by Rich Klein
A few weeks ago, I alluded to my wife’s friends who were at my birthday party. What I didn’t mention is that many of them are very fortunate in one way and incredibly deprived in another way. Some of them were gifted with enough money to live comfortably and not have to work at a real job. They have some fine qualities. For the most part they do not drink, do drugs or have other bad habits. They also have no real interest in their lives other than, as I like to tell them, deciding which restaurant to go to for dinner. In addition, they seem to be in a state of suspended animation as they have never had to grow up but instead are perpetual teenager in terms of emotional maturity.
This weekend, though, I realized what they were truly lacking. The first realization came when I stopped in at my synagogue and slipped into a Torah study on a Saturday and was immediately struck by a group of about 15 people actively discussing what some people consider one of the most mundane passages about a census just before everyone reaches the land now called Israel. The discussion was lively and every person in the room obviously cared deeply about the past.
The second realization came when I was reading a Facebook post by Rob Veres, the owner of Burbank Sports Cards, coming to his store about 8 a.m. and being the seventh person to arrive for work. Rob was very pleased about that, as he should be, and used that to show how good his employees are. Being able to instill that excitement among his employees is a sign that Rob has hit upon a great formula for success. I just checked the Burbank web site this morning and saw they have added five million cards to their inventory and now have almost two million different cards available; crazy numbers indeed.
In that thread, Tim Getsch, the owner of COMC.com, responded with how he pulled an overnight shift at work and when he left at 6 a.m., there were already six employees busy at their jobs. As we have discussed there are tons of similarities between the growth of Beckett Publications during their early years and COMC’s growth in this decade. Dr. Beckett was also a night owl back in the 80’s. He would run the company during the day but after everyone had gone home, he’d stick around and do most of the book or magazine pricing. That was the case until the price guide cavalry started arriving in 1989-1990.
These posts show that both Tim and Rob have been able to inspire their employees to have the same passion for the hobby they themselves have. In addition, many of the people we have featured in previous Ramblings and will discuss as time goes on, also have this passion. Sports Collectors Daily editor Rich Mueller works long hours to make this a go-to site for hobby news so he has the passion as well.
Would your passion rather be in discussing what Chili’s to go to for dinner or how to make your company better? I think most of us would choose to spend time with the people who wrap themselves up in something that truly matters.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]