount of gratitude I have for what he has taught me and for the role he has played not only in my business, but my personal life as well. Through my experience as a boss and a business owner, I’ve learned that without a strong team by your side, you cannot make a dream a reality. The team at Baily’s is composed of a group of people that offer not only their talent, skills and ideas, but ones that are willing to take risk alongside me. They are some of the most hard working and dedicated people I know. Their attention to detail and love for what they do is displayed daily in the outcome of the cars we put out. In my line of work I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many great business owners in the DFW community who have all played a role in my success. They have taught me to surround myself with a hardworking team, that there is no such thing as asking a wrong question, to never stop learning from others, their mistakes and their achievements, and to always strive to be a better person.
Youtube: Baily’s Hyperformance
Javier Herrera Photography