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Dec. 26, 2022

Card Mensches Ep.2 Beckett:Behind the Deal w/ Dr.James Beckett

Special Episode:
Fellow Mensch Dr.James Beckett joins us to discuss selling Beckett Media, the company he started and built, does he have any regrets, would he change anything? He discloses some things not shared prior. As always great insight from...


Special Episode:
Fellow Mensch Dr.James Beckett joins us to discuss selling Beckett Media, the company he started and built, does he have any regrets, would he change anything? He discloses some things not shared prior. As always great insight from a hobby icon.


Danny Black and John Newman talk cards, sports, life and sports betting every other week. You never know where the conversation may lead...

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https://youtube.com/c/SportsCa...

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Transcript

I am the only black and I'm John Newman welcome to card matches
0:20
hi welcome to episode 2 of card mentions uh you might notice there's uh three
0:26
boxes on the screen today that makes you an advanced hobbyist and we appreciate you joining us
0:31
um on episode two today we would like to welcome our newest sponsor center stage
0:36
and welcome waxstat.com and SGC grading for their
0:42
support as well um we got a great response from episode one we are really thrilled and that's a
0:48
format we're going to traditionally have but uh we're lucky today to have a special guest and I'm gonna let John
0:55
Newman introduce a hobby icon as you can see Dr Beckett John Dr Beckett welcome
1:02
to the show thank you as I always say he's a man that needs no
1:07
introduction but uh like you said hobby icon hobby Legend and and better yet uh
1:13
just a great person and uh Happy uh Dr Jim's joining us today a little
1:18
different episode like Danny said uh normally we we don't have three people but we will have occasional guests and
1:25
uh but uh you know the the only rules they have to be a mensch and Dr Jim definitely uh checks all those uh boxes
1:33
and uh he's been gracious to come on in episode two not even knowing what the
1:38
where the show may go taking a leap of faith there uh but he's you know something I'm excited to talk you know
1:45
I've talked to Dr Jim Danny's conversator with him but today I want to talk about you know the sale of his
1:51
company back in in 2005 and uh you know and and he's allowed us to ask questions
1:57
and get some of those details I know I I'll find it interesting I know Danny
2:03
will not I got a feeling a lot of you out there as well because that company you know built started by Dr Jim built
2:11
by Dr Jim and uh you know you can't you can't say hobby without saying Becca I
2:17
don't you know regardless of when you got in the hobby uh there's sort of synonymous synonymous uh with each other
2:25
uh absolutely and Dr Beckett uh thank you for coming on thank you for agreeing
2:31
to the terms of this interview and uh further publication rights have been
2:36
negotiated um and I think the important thing that a lot of people don't know is we're actually coming up on an anniversary so
2:43
uh it gives us an opportunity to I think delve into something that has never really been talked about just because
2:48
the Hobbies moved in so many different ways we don't often take a chance to step back and look but uh we are coming
2:55
up on January 26th depending on when you list this will be the 18th anniversary of you actually selling Beckett
3:03
um do I have that date correct yes okay so you started Beckett in 1984
3:12
um and I guess that we really want to understand what happened in 84 to get
3:19
you to start it but more importantly what happened you know five or o4 I guess when the process would start and
3:26
how that transition works so um I'm gonna let John lead off here and
3:31
uh let him take it for a minute well I mean obviously the sale was was
3:39
2005 but I guess my first question Dr Jim is is almost a two-prong question
3:46
like when when did maybe the thought of selling the company you built when did
3:52
that you know really first enter the equation for you and and that being said
3:57
how long of a process once you determined you know that was something you were going to do how long you know
4:04
we here you know in today's news cycle just kind of announcements made but how
4:10
long behind the scenes did the process actually take well a couple of key dates one the
4:17
Parsippany National that was in 84. or probably early August Late July
4:23
is when kind of the company got launched I mean I I had some thought and I really
4:29
decided at that to go forward I talked to a lot of people and I I actually
4:35
printed up some some forms at the show you know at a at a printing
4:42
place near the show passed them out so that was really launched there the
4:48
next date when I started thinking about selling the company was October 6th
4:54
1996 when I was in the hospital with a heart attack and you know all bets are off guys when
5:01
you're you know you just think up to that point I'm sure I thought I was bulletproof like everybody else and I
5:07
was going to live forever happily ever after but uh life is more
5:13
complicated than that and so I'm in the hospital for about a week recuperating from the very I'm very
5:22
fortunate to be alive very blessed to be alive uh and so you're thinking what do you
5:27
want to do with the rest of your life and I I was working really hard and uh you know guys that just
5:37
nine years later approximately or eight and a half years later I guess the company was sold it
5:45
was put up for sale probably probably about a year before it sold
5:50
we kind of engaged an investment banker that would that handled a lot of publishing things I had known the guy
5:56
