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Charlie’s Mayo Moment

Updated: May 28

My friend Charlie Jackson tells about how, as a newlywed, with the help of his new bride and a jar of mayonnaise, he learned he was stuck in an old way of thinking.

Coming home from their first grocery shopping experience together, Charlie and his new wife are putting away the groceries. He takes the new jar of unopened mayonnaise and puts it in the refrigerator. His bride gently suggests that until it is opened, the mayo should go into the pantry.

Unknowingly, he opens the proverbial can of worms when smugly, but with some forcefulness, he replies, “I like MY mayo chilled.”

Charlie is a newlywed, and he is uneducated. He triggers a response in his new bride.

“But, this is MY kitchen, and the decisions made here are up to me,” she replies with some authority.

Charlie is stuck in an old way of thinking. He is totally unaware that there might be a better way.

Confident that his way is the only way, naively, he goads with some force, “Whose house is this?” And, he drives the dagger further, “Who bought this refrigerator? Who bought this house?”

Charlie is young and naïve, and is largely unaware that his education has just begun.

To Charlie’s credit, he listens, learns and today, when he brings home a new jar of mayonnaise, until it is opened, he puts it in the pantry.

And yes, he remains married to the love of his life after 53 years.

Looking back in reflection, Charlie says, “I wanted it my way. I did not want it different; I wanted to think my way was the only way.”

Charlie’s story speaks to the value of cultivating relationships where hard but truthful things can be spoken. The lack of this value in the entrepreneur’s life is a great tragedy. It is one of the thirteen “crossroads” that keeps them from making a profit, blessing their community and advancing their purpose generationally.

Entrepreneur killing crossroad #1: Not cultivating relationships where hard but truthful things can be spoken.

Like Charlie, many entrepreneurs are stuck in old and unchallenged ways of thinking, and the sad part is, they don’t know it. It happens all the time in marriage, business, politics and even church.

I wonder if reading this message might be a mayonnaise moment for some “Charlie’s” today. Are you, like Charlie, stuck in old and unchallenged ways of thinking? Maybe you have heard of succession planning 10,000 times but have done nothing to make it reality?

It is my heart’s desire that in 2023, our relationship could be one where hard but truthful things can be spoken. Maybe our conversations here might catapult you into a mayonnaise moment that will goad you into action.

My mission would be accomplished!

Harry T. Jones

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