I’ve been thinking of my mortality lately. The end is closer than the beginning. I’ve outlived a lot of my friends. I’m lucky I have no aches or pains, although my heart gets kind of wonky sometimes. I’m not famous but I feel like I accomplished some positives in my life and have made a difference to the industries I’ve been involved in.

My towing company went from being the youngest among the 40+ companies with tow trucks in Peoria, IL when I started to the oldest towing company in the city. Check that off the list.

My publishing company was started because there was a need in the towing industry for education. My towing magazine competitors were showing pictures of pretty trucks, doing interviews with big companies, and doing recovery stories, and they were doing a good job of it.

But they werenʼt telling you how to afford the pretty trucks. They didnʼt tell you how to become a big company. They didnʼt cover the business management end of running your business. So I did.

I sent out 46,000 48-page tabloid-sized newspapers free to every towing company in every state every month. It specialized in business management articles explaining that they weren’t tow truck drivers who were in business. They were a business owners who happened to own tow trucks.

When I sold my paper to Trader Publishing, the other towing magazines were finally publishing business management articles for the towing operators. Check that off the list.

I retired after that. Twenty plus years in towing and ten years in publishing was enough. My wife and I started scuba diving. Eventually she became a Rescue Diver and I became a Dive Master, one step below instructor. Check that off the list.

Then I started racing go-karts on dirt ovals at 58. Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to race stock cars. I spent so much time working I never got around to doing that. The go-kart racing filled that desire. I raced for 13 years, eight years for points and six years part time. I ended up winning four track championships. Not bad considering all my competitors were many years younger than me. Check that off the list.

My skills did not include knowing how to correctly set up a go-kart to get the right balance and handling, which is critical if you want to win. I relied on the internet. There were some really smart people who shared their knowledge about setting up a kart. Each one had their own lists of different methods to set up the karts. Most of the methods were different. To correct an ill-handling kart, you had to look at several different sites to find something that might work for your particular situation.

Being retired with time and publishing/editing skills, I went to work consolidating the work of all the smart kart set-up people. I made set-up sheets you could print out and put in your race trailer. If the kart was pushing in the corners, I listed all the different ways to correct that problem. Same if it was loose. Same with any other handling problem. It was all right there…try this, this, or this.

No Goats Racing set-up sheets ended up being very popular. On the major kart racing web page, people are always recommending to other racers to print out my set-up sheets. I get hundreds of hits on my web page every month. Check that off the list.

I don’t know what’s next. I’m completely contented. That’s good enough for me.