from some other things so good reputation it was out of New York City uh you know a sharp guy that had a lot
6:04
of contacts and uh you know so that the process took
6:09
a while I was really pleased that that the leadership of my company kind of
6:16
kept it under wraps because yes you guys know again for
6:21
people in the industry you know if there would have been a buzz for a year that we were for sale or that I was going to
6:28
entertain offers even it would have been a lot of confusion so it was kind of on
6:33
a need to know basis for the keep people in the company and they they just were awesome
6:41
was there a precipitous in o4 that you said this is finally the right time
6:47
no I mean I worked backwards Danny I don't think is this the right time I think as soon as I thought I'm not going
6:55
to go to my grave owning this company not not figuratively here literally but
7:02
I thought you know eventually I'm not good it's it's going to be eventually time for somebody to uh to uh take me
7:10
out and give me my life back that I was really pretty much a slave to my work
7:16
for many of those years and uh so when as soon as soon as I came up with the thought that I'm not gonna
7:23
I'm I'm I am eventually gonna sell it because I never thought I would ever sell it then the question was when and then I
7:30
think well wait why don't I wait till I'm 80 years old I thought well gee that's I'll do a lot of traveling after
7:36
I'm 80. well you know that doesn't work either so well how about 75
7:42
oh yeah Kevin I've seen some guys traveling in the 75 but that's there's no sure things there either how about
7:48
70. so I started backing up backing up and until finally in 2004 I said how
7:55
about now uh I I had well I just it just
8:02
as soon as you kind of make an emotional break that you're eventually going to sell it then you're I felt like I was
8:10
probably not doing a very good job as a CEO because I wasn't
8:15
I wasn't excited about the future I was thinking about what the future would be like with me not being there
8:21
and the company and my teammates deserve somebody that was Full Speed Ahead you
8:28
know rainmaking for the for our company and for the industry and
8:33
when I wasn't I didn't have that same uh drive for that
8:39
uh it's time to pick is trying to time to find somebody else and and that was going to free up some of the people in
8:45
the company to be the best they can be too because if I wasn't there they they
8:50
really Rose to the occasion I would have been a good absentee boss I
8:55
couldn't say hey I'm gonna just I'm gonna bring in uh somebody to run the company and I'm going to go to go to
9:02
some you know vacation for six months a year that's not my style I've either got
9:07
to be all in or not and when I decided it wasn't going to be all in forever it was just a matter of time
9:14
and I suppose if we did a failed process that no no bidders came up that that
9:20
wanted to pay a good price I would have I mean I wasn't going to sell it
9:25
cheaply I mean I got a decent price but I uh it would have been more if I'd have
9:30
sold earlier uh maybe it would have been less if I sold five years later because things
9:36
weren't uh weren't so great you know in the late 2000s
9:41
so I I'm I don't lose any sleep over it uh it was time again it was a pleasant
9:48
transaction with guys that I kind of enjoyed I enjoyed the the successor CEO
9:54
he was a a friend of a friend at first and then became a good friend of mine so
9:59
so it worked out well guys did you find it hard to run the company in 2004 at
10:05
the same time you're trying you know going through the sale did it it put pressure financially you know on the
10:12
books differently did it affect you differently in your focus well
10:18
when you're a CEO it means you're the chief executive officer and frequently in a larger
10:23
company there can be other presidents underneath the CEO or other operating
10:28
managing partners and I was probably in my Peak I was very Hands-On and toward
10:36
the end there I wasn't and so but I was there and so
10:41
the president's I had some presidents in my company that were in charge of certain things they're really sharp and
10:48
I think they I was just a long shadow and so for me to step out and say you
10:54
know what I'm I you're going to be working for the new entity and it it
11:00
kind of took the the breaks off I mean I I was a driver but I was also the brakes
11:05
on some of the when we had these crazy ideas I was the one that selected which crazy idea we're
11:11
gonna do and which crazy idea we weren't going to do but some of the people they thought no ideas were crazy
11:19
and some of them were so I needed to step aside guys
11:25
so in 96 you know you had the heart attack that uh definitely uh shook you
11:34
um and obviously is a serious uh thing it almost cost your life uh so you
11:40
worked in a sense eight eight more years um eight eight plus years did you change
11:47
after after the heart attack and knowing you were you know think maybe you know
11:52
there's going to be life after your company what kind of changes did you make personally to you know to to be out
12:00
there to be you know that that balance between work and and life
12:05
let's see I took the fund out of my job after my heart attack because I no
12:11
longer and this was in the works but I no longer did pricing so I was never handling the cards I I did almost no
12:19
show travel after that because I wasn't doing the monthly magazines and even the annual books and so that was all
12:26
delegated to other people who stepped up but uh that was the fun that I really enjoyed and it kept me close to the
12:32
action and so I felt like I was an executive and I don't like being executive you know I don't mind being a
12:39
team leader but I don't really want to be isolated and I felt like I was
12:44
