Yesterday, I received an invitation to our homeowner’s association annual meeting. I have not attended for three years. The last meeting I attended was a budget meeting. The word “budget” was spelled “buget.” Maybe it’s French, as in, “boo – jeh.” The board spent over an hour discussing where to get the funds for snow removal. I live in Indianapolis. It snows. So, spend your dollars wisely.

The new invitation listed topics for discussion. It seems nearly half of our 300 mailboxes are not 100% uniform (I’m sure mine is non-conforming – more later). The board wants to replace the mailboxes at the cost of $50,000. How can the association go from not having the funds for snow removal to considering $50,000 for mailboxes? Lower my dues. Which board member’s brother-in-law replaces mailboxes? Who’s watching out for my dollars?

Does the Above Sound Crazy?

I guarantee it doesn’t sound crazy to the board. To the board, it is reasonable. What “reasonable” decisions have you made with your business that might seem insane? What have you rationalized? Have you spent thousands to brand your company with no call to action because it “might” work?

Have you stopped social media or completely turned it over to interns? They “might” know what to say. Have you stopped working on your SEO? How about the old Albert Einstein – keep doing the same things over and over, expecting different results? Do you spend without a plan? I mean a real plan – not a “I think it will work” plan. If you could stand outside of yourself and your company, where would you see crazy?

Be Ready for the Opportunity

Seventeen years ago on May 22nd, I was pulling into my driveway when my youngest daughter called me on her way to deliver my grandson, Mason. As I talked with my daughter, three women walked down the street with a large dog in tow. The dog stopped at my mailbox, and as the girls tried to dissuade the beast by pulling it away, the chain wrapped around the post.

The dog broke the mailbox post and pulled free from the girls. The girls were laughing hysterically; their mom was beside herself, nearly in tears, yelling at them and the dog, “IT’S NOT FUNNY!” and “PUT IT BACK!” The dog galloped down the street with my mailbox and post in tow.

Mom came my way while I was on the phone with my daughter. My daughter was laughing her head off as I described the scene. I explained to the dog owner I couldn’t really talk but politely assured her it was okay — it was an accident.

It was also an opportunity for a retailer. I’d seen mailboxes and posts on sale at Lowes, so I bought a new box, post, and hardware from them. Here’s a question – do your prospects know what problems you solve? Are you ready for the opportunity?

Postscript

A month later, my next-door neighbors, Butch and Lynn, were at my door. Lynn had her head down when Butch explained Lynn had backed over my new mailbox. The old mailbox post — the one the dog destroyed — had rotted about six inches under the ground. I’d set this new, now broken, mailbox post into two feet of cement.

It was not going to rot, and it was not going to come out of the ground! I almost didn’t get it out. When I finally retrieved it from the ground, I set the old mailbox in the back garden, next to the back gate: my wife and I pass cards and letters to each other. When the flag is up, the mail is in, and I’m ready for the opportunity. Who said romance is dead? And yes, I became a repeat Lowes mailbox and mailbox post customer. They were ready for the opportunity.

Want to read a collection of humor pieces?

I Think I’m Funny: and it gets me in trouble all the time is a collection of 47 stories, more than 30 are true tales from my days on this planet. Most of those make it clear how my warped sense of humor gets me in trouble.