In hockey and investing, great moments are born from great opportunities…
Have you seen the viral video where the cute 4-year-old is mic’d up for his hockey practice? His dad wondered what he might be saying out there on the ice… and it’s gotten over nine million views in three months.
That dad is Jeremy Rupke, founder of How to Hockey. Hailing from a small Canadian farming town, Jeremy’s story offers a peek into the mind of a young entrepreneur who took hockey to a different level, turning his lifelong passion for a sport into a rapidly growing business of educating players of all ages. You’re in for a treat with this interview [27:34].
Hockey and business/investing are naturally linked in my mind… If you’re a regular listener, you may have heard me quote Wayne Gretzky: Skate to where the puck is going—not where it is.
I try to use that approach in investing. The obvious details about a company or industry are priced into where the stock is trading at any given time… That’s where the puck is.
Where it’s going is second level type thinking… That’s the information that’ll be priced into the stock in the future—when the market figures it out.
The Mike Alkin Show | 58
You miss 100% of the shots you never take
Announcer: Free and clear of the chatter of Wall Street you’re listening to Talking Stocks Over a Beer, hosted by hedge fund veteran and newsletter writer Mike Alkin who helps ordinary investor level the playing field against the pros by bringing you market insights and interviews with corporate executives and institutional investors. Mike sifts the all the noise of mainstream financial media and Wall Street to help you focus on what really matters in the markets and now here’s your host Mike Alkin.
Mike Alkin: It’s Monday, April 29, 2019. Good to be back. I took last week off on a forced one week sabbatical. I say forced because my family and I were in Southern California. The kids had Spring Break from school, so we were there and if I were to attempt to do the podcast on vacation, my wife and kids would have given me more than a hard time. As I already, I will say I don’t already, my kids grew up with me from the time they were born. I used to travel a ton for work and so they would always, you know they knew that Dad traveled a lot and my wife was just phenomenal with accommodating and now the last few years I’ve traveled a little bit less or a lot less, but in the investment business it’s not a job, I always say, it’s not an 8-5, 7-6, you’re always on because the markets, they don’t care that you don’t feel well. They don’t care if you’ve got a family event. They don’t care if you’re on vacation.
Mike Alkin: It’s 24/7 stuff is happening. Companies put out news and that for years when I first started, I remember in the business a long time ago now, you realize that you are captive to the market and that you don’t have that mental time off. So even when you have a vacation if you will, you’re still checking all the time and again it could be in the middle of doing something on a vacation and a company puts out news that needs a response from you in terms of a decision. It’s nice to say, “I’m just going to put it aside. I’m not going to look at it for a week and just go,” but that’s not the reality, right? Because you have a responsibility to investors that you always have to pay attention. So you just get used to it and over time it’s part of your fabric and it’s part of what you do and for me I just feel so lucky.
Mike Alkin: I always say that I haven’t worked a day in the last 20+ years. I mean I truly don’t think what I do for a living is work, whether it’s investing or writing to people my thoughts on companies and sharing insights. It’s just every day is a new learning experience. It’s educational. It keeps you current in the world, about world events and you have to stay on top of things and meet interesting management teams and talk to people in the industries that you’re looking at, that you’re following and learn about different stuff all the time. So that’s not work. That’s an honor to be able to do that. It’s fun. I still to this day after all these years, Friday night’s a little bit of a letdown because no market’s going to be open Saturday or Sunday and then Sunday night like a kid in a candy store because here comes Monday.
Mike Alkin: So my son said to me while we were sitting on the plane on the way out, he said “Dad do you think you’ll ever retire?” I said, “No. Why would I do that?” He said, “I didn’t think so either.” I said, “You know buddy I haven’t worked really.” He said “What do you mean you haven’t worked? You always work.” I said, “No. I mean I don’t consider it work. I consider it an honor to be able to do this.” But to do the podcast takes a little bit of time. So I’ve got to prepare. I’ve got to get a guest. By the time it’s all said and done at least a few hours of production time and then it’s a few hours of preparation time and so I wanted to devote that time to my family this week I think we put up a prior podcast.
Mike Alkin: So we’re back in the saddle now, but it was a week we were out in Southern California and we started out in, flew into LAX and nice easy flight. Got there and got off the plane, got out into the terminal with our luggage and my wife had said to me when she was booking the trip, “Do you care what car rental company we use?” I mean they’re just all interchangeable and I’ve been terrible by the way. Over the years, I mean I can’t even recall how many miles I’ve flown. I mean it’s got to be over a million, but for years I never joined, I’d always fly different places. So I wasn’t one of these loyalty guys so I didn’t do, whether it was Delta, United, American it was just whatever. Get me the best flight I can find. Get me the easiest in and out.
Mike Alkin: So I was never was really loyal to one airline or one car rental company and for years I would do it. My wife would always say, “Are you member?” Because she’s just the opposite. She’s a CPA and she’s very fastidious and detail oriented like that and she would say, “Are you doing this?” I’d be like, “Oh yeah, I’ve got to do that,” and I wouldn’t and I don’t know how many years into it I finally did commit to doing it and I think it was United where I had racked up a ton of miles. I was going to Europe a lot. Had one flight that worked for me. So I was doing that, but to me all the commercial airlines suck. They just do. I don’t know if it’s just they’ve got to move so many people and logistically I understand how hard it is. So I never really had that great loyalty to one or the other. You look at the commercials and they’re great and all that stuff, but when you’re sitting at the gate and you’re four hours late or you missed the flight and you need help.
Mike Alkin: It reminds me of the scene with Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents. I don’t know if you’ve seen that movie. It’s one of my probably one of my Top 10 comedies. Ben Stiller is just trying to get back to, he had a really tough time meeting his future in-laws and he’s just trying to get back to his home in Chicago and he’s at the gate and it’s a late night flight and there’s no one there and the woman, if you’re in Row X and 1-10 you can board now and if you’re in Row 10, 11-20 you can board now and there’s no one boarding. There’s no one at the flight except Ben Stiller and he goes to walk up and she says, “No, no. Sorry, sir. You haven’t been called,” and that’s the resistance you get just because that’s their rule. He goes on, he gets on the plane and the stewardess doesn’t let him do something with his overhead bag and it’s a funny scene where he just wants to, he basically gets hauled off the flight.
Mike Alkin: So again, loyalty, so she said to me, “What about car rental?” I said, “They’re all the same.” Again, I hadn’t really joined any loyalty programs. So we get to the airport. We get out and we’re waiting for the Budget Rent-a-car. She said, “Should I get Avis or Hertz or Budget?” I said, “I don’t care.” So she said, “Budget has a great rate.” I said, “Okay.” So we get to, we were waiting and we’re waiting and we’re waiting and Avis is coming by and Hertz is coming by and National’s coming by and everyone’s coming by but we’re standing there with five suitcases and nothing’s happening. So I’m trying to call the Budget counter on the offsite airport office and nothing. We had gotten an email a few days before saying “We’re just doing a little renovating here at LAX but everything will be fine.” Well half hour goes by and finally the bus comes and it takes us to the offsite and we pull up and we get off and I thought it was a joke.