getting increasingly isolated and so one is tuned into the industry I'm more tuned in now than I was in 2004
12:52
I think and that's bad because if you're the and that that's why and you guys have said
12:58
this any CEO of a hobby entity that's not really tuned into the Hobby and
13:04
doesn't really have a passion and understand collecting there that that's a problem waiting to happen unless they
13:09
get up to speed pretty quick or have very very trusted lieutenants that that really help them
13:16
did you feel you needed to recharge your hobby batteries was there almost a stepping away I mean I I knew you took a
13:23
title with the new company and how active were you you know if if if I'd
13:29
had my druthers I would have delegated the executive stuff and kept the pricing
13:34
but it just it didn't make sense it didn't I mean that's just no nobody would say hey that's the right thing to
13:40
do because the pricing those were the all-nighters you know those were the
13:46
the the long hours when when you're under deadline pressure so I made the right decision and uh even
13:53
the right decision I don't lose sleep over over uh overselling when I did or
13:59
if I did it was it was the right thing to do well I was going to ask you Dr Jim you
14:06
sort of answered it there with your response when you know so now the sales in the process I mean did you play was
14:13
there any tug of war in your own mind like am I really doing this you know or even you don't have to mention these
14:19
were there people uh in the company that were maybe you know hey Dr Jim you sure
14:25
you want to do this you know you're that you're this important to this this company we don't want to see
14:32
you you know you do this did you did you have those sort of internal uh those
14:37
conversations happen even what you're with your own self well two things one
14:43
is that you know my leadership team had been
14:48
there for a long time so almost all of them had been there since since before my heart attack
14:54
one of whom one of the presidents was my sister my little sister okay and and and uh and the others were
15:01
very very close friends who really really knew me and cared for me and all
15:06
that stuff and so they weren't trying to talk me out of it however fast forward a
15:12
few years and I've had several people say we want you back why don't you buy the
15:19
company back and I said well guys I I just I'd like to help the new owners but it's it's
15:25
deja vu I've you know I've been there I've done that and I I don't want to do it again because you know the new owners
15:33
well you could I think you could get it cheaper than what you know you could make money on it when it was at a low
15:40
point and now it's now it's back up but uh no it's I had my my my uh my day in
15:47
the Sun and now I can I can experience the hobby with more flexibility do the
15:52
way do it the way I can hobby the way I want a hobby it's the way I have to do it I think back in 2005 closings were still
16:00
done in person were you in person for the actual closing of the sale
16:05
actually no we were up in a big High floor of a big law firm with one of
16:13
one of my close friends is a is a outstanding attorney that does deals way
16:18
bigger than than ours but he really walked me through it predicted everything that would happen
16:24
uh and it it uh you know had a little hiccup at the end but nothing that uh
16:29
that we we couldn't push through and uh so it was relatively uneventful
16:35
so it was supposed to close on the 25th and I think it closed on the 26th which
16:40
is not bad do you remember that day yeah yeah
16:46
it didn't do anything crazy I mean were you waiting for a call was
16:51
that was there a moment where you know like you know you got the call it's done or well it's it's it's it's it's the
16:59
call of it the money has landed yes yes
17:05
oh but it wasn't but even then you know I had uh it was
17:11
uh complicated I had I had a bonus structure for you know when the money came in there you know my last Act was
17:19
going to be given bonuses to you know out of the out of the uh price to the
17:25
the every employee not just the key employee's got a lot more but uh and it was my going away present and
17:32
then I I still had plenty I I I'm a very blessed financially I worked hard but
17:37
I've I've really been blessed I know you you know I know you said you
17:45
were sort of you know you know you you were at that spot where
17:50
you know you knew this was what you wanted to do would any trepidation though again this is your baby this is
17:57
your company you built from the ground up uh in 21 you know 21 years worth of
18:05
work was there I guess two-pronged question was there any trepidation for that like where's where's this new
18:12
company going to take my old company after I I sell and was there any
18:17
stipulations that you can talk about I understand if you can't but stuff like you you wanted to make sure happened if
18:25
you were going to sell I had some great ideas of things like that John and my attorney
18:34
who has known me for a really long time since College basically who's outstanding really top-notch he
18:41
said you're just gonna muck it up so you can't you can't add all these
18:47
conditions we've narrowed it down to this they really want it uh there they
18:52
have a publishing background which turned out not to be an advantage because they were from New York and they
18:59
thought we'll just do it the New York way and uh they they didn't they they really
19:05
didn't do very well because they because publishing was changing and they were they were too old school
19:10
then and the other thing my friends told me my my other guys who were running companies that had sold companies for
19:16
they said you may be able to control who you sell it to but you can't control who they sell it to and sure enough after
19:23
