We’ve been balancing Altruism, Philanthropy, and Entrepreneurship for more than a decade. The pages of this blog are a book on the little known secrets that only come from every type of chess involvement/experience! It started with one simple idea! Our slogan has gone from, “Making Chess Near The Busline The Road To Scholarship” to “Healthy, Wealthy, And Wise For All Ages” We didn’t put a man on the moon or discover any cures, but we did prove that a 6 yr old can be a head coach of a middle school on her way to becoming the Virginia K-3 Champion!! We took an 11 year old boy and gave him enough high paying coaching work to have his rating peak at 2384. He is the 2021 and 2022 Virginia State Champion!! We balanced altruism, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship enough to be making 14 stops a week when we were only being paid for 5 of them. We’ve engaged in every chess activity at mostly our own expense. We coached, we refereed, we organized, we wrote, recorded, analyzed, theorized, and published all across the state and the internet with absolutely no concern for ourselves!! There are no organizations public or private that can say we ever told them no because they could not pay!!!
Watching Magnus Carlsen sell, “Chessable” for almost $90,000,000.00 was a serious wake up call. That money was made off of the hard work and vocational dedication of volunteers worldwide, not the hard work and vocational dedication of employees worldwide!!! The US Chess Federation served over 90,000 members and over 1,000 affiliates last year with a gross intake of just $3,000,000.00. Google says that in 2022 chess raked in $2,191,510,000.00 worldwide and is expecting it to be 2,706,680,000.00 by 2028! While no one was looking, chess has evolved from a past time into a billion dollar industry!!
Chess volunteerism has been declining for more than a decade. Who will serve the current chess boom? Google reports that US Chess has 263 Certified Coaches. That makes coaches a dismal and frightening 0.263% of the membership. That’s 1 coach for every 380 members. 1 for every 7.6 affiliates, 1 for every 439 learning institutions, and 1 for every 1,266,160 Americans!! To add insult to injury, only 63 of us have our certification because of documented state and national level student and team participation!! They say there are 2000 affiliates! There are 115,576 learning institutions. Even if they were all scholastic, that would mean 1 affiliate for every 58 learning institutions. That’s 1 affiliate for every 166,500 Americans.
Billion dollar industries aren’t supposed to be serviced and grown by volunteers!? What’s painfully obvious is that US Chess is not answering the question of how chess vocationalism is to be compensated!?! Everyone acknowledges having only positive expectations upon discovering that a person of any age, gender, or race, is a, “Complete Chess Personality”!! What are our Federations, Institutions of Learning, Business Communities, Churches, and Cultures, doing to create a vocational price, prize and tangible reward for living as one? A, “Complete Chess Personality” is a person that is Rated, a Certified Coach, a Certified Tournament Director, and an Affiliate Organizer! A babysitter in America and Canada earns $17.00-$21.00 per hour per child. Chess is a scholarship venue and can aid in a learning institution’s decision to award a student with $150,000.00-$400,000.00. There are no age requirements to be a Certified Coach, Certified Tournament Director, or Affiliate Organizer!!! What I don’t understand is how there is no minimum standard of compensation!?! Depending on the strength and number of students, a 2nd tier, Certified Coach is worth $40.00-$400.00 an hour! A 2nd tier Certified Tournament Director alone or assisted is worth $350.00-$650.00 per day, plus expenses!! A full service organizer/affiliate, who on a full time basis, manages chess personalities, events, publicity, partnerships, and expenses, is worth at least $50,000.00 a year! None of the, “authorities” that I found spouting how much each one of these positions is supposed to get paid was a US Chess Affiliate, State Chapter or the US Chess Federation!! Shame on them!!
We can’t wait for the Leaders and the Chess Elite to get to work on creating a balance… Altruism, Philanthropy, and Volunteerism are the tools of serving a mission, not a billion dollar industry! If we are to service and catch up to the demand, we will need Altruism, Philanthropy, Expense Compensated Volunteers, and Entrepreneurship! Entrepreneurship is the responsibility of the Affiliate. A coach needs some, a tournament director needs some too, but the affiliate of today and tomorrow needs to embody it if they ever want to provide vocational opportunities for their team members! In the transition from, “past time” to, “industry”, the affiliate must begin to serve and depend on everyone!?! Who is everyone? They are Patrons, Customers, Advocates, Supporters, Local Business Owners, Schools, Places of Worship, Altruist, Philanthropist, and Expense Compensated Volunteers!!! The industry as a whole may still, to some degree, be getting a free lunch, but from now on whether it’s at full price or a discount, we have to start charging for breakfast and dinner!!! lol
Reciprocity is really a silent partnership! The person/company that provides free and valuable products and/or services has to be looking for every way to empower reciprocators. We do full service advertising partnerships that include; coupons, banner, website, gear, stationary, regular club meetings, frequent public events, a monthly magazine! We also flyer every business, school, place of worship, and municipal office that will allow us!! We provide proven and guaranteed, “Business to Consumer” and, “Business to Business” products and services. If you want to reciprocate the value you have gotten from these pages, please find a way for you, and the people you know to become our customers!?! The chess family you help, won’t just be your own!!
Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise takes a lot of research. We’ve found some very popular satisfaction guaranteed products and services that we’d like to bring to your attention! They are Green Products, Healthy Cooking, Paying Social Media, Weight Management, and Survival/Emergency Equipment. We haven’t bought every product but the one’s we have have been 100% satisfactory! We want to hear your happy stories too. Please take a look and see if for the sake of reciprocity and your own satisfaction, if there is something we have, that working together, we can do something for chess!!
As always, if you’re not ready for coaching we will get you ready for free!!!
Thanks in advance,
Coach Mike C