In this episode of Driving Dunedin’s Streets, we sit down with Jason Corbett to explore a captivating career shift from software consulting to the golf cart business. Jason shares his inspiring journey into entrepreneurship, bold decision-making, and the promising future of golf cart rentals in Dunedin, Florida.
Jason discusses his transition from software consulting to the golf cart industry, highlighting the motivations behind this change and the challenges of pursuing a new path without a formal degree.
Learn about the unique aspects of the golf cart rental business in sunny Florida, the reasons behind choosing Dunedin as a location, and the impact of local regulations and environmental considerations.
Join us for an engaging episode as we dive into Jason Corbett’s unique career transition and uncover the promising future of golf cart rentals in the charming streets of Dunedin, Florida.
Listen to the podcast episode here!
In today’s episode of Palm Harbor, local, we have Jason Corbett, of Let’s Go Carting. Welcome to the show.
Thanks, Donnie. I appreciate you having us. I know we’ve been trying to get here for a while. Thanks for having me.
Of course. So for anybody who’s watching on YouTube, we’re obviously in a different setup. Today, we’re actually in my home. So a little bit of work that’s being done in our about our office.
So we’ll have a change of scenery, and we’re making it work stuff. So let’s start with your background and kind maybe even growing up as a kid, but what did you always want to do?
How did you get into your career before Let’s Go Carting.
So I actually grew up this the son of a major league baseball player, and a lot of people don’t know that about me. So I have a twin brother. We were both very good at baseball, but we just didn’t have the same passion that my dad had. So, I eventually started playing volleyball, I ended up playing triple-A beach volleyball.
And so just always played a ton of sports. And then when I graduated college, and actually started working. I ended up becoming a software consultant. Did that for about 20 years and worked for Volvo McKinsey and Company. basically telling software developers what to build, what kind of software to build, and all that.
And it was rewarding, and paid well, but, 60 to 80 hours behind the computer was just, it was just draining me. And when my wife and I moved to Dunedin we saw the kind of a golf cart boom going on. And it just, made us want to pop it. we saw the demand. We’re, this is awesome. We love we got a golf cart ourselves and start going downtown Dunedin. And eventually, I just said, what? I’m done with the software world. And we went all in on the golf cart thing. And launched Let’s Go Carting about a year ago, and the first year was super successful. So that’s that’s kind of how we got here.
How did you get into the software development stuff?
Actually didn’t notice I went to school for accounting at the University of Florida. I hated it the entire time. It was kind of one of those things, you you go to school, you pick something that you think pays well, and by the time I was a senior, I was almost done. I was, this sucks, but it was too late.
So I was, Alright, I got my degree. And then as soon as I graduated, I went straight into working for a title company. And they kind of realized I had some technical skills and before that I got scooped over to the software development team. And that’s really what started my software consulting career. It was just by chance I just kind of landed there.
Isn’t that crazy? I feel so I have a degree in biology and kind of the same thing, I got a degree in biology thinking I would, I’m gonna go in the medical field, and that’s a good paying job right to our borders, there’s always gonna be a need for something in that field. And then, I started a master’s program and was done with school. That’s, that’s not that’s not what I want to do. But I wonder, how many people go to school? And don’t use a degree?
It’s gotta be… it’ll be 75%. Almost all my friends are in the same boat. They’re not using what they actually went to school. Isn’t that crazy?
Do you think there’s value in getting the degree even though you’re not using it?
I actually a big fan of Elon Musk. Actually, it is the same kind of mindset as me on this. He thinks school is kind of a waste of time. I think 90% of it is kind of a waste of time. I wish that schools would focus more on, financing, and how do you leverage assets? What is a mortgage, I didn’t learn that until after I finally bought a house I don’t know how all this works.
So it’s making, learning how to make your money work for you. And doing all those things that you learn as an adult, but I feel we learned way too late life Sure, I’d have 40 and finally started a business if I had not gone to college and worked really hard, saved up some money, and then started the business when I was say, 25. I feel who knows where I’d be today.