four or five years the first Group sold the second group which was completely different and very much digital uh
19:32
publishing oriented and database oriented and so they they immediately offshored everything that they could and
19:40
drove down the costs and moved as much as possible toward digital and away from print and they that increased the
19:47
profitability but it wound up eliminating a lot of employees that were my friends
19:53
but again that wasn't the people I sold to it was the people that they sold to
19:59
well you mentioned you sold to what was a prize media and they were a publishing company and you know I one of the things
20:06
I found fascinating was you were basically selling a Publishing Company you know it was was that the idea of the
20:13
transaction how much was was the online or the grading even considered in the
20:19
sale um because of publishing company bought you
20:24
I think they didn't understand it but they could see that it was a revenue it was producing uh earnings you know was
20:31
it was profitable uh we had I think I've mentioned this before is that we had
20:36
interest from eBay and Yahoo and Amazon to buy not our company but to buy the
20:44
digital aspects they did not want print uh but they wanted anything that would
20:50
be you know virtual and I wasn't willing to consider it I thought that would be really tricky to
20:57
kind of split the company in half and all that so I didn't I didn't do that in fact they may have paid more for that
21:04
aspect than for the whole company uh so I'd already been through that exercise
21:10
and then when this came company came up this a prize came up they offered more than the other guys did and they had the
21:16
publishing background but I think they stuck too close to the doing publishing the way people do it in New York which
21:22
they thought what are these guys in Dallas know you know New York is the capital of
21:28
publishing and there it will bring our expertise to it and we'll we'll improve
21:35
whatever and they they did increase they increased costs and they they didn't understand the
21:42
hobby we our main accounts were the local card shops
21:47
those were our most profitable accounts well wasn't their business model to buy uh Publications in different Niche
21:53
markets so they weren't an expert in any one specifically well no they they and they actually kind of built on our
22:00
reputation to add other what they called Enthusiast Publications where people
22:06
were passionate and if they would the Twist on it what they didn't realize is
22:11
they were on the right track except it didn't need to be Enthusiast Publications it needed to be Enthusiast
22:18
communities that can be digital virtual or trade
22:24
shows or you know getting together in person whatever but it's it's the people
22:29
somebody said that the hobby is the people and the businesses for people and
22:35
so I think they thought the business where it was the pages you know where the was were the magazines
22:43
and the magazines you know were you know our Peak years were but were the junk
22:48
wax era and before the baseball strike the early 90s were our best years
22:56
you mentioned you know the the a prize wound up selling uh themselves to
23:01
another company in 2008 uh you mentioned that you know people did come to you and
23:07
said hey you know you should buy them uh Dr Jim and and get back
23:12
um I mean were you were there any thought that the you know did the light bulb go on at all or were you pretty
23:19
much like no that's that you know I've turned that page did you did you
23:26
consider it at all I did not consider and I kind of shot it
23:31
down pretty quick I mean I I didn't need to be uh I wouldn't be upsetting the employees
23:37
but I I didn't want to give my false hope I didn't want to get in a bidding war I didn't want to buy it for cheap I
23:44
didn't want to buy it for expensive I just thought you know I've moved on and
23:49
uh you know I like I said I'm happy to be a pro bono consultant that's really
23:54
what I enjoy doing my skin in the game is that this company has my name on it and I want them to do well but I'm not
24:02
willing to burn Midnight Oil anymore and so when I I just I just have a high
24:07
responsibility quotient and if I say I'm going to do something I'm going to do it
24:12
and I don't need to be saying I'm going to do it at what point did you realize your name
24:19
was going to be a part of the deal and was that hard to accept uh
24:25
I realize now that I I think I understood it but that was one
24:30
of the things that John mentioned is that I should have gotten some kind of a I don't know but additional price or
24:37
considerations the fact that they one of the biggest things they wanted was the
24:42
name and so I'm not allowed to use my I'm not allowed to use my name unmodified you know I can be my personal
24:50
name that's why I can't be back at sports card insights hmm
24:56
because that would be an infringement because then it'd be unclear whether it came from the company or came from me
25:01
that's why I'm Dr James Beckett sports card insights so I only have certain ways that I can
25:08
use the my own name and if I would have I could have renegotiated that to say look if you're
25:14
going to use my name I'm going to want to like a royalty you know and I've I've floated that in
25:21
my my attorney friend said there it's just you're just gonna muck up the deal they're they're just gonna freak out if
25:28
you say that I said but it's true if there if and he said well they'll just change the name I said actually they
25:35
probably will not change the name going back to 2008 again I like you said
25:43
you were pretty much new you know you weren't uh you know gonna come back or
25:49
but had you wanted to Let's uh hypothetically if you said you know what I missed it it's been three four years