Mike Alkin: There was a mass of humanity waiting outside, now luckily it’s LA and it was 70 degrees, but they’re calling out numbers and long story short, we had to wait an hour and fifteen, an hour and thirty minutes, something like that to get our car. We go in and we get to the counter and the woman says, “Okay, so whatever you have…” This is another thing. I never pay attention to this stuff. I’m like, “Okay, yeah sure, whatever.” I just sign it at these things, but something just struck me odd as I looked down at the receipt she gave me. I said, “I have like a few hundred miles and then you charge me 25 cents a mile?” I said, “I can’t recall, but I don’t think I’ve ever paid for miles with a rental car forever.” She says, “Oh no no no,” and my wife came up and she said, “What’s going on?” So she said to the woman, “Oh no.” Well the woman said, “Well that’s the rate that they show you, but that’s the reason the rate was so good is because it doesn’t include the miles.”
Mike Alkin: So I said, “I’m in Southern California driving all over for a week. A few hundred miles? What are you, crazy?” She said, “No you’re fine. That’s just the way it is,” and next thing you know we went back and forth and I walked out of there with 3000 miles, with unlimited miles, but she redid the thing and I said, “It still shows on here that I have that.” She goes, “Oh don’t worry, but when you come back it’s fine. It’s fine. They’ll deduct it then,” but I said, “It doesn’t say that.” I said, “So what’s the point?” She said, “It’s just the way the system works.” I said, “Okay.” Then she started out with they didn’t have the car we needed, the SUV that we were going to get. So then we get an upgrade of course, the upsell and she said, “It’s only an extra $200 a day,” and I literally laughed. “What are you out of your mind?” and she said, “No no no it’s $200 a day but it’s a much nicer SUV than… ” I forget what it was we were getting a Yukon or something. I know, ice vehicle, ice engine, polluting the air it’s an SUV.
Mike Alkin: Well, get over it. Anyway next thing you know she upgrades us to a Mercedes 450 SUV and she wanted to bang it for… Because they had nothing else. We had just waited for an hour and thirty minutes I would have taken anything. Long story short, walked out of there I think it was an extra $50 a day and sure enough, we go for a week. I pull in, I’m bringing the car back and they go to check me out and she says and I look at the thing. They didn’t have the miles thing. They were going to bang me for all the extra miles which I then had to go inside and negotiate that and finally we got it to work, but my experiment with Budget was a calamity, but that was the way we started vacation but we’re not going to let that get to us.
Mike Alkin: Anyway went to Santa Monica for a few days, very nice. Stayed at a hotel on the water, had a really nice time. Drove around. We did some of the touristy stuff which is not my favorite thing to do, but the kids… We went and did a Warner Brothers studio tour so that was pretty cool. Got to be on the set of a couple of things was cool. I met with a few investor in the uranium fund out there so I got out of going on the tour of the Hollywood stars’ homes which I was horrified to think we were doing that. I don’t need to go see anybody else’s house. I could not care less, but my wife and kids did it. They had a great time and stuff. Then we headed down to Laguna Niguel Dana Point area in Orange County. Just a spectacular ocean view from the hotel and I’ve been going there for years. The Ritz-Carlton hotel there has, Roth Capital hosts a conference there every March and I’ve been going 15, 20 years and I once in a while take my wife out there for the conference and always really enjoyed it.
Mike Alkin: So we went back and stayed. I mean it’s one of the more breathtaking views just sitting out there. It’s on a cliff overlooking the ocean, so it was nice and we just kind of hung around there and bopped around. Went to Newport, did some other stuff. We were going to go down to San Diego and Catalina but the kids were having such a good time we just kind of chilled out. Played a lot of hoops with my son who’s 13 and he’s my height and he’s big. I mean I’m just roughly six foot, really five eleven and a half if we round up, but we don’t need to say anything, but he’s a big kid. Really the first time he smoked me on the basketball court, like truly smoked me, but had a good time there and so it was nice. Interestingly, I’m in Southern California and I can’t help myself because that’s the heartbeat of Tesla and we were on the 405 which is just a parking lot for those of you who live out there or travel there a lot you know that, but the 405 we were on for 60 miles maybe?
Mike Alkin: And interestingly in that 60 mile trip from LA down to Laguna, I saw 10 Teslas. This is where it all happens. This is Southern California. This is where everything, Tesla is more than half their cars I think or sold in California, but this is what it’s all about and 10, one Model Three and the rest Model S&X. Every single one was black and when you’re driving on the highway there you look around and see white, you see yellow, you see tan, silver and a handful of blacks, black cars. So handful of black cars, handful of but a lot of white cars, a lot of silver and it make sense. It’s warm there so you would have a lighter car. It deflects the sun, but all the cars were black, the Teslas that I saw, and I couldn’t get my head around that but what struck me was everywhere I looked were Priuses. I mean on that drive I think there were over 35 Priuses and a bunch of Chevy Volts. I think I counted seven.
Mike Alkin: What else are you going to do when you’re sitting there just in bumper to bumper traffic for all this time? And then driving around LA, we saw a handful of them. A number of them on the Warner Brothers lot, but it really struck me like, “My God. This is…” and where I am in New York in a pretty nice neighborhood you just got a couple of them. You drive all over Long Island where I like and you see a handful of them. I figure that just because it hasn’t reached here yet. I see a lot sitting in a parking lot on Underhill Boulevard in Syosset, but I don’t see, and that’s inventory, but I don’t see a lot on the road but I figured I’d see them everywhere there. I thought it was odd but I did see Prius and it really made me realize. I said, “Why do I see Priuses everywhere?”
Mike Alkin: Because I mean they’re affordable. They’ve been around for a long time, but yet the Model Three, the $35000 Model Three, that was there for a couple of weeks and is no longer available, I mean the rest of the world doesn’t go out and buy 60, 70, $80000 cars. That’s not the mass market. So here it is the big push, the big Model Three, I’m in the heartbeat of where it is and I hardly saw any. So I thought that was an interesting observation, completely anecdotal, but now the numbers they’ve reported make sense because the numbers that they just reported last week were calamitous with sales down 37% and just a mess. I won’t get into all of it, but anyway needless to say. So now we’re heading back and one of the things I think I told you my wife is, she likes to do the points programs and all that stuff.
Mike Alkin: She likes that and when we built our house a number of years ago, a lot of the stuff for around the house she used the American Express and we have oodles and oodles. I won’t even say how many American Express points we have and she said for this trip, “Why don’t we use the, we have so many, why don’t we use the Rewards Program? We never use it.” I said, “Okay, sure. If you want to use it go ahead.” So she loves doing all that stuff. She does it, she’s so excited. So I don’t know, she got the tickets three months ago, four months ago, she’s a planner and I’m not. She packs a week ahead of time, I pack 20 minutes before we leave. That’s what makes it work. Opposites attract, but for the plane so on the way there we couldn’t, something was weird. She said, “You know they’re not letting me get, they’re not assigning us seats. I mean I keep trying and they won’t assign it to us. They won’t assign seats.”
