Thursday, January 6, 2011
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL?
I could have picked a better niche to try to be successful, but instead I chose "chess." I won't go into that now. I am trying to make something positive happen that seldom has or ever has, been successful--doing well in chess as a business. Arnold Denker made the comment that he was the first millionaire in chess. Well, he certainly stretched the point as he was also in real estate (unreal estate?) and that's where he made it.
Kasparov and Karpov probably made it though they too have done a lot of other things, especially Kasparov.
About 1990 or 1991 someone wanted to buy into my fledgling chess business because he liked the way it was run. He wanted to be the CEO and make me president. I was trying to save my home from being taken by the bank. I had used it as collateral for a typesetting desktop service business (in the end I lost my house). He started out with an offer that would have saved my house and repaid the bank. But the more we negotiated the more he started dropping the value of his offer. If you know me at all, this was not a ploy destined to work.
One day he called me and made a new offer since I hadn't responded positively to his previous offers and I had to reiterate why he was disingenuous, how he screwed up a deal with me and another publisher by butting in when he wasn't even yet a part owner. Then we had to do the old "go ---- a rolling doughnut" euphemism. A year or two later I dropped him a line re-telling of a business plan I had proposed to him and was now completed, and how it did. The results were in with sales of 125% more than projected. He expressed astonishment and I said, "You didn't believe I could do it did you?" I guessed right, when he added, "no." Needless to say, who needs a partner like that?
Well, it's 2011, and unless it is the end of the world, or the US government completely flips out, I expect a decent year. Why? Because a few years ago someone told me "you aren't generous." This was a sour grapes thing as I performed many valuable services (in the thousands) but no longer had the cash to help this person from folding up their tent and leaving the scene of an "accident" they had caused with no help from me. So I am determined to show this person (a weakness of mine) that like Fast Eddie Felson said in The Color of Money, "I am back!" Business income was up significantly last year (but so were expenses--that will flatten out somewhat in 2011).
Why am I telling you this? Because you can expect more and more from Bob Long and TPi in 2011. I am monitoring the website concept, working on the Purdy Chess Chronicles, book reprints, the Chess Reports, etc. Even some formats will change as I experiment with DVDs and CDs as well as the Chess Book Camp format. God willing and the creek don't rise, you can expect 2011 to be a great year for you too. You will see what I mean should you take the plunge and subscribe to The Chess Reports ($69.95 for the 10 issues of Semester 10). The ideas seem endless. Which ones will be chosen?
As the competitors ignore me at their own peril, you will have the fun out of chess you should be having. I am working on a NEW book for the Chess Book Camp on a topic that has almost NO LITERATURE on it and yet it is one of the MOST important fundamentals in chess as you sit down at the board, play a few moves and then ask yourself, "What do I do now?" I will tell you. Years ago a friend told me, "Living a good life is the best revenge." That's true isn't?