25:56
you know what have you had an advantage let's say you wanted to buy your company
26:02
back being the or you know the originator would you think that would have given you any kind of Advantage if
26:09
if that was actually the case well I could have been part of a team you
26:16
know I could have been a consultant to the new owners which you know I didn't really know the new owners but and they
26:22
got it at a at a lower point but I I wasn't willing to to it needed fixing and and frankly guys
26:30
remember the economy was messed up then the economy needed fixing things were things were bad the hobby wasn't doing
26:37
great the economy wasn't doing great and so for me to
26:43
jump back in there it it just I I was I was moving toward greater simplification
26:49
of my life and that would be in a diametrically opposed to that because I
26:56
cared and I cared too much so once I got in there and if I invested you know take
27:03
the money that I got put it back in uh I could have done that but I I wanted to
27:09
shoot that down so that the people didn't have false hope and yet I want to tell them hey if you
27:14
got a problem I'll help you think through it and I'll just I give you free advice and I'll come down there every
27:21
once in a while and stuff like that but I don't I I don't want to be on the hot seat anymore
27:28
I always wondered do you have days where you're like I cannot believe my name is on that
27:35
comment or that statement I mean even to this day do they do things and
27:41
you wish your name wasn't tied to it or are there days where you're glad your name's tied to it or has it just become
27:47
separate but let me answer that in a more General way because number one I don't I'm not scanning all their statements to see if
27:54
they've you know misstated something but I will say this I I think I really had a strong
28:02
desire to have to be a market leader to be a Pacesetter
28:08
to be a thought leader for our industry and I think there over the last 18 years
28:14
almost now coming up uh I I think we've that our companies lost some of that
28:21
um and and other people have it's just I I just don't think we were hit we weren't hitting on all cylinders
28:28
now I'm hopeful that there's you know new leadership now and then it's going to get back on track so that's my
28:34
frustration Danny I see that it's not what it could be or even what it was and
28:39
I'm hoping now it's going to be even better you know it doesn't have to be what I think it but it there they they
28:46
have not and they had a they were right up there with PSA
28:52
if you look you know 15 years ago or probably when I was there we were we
28:58
were winning the awards for you know for best grading SGC was was was an
29:04
afterthought was just mainly doing vintage and then now over the last few years it's it's it's it's it's it's
29:12
not been that great and I I think the other thing gosh I guess I could say
29:18
this I think some of it are self-inflicted wounds not me inflicting the wounds not you guys inflicting the
29:24
wounds but but and I think what happens in any company when you're having a mixed
29:31
market like we've had is that it's hard for the owner for the manager for the
29:38
money person to think I need to double down I need to put I need to reinvest in the category because
29:45
it's getting ready to take off and sometimes ownership is more conservative now we're making good money
29:52
let's just keep it coming instead of reinvesting in the category that's
29:58
something I did because I was 100 owner so if the company needed money I could
30:04
just put money in and so if we say well that's not in our budget well it's
30:09
it's not about the budget if this is something that's good for the Hobby and it's eventually going to be good for everybody
30:14
and so we did a bunch of new things that were were not in the budget because I
30:19
thought this is a great idea we need to do it well we we the money's the the budget calls for it next year I said
30:26
wait a minute the windows wide open right now let's do it so we did it and capitalized
30:32
on that and I think that's so not that I'm a big Wildcat or anything so I'm pretty reason guy but
30:39
I think it got more corporate with budgets for some of those years and they were
30:46
managing it Like An established company and I always wanted us to think small
30:52
and very entrepreneurial and disruptive to do things that hadn't been done
30:58
and so I don't want to be a follower I wanted to be a leader and now BPS that was a real leader I
31:06
don't know we ever had more more cards being greater than PSA but we were
31:12
and and now we're just you know we're not we're not considered right up there with PSA and that makes me sad and I'm
31:19
hopeful I've thrown some ideas to Jeremy and the other guys if here's some ideas I have for how we could re recapture our
31:27
uh you know in in a lot of these areas I I'm I'm an idea guy
31:35
the going back to the sale you know a prize media uh purchases uh your company
31:41
what was your role in in the three or four years with them if you know after
31:47
that sale were you still involved did they pick your brain did they you know
31:53
coming into your company new you know and I mean it's it's their company now but it's your company Bill
31:59
did they ask you for some help or for some consultation but what was your role
32:05
there uh they didn't but uh Peter did the the new CEO but he had to be Sly
32:12
about it it couldn't look like I was the shadow CEO or that you know I would he
32:17
would come up to my I still officed in the building for for the first couple of years and I was getting paid I had a
32:23
non-compete where I was there and I was getting paid not full salary but I was getting enough that you know that kind
32:30
of helps the enforcement of a of an of a of
32:36
