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Stand Up, Shine Those Shoes and Ask For What You Need

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

It’s 1972.

A young man puts on his best plaid sport jacket. His pants are ironed with precision pleats, his shoes shined, his tie is wide and geometric. He is dressed for success. And he needs every bit of sway and swagger he can muster, because he is preparing to make the sales pitch of his life.

He is about to stand up in front of board-games giant, Parker Brothers, and bring his brilliant board-game idea to life.

He enters the room and takes a deep breath. The pitch begins.

His brilliant, unstoppable, sure-sell game? It’s all about plumbing.

Cue: sound of record skipping.

I know, I know. You are thinking there is no way that this could possibly be the beginning of an epic success story, right?

Well... neither did I.

Actually, I don’t actually know if this is how a board game about plumbing came to be. I made the pitch story up.

But the board game is real, and it got me thinking about bringing strange ideas to life.

I do know for sure that there is a commercially successful game all about plumbing that has been on store shelves since 1972. And no matter who pitched it, it couldn’t have been an easy sell.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of a super-fun game called Waterworks. Its tag line -- prominently displayed in large bold letters -- is The Leaky Pipe Card Game. Even the box suggests, “plumbing deserves your time and attention.” It is the first time anything leaky has appealed to me.

In order for me to be able to purchase and play said game, someone had to pitch it. It would’ve taken a lot of preparation, determination, and spirit to stand up and convince powerful people to fund something leaky.

Imagine the person standing in front of their boss or the executives or whomever held the power, summoning the courage to ask for the permission to do something crazy.

And then ask yourself: what idea do you have deep inside you that needs to be made, funded or amplified?

What are you willing to stand up for and champion like it’s 1972 and everyone’s watching?

Because if someone can find the nerve to ask, and the passion to convince board-game gatekeepers to pay for paper plumbing, just imagine what you can ask for.

So stand tall, shine those shoes and sell it, kid. It’s yours for the taking. You’ve just got to ask.

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