7 Things Dating Taught Me About Marketing… [And Why You Should NEVER Feed a German Shepherd , Fish, Chips, [French Fries] Peas and a Pickled Onion on a Cold Day…]
I was only 17 when I first saw her.
But I remember it just like it was yesterday.
I was living in Inverness, Scotland and I walked past a store window and saw a young lady arranging the window display.
I was ‘Smitten’ [as only a 17 year old kid can be] and knew I had just found the love of my life.
And so I decided to go into the store and ask her out on a date…
5 minutes later and I am waiting in line with my heart beating like a drum.
Then, after what seemed like an eternity, it is my turn.
And somewhere off in the distance, I can hear this voice saying: “Can I help you” and I realized it was here speaking to me.
ME: “I’d like to buy something please!”
HER: “Yes, what color lipstick would you like?”
I came back to reality with a bang and realized she was standing at a counter filled with 100’s of different lipsticks.
Suddenly an old women behind me poked me in the back with her umbrella and said: “Hurry up Son – we haven’t got all day!”
And so I said the first thing that came into my mind. I looked at her and stammered:
“I saw you in the window just now and I think you are really beautiful!”
She smiled and said “Thank you” and the old lady poked me in the back with her umbrella again.
So I said the very next thing that popped into my head:
“Would you like to come out with me on Saturday afternoon? I’m taking my dog for a walk on the beach in Nairn” [Nairn was a nearby village].
Then it happened…
she smiled at me and said; “Yes I’d love to. Pick me up at 12pm but you had better go now…”
I walked out the store as if I was floating on air!
God was in his heaven and all was right in the world. heart emoticon
But then I had a gut-wrenching moment of reality as it hit me and I thought to myself: “Oh my goodness! I DON’T own a dog!”
Then I remembered my friend, Graham. Graham owned a dog!
Well if you could call ‘Hamish’ a dog.
He was more like some hideous relative to the Hound of the Baskervilles.
In fact the Hound of the Baskervilles was like a ‘Tea Cup Chihuahua’ compared to Hamish.
But 30 minutes later, there I was knocking on Grahams door and explaining to him that I needed to ‘borrow’ Hamish as I had a date on Saturday.
Graham was NOT amused.
“Are you bonkers? have you seen peoples reaction to Hamish?
Grown men pee themselves and run in terror at the sight my dog. You are NOT having Hamish. No way pal!”
So I offered him £2 and he said yes!
Finally the day came and it was freezing cold. But there I was walking down the high street with Hamish acting like a ‘Human Snow Plough’ [people were literally crossing the street to avoid him [which was unnecessary as in reality, Hamish was a softie].
And like any young guy going on a date, I was early.
I was also nervous because this girl ws VERY beautiful and looked VERY refined.
And that made me hungry so I popped into the local market and ordered Fish, Chips [french fries] peas and a Pickled Onion.
Suddenly, Hamish looked up at me with his huge big, brown eyes and whimpered like a puppy.
I was struck with how grateful i should feel towards this mountain-lion of a dog and it was then I made a fatal mistake.
Looking at the guy taking my order I said “Make that two please”
Hamish and I went and sat on the bank of the river Ness and at our lunch together.
Well, I ate mine, Hamish seemed to devour his in about 10 seconds flat.
I was very early so I took Hamish for a long walk and as 12 pm approached, I noticed he wasn’t looking so well.
In fact, he was making some very strange noises.
We walked to the store where my new love was working and there she was in the window again.
She looked so elegant, gentle, refined – absolutely took my breath away.
And then I had a brainwave!
Hamish really was a magnificent looking dog and I thought: “I’ll just tap on the window and show her how cool my dog is”
It was then that everything fell apart and my dreams broke into a million pieces…
Picture this with me:
I tapped on the window, smiled at her and pointed to Hamish [all the while maintaining eye contact with her].
I instantly knew something was VERY wrong when I saw the look of abject horror and disgust that spread over her face.
You see, it was at that very moment I learned that you should NEVER give ANY dog Fish, Chips, Peas and a Pickled Onion at ANY time – especially on a cold day.
A quick glance at Hamish revealed he was having what can only be described as ‘Rocket-Powered Diarrhea’ that was leaving his body at twice the speed of sound and causing a HUGE cloud of steam to rise into the air! [remember it was a VERY cold day!]
I looked back at her waving my hands as if to say “Noooooooooo! I didn’t know that was happening! Honestly!”
But it was too late.
Thankfully, Hamish was 100% better after and a few minutes later was happy as a puppy.
We went some distance down the road [to escape the terrible smell] and waited until she came out of the store.
I approached her but before I could get a word in edgeways, she spat out at me “I suppose you think that was funny? And I thought you were a nice boy. Just you wait till my brothers hear what you did – they’ll smash your head in pal!”
I stupidly asked her: “So does that mean you won’t come to the beach with me?”
“What do you think? I woundn’t go to the beach with you if you were the only guy in Scotland!”
Thus ended my ‘Dream date’ I had the very best of intentions – it just all came out wrong.
What This Taught Me About Marketing:
1. Sometimes we have the very best of intentions, we just haven’t thought things through and so the end result is far from what we had hoped for.
2. Learn from your mistakes. Don’t repeat them.
3. There is a lesson in everything if we look for it.
4. The lesson might not be fun at the time.
5. Speak to experts. Any serious dog owner would have told in in a heartbeat that I should NEVER have given Hamish that kind of a meal. It was ill-informed, foolish and irresponsible of me.
6. Trying to impress people with things you don’t have is never a good idea.
7. Don’t let your business experience a ‘Hamish’ moment. Get expert help and advice.