yeah yeah so I couldn't I couldn't uh
32:42
I couldn't I wasn't going to compete anyway but uh so Peter would come up to my
32:47
office after hours when nobody was looking you know he wasn't going to bring me in on some meetings he was the boss
32:53
and I respected that I wasn't going to trot down his office say hey I got a problem with this no he needed to run
32:59
the company and he did it he did a really good job the people liked him out in no way was I going to undermine him
33:05
and every once in a while he he kind of just asked me some hey why is this happening or I'm thinking about doing
33:11
this what do you think but he didn't want people to see that he was not the authority it would have
33:17
undermined his authority so and I respected that and like I said we had we I had some mutual friends he
33:24
was highly regarded and it wasn't his fault I think his bosses that had the
33:29
money were were you know did did not see the the long-term vision
33:37
how about with the with this the next sale to the the next uh Enterprise did
33:42
you know did it change then uh even more so for you you could change more yeah
33:48
yeah because that that was uh that was uh like I said a different kind of
33:54
ownership uh somebody that was very acquisitive that that had a lot of companies and it would love the
34:01
transactions loved that and uh and then would bring in management
34:07
uh uh you know that didn't necessarily have a hobby background they'd bring in
34:12
outside management and I I would you know guys I was almost always a promote from within guy I just thought if I
34:19
could find somebody who really understands you know you can you can train them for say if they there's something they don't know you could
34:25
train them but you already know it's a good person they're sharp and they they know the people and so as much as
34:31
possible I tried to hire from or promote from within but the new guy didn't you know he just
34:37
and then they bolted on some other things that were these other like like Danny was saying some other enthusiasts
34:44
Publications and things and and then they titled them back at something even though they weren't anything I'd ever
34:50
touched and that's again they're prerogative but uh kind of dilutes it a little bit I
34:55
think I've got a couple of questions touching on that first of all
35:01
you had was it 9 11 20 how many Publications when you sold the first
35:07
time something like that yeah my question my question was gonna be if you I'm not
35:13
going to ask you Joe how many of those I mean could you name today
35:18
um well I mean the problem was I was I was never it's not that I wasn't a fan of of uh Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh and
35:26
Digimon and Neopets and and all those kind of things I just it just wasn't my
35:32
thing so I was baseball football hockey uh NASCAR Future Stars which we had
35:38
vintage which we had uh and then we had you know the larger versions of them all
35:44
so we had a lot of periodicals a lot of books uh the Beckett sports Heroes the
35:50
different things we did so that's why I was curious did you look at
35:55
yourself as a technology company at a certain point or a Grading Company and said you know the publisher we never
36:01
looked at ourselves as a Grading Company but I think we looked ours at ourselves as an Innovative company and so grading
36:09
was one of those Innovations some of these other sports biographies that we did were were very interesting and
36:16
nobody thought we could do that um we had online we had we had Online
36:21
Auctions I think because maybe before eBay it's just we like I said I was the
36:28
holdup I didn't say hey we're going to bet the farm that there's something eBay eBay
36:34
just doubled down on on that and I just thought you know we the auctions that we
36:39
had were kind of specialty uh and then we did our Marketplace and
36:45
all that stuff so we were ahead of our time but I never fully
36:50
promoted it to be all in to where I would take the profits from the print
36:56
and pour it over into this other thing that was not making money yet but would
37:01
have been would have would have done great perhaps
37:07
so when you were the CEO Dr Jim like how many hours a day were you involved with
37:13
the company at like your Peak when you were you know which was probably right till the up
37:19
until the sale I'm guessing no I mean you know before my heart attack I'd I had lots of weeks I worked
37:26
100 hours that just was ridiculous when I was on Deadline when I was doing books and magazines and I was
37:34
the guy doing all you know all those books it just I I was the one doing it so uh that that's why I had a heart
37:41
attack what a big reason and so after my heart attack I probably got I worked 50 hours a week probably
37:48
and then probably 40 in the 2000s yeah so I wasn't and again I hated it
37:56
because I like to work a lot I like to work hard and I just but again if I'd
38:02
worked more it would have been undermining the leadership who were in charge of those things just like the
38:07
price guide guys if I'd looked over their shoulder that would not have been helpful because after I withdrew kind of
38:15
and and and kicked myself upstairs those guys were really sharp
38:21
and so for me to be sharp shooting them say hey what about that you know did you do the research on that or something or
38:27
if that would have been not helpful and and it would have been they've been hurtful
38:33
it's hurtful what I I gotta ask this it's kind of a
38:39
weird question but just how my mind works so the first day after the the sale is as transacted uh you know the
38:47
first work what would have been a work day uh on under you know with you CEO
38:52
what what was that like like waking up that day and you know the difference you
38:58
