A Toast! To Mark!

For not the first time in her (nearly) 23 years my daughter Miranda, Buck Wheat, made her daddy cry by taking flight. This time, off to Austin, TX, where I once bought a tee shirt which said “If God Had Intended Texans to Ski, He Would Have Made Bullshit White!”

Which I got to wear once; in Texas! When I got home, mom wasn’t having it.

The girls left stuffed into a Subaru WRX which was not built to haul freight.  It’s a fun car, but looking back, it was the wrong car, at the wrong time. 

That car was a bad decision, in a moment of weakness!

My cars had always been owned by Tremont Paint and so when I sold the stores in October of last year, the car went with the paint and I found myself in need of a new ride.

I had simultaneously sold my stores and signed 1-year consulting gig with Benjamin Moore. I remember being melancholy about ending the streak which had lasted 112-years: Lipton men and women selling paint in the Bronx, NY. And sanguine about my opportunity to work for Benjamin Moore CEO Dan Calkins.

I needed a new car AND I needed (wanted) to reward myself for my 33-year effort as a paint dealer and my smooth transition out of that role. I ordered a BMW!

Which if you’re willing to wait six-weeks for, is still available in a manual.

German engineers know me!

That night at dinner I shared the news with my fiancée Guy: which started a series of events.

I knew exactly what to expect when I told my German-steel loving lady what I had done. She’ll beef the color. “Why always black?” But a BMW in the driveway!

A toast! “To Mark!”

For reasons known only to Guy and her God, she shared her view that getting a BMW was a mistake. We spoke of it through that evening. “Why spend the money?” versus “It’s SUCH a nice car!!”

Tired of listening to her well-reasoned adult conversation, I cancelled the Beemer and leased the Subaru.

Fast forward to THE Montvale Massacre and my new work from home situation made for an extra Subaru on the driveway. Guy, planning on using the free wheels, offered up her car to her recently “suburbanited” son, Chris.

She was so excited. A free sports car for two-years!

That week, she took her new toy to run errands with her mother, Connie. A mile into the trip Connie said (in Italian!), “Guy, this car makes me sick!”

And it did!

Dan Calkins may have retired the Subaru. But it was Connie who made it irrelevant! Guy is Connie’s primary mode of transportation.

So Buck loaded the Subaru with her clothes and her bestie and drove it to Texas. Leaving Guy in need of a car.

It was not lost on her that the “extra” Subaru which Buck was not driving to Texas, was supposed to have been a black BMW!

Of course, it all worked out in the end, AND now: you know the story of why Guy put an Audi on the driveway!

In the 10-days until my gift arrives, I’ll have eight, 9:00 AM meetings with THE Revolution’s development team. They call these meetings “stand-ups” but I think that’s optional. I don’t have a lot of policies at my Stamford headquarters and there’s no HR to enforce them anyway!

In these meetings, I continue to share my design vision for THE Revolutions web and e-commerce sites! I teach my developers how a paint store works, and they make the sites of THE Revolution mimic that experience.

Your paint stores. Online!

I handle all the “paint-side” of the process and so these meetings let me know what I need to be doing beyond the design. Currently, my days are filled with efforts to acquire the digital assets I’ll need to fill out these pages. Between them, the dealers of THE Revolution have 50 vendors, and need to speak to them all. Some vendors are ready for these requests for enormous piles of data.

But most will need to catch up!

I’m also having a great time coaching one of the Minutemen, Zack Maddux of Columbia Paint. With his father Zeke easing towards retirement, Zach is transitioning to the leadership role. Our “sessions” have covered topics such as controlling your inventory from 30,000 feet: from P.O. through the sale, identifying profit margin opportunities, hiring a local digital marketing agency to help him grow his sales after our web site goes live and several other high-altitude topics.

Like how to get your significant other to put some German steel on your driveway!