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  • Writer's pictureBill Petrie

Bold Enough to Be Plaid

Staying true to who you are

Growing up in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area and as a golf fan, I looked forward to every May when the PGA Tour would come to the area for two back-to-back stops: the Byron Nelson Classic in Dallas and The Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth. The "Nelson" was easily the sexier of the two, with top-tier players hosted by Byron Nelson, a newer, stadium-style golf course, and a seemingly endless flow of margaritas in the "Party Pavilion."

By contrast, the Colonial – now known as "the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial" – seemed like the Nelson's oddball cousin. Hosted by the admittedly crusty Ben Hogan, the golf course is a throwback to a bygone era. The cramped layout was built in 1935 and is wedged between Texas Christian University (TCU) and a railroad switching station just southwest of downtown Fort Worth.

Perhaps the most significant difference between the two tournaments is how the winner is recognized. At the Nelson, the champion is awarded a gorgeous silver trophy with "Lord Byron" at the top. By contrast, the victor of the Colonial (yes, I still refer to the tournament as "the Colonial") receives what might be the most garish jacket on the planet. If you've never seen it, picture this: it's as if your grandfather's picnic blanket, a Scottish tartan kilt, and a vintage couch from the 70s had a wild night and produced this fabulous fashion statement.

Many people groan when they see the gaudy jacket. To me, that plaid coat is more than just a piece of outerwear; it's a statement that represents the bold willingness to be different in the homogenous world of golf. If you are a fan of golf, the Colonial jacket is instantly recognizable. Do you know what the winner of the Valero Texas Open receives for his victory? Neither do I.

As a branded merchandise salesperson, are you bold enough to be plaid? Being plaid is the comfort of being yourself and doing things that set you apart by staying true to what you believe – no matter what others think or say. The most successful people I know exude plaid in everything they do. They are the ones who continually think of new ways to solve client issues and foster the longest relationships.

So, the question stands: Are you bold enough to be plaid?

A earlier version of this blog originally appeared at PromoJournal.

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