So I feel it’s kind of a time suck,? Why do you need it? Why do I need to learn trigonometry? Right? That’s a perfect example. Never use it. I feel nobody really uses it. Unless you have a very specialized career. So and then you need that degree for that career. Right.
So it’s things that, that I feel, kind of, take everyone’s time and, but, you learn you learn good life skills, how to be analytical. But I just wish, we would kind of shift focus a little bit. , maybe. , I would agree with that. I think there’s, there’s some value in it. Right? And obviously, my wife is a veterinarian, right?
So, you need that schooling and degree and it’s tough to be able to, to practice, or be a doctor or whatever. So there are some of those career paths that you need that schooling, but for a lot of it, you could start a business, and if that’s something you’re passionate about REITs, or any business you want and desire for that, too. But there’s so much you can you can learn by just doing.
So, starting out in Let’s Go Carting. Was there ever any hesitation in starting a business? Because you have no experience at this point, right?
Lots of hesitations? I mean, we, it was, it was a very long, well, it was about six months from the time we started talking about it. We did a ton of analysis, right? We did it right? We didn’t just don’t jump in and just start buying assets. And building a website, we really made ourselves benchmark and saw what other companies were doing. Run the numbers, and see if it made sense for us. So I would say, lots of hesitation. But I think the excitement fueled, and by the time we were halfway through that six-month analysis period, we’re, Okay, we’re gonna go for this, right?
I remember that when we bought our Airbnb or short-term rental in Crystal Beach, it was kind of the same thing. There was an opportunity to buy the home. And then it’s, okay, and I’ve seen this one before. So I always had in the back of my mind, this could be a great rental property and that sort of stuff.
But you have to do your homework and trench numbers to make sure it does work. Right. And so we did a bunch of that. And kind of the same idea where it’s, you start doing that, and you’re, Okay, this, this is close enough. And we can we can make it work. And that sort of thing.
Oh man, we throw a lot of darts and see what sticks and try to get, and move on from what doesn’t work. But I mean, one of the most challenging things was building our website. Building a booking platform is way bigger than I ever thought. I’d built lots of websites in my career, being a software consultant, so I knew enough to be dangerous.
So I’m, Oh, I can do this. I can, I can build it. But when you started trying to build booking platforms, databases, and all that other stuff, integrations with calendars, and it was a beast, so we’ve changed a lot on our website along the way until we were finally comfortable with that. In regards to, pricing in processes, we actually, we actually got lucky with sticking that kind of right away. , we we benchmark with a lot of companies, we did not we definitely did our unique thing.
But we were pleasantly surprised that the market was okay with our pricing points. We quickly learned that people loved what we were doing, how we were doing it, how are we delivering the cards, and people were happy with our services. And I think our reviews kind of speak for that we’ve had 55 five-star reviews since the start, not a single bad review. It’s been rewarding knowing that we’re providing the service that people love.
So we rented a car from you guys, probably a few months ago now. But, I can speak to that to where it’s, it’s so simple and easy to get it set up, have it delivered. And for people that don’t want to spend, $10,000- $15,000 and have a golf cart, you’re not going to use it all that often.
It’s, fun, and it’s so cool to be able to have that experience, living in a golf cart zone and being able to drive to downtown London or Harvard, or whatever it is.
You’re right. I mean, a lot of people have figured out a kind of cheat code, say, if you rent just tend to run weekends a year, you could rent for years before you would actually pay one of those things off.. And I, unless you are going to use it, multiple times per week or every other weekend. Renting is a great option. And you don’t have to deal with the maintenance. You don’t have to deal with all the headaches that come with them. , their their their golf carts. So, they do require tires, brakes and stuff quicker than your automobiles would. So renting is a great option if you if you’re not if you’re not going to golf cart all the time.
Now, you guys do rentals. And were there any other companies that were doing rentals when you when you started?
