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By Dan Schechner on July 12, 2018

“What do you like most about your job?”

It’s a question we’ve all been asked at some point in our careers—presumably more than once. And it’s something I like to ask people when I meet them for the first time because, quite frankly, you can learn a lot about someone based on their response.

For example, if you were to ask me 20 years ago what my favorite part of the job (newspaper reporter) was, I would have told you without hesitation that it’s talking with people. Actually, I probably would’ve said “listening to people,” because that’s what I really enjoyed; never was a big talker. (My wife may disagree, but what does she know? Answer: She knows everything—stop fighting it.)

Funny thing is, the listening-to-people part also happens to be the best thing about my current gig. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to like about overseeing a dedicated, hard-working and talented Editorial staff, as well as getting to collaborate with smart, enthusiastic colleagues across PRI’s Sales, Marketing, Graphics and Trade Show departments—I’m very fortunate in that respect. But there’s a small part of me that, from time to time, does miss the daily, face-to-face interactions that go along with local news reporting. It’s what stirred my passion for this profession two decades ago.    

That said, every so often I get to, as the kids used to say, take it back to the old school, which is why the last couple of months have been particularly enjoyable for me.

It began in late spring, when yours truly got to experience two days of non-stop racing and networking at Never Lift—the first of what we hope will be many half-mile airstrip shootouts produced by our compadres at Motovicity Distribution (Brian Lounsberry, Brian Patrias, Jason Wieczorek, et al.). The Moto crew—in partnership with Shift-S3ector—deserve huge kudos for putting together this tremendous event that brought some 220 racers and 1500-plus spectators to a remote runway in California’s Central Valley for a record-breaking display of horsepower and innovation.

But beyond the track, what truly elevated Never Lift was this environment in which hundreds of like-minded enthusiasts, fans and sponsors were encouraged to mix and mingle, to bond, to talk a little shop, and ultimately forge connections—all up-close and in-person. Business got done, to be sure, it just didn’t feel like work (see: best of both worlds).

A month later it was our turn, when PRI’s team hit the road en masse for the company’s annual Industry Reception at Red Rocks Cafe in Huntersville, North Carolina. Alongside the event itself, which was a hit, our squad took advantage of the opportunity to make house calls and visit with several PRI partners and friends in the area including Max Papis Innovations, zMAX, MBE Cylinder Heads & Manifolds, Motec Systems, ButlerBuilt Motorsports Equipment, Wes Burton Shocks & Performance, Automotive Specialists, CV Products/Xceldyne, SRI Performance, Blast-It-All, and more.

These occasions to get out and engage, to discuss what’s happening in our daily lives and businesses, to share experiences, and yes, even trade a speed secret or two still mean a lot in this industry. It’s where valuable contacts are made, where relationships are built, and where information is exchanged to the benefit of all parties—manufacturer, distributor, retailer, racer, media, etc.

In this age of constant connectivity there may be a tendency to sacrifice quality for quantity, to value breadth over depth. But let’s not lose sight of what can be gained through interpersonal communications. There’s still no substitute for that back-and-forth, for giving and receiving the personal touch—some good old-fashioned face time.

About the Author
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Dan Schechner is the Editor of Performance Racing Industry Magazine.
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