OK, ok, my father was much more than a refrigerator salesman. He was a proud, passionate and multi-platinum manufacturer’s representative selling state-of-the-art equipment to industries with temperature-sensitive needs: restaurants, schools, prisons, laboratories and even monasteries.
But that doesn’t make for a snappy headline. I know headlines and he knew commercial refrigeration – and frankly, I think he would have appreciated the Arthur Miller allusion. Other than that minor flux in skillsets, the genetic differences don’t deviate far from the double helix.
As an entrepreneur, my dad was as respected as he was successful. I’m trying my damndest. As a family man, he was the ultimate sitcom dad with longer hours, superior Hawaiian shirts, a bigger heart and better one-liners – and I’m trying in earnest. My dad proudly wore a CPAP. Check. Premature male pattern baldness. Yep. A desire to play the ponies, roll the dice and double down on a pair of nines. Yes, yes and yes.
As I sit here procrastinating over some paid writing about marine diesel generator sets, digital printing innovation, and concierge medicine on the eve of Father’s Day, I can’t help but think that my dad was also my greatest muse ever.
He inspired this. And this. And countless unpublished columns, pseudo-dirges and muscatel-induced musings during the hardest days. Shit, he may be my crutch now.
Since my dad passed in December of '12, I left one enabling career relationship. Then I bounced from my rebound gig a year later. And I went out on my own, again, just like The Old Man. I realize now there was no way around it. Whether it was a karmic course laid eons ago or sub-conscious strut down the path of high-risk decision-making, it was inescapable. And I embrace it all, through the tough times and downhill glides.
Here I sit on the right side of midnight, listening to the Traveling Wilburys while my 38-week pregnant wife and nearly 3-year-old son work on the sleep routine on the other side of the wall. I realize this is a marketing blog, and I have about 100 words to deliver a clear call to action:
Happy Fathers’ Day, to all dads here, there and hereafter.
Mike Ward is the Founder and Chief Brand Driver for Milepost 0 Creative. In other words, he's the only employee. Mike likes helping companies tell stories - or fables, as Aesop called them - as well as reminiscing on his days as a failed stand-up comic, semi-successful movie critic, and cheering for losing sports teams (Go Bills!).