Mike Alkin: She’s very determined. She kept going online, calling and they said, “When it opens up in a couple of hours…” and she said, “But every time we fly anywhere when you get your tickets you get your seats. That’s kind of right? That’s how it works?” So sure enough, we couldn’t. We get to the airport and then we had to go down to the gate before they would assign us our seats and she’s forceful and we were able to get our seats, but on the way back she tried two days ahead of time calling, “Can we get our seats?” and American Airlines, which I have to tell you like I said I would fly everyone, it was horrendous. American Airlines was just awful customer service. Called up, she finally gets somebody on the phone and she said, “I’ve had these tickets forever. I can get my seat assignments. I don’t understand why,” and they said, “Well you can get them at the airport.” She said, “But I don’t understand why.” They said, “Well if you want to get your seats, you can pay an extra $50 to get your seats.”
Mike Alkin: She said “Why would I do that? I already have my tickets. Why would I pay you an extra $50 per ticket to get my seats? That makes no sense.” “Well then you can’t get your seats.” Now it’s out of principle, right? So we get to the airport and again you’re on a list and I don’t know if it’s because we did it because it was part of a rewards program, but it’s with American Express who I would think we’ve never had it before. My wife has said because I don’t really pay attention to it, but she said “Over the years we’ve used it a couple of times and it’s seamless with Delta and United,” but sure enough this was a joke and at the gate they’re just literally no help. They don’t care. They wanted to provide no help at all. They said, “Well listen. Go on and when you get on the plane just go negotiate with other people to see if you guys could sit together.”
Mike Alkin: I was ready to say something but I didn’t need to get hauled off a plane, so I didn’t, but it’s amazing to me and you think about it. You think about budget, I think about American Airlines and here people want to go away. They want to enjoy themselves and the people they have in customer service roles is stunning to me. I don’t understand it. People are going somewhere. You’re in the hospitality business. You’re in the travel and leisure business. Be cooperative. Look I get it. You have some unreasonable people and they come at you and they’re aggressive and I’ve seen all that, but when people are trying to just do the right thing, but they’re trying to bang you for all these incidentals. You’re paying for every piece of luggage you have. It’s just enough. I don’t understand. It makes no sense to me, but what are you going to do? They’re all the same, I guess. So anyway, that’s my rant.
Mike Alkin: While we were away there was obviously the NHL playoffs run and for those of you who listen to the podcast know how near and dear to me that is. So it was really nice. Kind of weird though because the game started at 4:00 pm and my Islanders didn’t play until Friday. So the whole week I was just watching all the other games. They started at 4:00. I didn’t watch the 4:00 as much. It wasn’t really fair. “Sorry family we’ve got to leave because the Winnipeg / St Louis game is on.” My wife was like, “Really?” At home it’s one thing when I’m watching at 9:00 at night, but the late game, we’re an early eating dinner family and we wind it down pretty early and so anyway, we had our dinner then we go back to the hotel. They have a nice set up and we’re able to watch a lot of hockey and then Friday night it all happened. The Islanders playing the Carolina Hurricanes and everyone saying, “You’re lucky the Canes eliminated the former Stanley Cup champs, the Washington Capitals. God you’re going to have a cakewalk,” and I said, “No we’re not.”
Mike Alkin: “They’re a great team. They hustle. They play hard.” They were a wildcard team but the Islander were only four points ahead of them in the regular season standing. So anyway, Friday night comes and the Islanders had 10 days off and the Canes had just come with one day rest after playing a seven game series against the Caps and the Canes played fantastic and the Islanders were rusty. They lost 1-0 in overtime. So Game Two yesterday and again it’s in New York so right away if you’re the Canes, you go up to New York thinking “If we can just get one out of two games that’s great. We neutralize home ice advantage.” Well sure enough, yesterday the Islanders came out. They played a little bit better, but the Canes played fantastic and the Islanders had a little bit of tough luck. They hit a couple of crossbars, a post. They had one goal called back that should have been called back. It was kicked in.
Mike Alkin: It was Canes 2-1. They came out and scored. Islanders went into their second period 1-0. Canes came out in the first minute and a half and scored two goals and the Islanders couldn’t get a goal and so here we sit, having to go back to Raleigh, North Carolina down 2-0 playing in a really tough arena. So it’s going to be interesting, but it’s pretty wild. It’s going to be interesting to see how it plays, but it’s just great hockey. So I’m a huge monster Islander fan and I’m nauseous right now thinking down two games to none, but just watching it is great and all the games have been so good, every game. One of the games we watched was, it was Wednesday or Thursday night, San Jose Game 7. San Jose’s playing Vegas in San Jose and with 11 minutes to go, Vegas is up 3-0 and I’m watching it and I said to my son, he said “It’s over Dad,” and I said, “I guess so.” I said, “Alright, you guys want anything?”
Mike Alkin: They have on some Club Level you can go down. They have a nice food spread and stuff. I said “I’ll go down and get something,” and it’s a one minute walk from our rooms. I walked down, I come back. Now I leave with 11 minutes to go and my son was doing something in the room and I come back and there’s eighth and a half minutes to go. So I’ve missed two and a half minutes of hockey and I look up and it’s 4-3. I’m like “Amazon I in the Twilight Zone?” No I wasn’t. You had just an unbelievable, it was a five minute penalty and they came back and scored four goals and then it went into overtime because Vegas scored with 42 seconds to go and then San Jose won, but just incredible. Anyway, speaking about hockey, I’m going to bring a guest on right now that is all about hockey. His name is Jeremy Rupke and he runs a website called How To Hockey and I’m going to tell you all about him, but I’ve got to bring him on. Coach Jeremy, welcome to the podcast.
Jeremy Rupke: Thanks very much. Thanks for having me on Mike.
Mike Alkin: Big, big fan man. So, Jeremy Rupke is the founder of How To Hockey and it’s howtohockey.com on Instagram he’s @howtohockey. He’s on Facebook and if you know anything about hockey you need to be following him because he’s just put together a really nice business of educating and coaching and on YouTube the videos are just spectacular and you may not know this if you’re listening, but back in February around the internet started going a video of a four year old boy named Mason playing hockey and it’s been viewed on YouTube now over nine million times and it is the most adorable video you’ll ever watch. It’s six minutes and then there’s one that came out in March of Mason playing hockey and he’s mic’d up and that’s Jeremy’s son and if you haven’t seen it it’s an absolute must watch. Look up four-year-old mic’d up in hockey. But anyway, Jeremy, great talking to you man. I’m a big fan.
Jeremy Rupke: Thank you very much. Thanks for the kind words.
Mike Alkin: So give us a little bit of background for listeners. Give a background as to how you started How To Hockey and how you got into it.
Jeremy Rupke: I kind of just I guess, it was one of those situations where it was the right time and I was going it for the right reasons I suppose. I was a coach and I was just looking for some information on coaching based on my age at the time. I was 20. I was curious about website building, stuff like that. Then I looked online and I couldn’t really find a good website. A lot of them seemed out dated.
Mike Alkin: How far back are you going?
Jeremy Rupke: Right, 2009 is when I launched the website. I was kind of just out of high school. I was in college. I was familiar with making websites and I was looking for a good hockey website because it was something I always loved growing up. All I ever wanted to do was play hockey. Whenever I looked for a job I always searched for hockey jobs. I never wanted it to be out of my life sort of thing.
Mike Alkin: It’s part of your Canadian DNA.
