The past five years of my life have opened the doors to my mind – I’ve been reflecting on what has happened since I started endurance racing in full fire gear as Fireman Rob. To be honest, I’ve made many mistakes along the way, challenged myself to things I didn’t think would be possible, spent a lot of money (which my family is still recovering from), and tried, to the best of ability, to be everything to everybody.
This journey has been a major learning experience, from understanding sponsorship, the expenses of racing, and putting the effort in day in and day out to follow a path that has a high rate of failure in the end. I wanted to make sure that I said thank you to all those who gave time, money, and effort to help me over the past five years to inspire people around the world. My goals were simple – One – inspire people to follow what they are passionate about. Two – remember and honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 and to remember how we all came together as a family to move forward.
What happened? I found out that I needed to find me and help myself heal from the things that I had been hiding for 10 years. I had never dealt with my demons. The demons that had, unbeknown to me, reprogrammed my mental framework, not allowing me to move forward in life. It sucked and I had no idea that I needed to do something about it. I was so lost that I didn’t even know that I was lost. Even though mistakes were made, I don’t regret anything in my life. To the sponsors, thank you believing in me and supporting my journey. It was definitely a learning experience and I hope that I made each of you proud to be a part of this journey.
The one thing that did bother me was the difference in perspectives on what Return On Investment (ROI) is. ROI is what most businesses utilize to validate their investment in something or someone. I’ve learned throughout this journey that business philosophy has a wide range of opinions on what is important. Although sales and money are obviously important drivers of success it’s not the only thing, especially in today’s market. The importance of aligning your brand with quality sponsorship’ across the media outlets is critical. Consumers are more educated and ultimately more influenced by people similar to themselves that are doing extraordinary things. Yes, there is an influence by celebrities and professionals in sales, yet understanding the ROI of an influential individual who is relatable to your consumer base is incredibly impactful.
To me, ROI (Return On Investment) is more than what can be seen on your profit and loss statement. It’s much deeper than that. It’s about creating loyalty to your brand and a relatability to the brand and your customers, and most of all being real. The profit comes from the association and the revenue will follow.
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