Iâ€™m not going to spend this blog gloating about how I can do my job better than some brand-new, smarty-pants MBA grad. But I think we can all agree that experience trumps book smarts. School is important, but trying to rely on all your books in the real world just wonâ€™t cut it. Itâ€™s like fishing for salmon during the run in Northern California just below the Folsom Dam. Your book might tell you itâ€™s great fishing, but it probably leaves out the part where youâ€™re sandwiched in between hundreds of other guys who will definitely punch you if you snag their lines. (I swear Edâ€™s black eye lasted almost two weeks.)
Edâ€™s daughter Gabriella is a great kid, but I did her a favor. I let her take her first real-world professional beat-down in a totally safe environment. Better me than some smarmy jerk who wears a cell phone earpiece 24/7 and got stuck with a mocha this morning instead of his regular nonfat, half-caf triple-whatever-chino and is just looking to lash out. She lucked out with calm, composed Mike Baxter. Gabriella is bold, Iâ€™ll give her that. She walked straight into the lionâ€™s den. But the problem is that her books didnâ€™t mention that the lion also has 30 years of marketing experience, and he pretty much owns this savanna. The zebras and elephants buy everything they need from that lion for a reason, and itâ€™s not only because of his handsome mane (though that very well could be part of it).
As soon as she said â€śWe do well with our core demographic,â€ť she shouldâ€™ve thrown on the brakes. You get any business that can say those words, and you are golden. Thatâ€™s a job well done, case closed, end of story, hasta la vista, au revoir, auf wiederhesen, kwaheri. (Thatâ€™s Swahiliâ€¦the villagers I saved with the Michigan Fight Song taught me that one.) Sheâ€™ll get there once sheâ€™s got a few years of this under her belt. Iâ€™m just happy that I played some small part in giving her some real-world experience. I assume sheâ€™ll send me a thank-you six-pack.
I have to run, but Iâ€™d just like to point out that I havenâ€™t said a word about the dog. Thatâ€™s because Iâ€™m completely immune to Muffinâ€™s charms. Heâ€™s only in my lap because Iâ€™m about to eat some ribs and I need a sturdy napkin. Plus, he likes it when you scratch his belly, but Iâ€™m rubbing his ears. That blatant disrespect is my way of toughening him up.