Jeremy Rupke: Yes, Canadian. That’s [inaudible 00:30:04]. I grew up on a farm in a small town and all I did was play hockey and go to school is kind of the thing to do. So real life was about to kick in. There was no more minor hockey. I got into coaching so I could stay involved and I’m looking for resources online and the sites seemed outdated or not complete or just not, in all texts, no images, no videos, no anything. I was like “This seems like kind of not that great. I could do something better myself.” So I decided to start How To Hockey. So I fired that sight up. I decided to do a few articles and a few videos. It was just supposed to be how to skate, how to shoot, how to pass. I looked for videos to embed and I couldn’t find any good ones on YouTube so I was like, “I guess I’ll have to make the YouTube videos as well.”
Jeremy Rupke: So I started making videos on how to shoot, how to skate, how to pass and the idea was just to make a 20 page website, all the basics, anyone who wants to learn, it’s right there for them, but people kept asking me to make more videos, more articles so I just kept on providing more and more just based on comments and because of that I was in tune with the followers. I just kept getting more followers and creating more videos to get more views and something-
Mike Alkin: And how did you get those when you first started? I was going to say, when you first started how did you get the word out there? I guess ’09, I guess the internet was there, but here you are, you start a hockey website and it’s just like, was it word of mouth at first? Did you go out and target advertise?
Jeremy Rupke: I kind of just scoured the web, I’m like “Where are people hanging out that want to learn how to play hockey?” So I found a few forums where there were certain small sections of the forum that talked about getting better and improving. So I just became a member, became involved, starting helping people and [inaudible 00:31:54] I just made this article. If somebody asked the question, like I tried not to be too aggressive, like push my stuff, but somebody asked I was like, “I’ll make a video for you,” and then the next day I’d have a video opt and say, “I did this on how to pick a back end. Maybe this will help,” and then because of that it grew. I think that’s where my base came from is just from the forums. I would always just look for new ways to help spread the word or to kind of gather the right people. So I started the Facebook page, Twitter account, Reddit. I started, this is a little bit later, but I started an Our Hockey Players on Reddit. That’s got maybe 40 or 50000 subscribers on there now.
Jeremy Rupke: Later on I started an Instagram page, an account, sort of basically a place where if this is what you’re interested in you can follow the website, but you can also follow on any of these social media accounts. I tried to make it really easy to have a strong following where I could reach the people who wanted the information the most.
Mike Alkin: That’s pretty cool. I know on YouTube where I see a lot of your stuff, you have like 270, 280000 subscribers or something like that. I mean that’s grown really nicely I’m sure.
Jeremy Rupke: And YouTube is always the backbone. So that’s where I put all the heart and soul. The meat of my content goes to YouTube. Everything else is just too I guess give me more roads leading to the YouTube videos or more ways to reach people.
Mike Alkin: How do you find Facebook as a tool for getting the word out there?
Jeremy Rupke: When I first started it was amazing. I started my Facebook and Twitter at the exact same time as my website and I would post something on Twitter and it would just die. It would get one like or one comment, but on Facebook I found that it would spread because people would be sharing it. So I’d post the exact same thing on Twitter and Facebook and Facebook it would be spread to everybody who needed it, but on Twitter it would kind of just sit there. So I found Facebook very useful in the beginning.
Mike Alkin: But YouTube is really the backbone for it? You find that that’s where you get the most traction out of?
Jeremy Rupke: Yeah because the thing on Facebook is that it’s kind of just like temporary. Same with Instagram, same with Twitter. You post something there it gets forgotten three days later, but YouTube it’s nice. It’s like a library. If somebody’s looking they’re going to search there. Google knows that it has the resources for their indexing, things from YouTube in putting them a little bit higher. So some of these searches for how to take a wrist shot, a video I did 10 years ago is going to come up and be recommended and watched and used whereas if I posted that same video on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, it’s gone a week later. They’ll never be found again.
Mike Alkin: That’s a great point. So now as the website started to grow and you started to get the videos out there, your name gets more. How does the business grow? Do you do it with the advertising or do you do endorsements? How does that all work?
Jeremy Rupke: Well it’s a mix mash. So it depends on what industry you’re really in, how you’re going to make the bulk of your income. The funny thing is, I’ll just mention, when I was in high school my guidance counselor would have never said, “Do this,” because it didn’t exist. The funny thing about the world today, it used to be you knew the jobs, you went to college for them, you chose that path and that’s your career for the next 40 years or whatever until you retire, but the world doesn’t work that way anymore. Like if you think about apps, apps on a smartphone. It’s a huge market now, but smartphones have only existed for seven or eight years or have been utilized for that amount of time, but some of these app companies are just crushing it. So if you were in high school 10 years ago, you could have just fallen into this industry.
Jeremy Rupke: So it’s crazy how fast the world changes. I didn’t really start to see it as a career. I started the website as a hobby. I loved hockey and I wanted to help people that were hockey players. I figured I could reach some coaches and some players. So what that website was originally intended for and I rejected any advertising offers that came initially because I didn’t want gambling or casinos or find a job. I want to control the advertising or at the beginning I was like, “I’m looking to make any money off of it at all,” but then I got some offers from some hockey companies. I was like, “This makes sense,” and I partnered with a company called Hockey Shot who make targets, nets, basically anything you need to train for hockey at home. They’ve got fake ice that you can skate on. They’ve got smooth stuff that you can just shoot off of, stick [inaudible 00:36:49] whatever. Anything that you need to improve you still at home they got it.
Jeremy Rupke: So I was using their products and then I said, “Guys, if you guys send me a bunch of these products, I’ll make some review videos for you,” and they had an affiliate program. So that’s how I started making a bit of money based on that I was promoting the products anyways. Might as well make a commission off of it, right?
Mike Alkin: Absolutely.
Jeremy Rupke: I still give honest reviews of course. You can’t just sell out. So [crosstalk 00:37:17]-
Mike Alkin: But you know I have to tell you, I was going to say for me in my office, I’ve got a couple of sticks. I’ve got a shooting board. I’ve got the glide. I mean I’ve got the Hot Shot, what is it the glide? Going back and forth, the skating-
Jeremy Rupke: The pass rebounder.
Mike Alkin: The pass rebounder and the slide board.
Jeremy Rupke: The slide board, nice. [crosstalk 00:37:41].
Mike Alkin: During the day sometimes if I’m thinking I’ll just get on the slide board and I’ve got the shooting pad in front of me and I’m stick handling back and forth while I’m going. Just why not? I knock out a little, but I find it, your videos are immensely helpful because you don’t think of a lot of this stuff that what you have on there, the hockey passer or the rebounder or the fake ice. For me, Friday night I play in a midnight beer league. So I go and I play and I have fun and I get home at 2:30 and I’m up until 4:30 because I’m wired. You know the drill, but as part of my work-… So now I’m older now. I’m 54 years old and I work out, I try to stay in shape, but it gets boring after a while. So all of a sudden I see you with the glide board talking about it or I see you with the shooting thing and all of a sudden I’m like, now I get excited to incorporate what I love to do, play hockey, into my workout.
