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Define Success?

Updated: Aug 27, 2022

John Wooden is generally considered the greatest collegiate basketball coach of all time.

The “Wizard of Westwood” coaching the UCLA Bruins for 29-seasons between 1946 and 1975 without his teams ever recording a losing record.

In the 12-seasons of Wooden’s career his Bruins won ten NCAA tournament championships; including seven consecutively from 1967 through 1973.

Wooden’s teams posting undefeated 30-0 records four of those seasons!

Which is why, the award given each year for the most outstanding men’s and women’s college basketball players, is THE John R. Wooden Award.

Beyond the Court

Many who knew Wooden remember him more for his teachings than his accomplishments with the clipboard. Wooden’s Pyramid of Successfirst published in 1948, was the coach’s comprehensive plan for high achievement, in both basketball and life.

Wooden believing that success is defined by the effort put into preparing for and playing the game, and not the game’s final score.

THE coach defining success as the “peace of mind which results from knowing you did your best.”

THE Revolution

I was out from behind the counter less than six-months when the pandemic struck in the winter of 2020. The paint stores which had been my family’s name for 112-years sold, to the only bidder.

Freed from any further responsibilities by THE Montvale Massacre, I was available when a friend asked me to manage an e-commerce project for his stores.

The experience teaching me enough about technology to know that I could duplicate e-commerce web sites for paint dealers in a way which would make them available to go live quickly, and for only a small investment of dollars and time.

The success of those first sites expanding my vision as those dealers looked to connect their new e-commerce sites to their point-of-sale, color matching, accounting and other back-office applications common in paint stores.

While creating the application to quickly duplicate e-commerce sites, I began work on hosting those sites on an enterprise platform which would allow those integrations and any other which might be needed to support the coming generation of digital independent dealers.

All of which I successfully accomplished. Making me a winner in coach Wooden’s book!

Though I can’t say this ending feels like a win.

While I was successful in proving the concept, turning THE Revolution into a profitable commercial endeavor will have to be someone else’s story. The effort and investment required to do it, no-longer aligned with my consultant’s lifestyle.

I still believe in the opportunity which e-commerce presents independent paint dealers. Of the eight e-commerce sites built using THE Revolution, half of them returned their investment in the first 18-months.

Two of those dealers achieving significant sales gains through their Revolution e-commerce sites.

Those successes for my dealer-customers at-least partially salving the sting of the dollars lost.

Summer vacation was hardly that at-all this year. An untimely fall by Guy’s father causing some now-abated worry, and a last-minute change in plans.

Guy of course is my oft-beguiling fiancéeic, Gaetana.

Home, with an empty calendar–sans the remnants of a failed vacation–I decided not to work the week, instead enjoying a staycation in Stamford.

A city with its priorities right.

Not wanting to kill THE summer chill, my studio stayed a work-free zone all week causing emails and calls to go unanswered.

Almost all of them!

Earlier this month the world’s largest paint maker Sherwin-Williams, announced their financial results for the second quarter of 2022. The company’s chief executive John Morikis remarking both that “total volume was down” and it was a “very difficult quarter.”

Extending the window of opportunity for dealers to grow their market share, at Sherwin’s expense! As THE channel has been doing over the previous two-years!

Particularly in most-coveted rezi-repaint market segment, which represents more than 80% of the gallon volume to both Sherwin-Williams and independent retailers alike.

Finally, a Pod!

On my podcast this week I discuss Sherwin-Williams from the perspective of the opportunity their current weaknesses create for THE channel. It’s likely that Sherwin’s troubles have as much as $400 million per-year to the channel’s volume.

A windfall for dealers, and #DanCalkins!

But now comes the hard work of maintaining that business. And while it’s the dealer’s job to keep those painters happy with fast deliveries and plenty of inventory it’s #Dan’sJob to make sure that dealers have plenty of the products this customer demands.

At the right price and terms to ensure enough profitability for dealers to support their efforts.

Here’s a sneak peak of the episode to watch or listen.



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