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Today's Marketing Cookie - Happy Mother's Day!
"There's no greater cure for misery than hard work."
Today's Marketing Cookie came from my mom who lives in the hilly bluegrass town of Rineyville, Kentucky. It was her 39th birthday (again) last week, and when my sister asked what she would like for her birthday dinner, she chose Chinese food... so she could send me a fortune for my Marketing Cookie project. Really mom!? Yep. Even on HER birthday, she wouldn't think twice about giving to others. If she noticed that there are only four cookies for five people, she'd promptly announce that she never did care for cookies. I think the world of her, and on this Mother's Day - I write today's cookie to honor my mom. (Note: Photo is of my mother giving me my very first haircut.)
While misery is the last thing that comes to mind when I think of my mother, I must say that she believed in the value - and pleasure - of hard work. There is perhaps no greater evidence of the hard work she did, than the chore of raising me into the man I am today... which was of course was a genuine labor of love. I know, because I was there.
It may be hard for you to imagine, but I was a hyperactive child. I've heard that I was soooo annoying in fact, that I may have been one of those kids that only a mother could love... and love me she did. My mother eventually figured out that my hyperactivity was due to an allergic reaction to the preservatives and artificial ingredients that were added to processed foods. Unfortunately, in those days, artificial ingredients were sprayed on fruits and vegetables and included in just about EVERYTHING else you might buy in a grocery store.
My mom began reading labels and determined that the only products that did not contain preservatives, additives or coloring, were the basic ingredients like: eggs, milk, flour, sugar and water. Once a month, she would drive an hour to the nearest nature-food store to buy "all natural" produce and other ingredients that weren't available locally. On top of holding a job, she planted a garden and made everything from scratch for me including: cereal, bread, peanut butter, jam, granola bars, ice cream and every other type of dessert you can imagine. She even made saltines for me, pressing them with a fork, so they would have little holes in them like "normal" saltines. Yes. I wanted to be "normal". While all my friends were eating Oreos, Ring-dings, candy bars and Skippy & Fluff on Wonderbread, she went to great lengths to re-create the world for me, trying to make me feel like I wasn't missing anything.
It's remarkable when I think about it, and I wouldn't fully appreciate what she did for me until my first year in college. Oh sure, the first thing I did when I arrived on campus, was become a cereal junkie. I would eat a forbidden bowl of Lucky Charms or Frosted Flakes in the morning, go on an incredible hyperactive high, and then by late afternoon crash for two hours. While other guys in the dorm may have been tempted to sew their "wild oats", I was flying high on Honey Bunches of Oats. To this day, artificial preservatives still gives me a little energy boost, but being annoying is something that has never been cured.
Unlike the profession of marketing, motherhood is a remarkable career because although there are goals and anticipated results, a mother is content to accept the outcome without the recognition of her customers. She taught me the pleasure of hard work, and she did so without saying a single word. She taught me everything about the value of determination, and yet did so without explaining it. She taught me about the joy of a job well done, without reminding me of how difficult it was to achieve. Everything she taught me, she did so by example. Her life, and its dramatic impact on mine, is the measure I use to evaluate my contribution to my career, our customers, and the world.
Happy mother's day!