Mike Alkin: Had you not done that I wouldn’t have been familiar with that stuff and I think it’s fantastic that you do that. Like the skate sharpener thing. I was just watching you doing the Spark Skate Sharpener and I’m down at the hockey store all the time getting my skates sharpened and I never feel like they’re fantastic. I don’t know what it, nine, ten bucks a week? But I’m thinking maybe I should get one of those but you educate about that. So it’s really great that you and I love what you said with the advertising. You don’t want to do casinos, but the hockey world came out it seems onto this stuff. So that’s really cool. How do you determine the brands or you must get bombarded with stuff from the hockey world. Do you go through trials on your own or is everything you trial you do video before you-
Jeremy Rupke: So it’s been a bit of a progression now. So at first I was rejecting anything that wasn’t hockey related. I wanted to keep it all really tight in the hockey market. So I grew a few relationships with hockey companies. Then I was also selling my own products, so I had a stick handling course and a teaching course on how to beat the goalie. Just basically I wanted to take people from not knowing much to being comfortable. So the learning curve of like it could take somebody about 10 years of playing to figure out how to stick handle properly. I just want to give you all that information. Use the top handle, don’t grip the bottom hand too much, keep the hands away from the body, just the simple stuff you want to work through on a regular basis.
Jeremy Rupke: Once you can get from knowing nothing to this level, you’ll be good on the ice. You’ll be able to control the puck and move the puck well and it’s all these little tips that you can do them wrong and not know it until somebody points it out to you and then you’re like, “Oh man, I wish I knew that.” So all those things that everyone says “I wish I knew that when I was growing up,” I put it all in this guide so people could learn how to stick handle. So I had a stick handling course, a goalie buster course. I also created two apps. I have the affiliate commissions and also some advertising. So all of that combined was making me enough to eventually quit my job and do this full time and that was about three years ago. Also YouTube advertising as well on YouTube. That was a mix of everything.
Mike Alkin: Do you get paid on views on YouTube? Does YouTube pay you on views or how does that work?
Jeremy Rupke: It’s based on the advertising that’s on the video. So you can average it down to the amount of views, but it’s not like every view you get paid. It’s basically if somebody launches the full ad, if they click on an ad, that’s going to make you more money than if they skip the ads, but you can round it down per thousand views you’re going to make a few bucks or something.
Mike Alkin: I was telling my wife, we were in California last week on vacation and coming back I was saying, the kids were excited “Jeremy’s coming on your thing.” I said, “Yeah.” So I said, “Honey, the garage where we’re getting the dashing boards and the fake ice and everything, that whole setup that’s coming for the summer?” She said, “Yeah.” I said, “Because I saw that all on Jeremy’s site.” She’s like, “Geez, tell him thanks for me.”
Jeremy Rupke: Oh man, so right now so I’ve got that set up in the garage, but I also have a kid’s electric jeep parts in there. I’ve got two bicycles, a scooter. I’ve got all this stuff. It’s also parked in that base. Whenever I want use it I’ve got to pull it all out. So, I’m trying to find a place to put all the kids’ stuff now. I need a second shed just for the kids’ stuff.
Mike Alkin: That’s great. I would assume that because you’re so popular and because you have a great way about you and you teach really well and these aren’t 40 minute videos. You can watch five minutes, seven minutes, whatever it is but you get right to the point and you do it in a very nice, relaxed manner. Do you also, do the youth programs come to you? Do you do clinics for them? Or how does that part, the physical part of the business where it’s not over the internet? What’s that part of the business like?
Jeremy Rupke: So I started volunteer coaching. I did that for quite a few years in Huntsville, a small town in Ontario and after I had a couple of kids then I took a break from that just because babies at home, they need a lot of attention all the time. So the wife was like, “You’re going to have to take a break from coaching,” because it takes a lot of time. You go to the games, the practices, [inaudible 00:43:29] the weekends. So I took a break from that, but I was pretty involved with just being on the ice as much as I could. Because of the schedule of being a head coach, an assistant coach for a team, it’s a little taxing. Then I switched to skill sessions which I was doing as well at the time, but now I do that exclusively. So power skating, I’ll do summer camps. I’ll help out at hockey camps and stuff like that. It’s a lot different than doing the videos. You’ve still got to know your stuff and a lot of times I’ll kind of flush out my ideas.
Jeremy Rupke: I’ll develop my ideas that I have at the camps or maybe doing a private sessions with kids in the garage or something where I’ve got ideas on how I can help them. I’ll see if it works. If they pick it up quicker I’ll remember and put that in the next video.
Mike Alkin: And how do you get your ideas where you come out with a new video? Is it people writing in or, I say writing in, listen I’m showing my age, there’s stick handling, there’s shooting, there’s skating, but there’s so many different things you could teach on that. Do you sit down and have a schedule like “For this month I’m going to do these videos.”
Jeremy Rupke: I wish I had a schedule. My life would be so much easier. I’ll get an email, I can open my inbox today and somebody will say, and I’ll have the whole week planned out, “Can you be in Texas on Friday?” “Yes, I guess I could,” and then my whole schedule’s done.
Mike Alkin: So you travel a lot. Tell us about, how does that come up? What makes you decide to go on the road? How does all that work?
Jeremy Rupke: Basically if it seem like a good opportunity, if it seems like it’s good for the fans or good for the business then I’ll take it. I was offered to do a two week Asia tour where I coach hockey in four different Asian countries and I’m like, “Well how can I turn that down?” Because I’m reaching people that I can only reach if they watch my YouTube videos. Now I can actually meet them in person, the experiences of teaching across there and also learning more about hockey around the world and being able to relate that back to my future videos when creating them or my ideas in the future of how I can help people in development countries or I guess developing hockey countries I should say. I can’t say no to that. So that why I kind of do it.
Jeremy Rupke: If it’s just like, “Can you do a camp here?” I’m like, “Well, I’ve got a family at home. I don’t want to be on the road too often,” so I’ll turn down some of those opportunities if it’s just a week doing a camp in a place that’s going to take me away from my family for a week. If there’s something more to it. If it’s like in Asia or India or someplace more unique where I don’t know what the culture is like or hockey’s like there, then I might take that.
Mike Alkin: That’s really cool. Well I was watching one of your videos, I think it was the one, it’s the biggest outdoor ice rink in the world, and it’s the river in Ottawa. It was a great video and you go, what is it? Seven kilometers or something? I forget what it is.
Jeremy Rupke: 7.8 kilometers.
Mike Alkin: 7.8 kilometers, but while you’re there you went out in some other areas where you were doing ice trails. There were trails where you could skate. Now from a New Yorker we don’t have that here. Our winter is cold, but it’s nothing like that. So I was watching it and I thought, “My God, that’s a vacation. We’ll go up three, four days. I’ll take the family up there,” but watching that stimulated a complete bucket list thing for us. It’s like “Wow, look at that. That’s pretty cool.” So I mean you’re bringing ideas that people don’t even know about which is really cool.
Jeremy Rupke: And that’s the thing, the trip to Ottawa there’s so many things. I’m like, “Man, I would do this every year.” You think vacation like, “I want to go sit on a beach,” but the wintertime? That’s amazing. You can skate the canal, it’s so unique. It’s a lot more unique than sitting on the beach or you can skate the canal. It’s like a little street, a frozen street that you can go and get a coffee with your skates on. It’s pretty wild. Then skate through the woods and stuff that you can only do in the wintertime.
