I Believe In Me

I Believe In Me

I have spent much of my adult life making other people and other businesses money. And not small amounts of money, either. 

In one of my first jobs I took over a department and slashed $550,000 in waste in my first year. In another job I was put in charge of a very  small business that had lost more than $10,000 in the previous year and turned a $21,000 profit the year I took over.

I once took over a basketball tournament that had gone bankrupt the year before. My boss told me not to lose $20,000 doing putting the event on. After paying each team a small fee for participating, paying all the officials, paying for the venue and giving away several $1,000 scholarships, the basketball tournament made a few thousand dollars.

I’ve always worked hard to put the businesses I worked for first in my life. I’ve been proud of my work ethic. What I have failed to do all along that time is take care of myself. I’ve made a few dollars here and there. However, I have always  been left to scratch out a middle-class living.

Recently my longtime business mentor visited Las Vegas. This is a man who DID make it big. He worked hard, made sure he had ownership/control over the ventures he worked for, sold stuff for a premium price and retired early.

We bonded again over a few hours at a poker table talking about my life in Las Vegas, my current job situation and the stuff I really wanted to do. A few days after he flew back to Kansas City I received this note in the mail.

It read, “Chad, Great to see you. Our time together was great fun. Your abilities are worth a lot. Cover all bases on your decisions ahead. Call if you in town (sic). Your friend, Jay.

It was an unexpected note that I have read at least once a day every day since I received it almost a month ago.

I realized after seven years in Las Vegas I am doing what I have always done — helping make a giant corporation as much money as I can, while not really looking out for myself.

That changes today.

I am tired of putting on a suit and tie daily. I’m tired of being told when I will come to work, when I can go to lunch and when I can go home. To corporations, people are fungible. They are easily replaced. I can say without a doubt that my previous employers didn’t miss me one single day after I left. The business simply replaced me with someone else, perhaps even someone cheaper, and moved on down the road.

Starting today, I am building an empire for me and for my son. I am going to be the CEO of my entire life. I am going to take the risk,  because I understand how great the reward can be. 

I believe in me.

Keeping It All Going

Keeping It All Going

After another losing session of live poker — six straight losses and nine of the last 10 (ugh!) I decided to take a day or so off to work on some other aspects of my business.

From 2003-10 I owned a business in Kansas City called Monster Sports LLC. Despite its clunky name Monster Sports LLC was moderately successful. The business started by doing on-air radio work and growing an apparel business. I would eventually manage coaches associations, market and consulting for a major bar and grill chain and a small Catholic college, and even tried to bring a Kansas vs. Missouri high school football series to Arrowhead Stadium.

After the economic downtown of 2008-09, I accelerated my plan to wrap up by business and relocate to Las Vegas. I gave away much of the business to other people and moved to Las Vegas in January 2010.

Monster Sports LLC is set to make a comeback in 2014. It’s going to take some rebranding, but it all part of my plan to work for myself and control my own future. It seems like the universe was listening to my desires because just as I decided to go my own way business-wise an old friend called about doing some television work in Las Vegas. My Las Vegas friends don’t know this, but a decade ago I was a television sportscaster for a local cable station in Kansas City. I am looking forward to a paid gig at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

I am also writing a paid weekly poker column for a Boulder City/Henderson paper call The Shopper. The owner is a good friend who supported me well when I was in poker management business.

By taking Friday off to concentrate on my business, my home and just clear my head I was more than prepared to take on the weekly $10K guaranteed prize pool tournament at Binion’s in downtown Las Vegas. The tournament goes off every Saturday at 2PM.

binions_poker_chips
Every Saturday at 2PM, Binion’s hosts a $10K guaranteed prize pool poker tournament.

Since I hadn’t played a live tournament in two months I chose this one due to the large starting stacks and 30-minute levels. I figured if I had some rust to shake out of the system I could afford to make a mistake or two here and still survive.

I played well for the first few hours steadily but unspectacularly building my chip stack. As the tournament got down to three tables I caught some cards and played better. When we got to the final table I was second in chips.

With seven players left I was still second in chips, but the chip leader had amassed more than half of all the chips in play. This led to some other player to clamor for a chop. Seventh place was paying $455 and the chop was netting $1052. I think I could have held out for another elimination or two. After nine hours of play, however, I decided to take the chop.

Just like that I am back in the black in poker, and the rest of my business is coming together as well.

Previous Bankroll: $836
Current Bankroll: $1,431

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