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A career in tuning cars - What route did you take?

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Hello all, I am seeing how everyone was able to start their profession careers in tuning. Currently, I work at a shop and we have a tuner that has been here since the company opened and while I love what I do (Service manager), I would prefer to be the person behind the keyboard. Thankfully, with us having a dyno already I do have experience with operating and tuning my own vehicles with standalone ECU's (turbo and NA cars) and have done a fair bit of road tuning for friends cars. In the 4 years I have been here I have been able to pick up a lot of tips, tricks, and knowledge of a lot of ECU software such as EcuTek, Uprev, Haltech, AEM, Link, etc.

Since there is no formal qualifications in this industry, it definitely makes it difficult to be able to go to a shop and say "Hi I would like to be your tuner". Which leads me to my question. How did you get started? Tuning other peoples cars for them? Renting out a dyno and tuning it for them on the dyno or tuning it on the street? How did you build your client base? Word of mouth, social media? Did you do remote tuning?

Thank you

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