know now you it's not your company well I remember I did wake up and I went to
39:04
the office I mean I didn't play hooky I mean I was getting paid in my
39:10
non-compete and I wasn't necessarily getting paid to show up but I I thought you know they're
39:15
paying me I should show up and I'm available and that first day first week first month whatever people are coming
39:22
in and wanting to check in on me and stuff like that because I had my same office my same big office in the corner
39:28
and uh and so everybody knew where I was and I was still doing um
39:34
you know we you know we had a reasonably social company where we had a lot of we had a big lunch room and we had a
39:40
basketball court and you know so people congregated around other things so so I
39:47
was there but um you know I tried to make sure everybody knew I was you know I'm not
39:52
the owner anymore and I'm not the boss anymore but I'm I want to be helpful to my
39:58
friends I want to be helpful to the brand but that does I can't insert myself into
40:03
it John or that would have been yeah it wouldn't have been right now I'm sure they weren't going to kick me out
40:09
and then after almost two years we were in the same building and then the building got sold and they moved to the
40:15
other office and I made the decision even though they said you want to get it you want to get an office in our new
40:20
place that we're going to I said no it's time for me to so I uh a buddy in me we
40:26
and and we got an office suite with some other other guy so we had our own office
40:31
and my secretary Carol went with us and so I had a I created a board room and
40:37
some offices and you know had some had a nice office and then then 10 years ago I
40:43
moved home and I had my man cave here so pretty retired
40:50
looking back would you have done anything differently on the timeline of the sale or how how you prioritized the
40:58
parts of the sale no I think the main thing I would have done is I I and in the 11th hour I when
41:06
they tried to lower the price I said
41:12
if you lower the price 10 percent that's fine with me
41:17
I'll just keep 10 of the company if you lower the price 20 that's fine with me I'll just keep twenty percent I
41:24
said wait wait that's not going to work we want to pay you less I said yeah you pay less you're going to get less
41:29
and so they they didn't want to go that way but now looking back you know if I'd
41:35
kept some interest in it or kept some royalty interest in the fact that they were using my name for these other
41:41
things uh that would have been I don't but again like I said I I have I
41:49
had absolutely a top-notch advisor you know in the sale of this guy's just
41:54
brilliant one of my close friends totally trust him and he said don't don't don't mess it up
42:02
you know that's you know you're it's going to make you it's not gonna it's gonna make you look
42:08
bad they said hey I'm going to sell the company but I want to keep the rights to my name and every time you use my name
42:13
you got to give me a nickel it sounds right guys I would not be a
42:19
mensch if I'd if I do yeah there goes my follow-up question Newman back to you
42:26
well I was gonna you know you mentioned how Peter was still you know uh you know
42:31
behind the scenes kind of picking your brain or very rarely John I don't want to over represent okay really but I saw
42:38
him socially we were we were in some of the same business organizations and so I
42:44
would see him and we'd talk about stuff and I just say if there's any way I can help I'm happy to but I I never went to
42:50
his office and you know and shut the door and said what are you doing I I never did that so it was it was he was a
42:58
class guy and like you said you're in the boat but did you see a lot of like your former
43:04
employees and friends and like you call them teammates where you get a lot of sports we were playing basketball
43:11
did you get a lot of like you know I'm sure you did we miss shoes or were they
43:16
concerned with you know new leadership or where the company was going after the
43:22
sale was there from from them themselves did they sort of you know posture that
43:28
way to you that they were concerned well I I would have nipped that in the bud if I don't even think that really happened
43:34
I mean basically that's that's just not good this was the new reality and the
43:41
best way they could honor me would be to work hard for the new entity I mean it's
43:46
that's the brand that they so I mean again like I say guys I could have died
43:51
in 96 and then there would have been new ownership in that sense whether it had
43:57
been my family estate or something but there would have been new leadership new
44:02
uh you know a new CEO and a new new ownership structure and so that
44:09
that was weird talk about coming back to work after I came back to work after being out for my heart attack
44:15
that was that was surreal how much time were you out
44:21
I think I took a month off I mean I just really was I'd been out so I know that I
44:27
lost blood but I just was I was in the hospital for a week and so you have a lot of atrophy of just you know you're
44:33
not they get you moving around but you're like walking around the hall for 10 minutes well that's enough exercise
44:39
for today yeah so I mean it's just uh so I I was I
44:45
didn't lose that much weight because I I weighed the same as I weigh now when I have a heart attack so I wasn't overweight but I just uh but you spend a
44:53
week in the hospital hospital is not a good place to stay it's not like a hotel it's it's not it's not a miles not
45:00
healthy so so I stayed home for a while and and um you know and then again I had
45:06
three presidents so I I just they just did what they did and they they they're they were really
45:13
sharp um how difficult was it like knowing you
45:19
