Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Toni Calderon > www.casusmanagement.com

Toni Calderon, President, Casus Management

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
You need to have a lot of patience and never loose sight of your long term goals, even when the odds are against you, you need to stay focused and get through the hard times.  Realistically things don’t happen over night and you will have a lot more failures than successes, but you have to keep planting seeds and preparing yourself because eventually the opportunity that you have been waiting for will come by and you need to be able to not only recognize it, but take advantage of it.  Being an entrepreneur is not only about coming up with new ideas, no matter how unique or innovative your concepts are, if you don’t sacrifice and work hard they will never become a reality. 

What did inspire you to start your business?
I’ve always had a passion for motorsports and after working directly both with drivers and teams I noticed an opportunity to fill a gap.  There was an important untapped market specifically dealing with Hispanic drivers, and Hispanic motorsport marketing and I saw the opportunity with my experience and connections to be one of the firsts to take advantage of it. 

How did you finance it?
Savings, part time jobs, and credit card debt.

Being Hispanic… Does it have any influence on your business?
Yes in a big way, being bi-lingual bi-cultural has opened many doors in my business and most of my services are based on this experience. It is part of the nature of what we do and it is one of the main factors that set us apart from the competition, it also opens the door to a lot of unique business opportunities. 

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
If you believe in what you are doing and you have set the foundation to be successful then you must keep going.  If there is an opportunity out there then eventually somebody will take advantage of it, whether it’s you or somebody else that held on longer and worked harder. 

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Staying a float during a recession.  Motorsports is a luxury and it was severely hit by the economy, and being a start up at that time made it very difficult.  But making it through also created many opportunities, as a lot of the competition did not survive. 

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
Less traveling.

What was your childhood ambition?
To be a race car driver. 

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire? 
Ricardo González – He is one of my clients, after retiring from racing at a young age, he focused on creating a very successful multi-million dollar insurance company in Mexico.  With the added free time and resources that this gives him he has now come back to racing and has become an extremely successful driver, winning championships and now competing at the highest levels of endurance racing in the world, while still managing to maintain and grow his business back at home. 
Zack Brown - He is the founder of Just Marketing International which is the most successful Motorsports Marketing firm in the United States. 
Malcolm Gladwell – Through his books and lectures he has become an inspiration to millions around the world who like myself have learned to see and understand the world a little differently thanks to his research and his writing. 

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
If in the US dinner, if in Mexico lunch. 

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
I have been on the road for years, constantly traveling and sacrificing important social aspects back at home, but at the same time being present and active in the industry, which has been a key to success. 

What is your favorite quote?
Luck is when preparation meets opportunity

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Yes but not as difficult as I imagine being conventional would be. 

Biggest mistake made?
Not properly training the right staff when the opportunity was there to do it.   

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
No because most of the separate services that we offer don’t reinvent the wheel or are something that someone else couldn’t offer. The difference is that we’ve taken a variety of these services and brought them all under one umbrella, what makes us unique is the full range of assistance that we can offer our clients which they would otherwise receive from multiple sources. 

About Casus Management
Casus Management is a motorsports marketing company focused on driver management, sponsorship and B2B development, and PR representation.  We offer these services for general market, but are mostly focused on Mexican drivers competing internationally, and in developing marketing and activation programs to help increase the Hispanic motorsports fan base in the United States, and create communication channels for companies who are looking to reach this market through motorsports.  We currently represent three out of the four Mexican drivers competing internationally in North America. 
Our clients include:
Drivers: Luis Diaz (American Le Mans Series), Ricardo Gonzalez (World Endurance Championship), David Martinez (American Le Mans Series) and Davy Jones (GRAND-AM).
Teams: Conquest Racing (American Le Mans Series, IZOD IndyCar Series).
Series: Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy USA by Car Amigo

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