Sometimes even the best ideas take longer to germinate than we expect, forcing us to adjust our plans accordingly.
It happens regularly to businesses of all shapes and sizes. This week, it happened to us.
For months we had planned for the Colorado Springs Business Journal to sponsor a Sports Lunch in December. The concept was simple yet different: We would invite a select group of former athletes, all who achieved pro-level success in their sports before moving on to the “real” world, to share their stories and advice about how they have applied lessons from their sports careers to achieve success in business.
With a combination of brainstorming and help from others with connections, we put together a fascinating group of five participants, all with their own distinct appeal. We saw it as an absolute slam-dunk, certain of pulling a great crowd. The initial planned date was Thursday, Dec. 10, but when we realized it would conflict with the annual State of the Region lunch put on by El Paso County and the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, we simply moved the Sports Lunch to a week later, Dec. 17.
Our panel was ready to go, and its credentials were superb.
We saw it as an absolute slam-dunk, certain of pulling a great crowd.
Dave Feamster, a Michigan native and star defenseman for Colorado College hockey in the late 1970s, went on to play a handful of seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks in the National Hockey League before retiring, settling in Pueblo and owning local franchises for Little Caesars pizza.
Marty Wakelyn, another hockey player drawn to the area by Colorado College, stood out as the Tigers’ goaltender from 1982-86, earning him a shot in the NHL with the New York Islanders. After his playing days ended, he returned here to start a sporting goods business (Sports Replay) and now is involved with selling medical devices.
Justin Armour, who led Manitou Springs to state championships in football and track (almost in basketball as well), went on to a record-setting college career as a receiver at Stanford and then played for several NFL teams including Denver for its second Super Bowl title in 1998. He eventually wound up back in Manitou with his wife, raising their two kids and owning the Crystal Park Cantina restaurant.
Chad Hennings, an All-American defensive lineman at Air Force Academy (1985-87) before serving as a pilot in the first Gulf War, came back to play for the Dallas Cowboys and now is involved with commercial real estate.
And moderating the group would be none other than Dave Logan — former Denver high school star, University of Colorado standout receiver and NFL player for the Cleveland Browns (1977-83), now working for KOA radio in Denver with a daily afternoon show and as voice of the Denver Broncos.
Seriously, how could that go wrong? But for whatever reasons, most likely the proximity to Christmas and not being early enough with promoting the event and especially Logan’s presence, our reservations weren’t sufficient. We didn’t want to embarrass anyone, including the event’s corporate sponsors, Stockman Kast Ryan, Platinum Relations and Northwestern Mutual. Our decision, made Monday, was to put off the event, probably until May 2016, and then play it up in a big way, taking nothing for granted, and shooting for a much larger crowd.
We apologize for pulling the plug, but we’re convinced it’s still the right idea. The end result will be even better.
Plan on it.