November 2008


It has been a crazy few weeks, but I’ve got some good stuff coming for the blog. I refuse to be a blogger who just types a few sentences or quotes and calls it an entry. That is cool for some, but I am striving for a blog with content and some depth. (Even though this post is shaping up to be just that – a few sentence blog.) So, stay tuned for some upcoming posts – some topics I am contemplating include: “Thankful p.t 2.” “88.” “Significance.”

 

Also, just finished reading “the Shack.” Good read, which stole some of my sleep (and blog) time in the last few days. Check it out if you have some time this holiday week to read.

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I would be remiss if I did not offer congrats to Jimmy Johnson and the #48 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship race team today. Fantastic accomplishment by a top notch organization. JJ and crew have tied Cale Yarborough’s record of 3 straight – the only other driver to do this 30 years ago. He now ranks 4th on the list of all time champions behind only Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon (none of whom won 3 straight). Petty summed it up the best “Just to win three period is big. Three in a row?” Wow!

 

Like him or not, this guy knows how to drive a race car and win championships! Incredible accomplishment. My favorite thing about Jimmy and team is that they are not yet satisfied. They are already looking toward 2009 and Chad Knaus (crew chief) says “To get four championships in a row, you have to get three,” about 10 minutes into the press conference.

 

I’ll probably post more on reflections of the 2008 season soon. Big things happened this year – 50th Running of the Daytona 500; Dale Jr. in the 88; Kyle Bush dominate early; Sponsorship issues and teams folding; Tony Stewart’s final season in the #20; Gnassi-DEI Merger and much more. Let us know if you have favorite moments of the 2008 Sprint Cup Season in the comment section below.

 

Srtiving for the Best! -mwr

My new friend, Charlie, posed a question that is gripping the nation right now – should the government bail out the US auto manufacturers? While this post has taken me a while to craft, it corresponds with the start of a lame duck Congressional session on this exact issue. I’m no expert on this subject, but have watching with great interest. It’s no secret that the motorsports industry has had a long standing partnership with the auto manufacturers. I have business associates, turned friends, who are employed by the “Big 3” and been involved with all of them. This issue came to the forefront for me a few months back when GM announced it would not renew its NASCAR track sponsorships. Even this weekend, GM’s announcements have even created a stir in the NASCAR garages. This Washington Post article details some of the issues we face – “Big three apply brakes to NASCAR Sponsorship.”

 

To get back to Charlie’s question, here is the quandary I struggle with – should the US taxpayer bear the burden to prop up businesses that can not sustain themselves? Regardless of the reason for why they are not profitable, when a small business does not make money the owner inevitable has to shut their doors. Even closer to home, (more…)

Received a peculiar comment yesterday from my last post that went something like this “You must not be too busy or important if you are blogging from work.” I resisted the temptation to respond back that taking 15 seconds in the day to post a blog is much different than blogging on the job. I even approved the comment here, though it was from “Anonymous” who provided a bogus email address. So today, I’m linking to one of my favorite blogs from Penelope Trunks Brazen Careerist guest blogger Ryan Headly entitled “Making time for a blog and a full time job.” Good read, especially if you have ever thought about blogging.

 

Blogging has not been as easy as first thought. The first few days were simple, but continuing on a long term basis is not. Relevant topics that people will actually read are sometimes hard to determine and develop. When they come, topics hit me at weird moments and sometimes take days to fully craft. To answer my new friends comment, I end up writing them when I can – at night, early in the morning, at lunch, etc. I have never thought of myself to be very important, but it seems I am always busy. I hope that these posts are helpful to the majority of you. If they help just one person, my mission is complete. I just hope “Anonymous” is not reading this post while on the job…

 

Striving for the Best! -mwr

I am asked often “What do you do every day?” Here’s a glimpse of a semi-completed project I have been working on daily for over 2 years. There is not enough room on this site to bore you with all the details (including numerous ups and downs) of how we progressed to this stage, but I’ve profiled the Daytona Live! project in Daytona Beach a few times on this blog – here and here and here. With construction now “vertical,” everyone on the outside is beginning to see the fruits of our labor.

 

The office building, which will be the new world headquarters for International Speedway Corporation, NASCAR and Grand Am, is under construction and changing the landscape of W. International Speedway Blvd in Daytona Beach.  I snapped a few quick pics this morning so you could see the building a few months into construction. When complete, it will be 185,000 square feet spread out over 8 stories.

The other construction project I have been involved with on the fringe is our new church in Ormond Beach. Troy has dedicated his blog to progress on that project, so click on this link if you want to see the progress there too.

  

There are other aspects of my work that I will blog about in future posts, but there is a look into a project that has consumed the better part of 2 years!

 

Striving for the Best! -mwr

Today is my birthday! What a great day. I awoke to a sweet “Happy Birthday” from my wife and oldest daughter (who decided my bed was better than hers last night), closely followed by a call from my brother and oldest nephew, Hunter, screaming “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, UNCLE MATT!!!!” I even received the best compliment from him, reserved for only his favorite people – “I love you stinky butt.” Then Mackenzie proceeded to grab the phone and hold a 3yr old conversation with her cousin for the next 20 minutes.  Those very fun moments were followed by a flood of Facebook notes, phone calls and birthday cards (even on a day when the mail does not run). I am so feeling the love today!

 

Since this blog is my outlet to the world, I want to express sincere gratitude for all the wonderful things in my life. I have been afforded amazing opportunities and owe debts to far more people than I could even name. God has bless me with a wonderful family, an awesome wife, fantastic & healthy children, a Godly heritage and upbringing, a beautiful home, food in the fridge, money in the bank, an education, great friends (Jon, Al, Pastor, Troy, Jeremy, and Tomas, all get a shout out ‘cause you actually blog), an AWESOME church, many opportunities to serve Him and others and the list goes on and on and on.

 

Life is great and I am humbled to have the privilege of walking it out each day!

 

Striving for the Best! -mwr

Inexperience is a simple way to describe not having experience, YET. Everyone faces the quandary of having minimal experience in various situations. It occurs when you start a new job or begin a career. This position doesn’t just happen to young people. In fact, older people are sometimes the worst at dealing with the inexperience that accompanies a situational change. No matter the circumstance, inexperience can be a valuable position, if properly utilized.

 

Highly effective individuals consciously use their inexperience as a benefit and not a hindrance. The first few years of your career or few months of new employment are periods when you can ask questions and get away with not “knowing the ropes.” Don’t take this to the extreme, but you will generally learn more and receive help from others if you simply take the time to ask intelligent questions. Use this time to evaluate yourself and the organization you have joined. It will prove critical to your future success as a professional and with that particular establishment.

 

Your inexperience will also present the opportunity to look at a situation from a fresh perspective and offer insightful direction, change or even an appreciation for what is already in place. (Penelope has a great blog about the first 90 days of a new job). I spoke to a friend of mine today who just took a new job, in a new city. As soon as he stepped foot in the building, he knew there were problems. (Here’s another great blog about the interview vs. actual job difference.) However, the existing people who have been invested for years have been looking the other way. Tough decisions had to be made, so… (more…)

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