Mike Alkin: I’ll tell you, I played pond hockey. I mean I played regular hockey but also pond hockey and I haven’t done it in a couple of years now, but we’d go up to Lake Placid in February and play outdoor pond hockey on Mirror Lake there and pond hockey’s a whole different creature too. You get four guys and there’s no goals. It’s just little things you just shoot in to, but as you know, but it’s three days of the guys just going away. No wife, no kids, get up 7:00 am and drink beer, play hockey until 1:00 and then drink more beer, but it’s-
Jeremy Rupke: Vitamin B.
Mike Alkin: Vitamin B, playing in 20 degree below zero, but what always strikes us is there’s always teams that come up and especially the guys from Quebec. Guys will come out there that are 55, 65, 70 year old guys and it’s like playing the Russian Red Army team from back in the day. I mean it’s crazy. These guys, they’re so skilled it’s unbelievable and they may have lost a step or two, but it doesn’t matter. You see the stick handling and you see stuff like that. So it’s nuts. It’s nuts.
Jeremy Rupke: The old guys play that in positional hockey. They know exactly where to be and they know where all their guys are, so they seem like they’re moving at the speed of light, but they’re barely moving. It’s just that they move the puck so well, it’s like “Bing bang boom and what the heck just happened?”
Mike Alkin: We’re chasing our tail trying to get these guys. The next thing you know it’s 14-1, but it’s really cool. So tell us nerds, a lot of Canadians, but growing up in a small town… So I grew up on Long Island in the seventies and eighties and the Islanders had won four cups and I was just a rabid hockey fan and then I was playing from the time I was a young kid, but at that time especially we had a few rinks around here. Not enough, if once a year you got a freeze on the lake it was a big deal, on a pond, but as a die-hard Islander fan and watching every hockey game, every road game and stuff. I could tell you where Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan was, where Medicine Hat, Alberta was. I was treated like a freak in my hometown because who knew where Moose Jaw was? But with Clark Gillies and Bossy and [inaudible 00:50:19] and all these guys.
Mike Alkin: So I became familiar with all these Canadian towns. Now as an adult and I travel there for work, I meet somebody from Medicine Hat, I’m like “Oh my God, so and so is from there,” but talk about life growing up in a small town and the role that hockey plays because in the US that would be, it’s called War Road, Minnesota is Hockey Town USA which is where TJ Oshie is from and a bunch of others, but small town Canada, what’s the role hockey plays in growing up and how it shapes kids? Because there’s so many lessons to learn that I always say, “It’s not just about playing, but the discipline it teaches you, the comradery.” I mean talk about that.
Jeremy Rupke: There’s so much and actually it might be changing now because the cost of hockey is getting more expensive. I was on the tail end of it. I was born in ’85 and anyone around my age or earlier, basically hockey was all there was to do in the wintertime. So every parent would just drop their kids off at the rink and you played hockey and [inaudible 00:51:25] hockey and you talked about hockey when you go to school. You get home from school and you grab your skates and you go to the pond and you meet up with some friends there and you play some hockey and it’s basically a way of life. It was, like you said, the team everybody’s got a goal. You win together, you celebrate together, you take your losses together. So [inaudible 00:51:46] about winning and losing, fighting through adversity, challenging yourself, trying to get better, self-improvement. It’s all these things that people might not be actively preaching it to you, but you just pick it up through playing the game.
Jeremy Rupke: There’s a lot of life lessons. You learn about respect and sportsmanship, how to be a good winner and not a sore loser. So the small town atmosphere, it’s great because you know everyone you go to high school with, but you also played against them. So now you have to make friends with the enemies because all these small towns that you used to hate, now you’re going to school with that kid who was on the team that tripped you two years ago and you end up being friends with them. So you also learn that people off the ice, they can be great and on the ice you can still have a bit of a rivalry with them.
Mike Alkin: Well it’s funny you say that because my son’s a big lacrosse player and he, when we were away, he was on the phone a lot. We’re always all over him saying, “Come off it.” So my wife said, “Who are you talking to?” and he said, “Some kids from Manhasset and Cold Spring Harbor.” Those are two of our rival towns and it turns out, he’s buddies with the guys he’s playing against from other towns. I said, “Geez bud, what are you…” He and his whole team. He said, “No they’re good guys.” I said, “What are you talking about?” I said, “When we were growing up, we weren’t friends with the enemy.” He said, “Dad, you’re old. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” So I was laughing even though it is pretty funny. I was reading something about you and it said essentially that you do this because, and I think you said earlier, you love hockey.
Mike Alkin: It’s just always has been a part of life and before you came on the podcast I was talking about investing and I said, “For me, I feel like in 20+ years I’ve not worked a day in my life,” because I love what I do. That must be how you feel, like you pinch yourself. “I can’t believe I’m doing this.”
Jeremy Rupke: Pretty much, it’s amazing to be in the position that I’m in and I always liked helping people and I always loved hockey and now I’m combining those two things from [inaudible 00:54:04] something that’s going to give someone the ability to enjoy the game that I loved and that they’re falling in love with, it’s just kind of like sharing an experience with people that are around the world. So whenever I meet them at a hockey expo or conference or something like that, I see them face to face. “You taught me how to take a wrist shot.” It’s just crazy to think, I thought I would only be coaching 10 or 15 kids at a time, but there’s kids around the world where they’re picking up little things. “I made this team because of you,” or “I got a [inaudible 00:54:38] on my first goal because of this video,” sort of thing. So it’s pretty amazing.
Mike Alkin: Well you know it’s funny because growing up around here on Long Island, when I was growing up, I played ice hockey from when I was a little kid, but not a lot of kids did. So I remember in junior high school and high school kids would say, “I’m hockey players.” Actually floor hockey doesn’t count or whatever it was, but you realize that hockey really starts fundamentally with skating and if you can’t skate, all these drills are great, but if you can’t skate you can’t play ice hockey. It’s just one of those things. So how, and you do a great job. One of the things now, my son is 13. When he was about six, seven I think it was, that’s when I started playing, even a little bit younger, but I tried to get him out there and whatever reason he just couldn’t teach him to skate. Wasn’t great and by the time he was seven, he’s playing in a league and by eight years old and I’d take him to the rink all the time. I was like, “You know what? Maybe just isn’t his thing because I have no idea to teach him.”
Mike Alkin: We tried to get him some lessons and it didn’t really work and now at 12 or 13 he’s wanting to… Now when he was 12 he wanted to get back into it and it’s funny because I certainly, I’m like, “That’s awesome, fantastic and we’re going to do that.” Went out and bought him new skates and stuff like that and obviously being absent for six years at this age is from a competitive standpoint, he’s got a lot of catching up to do. I think he recognizes that hockey’s not his future, but you just see the progress but I still, he’s my son so he doesn’t want to listen to me when I’m trying to teach him something, but I show him your video literally about how to balance, how to skate. It’s so impactful and so helpful that these are basic things that are not intuitive to many people. So those are awesome, but the way you do it, stopping.
