The question doesn’t faze Bull Earnhardt because he has answered it so many times.
“Is that really your name?” And the answer is yes. Bull is his real name.
His mom tells the story of when he was born and how his grandfather, the late Arizona icon Tex Earnhardt, came to the maternity ward to see his newest grandchild. He took commercial license and slapped an Earnhardt – No Bull bumper sticker on the bassinet. From then on, the nurses started referring to the newborn as the ‘No Bull Baby.’
“I guess it just stuck, and with a little urging from my grandpa, my mom chose that as my birth name,” Bull said.
The 38-year-old businessman is the third generation of Earnhardts working in the family automobile business founded in 1951. It consists of 23 dealerships and 17 different brands, and today it is one of the largest auto groups in the country.
“When I was 16, Grandpa gave me a new Ford pickup truck and said, ‘Now get to work!’”
“I started in the car wash and, over time, have held every position there is. His motive was evident as it taught me the importance of having a solid work ethic,” Bull said.
Today he is general manager of Earnhardt Lexus. “That’s no small thing given that the dealership moved clear across town just a few years ago, which was almost like starting from scratch,” he said.
Earnhardt said that he and his family members and all of the employees work exceptionally hard to carry on the philosophy of Tex, which is to treat people just as you would like to be treated. “We sell a product, but we are really in the people business.”
Bull grew up in Chandler along with his extended family, which is where Tex settled and opened the first dealership. He attended ASU, earning a degree in finance, and got married to his wife Alexis a year after graduating in 2005. “We were high school sweethearts and were introduced by her cousin. Both of our families have known each other since the 50s. I guess you could say it was meant to be,” he said.
However, Bull does admit that he took nothing for granted. “Alexis got a job with NBC right out of college, and all of a sudden she was 3,000 miles away. I took 15 redeye flights to New York in just one year because I wasn’t going to let a good thing slip out of my hands.”
Bull and Alexis have two daughters, Estee, 9, and Evalee, 6, and say that they always wanted to raise their family in Arcadia, though admitting it was tough pulling up roots in Chandler.
“There’s no other neighborhood in Arizona that looks and feels like Arcadia,” Bull said. “You just can’t beat the large lots and ranch-style architecture, the bike paths, and all the citrus trees. My family loves it here.”
When he isn’t working six days a week, Bull loves to play golf and spend time with his wife and daughters. Asked about the best advice he has ever received, he quickly said, “You can’t like what you do, you have to love what you do.”
Sage yet honest advice from the same guy who also liked to say, “That ain’t no bull!”