Paul Hasty believes leaders should also serve — and he does that every day as owner of Spoiler Dude, an automobile detailing and window-tinting business located just off Galley Road in eastern Colorado Springs.
Hasty started Spoiler Dude 16 years ago after a career in the Army. His career took him to Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Denver, and on a day trip he saw Garden of the Gods.
That sealed it for him.
“I knew I was going to come back here,” he said. “I knew there was no place else I’d want to live. I went from looking at concrete walls and brick buildings to seeing Garden of the Gods. What could be better?”
So he started adjusting spoilers in his garage for cars that would go on to race around the world. He expanded to include window tinting and car detailing. Recently, Hasty expanded again to offer window tinting — including safety shields — for office buildings and homes.
Along the way, his deep faith led him to view his job as a service to others, not just as a means to gain wealth.
So he got involved with the Pikes Peak Workforce Center and its Road to Work program. The goal is to help ex-offenders — people who have served prison or jail sentences — find work. Over the years, seven former convicts have found jobs at Spoiler Dude, and Hasty won an award from the Workforce Center for his employment efforts.
Most recently, Mona Anderson came on board.
“I’ve had a lot of trouble, a lot of difficulty,” she said. “And working here, I don’t have to worry about anything. I know I have a job.”
Anderson moved into her first apartment a month ago, just after starting at Spoiler Dude. She’s responsible for cleaning and detailing cars, and says she’s pleased to find work.
“We’re a family here,” Hasty said. “I’m so blessed. We eat together at lunch; we provide support. When Miss Mona couldn’t pay rent because she hadn’t worked long enough, we found a way to help her.”
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. As Hasty says, ex-offenders “come with their own set of problems.” There have been arguments and fist fights.
“All you have to do, though, is go out into the bay and say, ‘Who wants to work and who wants to go home?’ At least one of them is afraid of losing the job, so things settle down.”
A native of Detroit, Hasty says he was friends with Rosa Parks, the civil rights activist. From that connection, he says, he learned that serving people is vital to success.
“I was dragged into the civil rights movement as a child,” he said. “My mom took me. She feared for the protests, but we went and we were involved. It taught me not to give up. And I tell people that.
“One of my workers couldn’t find a job for 19 months. You know what that does to someone? It takes away their self-esteem. It hurts their spirit. To be able to provide that — a good job, a good living — I’m so blessed.”
Spoiler Dude now employs seven people, but Hasty says he can’t take credit for all its success. He is a member of Business Networking International and uses both the Pikes Peak Workforce Center and the Small Business Development Center for mentoring advice and employment assistance. He is also a member of the Black Chamber of Commerce and the Business Networking International Group.
“Everyone needs a mentor,” he says. “Everyone needs someone to ask tough questions to. You need mentors, support, guidance. I’m so blessed. The Small Business Development Center has given me guidance and support. The workforce center has given me people. It’s how I expanded. Colorado Springs has the best business environment I’ve ever been in. If I have a question, I can call and get an answer. Someone always is willing to help out. It’s how I’ve succeeded.”
His most recent expansion involves installing window tinting on office buildings — but not the kind that merely shields from the sun. This window tinting won’t stop bullets, but it will keep intruders out even if the intruder shoots the window with a high-powered rifle.
“It’s powerful,” Hasty said. “We’re installing it for free at a few area churches. We’re putting it in at James Irwin Charter School. I don’t want anything to happen to my kids at James Irwin.”
Hasty says that his business isn’t about window tinting or auto detailing. It’s about people.
“I don’t do auto detailing,” he says. “I do people. Customer service is my No. 1 goal. When I think back to growing up in Detroit, I remember riding in my mother’s Bel Air. I remember how comfortable and safe I was. And that’s what I want to give my customers: that same comfortable, safe feeling I got from riding in my mother’s car.”
People are always first, he says.
“And that’s both clients and employees,” he said. “If your employees are happy, then your clients are happy. We make sure that we satisfy the customer, but I also make sure that the people who work here are satisfied.
“What’s next for us? We want an opportunity for growth. But to grow it so I can give more opportunity to people who need work. Any growth the business does, the whole team wins.”