had to cut back your schedule stress and and you know for your health-wise and Longevity wise how difficult was that to
45:27
do being you know I'll say to workaholic it sounds like how difficult having that
45:32
mindset like I'm a doer and now I have to do less I have to like no I don't
45:37
myself no no I don't have to I I didn't feel compelled to do that I thought it's
45:42
the right thing to do and so uh but I I um so I go on the treadmill every day now
45:49
so that's maybe an hour when you add it all up with you know with the treadmill and stretching and stuff like that I
45:56
probably spent an hour a day that before my heart attack it would have been working for that hour I wouldn't want to lose the hour if I talk about sharpening
46:03
the saw you know so I sleep I sleep an extra hour or I did so I mean I made choices
46:10
John and I think it's like people need to make choices say this is this is going to be my new reality but if if the
46:18
doctor made me do it then it's not me doing it it's me kind of being somebody's forcing me dude I
46:25
saw the wisdom in what I was doing was not good for me and what I was moving
46:31
toward was greater health and that's emotional health physical health
46:37
psychological Health you know getting more sleep exercising more aerobically I
46:43
was playing basketball but I could have been Pete Maravich in the parts where he died on the court
46:49
I was about to say that was very humble on your ball handling the leading the nation in scoring but uh
46:57
well uh Dr Beckett uh we're glad number one that you're still with us uh number
47:03
two uh Happy Anniversary uh you know coming up uh from the time we're
47:08
recording this and uh we we made you a deal to get you out on time so I'm gonna
47:13
step in and say thank you so much for coming on and sharing with us uh Mr Newman anything uh you want to add I
47:21
just you know Jim's great with dates better than even I am like you you know you mentioned
47:27
January 26th uh the anniversary to sail and and this year like you said it'll be
47:32
18 years do you do anything a weird question do you do anything on that day particularly or you just
47:39
know it's hey it's the anniversary of the sale
47:45
celebrator you know basically I don't know what I would do I mean I just wake up and do
47:51
the same thing and it's not not uh you know no no glass of wine with breakfast
47:56
or lunch even yes so I I don't think I I'm sure uh we I
48:05
had a you know celebration we had a big party after the closing you know after
48:11
the smoke had cleared and maybe the first year there was some commemoration
48:16
but you can you can't you can commemorate with your family but I can't commemorate with my my business family
48:23
because they're working for the new the new the new dude you know they've got a
48:29
new new structure and so I'm I'm past tense for them and so if it looks like I'm having a lot
48:36
of influence that so I needed to just let it happen but again after 18 years
48:43
um you know like I said I'm happy to help but um you know they they need to make
48:48
the call make a call yeah well well you mentioned being past
48:54
tense to them uh your present tense uh to the Hobby uh thankfully and like like
49:00
Danny said uh you know we're glad you're obviously still here and uh just uh so
49:06
important to to the Hobby then and still now with with your own show and sports
49:12
card insights and sharing a lot of those those stories from uh from those days
49:18
and and since then uh as well so I just want to add dad I want to thank you for
49:24
sharing some of this stuff I know you know some people maybe not as open with
49:29
certain things like that yet you know you you came on in and I even asked you
49:34
anything off limits you said nope ask ask what you want so uh I appreciate
49:41
that let me say one thing publicly that I just perform this and that is that uh
49:47
over the last few years especially since I've been doing the podcast but even before that I I've had I think some
49:53
fabulous ideas I've had a bunch of ideas and a lot of them I put on the podcast
49:59
but my best ideas I am not put on the podcast
50:04
I go to Jeremy or Bill or one of the hobby leadership guys at the company and
50:12
I said and and my other friends my confidants say well you should just do that yourself you don't have any statute
50:18
of limitations you could just do it I said no this is something my old company ought to do I'd really like to
50:24
see him do it and I kind of give them the structure of how it would work and think oh that's terrific ah we love that
50:32
idea but then they don't do it necessarily on the other hand it's the kind of idea
50:38
that if if I were doing it they would and and proving the concept then they would want to buy it from me but still I
50:46
want them to do it and if they don't do it I'm not going to sell it to the highest bidder because I
50:51
think I've had some fabulous ideas and they're they're taking them under advisement and that's
50:57
their prerogative because they they'll have to invest their money in it although if they said well would you be
51:03
willing to invest your money in this I'd say yeah this is the kind of stuff that I think this is
51:09
so you're coming back Dr Jim
51:14
this is how rumors get started I just I got the the scene from Godfather Three you're saying there's a
51:20
champion just when I thought I was out I pulled
51:25
me see that Pacino scene and Godfather Three so but uh
51:32
thank you Dr Beckett it is always a pleasure um we have your blue M M's in the green room and you're truly a mensch yeah all
51:40
right next time very honored to be on with you guys well thank you we'll play it out and uh
51:46
once again for everybody else for for our supporters from Center Stage waxstat.com SGC thank you and for
51:54
everybody episode number two thank you