Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Personal Note & Background

I am getting an email here and there about the blog. It is nice to hear comments. A couple questions have been asked - about the time it takes to do, and my interest in the business - things like that.

So, let's answer a few of those type questions.

First, the posts are easy-peasy to do. I have read a lot of racing books and theory, been a fan of harness racing since I was a child, and I have been a fan of betting and gambling theory for many years. I would think the interest in gambling stemmed from my interest in the stock market at a young age (I once bought and sold stocks between and during university classes during the 1987 stock market crash). If I could hazard a guess I would say I have about 50 racing & gambling books and about 20 books on stock trading and theory.

So, a lot of my thoughts are already 'upstairs' and somewhat second-nature. In general, I would say it takes sometimes ten, or sometimes twenty minutes to get a post like this up. Not long.

In early 2001, a friend and I became partners (me minor, him major) with an advertising idea, specializing in the Internet (no we don't do spam :)). A few years later that grew into a real business. We just had our 250th client a month or two ago and we have sold 20,000 or so books and guides on Internet business. We have ten people with us now and we're kind of proud how it has grown, in a humble way. We're certainly not special, we're fortunate; and we just try stuff to help folks with their business. I guess that explains why you see marketing references in several posts to racing. It's fun for me to talk about. I hope people like reading it.

Since I consult with many of these companies to help grow their business (our early company motto was "We do stuff, your company grows"), I think that explains my take on harness racing, as well, and why sometimes I am hard on the powers that be with my opinion. I get to see some awesome stuff working with people in myriad businesses. For example, one man who financed virtually his entire life on credit cards, started with less than nothing. Now he has a growing company and has been featured in several magazines as an unqualified success. He did it. He did not say, nor did he ever say "I can't". In another business, I worked with a fella who by himself had a small website and a passion. He did not know what to do with it, or where it could go. Three short years later - millions of hits and mega-business. He's a fantastic guy and I could not be happier for him. Another gentleman I got to work with was with a large company you all would know, but was simply an "employee" of that business. You would not know it, though. He worked, and worked and worked like it was his own business. Simply one of the best executives I have ever seen. He had a passion for a company that was not even his own.

I have noticed that these people have one thing in common: They are passionate, they are smart, they try things, work hard and last but not least - they never say never.

It is how I feel about racing. I want people in it who never say never. I want people who treat the business of racing like it is their own and will not settle for mediocrity. I want people, who when they hit a brick wall, they reach for the nearest sledge-hammer. We need a healthy dose of entrepreneurship in racing, like some of the people I am fortunate enough to work with every day. We have to work hard and take the word can't from our vocabulary. We have to take the shackles off. And let's roll.

So there you go. Nothing too interesting, but I hope that answers some questions.

I see the hits from you on the blog - from Sweden to Canada to the US to Australia - even one from Russia. Thank you all for reading and commenting and emailing, I really appreciate it.

Note: For another background piece; I did one for harnesslink. I notice that they ran that this evening. You can read it here if you'd like. It's a true story. The other person in the story that day is now self-employed as a professional gambler, and has been so successfully for years. Glad to see one of us learned how to bet :) The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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