Paul Jancis: Shifting Gears
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
MOUNTAIN VIEW — When asked how he got into the automotive field, Paul Jancis says it was anything but a gradual transition—more like an abrupt shifting of gears. “Basically, I had an early midlife crisis,” he explains. “I was in restaurant management and I wasn’t happy, so I did some soul searching and asked myself, ‘What do I really want to do with my life?’ I’d always been mechanically inclined and had a strong interest in cars, so I figured automotive work might be a good option. I didn’t have any experience, but I knew it was something I’d enjoy, so I enrolled at the Sequoia Institute in Fremont and learned the trade.”
After spending the first few laps of his automotive career working for dealerships like Nissan, Paul made the move to found his own repair shop in 2007. Today, as owner of Driven Auto Care, he says his favorite part of his job is its variety. “When you’re working on cars, every day is different from the day before, so that keeps things interesting.”
A resident of Santa Clara County, Paul spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “I’m a Scout Master with the Boy Scouts of America,” he details. “I was a Scout when I was a kid and my kids were Scouts as well, so I’ve been involved my entire life.” A self-described foodie, Paul also enjoys cooking at home and sampling different restaurants around the Bay Area. Additionally, he likes spending quality time with his wife, Debbie, and their three adult children.
In his life and career, Paul espouses the importance of trustworthiness. “I’m all about living with integrity and building trust,” he affirms. “Trustworthiness is the first virtue listed in the Scout Law, and that’s because without trustworthiness, nothing else matters. The same goes with auto repair. It doesn’t matter what a shop’s rates are—if you can’t trust them, it won’t turn out well. So, I always emphasize trust with my customers and do my best to build that up over the long term.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Paul says he’d relocate to a tropical locale. “I’d sell everything, move to the U.S. Virgin Islands and buy a little house on the beach. This past summer, I took my Scout troop on a weeklong trip around the Virgin Islands, and I certainly wouldn’t mind living there permanently.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What was your first car?
A: A 1972 Chevrolet Nova.
Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A: A cat person—we have seven.
Q: Music or talk radio?
Q: What’s your favorite band?
A: The Eagles, with the Beatles being a close second.
Q: What do you like on your pizza?
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A: Italian sausage and mushrooms.