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Today's Marketing Cookie - A Daring Adventure
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
Today's fortune came from David Cutler of Rockport, MA. David is a well-connected marketer and the founder of Creative Business Development, a Sales and Marketing strategy firm. I've had the pleasure of sharing a stage with David a few times over the years and I learn something new each time. Mr. Cutler co-founded the North Shore Technology Council and is a Connector for the Boston World Partnerships which is an organization that informs business leaders worldwide about the competitive advantages that Boston offers, and connects them with the resources they need to grow. You should follow him on Twitter: @davidcutler
Today's Marketing Cookie is asking us to push our limits, take a risk and get scared. Really scared. When was the last time you tried to accomplish something that looked impossible? It can be terrifying. You may not think you have the experience or talent to succeed, but if you have a sense of adventure, you can do anything... even assembling furniture from Ikea.
My house was built in 1832 as a button factory. Over the last one hundred and eighty years, it has been transformed from a button factory, into offices and then during the depression was separated into three apartments. For some reason, I decided that I could buy this building and remodel it into a one-family house all by myself - while living in the house at the same time. Why not?
Well, here's why not:
- I did not own any tools
- I've never worked in construction
- I didn't have much money
- I didn't have much time
What I did have, was a crazy idea and determination that I could do it. So, we bought it and moved in.
When you walked in the front door, you entered into a massive kitchen that was 35 feet long by 15 feet wide. It literally ran the entire length of the house, but not in a good way. The stove, cabinets, sink, dishwasher and fridge were lined up against the center wall of the house, one after another in a continuous line. If, for instance, you wanted to fry an egg, you would have to walk 35 feet to the far end of the kitchen to the fridge, and then walk all the way back to the stove. God help you if you forgot to grab the butter and had to walk all the way back to the fridge again. The advantage of such a long kitchen, was that you probably walked a mile and a half while making dinner and never gained any weight.
On the other side of that center wall were two bedrooms and a bathroom, but no hall way. So, if you were sleeping in any of those bedrooms, you would have to walk through a room to get to the next room and so on. I've learned that they call it, "railroad car rooms". In the middle of the two bed rooms was a bathroom, that you could enter from both directions. The toilet sat directly in front of a giant window and neither of the two doors locked. It was a situation that was set up for certain surprise. So, I bought a sledge hammer and started swinging.
While we still used the "bowling ally kitchen", I was on the other side of the wall demolishing the two bedrooms and the bathroom to create a new kitchen, bar and dining room. I didn't have money for new countertops or a bar, so I made them out of plywood and tile. I didn't have money for a backsplash, so my wife used cement and pushed thousands of little stones into it, and on, and on, and on.
After eleven long years, we've eventually gutted every inch of all three floors of this house. We've moved the stair cases, relocated all four bathrooms, built a little addition, removed a chimney, and we're still not done. I've learned that some home improvements are well beyond my capability, but only after doing it wrong a few times first. I've learned that some walls should not be removed because they're supposed to hold up the floor above. I've learned that most home improvement projects take three times as long as expected and cost twice as much. I've also learned that life is either a daring adventure, or nothing... and I'm glad I've had an opportunity to push my limits!