Mentor sells business

Joel Smith (left) is the new owner of a local business purchased from his mentor, James Moore.

When most people dream, they wake up to only realize it was just a dream or do not remember it, while others will set a goal to achieve that dream —if it seems realistic enough.

That is what local Rogers County Sheriff's Office reserve deputy Joel Smith did. He achieved a dream.

The 25-year-old was attending Claremore High School years back, where he participated in the school-to-work program, spending half a day at a local business learning the trade.

Smith shadowed at Auto Definitions and RCSO.

“Claremore teacher Louise Sappington got me in the program. I shadowed Auto Definitions and then after I graduated I worked there for six weeks for free to show I really wanted the job. Then I was offered a full time position,” Smith said.

Auto Definitions, which also includes storage, located at 1001 E. Will Rogers Blvd., in Claremore offers after market auto accessories. “If you can dream it, we can do it,” he said.

After a year-and-a-half, Smith had an opportunity to go on another journey - a different one with his church - and left Auto Definition.

But, he did not sway too far from owning his own business one day.

It was not long after, he began chasing his dream again - for seven years. “It has come full circle, and now I own the company.”

James Moore started the business when Smith was an infant. “It has grown it into a great company with great employees. He is one of my long time mentors,” he said.

Smith asked Moore for the opportunity to buy the business in a half-joking manner, and the conversations began to get serious.

Twenty-five years of establishing a “blessed” relationship with his customers and the community, Moore said when he felt the need to “slow down a little bit,” he considered selling the business to Smith.

Retiring is not going to be easy for Moore. “I won't quit doing at least something and not really sure what I am going to feel when I actually do leave,” Moore said.

In fact, he will hang around the business for the next six months as it fully transitions into the new ownership.

Moore said Smith is one of the few people he knows who could take the business over and make it work. “He is one of the best I know that is great with people, full of energy and will do what he says he will do. He has what it takes,” Moore said.

Smith said he prayed a lot for God's direction for his life.

“This (owning a business) is my answer from God. It would not have happened without Him,” Smith added.

He said he likes doing a lot of different things but whatever he does, gets his full attention.

“When I left here (Auto Definitions), I did a little side business doing diesel performance because he (Moore) never did diesel performance parts. I never wanted to do or sell anything that was in direct competition with him, my mentor,” Smith emphasized.

He stays involved in the community and where he finds a need, such as spearheading a home remodeling project recently for a RCSO deputy while they were on vacation and participating in events to make life better for others.

One of those events held recently was the Third Annual Route 66 Diesel Cruise for Cancer Car Show at the Justus-Tiawah School to raise money for local kids that have cancer.

Relationships and reputation both are very important to Smith.

“It is not about money. You do not have anything without a good relationship and if you do not do what you say you are going to do, you are not going to last long,” Smith said.