If you think it’s symbolic that New Year comes with sub-zero temperatures and corresponding chill to the human spirit, take a minute to consider that the only remedy to your personal blues…is you!
Happy New Year, of course, to all of you who have helped make the Press Pros Magazine endeavor, now seven years young, what appears to be a day-by-day success. I say day-by-day because I’ve never taken anything for granted in business. And that’s what it is – business. Small business, but business, nonetheless!
And on this New Year’s weekend I’ll take a moment to address so many of you who stop me in stadiums and gyms – like our frequent email respondent ‘Syl’ (who’s real, by the way) – and say that you wished we would do more to cover all the schools, stories, and athletes of our market equally. And I smile. Because while it’s wishful thinking, it cannot be done. And one could say the same for Sports Illustrated. There are a lot of good stories that they don’t write, as well, and they’ve been at it now for more than sixty years. Every business, regardless of size, has its limitations.
On this New Year’s Sunday morning I broke my own vow made last year, after the election of Trump, and spent New Year’s Eve morning watching Meet The Press. Like many of you, I get tired of the contrived arguments of one side versus the other of whether we’re going to hell in a hand basket because we elected a rogue personality that no one can seem to control; and one that doesn’t seem to care if anyone likes him or not.
And, I don’t pick favorites. I don’t watch Meet The Press, Face The Nation, CNN, CNBC or FOX. I hate to sound complicit, but to me it’s all fake rhetoric – just talking heads trying to sell their political agendas…and advertising to justify it. It’s tiresome, and it doesn’t help me in my day to day. And frankly, it doesn’t help you, either. Life goes on, and regardless of who’s in the White House you get out of it in proportion to what you put into it. It was more expensive with last president, personally, but I did OK. With this one, the new tax law bodes better for the immediate future, but again…it’s largely on me to make it happen.
To the issue, again, of this website and the daily question of why we do – and how we do – it’s a matter of opportunity. I pick up a newspaper nearly every day and marvel at how thin they are, compared to just seven years ago, when Press Pros first breathed life.
The same can be said for other media across the state, who’ve cut staff to a bare minimum in order to survive against the onslaught time and change – the challenge to do more with less. Not that they’re doing as much as the traditionals once tried to do, but you pick your market, your story, and do it best, first, and consistently. And that’s the story of Press Pros Magazine.
I, like many others, saw this coming a decade ago. After 24 years in retail and almost five years in radio with Frontier Broadcasting, I realized that I had come to a personal crossroads in my life. I was 55 years old, and the education and skills that I had amassed for the previous 30 years were leaving me vulnerable. Culture was changing. Attitudes were changing. And yes, opportunity was changing, as well. Technology and automation were taking the place of people and traditional employment. And yet, I wasn’t ready to retire, either emotionally or financially, and that fire still burned to compete and achieve a legacy of personal success, if for no one else but me.
This was, of course, a financial risk, now seven years into and over a quarter million dollars invested in people, equipment, and technology. And by the mere fact of our longevity (if you call seven years long), it’s been a model for competition. In fact, I can count on both hands now the number of would-be Press Pros around Ohio that have sprung up…and already closed.
It’s a lot of work – A LOT OF WORK – and work that I liken to those families who have dairies. There are no days off, no weekends, and rarely a vacation that doesn’t involve a laptop and monitoring what’s going on while you’re enjoying ‘down time’. It’s hard on family. It’s hard on your health, because the day-to-day stress of responsibility and fulfilling on that which you promise takes its toll.
But it’s no different, either, from any other job where obsessive commitment is necessary for ultimate success. No one who’s successful in life dabbles at what they do. And that’s the message I share with anyone who wants to work at, or follow the example, of Press Pros. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the car business, insurance, or retail. If you own IT…IT owns you!
Why am I sharing this? Because this is the week of new year’s resolutions, when people are going to whine about their lot in life and pledge to do better in 2018.
Some are going to lose weight, or so they say. They want to get their health back.
Some are going to manage their lives better – establish better priorities.
Some are going to pledge to work harder, and make more money, and make that money work for them.
It’s all wonderful…IF YOU DO IT!
If you don’t, it’s just more ‘fake news’. If you’re not happy with your life, or your prospects for life on January 1, there’s but one solution. You prioritize. You take some risk. And you obsess on seeing through the personal change that’s necessary for success. And, the odds aren’t in your favor.
I’ve been told that many times over the past seven years. But I’m diligent, and I recognize that if you do things in the manner you’ve always followed you might actually fail. Remember, this is a new age. It requires different thinking. It requires different risk if YOU WANT a different reward. And frankly, there is no choice.
It’s the dawn of the best/worst new year yet, at least that’s what they were saying on the Sunday news shows. But it’s up to you to take that chance…to be what you’ve never been before. Believe me, I know.
Or, let’s get together again next New Year’s Eve…for more resolutions!