February 2009


 My blogger friend, Charlie, left a comment on a recent post that stirred some attention. My wife and I discussed it at length and I even had a few friends ask me about Charlie (look man, you are now famous!). Seriously, his post made me intently think and it has not left my mind. I am going to do my very best but please forgive me in advance for this woefully inadequate answer to some very tough questions.

 Daily, I am humbled by the amazing opportunities that have been placed before me. God has truly blessed my life beyond measure and His grace is the foremost reason for the any perceived success. I can say, without hesitation, that my personal relationship with Jesus is the foundation for my life and provides direction for every step I take. A true relationship, not religious experience or ritual, is my compass for life. While this is THE critical component, I’ll expound on a few other personal reasons to which I can credit.  


Pondering this journey of life that has brought me where I stand today, several things stick out to me. In no particular order, here are some of those other pieces of the puzzle that contribute to my life’s journey – Relationships , Hard Work, Education, A Life of Giving. I could expound exponentially on these and other topics, so lets explore them over the next few posts.

 

Life has not always been a bed of roses and it never will be. Life gets in the way and presents challenges, problems and even heart ache. I believe the key to overcoming life’s obstacles is attitude and determination. You must always remember that “this too shall pass.”

 

This part is for Charlie, but I hope others will benefit as well. I know you think you are stuck in “middle management” and can’t see a way out of that shopping plaza, but I want to share a personal story with you. I have a very good friend who was working as a bank teller (less than middle management) for several years. She was determined to rise above her situation, but with only a HS education she did not know what to do. So, she purposed to be the best bank teller she could be and one thing she did was learn the name of each customer, so that she could properly greet them each time they came into the bank. One of her customers was a man I know well, who ran a very successful business in town. He noticed her commitment, drive and excellent way she performed her work. This man eventually hired her from the bank and she worked for him over 10 years. While there, she completed her college business degree. She was eventually awarded her own franchise and was so successful the company asked her to become a regional manager. Today, this very successful lady owns her own business, makes a VERY comfortable 6 figure income and is genuinely happy with her success.

 

I share this with you to let you know that anything is possible. Sometimes you have to “grind it out” and other times it may come quicker and easier, but it certainly can happen.

 

Striving for The Best! -mwr

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Continuing a glimpse into SPEEDWEEKS, I have wrapped a few days into this post. Friday started with a bang, as the crunch was on to complete deals for the Bud Shootout activities. The biggest was a sampling contract that we literally had 3 days to draft, negotiate and execute before the benefits were began Sat morning. Signatures we exchanged late Friday and our on site camping guests were pleased, as it provided them with a sampling of Old Spice shower products for the upcoming days. During the madness of the day, I snuck away with my family for a few minutes to visit the Budweiser Clydesdales. My new friend, Hans, travels with the horses and their Dalmatian, Barley, 320 days per year. It was neat to be so close to these amazing animals….Mackenzie especially liked going into the stalls with this huge horses!

 

Next up, the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday. Great weather greeted us and the night concluded with a fantastic finish on the track. The ARCA race before the main event was well attended, but, as expected, was a bit of a demolition derby. I did not have any responsibilities during the day, so Amanda and I attended most of the race, but had to watch the finish from home, due to a couple of sick little girls. We spotted Jared from Subway, along with some RoushFenway racing folks during the race. The Shootout is the first change to see some of the change for the upcoming season and this year was no exception. Getting used to all the driver, number, sponsor and team changes will take some time, but here are a few of the most notable – Tony Stewart in the #14; Mark Martin in the #5; Casey Mears in the #07; Clint Bowyer in the #33; Joey Lagano in the #20; Bobby Labonte in the #96….and on and on and on…

 

Sunday was reserved for church and watching the Daytona 500 qualifying on TV. It’s great to see EGR driver Martin Truex, Jr. in the #1 on the pole, but also thrilling to see Daytona Beach resident, Mark Martin, on the outside pole. Looks like we are in for some surprises and new faces during the upcoming season!

 

Monday and Tuesday were pretty quiet on the track, but it seemed that the last minute deals and ticket sales were non-stop. A few track visits, combined with meeting on projects and contract completion for the weekend were the main highlights…Nothing too exciting there, but tons of work for sure. Wednesday will bring the start of a flurry of activity culminating with The Great American Race on Sunday!

 

Striving for The Best! -mwr

Sunday I had the amazing opportunity to attend SuperBowl XLIII. Settling into my seat, I quickly realized I was sitting next to law school classmate whom I’d not seen since graduation day. We talked for a while and he said something to me that many people have said before…”Man, you have a very cool job!” I have been blessed with a great career opportunity and while running around today (trying to think of a blog topic), I thought one or two of you may be interested in a glimpse of what a sports and entertainment lawyer does on a daily basis. I will certainly get back to the “regular” topics of this blog, but let’s see how this goes for a few days during this celebration of motorsports we like to call “SPEEDWEEKS”…

 

Driving past the Speedway today, you can’t help but notice the sea of color that has descended upon the town – race team haulers, thousands of campers, souvenir trailers and displays from corporate America galore. You can feel the excitement in the air and know that SPEEDWEEKS is upon us! In the office (corporate headquarters for ISC and NASCAR) there are new faces mixed in with the regulars… out of town coworkers have also descended on Daytona Beach. Today was filled with scores of last minute contracts and contract changes, all which need to be ready by Saturday and the Budweiser Shootout event. By 12:30 our team had turned out at least 20 contracts or revisions to contracts.

 

Lunch consists of a drive through and a visit to the Worlds Center of Racing. I spent some time helping my friends at Daytona “place” the large jumbotron units located outside the track (making sure we conform with the City sign codes). Star at turn 1, then a trip through the new tunnel, the infield and over to turn 4, right next to the amazing Budweiser Clysdales. Then it was off to a development meeting to discuss the projects and back to the office for a conference call, negotiation of a few remaining deals and SPEEDWEEKS sponsorship issues.

 

Striving for The Best! – mwr

 

Firstly, you do have a very intriguing job, something to look forward to, unlike my lousy job. You have real responsibility. The only thing I have to worry about is poppy seeds on a bagel. I am in middle management at Einstein Bagels. As you climb seamlessly up the never ending corporate ladder, I struggle to get out of this god forsaken shopping plaza! Before Einstein’s I worked as night shift manager at Big Lots. It was the worst 7 years of my life. And unlike you I came home to screaming children and a depressed nag happy wife. Sometimes I feel like the walls are closing in on me. Sorry for the rant, but how do you do it? Honestly I’m struggling to keep afloat over here, and you are getting to brag about your great job to your old buddy at the Super Bowl!! Are you kidding!! I truly envy you, and your amazing life!! Don’t get me wrong I know you have worked for and deserve everything you have. I just want some answers as to how you go about getting all the great aspects of your life. Keep up the great blogging. Your friend, Charlie.

 

Ed. Note – I mistakenly deleted this post, so I am reposting it and the main comment for you to read and enjoy. -mwr