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My fiancée Gaetana and I (for my newest followers, we call her Guy) have a different intellectual perspective about things. In nearly every conversation, I’m the scientist and she’s the theologian.

For example: Yankee games! Guy is an early riser and so doesn’t usually stay up to watch the end of the games with me. When we wake up in the morning she’ll ask me, “Did the Yankees win?”

Remember, she’s the theologian. So yes or no is fine with her; and she’ll spend the day contemplating what that win means.

I’m the scientist….I dig deep into the box score to find my baseball chakra.

But our different baseball sensibilities go beyond the mundane argument of science vs. theology. Guy is from a football family. Imagine a room full of heavily accented Italian immigrants screaming for “America’s Team,” the Cowboys. If you can imagine that…. then you have no need to come to my house on game-day: you’ve already had the experience! Still though, if you ever do get an invite to “Casa Lipton” for some Sunday football, the show is worth the Stamford traffic.

Sorry, we don’t do wings and nachos. How about another bowl of pasta fagioli?

Football fans know: every game matters! Baseball fans are different.: we know not every loss is tragic. There’s a game every night: you CAN’T win them ALL!

And on most mornings between April and October that difference is on display in my bedroom at 5:45 AM.

“DAMN IT! Aaron Boone needs to be fired!” Guy yells after I tell her that the Yankees lost the night before. No matter that they had won 7 straight before that or that they’re in first place by a dozen games! They lost last night… so it’s time for heads to roll!

Take a Break From the Normal

Normally around this part of the blog I would transition into how you can use Guy’s football mentality to increase your sales volume or get you another 1% from your largest vendor.

Not today! All you campers who signed up for swimming are in the wrong place; today we are going hiking instead!

I get a lot of questions about my writing when I meet and speak to dealers. One of the most common is, “How do you come with so many ideas to write about?”

Well… asked!

The stories about my family are easy to write. In-fact if you knew my family, you would probably advise me to give up writing and get into stand-up! There’s a lot of material here to choose from!

But there’s more to those “intro’s” than just the cheap laugh. They are actually all written in such a way that allows me to pick ideas from multiple options and use those to make my “independent dealer” segues.

The story above could have easily transitioned into: Your career as an independent retailer is like a baseball season. Losses happen! You may lose a big sale, you may have a customer disappear on a bill they owe you or even have a down year. But it’s a long season, stay focused blah blah you get the point.

I could have just as easily said: And now that I’m in a football family I’m learning how to hit it hard. Hitting it hard to me means knowing what my inventory is at all times and using that investment to enhance blah blah!

You get the point!

There are another 3-4 cues in there that I could use if I didn’t like where those first two were leading me. It’s about here in the post that I start thinking about conversations I’ve had with retailers. What are the topics that have been most on their minds?

That makes conversations with dealers crucial!

If multiple dealers all bring up one topic to me, it’s fair to say that there’s some interest in that topic and so I write about it! I guess my point is: if you don’t get in touch with me and share your issues and concerns, this blog will not only SUCK, but it will be YOUR fault!!

Now that I have trained myself on that routine or writing pattern, believe it or not most of these take me about two hours to write and edit. Then I send them out to have the grammar checked. That leaves me time to get to the stores, manage a couple of consulting jobs and writing projects and keep me speaking to dealers!

And that’s how I neatly wrap them up by the way!

Miranda, my punk of a 21-year old daughter who speaks with little regard for my feelings, tells me I need to get more of my sense of humor into my podcasts. She tells me my podcasts are boring. She’s going to be home in a week and is going to make me more interesting, so hang tight if you’re a bored podcast listener!

Final thoughts for my newest followers: The family of dealers and employees at Ace. I know you’re tuning in in pretty large numbers and I want to connect with you! Give me a few weeks and I’m going to have something specifically for you. In the mean time, if a few Ace dealers and execs would reach out to me, I’d love to ask you a few questions. I’ve got a great feel for the life of the independent and certainly get the paint. But I’d love a crash course on the big issues specific to our hardware brothers and sisters!


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