How much of your day/week is related to horses?
Currently Shirley and I are “horseless”. Health issues caused us to sell the ranch and facility and move into a “senior environment”. We are VERY active in the local horse community and since I am a life member of California State Horsemen’s Association (CSHA) and fomer State Vice-president, we still contribute when we can towards successful venues.
I allocate approximately 55 hours a week involved in the horse industry. It is nice to be “retired” from the 80+ hours for almost 40 years ~smile~. I used to announce 30 West Coast Shows a year, but cannot continue that pace, so I volunteer for a few selected Non-Profit Functions.
Shirley left her boarding business and had to downsize to miniatures because of her bone conditions and finally NO horse and now spend her time handcrafting Wood Yard and Home Decor, focusing on the Western and Horse Motifs. Even though we miss the smells and daily contact, our hearts and spirit are still with the horse.
Our youngest son has an excellent Cutting Horse Training facility in Texas and is carrying on our “legacy” of being close to the horse.
What is it exactly that you do?
Most of the clients in our Marketing and Business Consulting Company are in the manufacture and distribution of horse products, provide professional services, or are breeders and ranchers.
Chuck Bartok is a 50 year serial entrepreneur who focused his energy in Agriculture and Equine Businesses and Financial Services. Since a major health set back a few years ago, Chuck is now spending his time helping others grow their businesses and profits through the effective use of internet and social media marketing.
In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Everyone’s definition of liveable is different. I believe my fees and compensation would allow most reasonable people to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. For the past several years it has averaged about $100/hour net after taxes.
There is a demand for experienced marketing consultants and coaches in all fields. There is a strong market in the horse industry, since so many NEW people are always venturing into the business side.
What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Be familiar with the industry, preferably with hands-on experience. Understand the needs of your client’s customer base. I DO not advocate wasting time getting advanced degrees in marketing. Most programs are taught by those of little to NO experience and are too focused on structure rather than getting the job done.
I have guest lectured in some programs and was appalled at the lack of understanding of how to grow the whole person – so important in the success of any business, regardless the venue. Suggestions: team up with experience , learn to listen, create your own persona (there are thousands who will follow YOU) and be willing to take the time to GROW. Just like starting a colt, there is NO easy button.
Favourite horse memory?
My father taking me to the stables in Chicago and riding the Forest Preserves after he returned from WWII. That embedded my desire to become a horseman.
Continue to encourage and help build the horse businesses of others.
Best thing about your sport/profession?
Watching clients build the horse related businesses of THEIR dreams. Especially young trainers. Some of my “clients” have really exploded onto the Horse World over the past 20 years.
“Whoever said that money cannot buy happiness didn’t know where to buy a horse.” – Author unknown