Mike Alkin: So we must have had him at the rink, I don’t know, 20 times in the last six weeks before we went on vacation. I was teaching him to stop and stop and for somehow I didn’t see your stopping video and it was crazy. I couldn’t get him to do it and then I show him that and the balancing along the boards and the way you do it and all of sudden he’s like, “I get it,” and you just start to do that, but that makes such a difference. So how do you think about it? Is it when you think about stick handling, shooting, skating to you does it all start with the skating and then you build out from there when people are trying to or a 50 year old is trying to play for the first time, whatever it might be. How do you, from the ground up, how do you think about it?
Jeremy Rupke: I see it as basically there’s three different skills you need to learn. You need to learn how to stick handle. You need to learn how to shoot and you need to learn how to skate. Then you need to learn how to do all of them at once. So skating certainly is important, but if you try to learn skating first and then stick and shooting, you’re kind of wasting your time because you can learn stick handling and shooting or at least get familiar with it at home. At home you can work on your hands, control, anything to do that’s close and this is for beginners. Anything that you do that is close to what you need to be doing on the ice is going to help you. It might be two steps forward and one step back, two steps forward one step back, but it’s going to be moving you forward for sure. So stick at home, shoot at home, get familiar and then you get on the ice and then you’ve got to figure it out again on the ice because it’s a little bit different on the ice, but skating is definitely the biggest.
Jeremy Rupke: You need the ability to do that before, if you want to play the game and you’re doing a great job to get on the ice as much as you can because especially when you’re newer, everything is a lesson. You could be out there all by yourself and that’s a lesson because your body’s just trying to figure everything out and there’s a lot. Just your balance alone. Once you get a little better it’s good to get a coach or some direction because that’s going to push you to improve faster and what you want to do is just challenge yourself. You always want to be-
Mike Alkin: And it’s funny… Always challenge, right?
Jeremy Rupke: Yes.
Mike Alkin: I see him-
Jeremy Rupke: You want to be basically just outside your comfort zone and that’s going to push you to improve a lot faster.
Mike Alkin: And you know it’s funny because we play hoops and he can beat me in hoops. I mean he’s tall and all, but like you I’ve been skating my whole life. It’s natural. It’s just like walking and so he gets frustrated. He’ll say, “But Dad how come you can do that? I can’t.” “Because I’ve been doing it for 45 years, 48 years, whatever it’s been.” It really is like riding a bike when it comes to skating, but even now I find and I go. If he doesn’t want to go, I’ll go to the rink. I’m curious if you do this. I still find myself doing things to try to and improve and get better. I mean you just see, the more you skate the better you get. It’s pretty wild and I will tell you though for me with your stuff, the stick handling, some of the drills have really really been helpful. I love the one where you talk about bring around your whole body. It’s just out in front of you and you do it and really really good stuff and so I feel like a kid.
Mike Alkin: My wife says, “What are you, 12?” I’m like, “It keeps me young. I enjoy it.” So from here, where does the business grow and one of the things I think, what about merchandising? I know you have a few things on merchandising, but with your brand now can you come out with your like rather… I see tee shirts and stuff like that, but are there brands? Are their gloves you can have? Are there stick handling tools you can have? How do you brand the business going forward?
Jeremy Rupke: I think that basically the whole purpose of why I started was to help hockey players improve. So I think the most logical step would be to have products around improvement, but I’ve partnered with Hockey Shot who is a company I started working with many years ago. So at the moment I’m with them. I want to start my own brand because I’ve just been working with them for so long. So I think growing that relationship further, creating products, having sort of deals within that or creating my own line, maybe licensing something like that.
Mike Alkin: Exactly, that’s what I was thinking.
Jeremy Rupke: I know I could do something like a membership site, monthly subscription, something like that. More apps could be down the road. What I’ve been doing recently is just working with brands because on top of teaching out hockey players, there’s a market for being an influencer which on Instagram I have over 200000 followers and a lot of the big brands say, “We want to reach Canadians between the age of 30 and 35 that are male,” and they said, “That’s Jeremy’s audience.” So they’ll reach out to me and they’ll say, “We want to market our new razor on your account and can you create some content.” So then I’m thinking how can I make this hockey related, make it something my viewers want to see, but it is pretty good money and my business model’s kind of shifting now. So I can do a few brand deals, make money off of that and then I can put it back into the website and make that better. So that’s the kind of road I’ve been going down recently, but I’m always thinking, always planning on how can I make this sustainable and grow the business?
Jeremy Rupke: I think depending on what happens with Hockey Shot, I wouldn’t be opposed to having my own line and my own brand of training products and get those in the stores and stuff like that. I think that would be a good move. Just helping people more because they have the videos and they have the products.
Mike Alkin: That’s great. I see you have, is this new? You have summer camps this year. Have you had those before or is that?
Jeremy Rupke: I’ve always done summer camps. Actually I think that might be last year. I should probably update that. Is it on the website?
Mike Alkin: It’s on the website.
Jeremy Rupke: I should probably update that. I work at summer hockey camps or kind of co-ran camps probably since I started, 2009. I started with Jim [inaudible 01:03:37] at Better Hockey Skills in Toronto and in a few in the area as well with some [inaudible 01:03:43] instructors, Scott Grover, [inaudible 01:03:46] Barry so I’ve kind of worked with other instructors and just got on the ice and I ran camps.
Mike Alkin: Scott the power skating guy? I’m trying to think, yeah right, you have one guy who’s always doing skating stuff, is that him?
Jeremy Rupke: Yeah, I did 10 videos with Scott Grover-
Mike Alkin: He was great.
Jeremy Rupke: … about the fundamentals of skating, great guy. I’ve done a few videos with Jim Batali as well. He’s in a couple. If you watch through the whole series, that’s something I’ve always stressed. I like doing it, but I don’t like behind the scenes. I just want to show up and coach. I want to get on the ice. I want to do my thing. I’m not good at the emails back and forth, booking, I guess the administrative side of things. I don’t want to do all that stuff. [crosstalk 01:04:38]-
Mike Alkin: I get it. I hate that part of the business.
Jeremy Rupke: If I don’t do that, I can just show up and coach, so I’ve done that a few times where they often say, “I can get 30 kids on the ice for four hours.” “Sign me up. I can do that for a week.”
Mike Alkin: That’s great. Have you ever considered… One of the things as I said earlier, I incorporate this now into my workouts and it’s awesome, and I even roped in my daughter. She’s 15. You talk about horrified because I have hockey roller blades that in the summer… I hate skating without a stick. So if I’m in the neighborhood and I put the roller blades on, I’ll put my gloves and stick and go around and you talk… Now when she was 10 it didn’t matter, but now that she’s 15 she was yelling on me on vacation, “You are not doing that this summer. You are not.” I was like, “Why?” I said, “I’m going to take Annie.” We have a Golden Retriever. I said, “I’ll take Annie.” She was going to walk and I’m going to roller blade. I got my stick and I got my green biscuit puck. She’s like “Dad, you just can’t do that.” I said, “Absolutely I can.”
Mike Alkin: But have you thought about a training series for old guys who are 40, 50, that you can incorporate maybe how to do dry land training if you will into like a workout program? I’m just pulling it out of my ear right now.