Not in Dunedin. So there was a company that was done before us and we’ve actually become pretty, close with them in the industry, which is big-time cards. They’re actually located in Palm Harbor. They were done eating golf cart rentals at some point. Great company. They’ve also I mean, really impressed a lot of people with their, their their golf cart company and their sales. They’ve come a long way.
But, they were doing rentals before us. And I think they just they just decided to pivot the sales. And that’s kind of where we’re at now. , we’re a year into the rentals. They stopped doing them. We’re going to keep doing them. But we are going to get a launch sale soon. So many people that rent our carts are, I want to buy this thing. Do you sell them? , that’s the question I get from locals all the time. And I normally have to sell them to the guy I bought them from and, I’m just sending tons of businesses way. I’m, it’s not a bad thing.
But we just decided it’s something we want to add to so yes. capture some of that business.
Was that the plan? When do you start out? And rentals? Was it always to transition to sales?
No, We didn’t even have an auto radar. Believe it or not. And I think we didn’t realize how fast we get the rental side of things up and running and efficiently. Right now I feel it’s a pretty well-oiled machine working well. And we might actually clone it in Sarasota and some other cities, eventually. But I think first we want to try the sales side of things.
Before we expand our rental side I just feel it all comes together in Sales Service rentals. Service is going to be the big one. , we have plenty of people that help us with our carts, and, but when you bring it in the shop, it’s gonna be a huge learning experience, so we’re over prepared for it. We got we got a great mechanic who’s onboard and ready to ready to start, ready for us to sell them. And he’s, he’s ready to fix them.
So that’s a good idea to write to keep and figure out your entire process first before you start expanding a little too soon. So you mentioned your website being a challenge. Getting up and started was there anything else starting out?
That that was difficult for the guy that took you off guard that you weren’t expecting? And you could just be, in general, I’m starting a business and this is something. I mean, there’s so many things from the equipment that you need to use, the trailers have so many options. And every decision is stressful and it’s a big decision, you’re, Am I doing the right thing?
Because you’re new to this, I had never even driven the trailer before I started this. And when we first started the first eight months, I did this all by myself. My wife helped with some of the marketing, but she’s a full-time medical sales rep. And she’s really the one that’s allowing me to spread my wings and do this adventure, which I’m super grateful for. But I was delivering the cards, building the website, answering the phones, I did everything I was a one-man show, really?
And so to answer your questions, there’s just so many to even touch on, buying trails, buying the golf carts, I went to so many different vendors, and trying to get the best price, but also get nice carts, we wanted to go for more of a premium feel. As you can see, we definitely have some of the nicest golf carts, any golf cart rental company offers. So that was a huge task. Also, I’ve been I’ve been asked to partner with people along the way, and that was another huge challenge do I give up?
I actually actually partner with people who might make my life easier. But at the same time, do you really want to give it up? , and we’ve had a couple of people that we’ve really gotten close to entertaining partnerships with before and it just didn’t work out, and I don’t regret it. But I will tell you those were the hardest decisions of my life.
Yes, we actually drafted contracts and read the sign and kind of bailed at the last moment, just didn’t feel right. Just didn’t feel right.
I think that’s that’s something that I dealt with too, in business. Because you starting out, you said, you’re a one-man show, you’re the one that’s kind of making all the decisions what direction we go.
So to, build something from scratch and say, this is what we’re going to do. Here’s our mission, here’s our vision, and here’s how it’s going to look, a couple of years from now. And then making all those decisions to, stay on that path. That’s one of the one of the hardest things to do in business, in my opinion.
No doubt. Because there are so many. There are so many different pieces. And you could easily get stuck in. decision fatigue, where you have a hard time saying yes, or moving forward paralysis, by now. I’ve been there many times.
How do you get past that?
I just think it’s easier being a one-man show to get past it. Because there’s nobody else I could have to rely on. And, my wife fully trusts what I do. And she’s, she’s my rock. She’s my support system. She’s just she, she makes me feel better about just making the decisions.
She’s just, Jason, everything you’ve done so far has been successful. Just keep a belt. So I think having that encouragement and support system has just made things easier for me. that’d be a little emotional. Because she is just awesome.
