It's Best to Shut Up!

I love getting feedback from readers. Most of the time at-least!


On Wednesdays after I post this blog, one of the first readers I usually hear from is my Aunt Emily.


Faster than waterborne colorant can clog your dispenser nozzle Aunt Emily likes to let me know what she thinks about my post. While she also is connected to the paint-world (her husband was a painting contractor AND my father’s business partner in our stores for many years) she generally keeps her commentary to my use of grammar and punctuation!


Last week Aunt Emily schooled me on proper use of “me and you” and “you and I.”


I love the feedback. Whether you’re my aunt or a paint dealer, the more I hear from you, the better I can make this content.


Most who know me would agree; it’s not so easy to quiet me down. But when Aunt Emily is giving writing tips, it’s time to shut up and listen!


Emily has got all the hardware she needs to show that she’s the top writer in the family! Take a look at the pictures below of some of her Emmy awards-all won for writing! She’s got 23 of them; they’re literally scattered all around her house. She got so many she uses three of them just to hold some feathers and a finger puppet she feels sentimental about.


It must be hard to display 23 Emmy awards without looking braggadocious. But Emily pulls it off! Draping a few with finger puppets and feathers sends the message:


“What, these old things?”


If I had 23 Emmy awards for writing, they’d hit you in the face when you walked in the door! My mailbox would say “Mark Lipton-23-time Emmy Award WINNER!”


In BIG letters!


Anything I own 23 of usually ends up piled in the corner in the basement! But for 23 Emmys, I’d have to change my ways.


Last week not long after my blog posted I got an email from “Em” as the family calls her. The subject line said, “I found a problem!”


Of course she did!


I’m sure she finds them every week and is polite enough to only point out the really bad ones! As she gave me a lesson in pronoun usage, I shut up and listened!


Don’t argue writing with Em!


As I’m writing this, I’m getting ready to leave for the Allpro show in San Antonio, Texas. My first Allpro show since I sold my stores! I’ll admit to having some nerves about it: my “big reveal” from the “other side of the counter!”


One thing though that I don’t expect to change is what I’m doing while I’m there. Attending an Allpro show and listening to their members speak about their businesses is a bit like listening to Aunt Emily speak about writing: it’s best to shut up and listen!


I’ve said many times that the greatest repository of knowledge for how to run an independent paint dealership exists not in my words but in the minds and words of the retailers who are successfully doing it every day!


And the best ones understand the value of making it to the trade shows, so I go to listen to them!


There are limits to what you can learn about your stores while standing in them! New and creative ideas to help you succeed are not going to walk