Sears got its milkshake drank. Will yours be next?
Ahh, Sears. Back in the day, no trip to the mall was complete without a trip to this anchor store and let me tell you, my Aunt Gertie used to get Sears catalogs in the mail all the time.
They were big ass tomes the size of 10 bibles that weighed at least 10 pounds and oh, as a kid I’d turn through the pages and dream. I want that toy, I want that toy, and oh my, why do these bra models give me a tingly feeling?
Jeez. I think I might have a few of those catalogs lying around. I wonder if they’re worth anything. I’d go fap to the bra models but I won’t out of respect, given that all those models are probably either dead or super old and in nursing homes now. Sigh. Oh time, you cruel bitch, you.
For the uninitiated, Mr. Sears, way back in the 1800s was the first businessman to realize that since there were parts of America that didn’t have any stores, he could make bank by sending out catalogs and taking orders for goods by mail. As the years went on, Sears stores became the pinnacle of every mall and as credit cards came into style, they dominated the catalog sales market. Shit, Aunt Gertie ordered all my clothes as a kid from Sears. You think that was why I was so unpopular? Oh well. Water under the bridge.
So, I guess I don’t get it. The Internet came into great popularity in the 1990s and Jeff Bezos, blessed be his most revered name (and I’m not just saying that because he has the power to snuff out my self-publishing dreams) saw the potential of the Internet to sell stuff.
Wal-Mart saw the potential too and though I don’t believe it has reached Amazon lengths, it does a brisk online sales business.
JC Penney, Sears’ longtime rival in the box store/catalog game has kept afloat by doing online sales as well.
So, to repeat, I don’t get it. Sears basically invented the whole concept of taking pictures of products, organizing them into catalogs and giving them descriptions, product numbers, listing the prices, making it easy for people to call on the phone, read off the products they wanted to an operator who took their order, credit card number and address and they even mastered how to complete orders through the mail.
Why didn’t anyone at Sears have the vision, the foresight to say, “Hey, I think this Internet thing is here to stay and we should take our catalog…and hold on…think about it here…put it online!”
Now, I don’t know. I believe they did. To what extent I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps it wasn’t so much the lack of putting it online so much as getting you anything you want the way Amazon can. I mean, there are so many times when I think something like, “I would like a can of farts excreted by an East Peruvian Water Buffalo in July” and then go to Amazon and do a search and get, “Here are twenty choices for farts excreted by East Peruvian Water Buffalos in July.”
I don’t know. I’m not sure what Sears’ downfall was. Either they didn’t get into online sales early enough, or maybe they didn’t make online shopping as cool as Amazon did. Maybe they didn’t think of nifty little ways to grab your cash the way Amazon does. Shit, Amazon thinks of new ways to get your money all the time. You can get a little button to stick in your kitchen and push it when you’re out of toilet paper, chips, insert household staple here and they will put it on your tab and send it to you. You can get Alexa and say, “Hey Alexa order me a can of East Peruvian Water Buffalo Farts” and she’ll order it for you. Maybe it was that. Maybe Sears just didn’t think of enough ways to be cool.
I know Blockbuster could have gotten into the streaming game earlier and could still be around in an online form today. Borders could have embraced e-books earlier and still be in the fight today.
So, let’s apply this to you (because I never apply good lessons to me, I just continue to do the same dumb things and let them blow up in my face over and over again and never learn anything like Wile E. Coyote.)
What is something that you could begin doing today that will be hard, will require hard work and sacrifice, will unlikely yield results in the short term, but in 5 years, you’ll be glad you did it?
I bet the people in charge of Sears wish that 5 years ago, they might have made their website cooler. Maybe they might have gotten more exclusive product deals available only on their site. Maybe they could have come up with a little robot that sits on your desk and speaks in a British accent, like your robot butler who says, “Pip, pip, cheerio, you want me to order you some more raisin bran, fuck face?” I don’t know. All I know is they didn’t do it, and now much like in that film, There Will Be Blood, Bezos is drinking Sears’ milkshake. “I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!!”
Back to the point. Maybe you’re a fat fuck. Maybe in five years you’d like to be a skinny fuck so you can run, jump, hop, skip, do fun activities and if you’re looking good you might just score yourself some bomb ass pussy (or ladies, you might acquire some bomb ass peen.)
Maybe you’re having financial woes. Maybe if you start a plan of cutting spending and perhaps get a little side gig or a part time job, you’ll get those debts tackled in five years.
Shit. Take some piano lessons today and maybe you’ll be tickling the ivories in a concert hall in five years.
Hell, I spent the last two years writing a book about an alligator that eats people on the toilet. I hope to have it self-published next year. When I’m swimming in mad cash and bomb ass pussy thanks to all the fame and fortune I get when this book about a toilet gator goes gangbusters, I’ll be glad I put the time in on this fine book. I’ll be laughing at the other me in the alternate time line who will be a fucking loser because instead of writing a book about a toilet gator he did some weak ass shit like working extra hard on his cardio or volunteering to read to impoverished blind children or building hospitals in Ecuador or some shit.
Anyway, 3.5 readers. The takeaway? Right now, I know there is something you have wanted to happen for a long time. You never did it, but you know in your heart if you put the work in, you’ll have it in five years. Do you want to be like Sears? Do you want to be the hollow shell, the desolate remains of a once thriving business that was the brain child of a wise 1800’s business tycoon? Or, do you want to be like Supreme Overlord Bezos, violating the spent carcass of yet another fallen, wasted competitor over and over again?
If you don’t identify what you want and start acting on it today, then I guarantee you in five years, someone else will be getting it. You’ll still be fat and some other skinny person will be partying with the bomb ass pussy or peen, whatever your preference. Someone else will be playing the piano you were going to play. Someone else will be enjoying a debt free life while you’ll be giving handjobs in bus station bathrooms just to pay off the minimum payment on your credit cards. (You’ll be giving handjobs forever at that rate!)
The next five years will go by fast…in the blink of an eye. You can drink some other schmuck’s milkshake, or you can get yours drunk up. What’s it going to be?
(Note. Let’s all return to this post in five years and trade notes on how this all worked out.)
ADDITIONAL NOTE: It dawns on me that not all 3.5 of you have seen There Will Be Blood and I don’t advise it, because once you see a man get beaten to death with a bowling pin by a man enjoying a brownie, you can’t unsee that shit. Long story short, “I drink your milkshake!” comes from this scene where Daniel Day Lewis plays an oil baron who is bragging to a preacher about how he screwed him over in an oil deal.
So, to really motivate yourself, you need to a) picture what you want and then b) work on getting it for fear that in five years, if you don’t get what you want, Daniel Day Lewis will get what you wanted because he worked for it harder and he will ridicule you by laughing at you, telling you he got what you wanted because you’re a weak, pathetic loser and he was really strong and cunning and then he will beat the shit out of you with a bowling pin and eat a brownie.
If that doesn’t make you work hard on your goals then I don’t know what will.