Make them colorful and interesting

Between October 1998 and March 1999, I wrote a weekly business column for The Gazette aimed at unearthing odd stories which would appeal to entrepreneurs. I wanted to produce compelling pieces —some of them in the first person — which would combine the descriptive flourish of a magazine with a concise read that goes down easy with the morning toast and coffee.

It was certainly a challenge to combine my regular responsibilities as president of Ponctuation Grafix with the writing of one original newspaper column every week. It may not sound like much work, but finding an appropriate subject, then doing the research and writing one colorful piece a week adds up to many hours.

What made it time consuming for me was that — in most cases — I insisted on interviewing in person the people that I was going to write about. For example, the piece on the business of boxing which was published on December 14, 1998, found me attending a championship fight between then-Canadian middleweight champion Stéphane Ouellet and Davey Hilton. It was a match for the ages, and I hope that my piece captured the color, drama and financial pitfalls of boxing as a business.

The Gazette gig lasted 19 weeks and all those columns can be perused here. I loved every minute, but I can’t say that it wasn’t a relief when it ended and I could return to my normal 50-hour work week.