And anybody in business, I think needs that, you need someone to help support you and help lift you up in those challenging times.
One of the things that came to mind where I think for me, it’s you, you’re worried about failing or making the wrong decision, right? Or that shouldn’t be the issue because there are going to be decisions that you make, and it doesn’t work out. I’d hoped that that’s part of building the business read just the most mistakes and move forward. So you mentioned something in your notes before we met, you said that you are an introverted extrovert. You explain that.
So I’m doing a podcast right now. I am super comfortable about it. Now. , the cameras I’m overanalytical. I, there’s a big part of me that exhausts me to do this type of thing, but I am not afraid to do it. , I’m not afraid to go rub elbows. , I’ve made some great relationships with the city of Dunedin city of Clearwater, tons of people around the industry, and yourself.
I don’t know what even though I’m so reserved and shy. I guess my introverted side. There’s something that still pushes me to do these types of things, even though I get so nervous leading up to the events. I think while we were talking, I was on the news a couple of weeks ago. They called me the same day. I was, oh, I’d love to be on when do you want me to, then when you want me to be on today, in two hours, I’m, oh my god, I’m freaking out. Right. I’m, I’m not prepared. I need to do a sprint.
To be prepared for these things. But, as I’ve gotten older, I realized, being over-prepared sometimes makes you even more nervous. So anyway, so I’m kind of getting off-topic there. Long story short, is I am doing these things. But it’s just they’re surgeons. It terrifies me. It’s sometimes just being alone in my own space. And if I can do these things once every couple of months, yes.
I can definitely relate to that. Because I same thing, I’m introverted, but I’m, I’m creating videos and doing a podcast. And, I remember early on when I started the podcast, and now you, I think you kind of get over that introverted side a little bit, when you just start doing things more, and you build that history of, oh, I can do this.
But early on in the podcast, there would be many times when I would or I would think about, Okay, I’m that natural, say, maybe I should just cancel, maybe I’ll reschedule. But I learned early on in my real estate career. You just got to keep showing up, even when you don’t feel it. There’s there’s value in just showing up in those difficult times. And so that’s what I’ve done. And I’ve just, built that history of, I just keep showing up, even when I don’t feel it. And then and then it gives you confidence in those moments where if you’re not quite as prepared as you thought you should be. That you’re going to be alright.
Yes, right. And then, just one on one conversation. Okay. I’m getting into sales. So, I have to be comfortable, just talking in general and it helps people buy their golf carts and all that. None of that terrifies me at all. It’s being in the spotlight. That’s, that’s really kind of the center stage, the big crowds.
And that’s why I think you gotta have your place where you recharge, you said, I can do these every couple of months, or whatever the timeframe is, and then you recharge and then you go out and can do some more. But, it’s helping helping, your your business and your goals for what you want to do in your career.
So what is so for the people who don’t know what let’s go karting is, what are you guys doing? So golf cart rentals, I guess, tell them about your process and how they deal with you.
That’s the thing. So we do golf cart rentals. You can either book on our website, www.letsgocarting.com. Very easy booking process online, or you can just give us a call. It’s a super, super easy process. Our pricing does get better, the longer you read with us.
We do single-day rentals and multi-day rentals. So just, you name it, give us a call. We can try to always work something out. If you have a big event. We do lots of big events. We actually have all of our carts booked in a couple of weeks for the Yom Kippur down-in reunion in Orlando.
So, we don’t normally go that far. But if they’re gonna book all of our carts, we’ll go that far. , so we to do wedding events and all that good stuff. We also offer an hourly rental program at How Severe in Fenway where you could just go up and scan a QR code pick the number of hours you want to take it and go out and just have a have dinner or something.
Similar to bike rentals or scooter rentals?
Yes. Very similar to that. And we’re, as far as I know, we’re the only company that’s doing that from a Belfort perspective right now, so Oh, And then, and then our new adventure is sales. We’re going to be launching our new location, which is off Fort Harrison, right near the new sound amphitheater.
