It's Better to be the Fox!

My office window at home faces the front of the house. So, when I’m at home writing I get to see all the excitement that the streets of Stamford can offer. If you look closely at the picture below, you can even see my neighbor Fred taking out his trash.


I’ll admit, not every day is THAT! Fred only takes out his trash on Tuesdays!


But the excitement in Fred’s yard isn’t all reserved for garbage day. One time recently my eyes wondered to Fred’s lawn and caught site of a bunny looking for a meal or at least a snack.


Who doesn’t like bunnies?


But this rabbit’s foot was not to be lucky today! While I was staring thinking “HOW CUTE,” a fox came out from behind the tree.

He wasn't thinking "cute bunny!".


It was merciful! As I watched the fox drag the limp rabbit into the brush behind Fred’s house, I remembered how winters as a paint dealer made me feel like that rabbit: limp and ready to be dragged off.


As a paint dealer I never got used to how slow my stores were during New York winters. I always felt like that rabbit; and winter was the fox! In a typical February at my two New York stores, volume would be half of what we did between April and November.


And don’t even get me started talking about the week between Christmas and New Years! My yearly dose of stress.


But this year I suffered none of that anxiety. With my stores selling in October, my final days as a paint dealer were also among my busiest.


I miss certain aspects of my life as a paint dealer. I miss my customers and coworkers. And I miss being in charge! But I don’t miss the dead of winter nor the register totals that sometimes didn’t need a comma!


But winter will end as it always does and so dealers reading this are preparing their stores for the spring. I’ve been preparing something as well: I am almost ready to post my new podcast series and Instagram page for Benjamin Moore retailers.


I continue to spend my days creating content. In the last couple of weeks, I have recorded 8 podcasts with another three scheduled for later this week. Included in the episodes I’ll be recording this week are two with the guest who always gets the most attention: Benjamin Moore CEO, Dan Calkins.


I have also been working hard to pull together the content for our new Instagram page: BY a Benjamin Moore retailer, FOR Benjamin Moore retailers!


I have episodes and postings prepared that share with you what you can expect from these two sites, so I won’t bore you with those details here. Anyway, spoiler alert: Dan and I share our plans in more detail in episode 2.


Once these two projects are up and running, what next?


I still have more work to do on these two projects before I am ready to move on to the next but still; I'm already thinking about it! Nothing to share yet except for this: While the selected medium and formats are still unknown, the goals of whatever comes next for me will be the same: to communicate with, educate and inform independent retailers.


And communication goes both directions! We are hoping for LOTS of back-and-forth with independent retailers.


Some of that back-and-forth has already started. Last week on LinkedIn I posted a request to Benjamin Moore retailers to send me their questions for Dan, which I offered to get answered on a podcast. That posting got read over 7000 times! So either dealers have questions on their minds or my mother is padding my statistics-AGAIN!


My favorite emails were the ones that started: “OH, I have a question for Dan alright!”


It’s not too late to send your questions in. We are not going to get to them all of course. But the good ones; the ones that get to the heart of the experience that we are all sharing as Benjamin Moore dealers, will get answered.


The REALLY good ones may become a whole podcast episode! So, stay tuned! Just a few more weeks until the “Big Reveal!”





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© Mark Lipton 2020