Dan has been part of this community for years. If you’re from Livingston, West Lothian, chances are you know who Dan is … The Hotdog Man!

If you haven’t guessed already, Dan is the man behind the hotdog cart. I try to get up there and have a catch up every week. I love chatting to him and the hotdogs are pretty damn good too.

Anyway, I’ll tell you more about him another time, I’m sure he’ll make a regular appearance here.

So the other day I went up for a wee blether. After the lunch rush, half way through my first hotdog, we were getting right in about putting the world to rights as we do. Dan said something that made me laugh. He was relaying a story that started

Why would you want to be a pillar of the community when you can be a CATERPILLAR?!

So as I do, I gave that look that says ok carry on.

Dan explained that in his view a pillar just stands there, doesn’t move, doesn’t change, doesn’t look like much.

But, a caterpillar, it changes, it grows and develops in to a beautiful butterfly. It can fly and get around the place making people smile.

Just to let you understand, April has been Dan’s month for raising awareness of Breast Cancer and fundraising for our local hospital’s oncology department. So there he is standing in front of me, dressed in the brightest pink possible, telling me he’d rather be a butterfly than a boring stone pillar … yeh Dan I know!

It got me thinking about marketing and being clear in getting your message out there. Being clear and being able to explain your why. About being yourself and differentiating yourself and your business from others. Also about perception and how you can’t please all the people all of the time.

Up until that conversation I wouldn’t have thought twice about referring to Dan as a pillar of the community.

A pillar is generally something strong, consistent, reliable, and steadfast. Dan is always there, been there for years, has seen generations of the same family grow up. He’s friendly and will pretty much say hello to anyone walking by. I’ve often seen him helping members of the community back and forth to the Dr Surgery around the corner. Dozens of people stop to chat on the way by every day he’s there.

But no, Dan doesn’t want to be a boring stone faced pillar, he wants to be a beautiful butterfly.

There he was doing everything I have mentioned, engaging with the young and old making them smile.

Dressed in pink, being the consistent, reliable and steadfast, beautiful butterfly that he is!

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