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  • Mark Lipton

Will the Crying Ever Stop?

I dropped my daughter Buck Wheat off at the airport this morning. She was heading back to school for finals and the last few weeks of her penultimate semester at Ohio State.


I will never forget the first time I dropped her off in Columbus, freshman year. She cried and held me, fulfilling a parent’s dream to be needed! As it turns out, she was ready; she just didn't know it yet! We decided I’d leave right after lunch and instead we sat in the car in the parking lot while she cried.

For a LONG TIME!


There’s still a lot of crying when we part; only now its daddy shedding the tears! Usually while I’m in the car pulling away, after she high-fives me at the curb.


It’s actually not that hard to make me cry: I’m prone to emotional outbursts. But the truth is that I never really got used to the idea of her living 500 miles away or going weeks without seeing her and so a few tears as I drive away are to be expected.


The good news though I’ve stopped crying from the stress and efforts relating to my transition from being an independent retailer to being a ward of the (corporate) state. My stores are sold and while I’m still spending a few hours a week on the needs of my former business, I’m down to one office, and it’s in Montvale, NJ.


The fun has started!


Tomorrow will be the first day of my third week and I feel like I’m already making progress. At the very least, I’m not getting lost walking around the office anymore!


My top priority for the coming months is to create tools and content that will help Benjamin Moore communicate with their retailers and visa-versa! Much of that work will be published on various social media sites that you all have in your pockets: You may be reading this blog on one of them?

In addition to creating content, I’m spending a fair amount of working on where we will host all of this content. At the moment, there is not a Benjamin Moore “asset” established to do the job. I’m curious how that particular conversation ends because ultimately we are deciding how these projects will look and feel from a creative point of view. It’s a topic of great interest to me: it’s the canvas I’m painting on.


More about that in a moment.


What I’m enjoying the most at the moment though is what I’m spending the most of my time doing: being creative!


Content.


If communications are a river, content is the water!


Creating content is exactly that: creating! And I’m really loving the creative process. No surprise there. It was out of a desire to be creative that I sold my stores and took on this challenge. It took a lot of work to get here and so I’m glad that I’m finally getting to “play with the clay” a bit.


Creative work is very different from my time in the paint stores. Much of the work that I’m doing now requires mental planning rather than time at the counter. The ideas that I have in my head are not born organized nor finished! An idea is like a block of clay: it’s going to need work before it becomes an ashtray! I spend time kicking ideas around in my head; reshaping them and molding them until they’re ready. That work often happens in the barber’s chair, while food shopping, on a trip to Karp’s-the local Ace store or while keeping my kitchen busy with soups, apple sauce and anything else I can jar or preserve.


It’s hard not to notice the quality of life improvements!


It may not look or feel like work as I know it, but it IS work (honest Dan) and that time preparing my ideas means that the next time I sit down at the keyboard, they will all come out! And a few months after that, you'll all see them for yourselves.


More important than work of course is football and this was a VERY big weekend for my Bucks. After beating TTUN, the Buckeyes are 12-0 and currently ranked # 1 in the country. Sadly though, week 12 rankings mean about as much as the score at halftime! And so we are going to have to win some more games! We are so close....they had better not let me down like the Yankees did!


I’ve got a great place picked out to watch the game on Saturday night. I’ll be dressed ready to play, though I doubt I’ll get in the game.


And then? Christmas shopping: UGH!




©2019 by Mark Lipton

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