Change: It’s hard, scary, and totally worth it. Also: Donuts and Bacon

We’ve all heard the quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, in which case point me in your direction. It sounds peaceful and me (and my bottle of wine) would love to shack up next door.

The quote, often misattributed to Albert Einstein, first appeared in a Narcotics Anonymous text in 1981.

How ironic that I’d be using advice given to addicts to discuss the state of the racing industry. NOT.

Aside from you under the rock, how many of us have heard racetracks complaining about how hard it is to fill seats? Not enough viewers for TV broadcasts? How many of us have complained that there aren’t enough sponsors in the sport?

Guess what? Nothing will ever change unless you try something new.

And the tough fact is that everything you try won’t work, so you’ll have to try lots of things before you succeed.

Sounds hard? It is. But the alternative is death. Or not racing. (Same?)

Here’s a useless fact about me: I avoid my own mailbox three days a week for fear of having to face a certain weekly publication.

Side rant: It should only be one day since it’s mailed on the same day every week, but it always arrives on a different day. Thanks, USPS, for not one but three days of mailbox-Russian-Roulette.

ANYWAY. This publication has always been a running joke in our house, and not because of its wit and bravado. It’s the offensive number of typos, misquotes, inaccuracies and errors that make it to print.

But lately, I haven’t found it so funny.

I used to just avoid the mailbox and pretend like I don’t see it on the counter when someone else – not naming names (CARL) – has the gall to bring it in.

This week, I was going through back issues and got downright incensed. And that’s when I realized; it’s not the typos that offend me so much.

It’s the fact that the content isn’t interesting enough to distract me from the typos.

That enrages me because there are AMAZING stories to be told in the racing community. We all have a passion that’s ignited by this sport, and if you can find a racer that doesn’t have an interesting history, opinion, or thought to share, I will give you a unicorn.

Or something like that.

I just can’t handle the complaining about subscriber numbers dropping when I’m reading a newspaper full of press releases and results. WHO CARES WHO WON A RACE FIVE DAYS AGO?!

If I actually cared about who won that race (or what the track’s PR person officially thought about it), I would have gotten on the interwebs the next day to read all about it. If I didn’t have the Internet, I would be a dying market, first of all, and second I would pick up my rotary phone and call a friend who knew a guy who has the Internet.

You don’t have to drop the results all together. But put that $h*t in the back and tell me a story I can’t read anywhere else.

It’s that simple.

We all know how to lose weight: put down the donut. If you love donuts so much that you can’t bear to part with them, cut out the pasta. Love pasta, too? Get on the treadmill. (See where I’m going here?)

If you want to lose weight, you will keep trying different ways to do it until you find what works. The same goes with everything else in life.

At the end of the day, I will continue to pay this publication to enrage me every week because I think it’s important to support those who promote racing even if I don’t agree with how they do it. I will also let them know when they’re wrong – okay, not every time but when I find the self-control to edit the f-bombs out – and hope that they will change. In which case, I will call them up and say, “You, you terrible proofreaders, YOU WIN! I will now run to my mailbox every week to read your meaningful stories. Let’s get married.”

Want your stuff to change?

Try something different. (Repeat.)

 It’s hard, scary and totally worth it. And it’s your only option if you want to succeed.

Cheers to that.



P.S. If you do decide to put down the donuts, you have my permission to throw them away. HOWEVER, if you decide to give up bacon and you don’t call me to relieve you of your stash, we will never be friends. Kidding. (NOT.)

P.P.S. Just for fun:

Example: Resign or Re-Sign? Big difference. HUGE.

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About the author

Kristin Swartzlander Kristin Swartzlander is passionate about applying business sense to racing 'nonsense' in hopes of growing the sport of dirt track racing. She is a business strategist who works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them learn how to use public relations, marketing and social media to achieve their goals. Learn more about social media, marketing and racing sponsorship on the DirtyMouth blog.