We’re gonna be launching that around early November, maybe December whenever now. We have tons of renovations. We have to get the space ready. We’re finding mold in the building. So we have to remediate that. It’s really become kind of a money pit. But at the end of the day, I just can’t wait to see the final product and we want to make sure it’s perfect. It looks nice and professional.
So that’ll be where you have you have your sales centers. We become by the cards and then your house your rental vehicles and stuff, too.
Yep, we’ll have our rentals there and we’re doing sales there. It’s right next to the sound amphitheater so we’ll also be doing shuttles for the big events whenever they have a big concert that whole parking lot right where our shop is fills up so we help people get from that parking lot to the event so they don’t have to walk and it’s an interesting location.
It’s kind of there’s a lot of barren buildings around us and, there’s some history there that people it would it would intimidate evil butcher from our rental business or right or five minutes away from Clearwater Beach. We’re right down the street from Dunedin.
So if you want to come to get a rental from there, you could just come there and go out for a day, so, it’s a very versatile location. We’ll see how it goes, I think a lot of people always mentioned Scientologists and stuff like that. They’re not bothering anybody. They keep the city clean. I think the city is also trying to just coexist, right?
I think people have been scared going downtown but the city tried to make it an entertainment center. So people from Dunedin and Clearwater, wherever you’re at can come downtown because there’s so much the city does have to offer. And we should we should be able to coexist. ,
Well, there you bring up a good point because I look at Tarpon and Palm Harbor, Dunedin Clearwater, the little downtown areas, there’s so much potential there, right for in Dunedin. It’s probably the doing it the biggest right now. They’re known, right?
We can all go off of that model. They are we’re in tarping carbons got a lot going on, but there’s so much history there too. Which makes these little towns’ downtown areas pretty, pretty cool.
And golf carts have really kind of started unifying cities a little bit. , we were a huge partner with the city of Dunedin. We’re on the golf cart committee with them in the Chamber of Commerce.
They’re trying to partner with Palm Harbor. So it kind of changed some of the roads and the speed limits. So you can get a golf cart from Palm Harbor to the city of Dunedin in the same goes for Clearwater. Our carts are street-legal, which means you can drive on any road at 35 miles per hour or less. So if they change just a few zones, right near Cala DC, honeymoon Island, to 35 miles per hour you can get from Palm Harbor all the way to Madeira Beach on a golf cart. Wow.
So obviously, if you have electricity you got to figure out where to charge along the way. But, it’s it’s really cool to kind of see that evolution, and all the cities want to be part of the golf cart.
So I mentioned before, we have the interview, being in Crystal Beach, and that’s, that’s one of the things too, it’s, you can drive a golf cart and in Crystal Beach, but you can’t really go out of the community. We can’t go downtown Palm Harbor. So that’ll be really cool if you can do that. And you said, oh Palm Harbor, I’ll renounce your beach. That’d be pretty sweet.
I mean, the roads back up with traffic anyway. Yes, the time no one’s going 40-45 miles an hour. And you’re on a beautiful beach road, tons of nice. So everyone just needs to kind of slow down a little bit and take it all in and enjoy it and allow golf carts there. I know.
There’s there’s there’s a big there’s some people that just hate golf carts. It is what it is to see him on social media. But I would say the majority want them here. And they want to they want one themselves. So Oh, for sure. So we’re part we’re hopefully going to this revolution is not going to die down anytime soon. ,
CONNECT WITH JASON:
- Facebook: Let’s Go Carting – Golf Cart Rentals
- Website: www.letsgocarting.com
- LinkedIn: linkedIn/JasonCorbett
CONNECT WITH DONNIE:
- Follow Donnie: @donnie.hathaway
- Follow Palm Harbor Local: @PalmHarborLocal
- For more real estate information – www.thehathaway.group
Stroll through the laid-back streets of the Palm Harbor community with this informative podcast, proudly brought to you by Donnie Hathaway with The Hathaway Group, your trusted guide and local expert in navigating the diverse and ever-changing property landscape of Palm Harbor.
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