Jeremy Rupke: No, I’ve definitely thought about that. The thing is you shrink the market it definitely would be a good resource. Basically what I want to do, sort of what I’m working on now, is a website, it’s membership based. So you become a member and form a forum and then people can just suggest the types of videos they want, how it’s organized, all that stuff and then just based on all the feedback I just keep on creating, it’s all just user generated ideas, and other people could also create videos. I want to get other coaches involved as well. It’s just for all the members. So if I have a strong subscription of older guys and they say “What about this? What about that?” I’ll do my best and they can give suggestions. “This is what I do,” and then I can work that into the video and based off of that if I do that for a couple of years, I think I’ll have a nice library of things. We’ll cover basically everything.
Jeremy Rupke: “How do I do this? What do I do this? I like this,” and people just constantly generating ideas and questions. I think that would kind of be like the end game where after a few years of creating that content, anyone signs up can just go through it. “Wow, this is everything you need right there.” It’s definitely something I’ve considered and something I’m working towards.”
Mike Alkin: That’s great. What about colleges or minor league or any NHL teams? Do you have any discussions with those or deal with any NHL players? Any guest appearances or have you ever thought about stuff like that?
Jeremy Rupke: I think because I focus on kind of beginner to intermediate, then the NHL guys don’t really look at it because they’re interested in more elite. They want elite everything. If it’s associated with the NHL team it’s got to be the cream of the crop and while I think my videos are really well done and very helpful, I want to get you from not only anything to being good. Once you’re good, then you can take it to the Triple AAA guys and the more elite coaching guys. I haven’t really had discussions with NHL teams. Also in Toronto, because that kind of hurts, everybody wants a piece of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s a really tough team. Every player is basically on lockdown because they’re just hounded non-stop.
Mike Alkin: I can imagine.
Jeremy Rupke: Everyone wants something from them. So I don’t think there’s much of like a, it’s not very casual. I’ve got a buddy in Columbus [inaudible 01:08:52] and he does gaming and stuff like that and he’s personal friends I think with two or three guys from the Columbus Bluejackets which I think it would be much easier in a smaller hockey town where it’s not as nuts. Be like “Let’s hang out. Let’s shoot some videos together.”
Mike Alkin: I totally get it. Well, by the way, I’m glad you guys took [Tavares 01:09:11] off our hands. I’m just saying, but you know.
Jeremy Rupke: Barzal is just unreal. He’s a great player. So you guys are lucky to have him.
Mike Alkin: That’s crazy. I have to tell you, so in my town, I live five minutes away from the Nassau Coliseum which is where they play half their games and they train five minutes from here, the Islanders, so probably about two thirds of the guys living in my little village here and I’ve got to tell you, you see them around town. First of all they’re kids. I mean most of them are 22, 24, 25, but just the nicest group of guys. I mean you hear from all the people in town whether, and people are respectful. They don’t bother them too much, but it doesn’t matter if they do. If they go up to them in a restaurant or anything. They said for the kids they’ll sign autographs. They’re just fantastic. Just a really nice group of people. So it’s pretty cool.
Mike Alkin: Well listen man, this has been awesome. I really really enjoy, to watch somebody turn a passion into a growing and thriving business is really cool and like you said, you couldn’t have done this years ago.
Jeremy Rupke: I couldn’t have planned it. I couldn’t have planned it basically.
Mike Alkin: No, no and I see-
Jeremy Rupke: It didn’t exist. Internet did not even exist and now it’s like the bulk of, any time I get an email. “We want to advertise on your [inaudible 01:10:35]. We want to do a sponsor [inaudible 01:10:37], whatever on Instagram,” and it wasn’t even there.
Mike Alkin: You remind me for a while, I owned a piece of a hard cider business in the Pacific Northwest called Reverend That’s Hard Cider and it was growing like a weed, but the founder Nat, Reverend Nat, you remind me a lot of him. He took a passion for what he was doing and started in his garage making cider and then he turned it into a business and because of Instagram, because of Twitter, because of that, it just takes off. It really is cool to see how you’ve done this and I can’t wait to see as you keep growing it and what it looks like and how it keeps growing because I’m a big fan and keep making those Mason videos too by the way. I mean they’re just-
Jeremy Rupke: Absolutely. Everybody want more. So maybe I’ll do a lacrosse video or something.
Mike Alkin: I was going to say, did you expect nine million views when you were doing that?
Jeremy Rupke: No, I figured we’d get a million in six months’ time sort of thing. First of all, any video that does really well, it slowly gets the views over time. If I get 100000 in the first week and then continue to get views as time goes on, but that one got a million in a day I think. It was ridiculous.
Mike Alkin: It’s pretty wild too, the whole view thing. Well I speak at conferences and stuff and I’ll get 20, 30, 40000 views if I give a presentation on uranium. I did one, but like you said, you kind of get a rhythm for what the views are going to be. I did one a year ago or so when I was talking about a topic outside of uranium and I think it was two weeks into it I looked it up it was 50000 views and then it was 80000. Now it’s up to 550000 which for me, but I was like, “Wow,” and you don’t know where it comes from, but that’s just a middle aged guy talking about a boring topic. You put Mason out there and I’ve got to tell you man, it is just so funny. We were driving in the car the other day and my son said, “I want to go to BaDonald’s.” Because he heard that, great stuff.
Jeremy Rupke: Talk about views, you talk about uranium. You’ve got your target market. I don’t know how big it is, maybe a few hundred thousand people, I don’t know that much about it, but then like you say, you talk about something outside of it then you can get more and it’s same with hockey. All my videos, you basically have to play hockey to enjoy them, but with Mason it’s like if you had a kid at any point in time, you can enjoy that. If you like things that are cute. You can enjoy that video. It had the potential to reach a much larger audience for sure.
Mike Alkin: That’s awesome. Jeremy, I really appreciate your time. It was a lot of fun getting to visit with you and I’m excited to see the business keep growing and keep making those videos. It’s making me a better hockey player. I appreciate it.
Jeremy Rupke: Awesome, appreciate it. Just let me keep on following the opportunities the same way I started. Just have got to keep on creating, trying to help people out and when those new opportunities come you track them down and see if they work. If you do, you keep on doing more of that.
Mike Alkin: Absolutely. Thanks Jeremy.
Jeremy Rupke: Awesome, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Mike Alkin: Well I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Jeremy Rupke, Coach Jeremy of How To Hockey. You may not be a hockey fan, but this is a podcast about stuff and business and stocks and while he’s not a stock, he’s a really really cool business entrepreneur. Started, took a passion for something in a niche industry and has turned it into a really nice business and is growing it and I’m excited to see what else he has. It’s howtohockey.com. On YouTube How to Hockey, just really interesting. Follow his progress. I really like where he’s going and I think you might enjoy watching his stuff. So we’ll be back next week. Thanks for the time and listening and look forward to speaking with you then. Thanks.
Announcer: The information presented on Talking Stocks Over a Beer is the opinion of its host and guests. You should not base your investment decisions solely on this broadcast. Remember, it’s your money and your responsibility.
Note: I also share some stories from my vacation… and why I’ll never use Budget Rent a Car or American Airlines again. Grrr…