The End of an Era……The Start of an Era.

Morning Folks!

Oh, so goooood to be home!

Yesterday closed a chapter in history that has consumed the last 5 years of my
life in a way few will ever know.When I think back to the winters before as I prepared for the
inevitable. As I have shared many times at the show, the last time I was on a
stage and spoke I was 13 at my Bar Mitzvah. 40 years later just the thought of that would make me
shudder. The thought of doing it again and going on stage and speaking in front
of folks?? Well truth be told, that took 5 years leading up to these 5 years. I
knew I had a mission I had to fulfill and I knew I had to overcome my single
biggest fear in life. I had no idea how I was going to do that. I just knew it had to be done or it would hold me back from things I needed to accomplish.

My lucky break was partnering up with Howard Neu who was a
Mayor, a TV talk host, an attorney. He was my exact opposite. So over the 5
years I learned from him. I also learned from Larry Fischer who like myself was
a basket case on stage. He came to speak several shows into TRAFFIC. But his
nervousness showed me that I had somewhat conquered mine. Not 100%, but 40%.
Then a few years pass and I think it was Silicon Valley earlier this year and
Larry got on stage. WOW! What a difference. He too had conquered his. The biggest factor perhaps with both of us is confidence in what we know.
Confidence in the value of what we have to say. Such a deep belief in something
that it just drives you and propels you to do things you would have never done.

I am still not entirely comfortable on stage. Far from
it. But it is also no longer a
fear. It is a lot of things. Fear is still one of them, but the other things
override that one part and now it is propelling me again. I want to speak at
retail conventions. I want to
speak to diversified audiences of business people. Large groups. We need to get
the message out. I want to engage Main Street! Explain to them what they may be missing to transform their businesses from one on the corner of their town to one on the corner of the world and explain why it has not worked well for them so far and how to turn that around.

The folks that saw the seminar “Inside the deal”
were treated to one of the coolest seminars we have ever had. Why? Well for one
thing I never ever met them until we all got on stage at TRAFFIC 3 minutes before the seminar. First I got up
and explained things from where I sit. I tested my #1 theory right in front of
everyone. I had no idea whatsoever if it was true or not. But I believe it with
every ounce of my being. Ron Jackson will tell you what that is in his article
next week. But I put it out there. Few can get away with it. I can. I Do. Then Greg Balestrieri and Joe Melville from told their side of
the story and the negotiations from their side of the table. They also confirmed my theory. It was truly
compelling. Everyone there at that point heard from the end user and found out
why I hooked up with Greg and Joe. Hershey’s? Mars? Nestle? Never gonna happen.
This is going to be so much more fun and rewarding. All you had to do is see
the sincerity and passion in these guys and then the where with all to back it up and
history is made. They were born in the candy business and now they are going to disrupt that business. They are going to school that business. They are going to surprise that industry but it is not going to surprise anyone reading this.

From the left....Joe, Rick, Greg

For me TRAFFIC New York was satisfying. We did what we
needed to do in the toughest business environment of our lifetimes. The state
of the domain industry is STRONG! However the weak are about to be washed away
and even the strong need to get their financial houses in order. That is a natural
process. That was what 2009 was about.

I will let others comment on what they got out of the show.
But for us, we had a number of “Firsts” and in a future post I will explain how
those things will allow us to bring costs down without sacrificing.

From here we pass the ball to Rick Latona and his crew. New
ideas, new directions, new places. That allows Howard and I to focus on our one
annual show here in Florida. Next year it will be in South Beach on October 17
to the 20th with pre-show activities staring on Friday October 15th.
So start planning for the bash on the beach. South Beach that is. Movie Stars,
Long Legs, domainers, the hippest place on
planet earth. The hotel? The Diplomat on Steroids! You’re gonna love it.

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

7 thoughts on “The End of an Era……The Start of an Era.

  1. Howard

    Thanks for your kind words, Rick. You have not only conquered your public speaking fears, but have gone on to moderate the session and did quite well.
    One clarification —- we are not going to the Diplomat. Rick didn’t mention the name of the hotel for next October – it is LOEWS SOUTH BEACH – right in the heart of South Miami Beach and a block off Lincoln Road.

  2. michael todaro is a cool site…
    if they make the most of the opportunity 3 mil will look like a drop in the bucket. i wish it was sooner so i could get some candy cigarettes to give to the kids for halloween… (i’m the neighborhood troublemaker) :)

  3. Rob Sequin

    Great show. Didn’t know you had a fear of being on stage. Seriously, you never seemed nervous to me. I think you love it up there :-)
    I was up till 3am the night before smoking cigars with a couple brothers… the Castello brothers that is but I knew I had to be up and awake for the 10am deal session. I did not want to miss that.
    Honestly I think that was the best session for me. Others were good but I like hearing about the details of the deal and we all got an ear full of details from Rick and the guys.
    GREAT session and show.
    Maybe next October plan to have some of the higher profile buyers and sellers get together for a similar session.
    I think many people would like to hear how a deal comes together and what is important to each party.

  4. Jessica

    Mirror, mirror, on the wall…who’s the cutest of them all?? Hehhe. Love that smile, Rick. So pure and childlike, but hey! watch your sugar intake. :D
    You know it’s okey to feel nervous on stage, people won’t really notice that if you deliver the message that they need to hear. Hope before the coming of aliens, i’ll be able to attend one of your speaking engagements. :p
    Thanks for the contagious energy, and Congrats for the recent affair in New York. I am sure it’s one many would love to remember. :)
    By the way, some typos noted (you may omit this part in my post):
    “Then Greg Balestrieri and Joe Melville from told their side of the story and the negotiations from their side of the table. They also confirmed my ‘theroy’ (theory).
    “It was truly compelling. Everyone there at that point heard from the end ‘uer’ (user) and found out why I hooked up with Greg and Joe.”

  5. AlanR

    Rick, you always seemed like a natural when getting on stage to me so if you felt nervous being on stage, you had me fooled. I’m 10 times worse than you could have ever felt being on stage when it comes to being in front of people. Try being in front of millions some time. I had to do a live QVC show one time and being in front of millions of people was more than I could take. I could hardly get any words out of my mouth so the host put the mic in front of my now ex-wife and she saved the day. If she wasn’t there, I’m sure I would have been hauled off stage and I would have had billions of views on YouTube by now. Since I couldn’t see the audience of millions behind the cameras, I wasn’t that intimidated but the part that bothered me the most was the small audience of about 100 people who were looking at me.

  6. Michael Castello

    David and I are waiting for our plane back to California, truely thankful for the accolades we received at TRAFFIC. We will be speaking at the Borrell Media Conference in Feb. The audience will consist of”legacy media” including TV, radio, newspaper,” and cable executives.
    The caption under or panel reads”While you all were sleeping… these guys ate your lunch”. I am sure they won’t be the most appreciative audience but it shows the commitment that our industry is begnning to get from other media industry types that”get it”.
    Again, we enjoy the effort and quality of show that you, Howard and your families deliver and can’t wait to attend the next one


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