Turpentine Conversations

Friday I had the opportunity to visit a friend’s business. She is subletting some extra space from us for awhile until the buildout of her new space is finished. We walked around the office, the production area, and shipping. The conversations turned to labeling.

Where turpentine conversations happen.

She talked about having some of her lids pre-printed. She’d just get rid of the whole labeling process. Until then they are still hand applying labels. I shared we have a machine at the brewery that applies a pressure sensitive label. The industrial name for what my kids would call a sticker. The conversation then quickly moved onto how she was preparing for the anticipated heavy fall and holiday ordering seasons.

It was all very brief and really not that memorable. But I enjoyed it. The whole visit was a good connection as business owners.

Today, thinking back on the week, the conversation came to mind and reminded me of the following quote that has recently become a favorite.

When art critics get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When artists get together they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine.

Pablo Picasso

I need more turpentine conversations in my life. The turpentine conversations serve the very practical need for my growth as a business owner. They also serve as a sort of gatekeeper. If you’re not able to discuss “turpentine” then I’m not that interested in your take on the Form and Structure and the Meaning of business. If we can first discuss your equivalent of turpentine then I’d love to hear your thoughts on the deeper meanings of your business. But if not, there are others who are happy, and sometimes even get paid, to participate in your entrepreneurial theater.

So don’t be surprised if I ask you about labels.

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