I am a person who needs a Tonto, someone to focus me . I never could tell if Tonto was assisting the Lone Ranger or if it was the other way around. I need someone who will let me believe I am in charge, while actually running the show.
These people are harder to find than you might think! However, you can find bits and pieces of them in unexpected places. The trick is to know when it is happening and be able use the information and direction they can offer.
Being the entrepreneurial person I am, I have always had someone to encourage my crazy ideas. When I was in my thirties it was my BFF in Boston. She supported every crazy idea I ever had. Some really good. some not so great. Some we executed and some executed us, literally, but she really respected my creative ability without feeling threatened. She was the glue that kept the train from leaving the track.
After moving west, I was busy adjusting to my new home and getting my three children settled in their new home and I had a few years without any fabulous? ideas. But then the muse returned, my first business in LA dealt with leasing apartments, furnishing them and renting them to corporations. I named it Turnkey and set about selling the idea to big businesses in Los Angeles, it was fairly successful and as I think back my Tonto in that attempt was a young man who worked at a furniture rental company. He would supply all the furniture for my units, but more importantly he let me run all my ideas by him, and patiently told me what was doable and what was not. In retrospect, I realize he was my second Tonto, practical, level-headed and able to reign me in without crushing my spirit.
My next Tonto for all practical purposes was my interior design partner. Together we decided to take Turnkey to a new level. For some reason we were getting a lot of newly separated men as clients, could it be because my partner was herself newly separated, aha, never put that together before. I suggested we put together some type of brochure offering to completely decorate their new digs, furniture, linens, kitchen stuff, all in a weeks time. They got a pleasant place of their own, fully outfitted and nothing too expensive to anger the ex and we didn’t have to deal with three-month delivery schedules and temperamental women clients a win-win!
She was definitely one of my Tonto’s, a beloved one. unfortunately, we lost her to a very fatal form of cancer and the Lone Ranger was lost without her. I lost interest in the design business and that was when I changed direction and took my job with Weight Watchers as a motivational speaker or as we were known “Leaders”. I loved that job and it feed my creative streak for fifteen wonderful years.
My next great idea, came coincidently related to cancer, in 2009 when another close friend received the dreaded diagnosis. As a group of us in our sixties, were trying to figure out how to get marijuana brownies for our friend, I passed a storefront, with a green cross. I turned and asked my thirty year old son,” why is there a guard in front of that store”? Had he been a teenage girl he would have answered “duh”, but instead he explained Prop 20 to me. For those of you not in California that is the title of the law passed to make marijuana collectives sort of legal in this state, and the sort of is for another day. My next project then became, opening an upscale dispensary for older patients, again a blog for another day.
During that process I found my last Tonto, an Israeli, hired by my young partner. I am sure he was there originally to watch the interests of his friends, but he became indispensable to me. Not for his talents as a guard/slash assistant but for his ability to focus me, not an easy task. I will never know how he managed to keep me corralled in one place eight hours a day while simultaneously keeping the business on track. With the constant changes in the law by the LA City Council, it became to difficult to run and we closed, but he will always be the most unusual of my Tonto equivalents. I believe he was more in the mold of the latest incarnation of Tonto, Johnny Depp. In the pictures from the new film, you just know Tonto is the brains behind the operation.
The inspiration for this blog came from an unexpected source, and having written way over my usual 500 words, I will share that with you tomorrow and hope you will find some inspiration in how we never know when the cavalry will arrive and from what direction.