MOD 005: Handle the politics that mess with your races

Merchants of Dirt Episode #5

Learn why you should know the political issues surrounding racing on public land before they mess with your race promotion business.

MOD at DCPodFest

I went to the DCPodFest in Washington DC this weekend and recorded a live segment of the Merchants of Dirt Podcast.

Special thanks to Justin Emery from New Media Studios who provided the time and equipment to record my segment.

Key Take Away #1: You cannot escape the politics in racing

We often think that off-road racing sits outside the political struggles of Washington DC.

You think your carefully scheduled, mapped-and-ready trail fun doesn’t seem like a place you would find politics anyway.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, even off-road racing has been politicized.

By avoiding the actions of your politicians, they acting in your best interest without you.

They passed bills, laws, and new regulations hundreds of miles from your races, without any of your input.

It’s only when these bills, laws, and regulations have a direct impact on your races, do you suddenly notice something is wrong.

That is why you can no longer put your head in the sand and pretend politics do not have an impact on your races.

Especially when you go about operating a business, using public land, operating a business ON public land, or just trying to make money with that business in general.

Many race promoters do not want to even think about politics.

They often say, “Leave me out of the politics. I just want to build races”.

Sorry.

You cannot avoid it any longer!

To be successful race promoter, you need to be aware of the people making the political decisions that will have a huge economic effect on how you plan, promote, and direct your events.

In this season of political drama, you need to know what issues can aid or disrupt your racing efforts, and who is for or against those issues.

Key Take Away #2: What’s a Race Promoter to do?

Time to vote.

There are certain worldviews that you will either support or not support.

The truth is, you and your customers will care deeply about some issues, but not others.

It is your job to know what those issues are.

By taking ANY position on ANY given subject, there will be consequences associated with it.

Regardless of the issue, always remember to stay cool, polite, and honest about where you stand.

You can navigate politics towards your best interests, so long as you understand how this issues can and will affect your business.

However, to help you survive the political world of the race promoter, there are a few important skills that you can learn to keep things from going off the deep end.

First, determine where you stand on the issue most important to you and then find out where the power bases are.

Second, you need to become adept at discovering the information that lives in the world of facts, not hidden within the world of spin, rumor, or innuendo.

Know that everyone has an agenda.

Finally, you need to predict the political pitfalls that could hurt your business and determine what you can do to head off unfortunate events.

Have a contingency plan in place in case a political fight does not go your way.

Additionally, be ready to act if a political decision DOES go your way too.

Ultimately, success in politics only comes to those race promoter’s who stop blaming politics for their problems and start handling these issues, before they handle you right out of business.

And Know you know.

What Do You Think?

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Thank You for Listening

Thank you so much for listening to Merchants of Dirt Podcast. If you have questions or comments, please reach out to me @MerchantsofDirt on Twitter, by Email, or my Contact Form.

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Kyle Bondo
Kyle Bondo is a thinker, podcaster, author, and creative strategy dragon seeking to make a small dent in the universe. He is the founder of Reckoneer, host of the Merchants of Dirt and Get Lost Racing podcasts, and an avid adventure racer.
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