17 Inches – by Chris Sperry

john scolinos

Coach John Scolinos

Years ago, in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA’s convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend.  One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who is John Scolinos, I wondered.  No matter; I was just happy to be there.

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948.  He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?

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Want to Build a Business? Read this book.


I have a new favorite book.

Me, Inc. by Gene Simmons, co-founder of the KISS rock band.

Hard hitting, chock-full of great advice, a book anyone who would like to start a business needs to read. I’m not even a KISS fan. In fact I had to go to YouTube to see what hits KISS even had.

My brother, who’s a business owner, knew I had a road trip coming up and he encouraged me to listen to the audio book (read by Gene Simmons) while I drove.

Boy am I glad I did. Every student and adult that thinks they may want to some day own their own business needs to read Me, Inc. I intend to have my kids read it and write a book report.


Here’s the official information from Me, Inc.’s Amazon page:

The fact that KISS is one of the most successful rock bands in the world is no accident. From the beginning Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley had a clear-cut vision of what they wanted to do and how they wanted to operate KISS as a business well before they ever first took the stage. Since deciding with Paul to manage the band themselves, Simmons has proved himself to be a formidable businessman, having sold over 100 million CDs and DVDs worldwide, overseen over 3,000 licensed merchandise items, and starred in the longest running celebrity reality show to date. More impressive is that he handles all of his business ventures on his own—no personal assistant, few handlers, and as little red tape as possible.

In Me, Inc., Simmons shares a lifetime of field-tested and hard-won business advice that will provide readers with the tools needed to build a solid business strategy, harness the countless tools available in the digital age, network like hell, and be the architect for the business entity that is you. Inspired by The Art of War, the book dispenses Simmons’ in-depth insights via thirteen specific principles for success based on his own experience, triumphs, and instructional failures in business—from finding the confidence within yourself that’s necessary to get started, to surrounding yourself with the right people to partner with and learn from, to knowing when to pull the plug and when to double-down. These thirteen principles are a skeleton key into a world of success, freedom, peace of mind and, most importantly, financial success.


Get it, read it, and most importantly, pick the tips that resonate with you and implement the heck out of them.


Ruben Gonzalez – www.FourWinterGames.com

Olympian, Speaker, Author,


Tribal Leadership



I’m reading a terrific book called “Tribal Leadership.”

It’s about moving people in organizations from a “Me” mentality to a “We” mentality.

It explains how people that focus on personal achievements don’t build legacy. Only people that focus on things bigger than themselves build legacy. Counterintuitive but true.

It’s made me realize that all the “cool” stuff I got to do (Olympics, adventure travel, etc.) was just school for learning the principles of success.

Once I shifted gears and started sharing the principles through my books, posts and presentations – once I shifted my focus on helping others succeed – THATS when I can create something bigger than myself and leave a legacy through the ripple effect created by the people who apply what I teach.

It turns out that the best and most effective organizations (business, non-profit, schools, etc.) have moved their people to sincerely thinking about what’s best for the team and by doing so they thrive and everyone feels better and have more fun.

Great read wether you are the CEO of a multinational corporation or a sole practitioner like myself.


Make it an Olympic day!

Ruben Gonzalez – www.FourWinterGames.com

Gracen and Brian Tracy


Gracen and his report on Brian Tracy’s latest book…

This morning I told Gracen that I would give him $10.00 if he read Brian Tracy’s latest book “Bull’s Eye: The Power of Focus” and write a short report on what he had learned.

Gracen took me up on the opportunity to make a quick ten dollar bill.

Here’s his report…

Brian Tracy’s Bull’s Eye

1. Clarity + Focus + Concentration = Results
Clarity + Concentration = Progress

2. You can’t hit a target you can’t see. You have to know what you want and have a goal before you can go for it.

3. You have to get a trainer or coach of some kind before you can progress.

4. You don’t have to have skill to be great a something. In a competition, if the student has more clarity and focus than his teacher who has more skill, the student will win.

5. Practice CANEI, Continuous And Never-Ending Improvement.

6.To teach you have to learn. Don’t be a hard-head, learn while you teach.

7.Large things come from small things. When there is an opportunity, no matter how small it may seem, jump on it. It could be deceivingly large.

8. Lots of tragedies are blessings under cover. Say you total your car one day, you might be able to find your dream car for very cheap.


Good job Gracen!

Olympic Caliber Customer Service


The Salt Lake City Olympic Volunteers were the best ever.


People remember how you make them feel. If you make them feel special they will never forget you.

Out of the four Winter Olympics I competed in, the Salt Lake City Olympics were the best. Most athletes that competed in the Salt Lake City Olympics will tell you they agree.

Why were the 2002 Winter Olympics the best?

Because of the 15,000 volunteers that made us feel so welcome and so special.

The volunteers are the lifeblood of the Olympics. They have many different roles – from transporting athletes, serving meals, medical help, welcoming athletes, etc.

The Salt Lake City volunteers were the best trained ever. They would always ask us “How is your Olympic experience?”

That was a great question to ask. Asking that question did two things:

First, it was an open-ended way to ask us how everything was going and
Second, it helped them focus on delivering a great Olympic experience.

I remember gathering with other athletes at the Olympic Village coffee shop and trying to think about what the Volunteers could have done better. We could’t think of anything.

In fact, someone jokingly said that if you kicked a volunteer in the shin, the volunteer would probably thank you for an Olympic bruise. They were THAT nice.

The volunteers made a huge difference. They make us all remember the Salt Lake City Olympics as the best ever.

What are you doing to help your clients, your co-workers, your friends and family feel special?

It doesn’t take much. Just a genuine desire to help improve their experience. A genuine desire to make them feel special. Do that, and people will never forget you.


Make it an Olympic Day!

Ruben Gonzalez