What’s Your Pink Flamingo?


Donald Featherstone, creator of the iconic pink plastic flamingo that has decorated lawns for decades, died Monday in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.  An art school graduate, Featherstone created the pink flamingo in 1957 as part of his job at Union Products, a plastics company he eventually became president of.

Imagine that.

Having a job where you get to make fun stuff that becomes a cultural icon.  There is even a National Pink Flamingo Day, a day created in his honor in 2007 by Dean Mazzarella, mayor of Leominster, Massachusetts, to honor the 50th anniversary of the plastic flamingo’s creation in his town.

Of course, I’m sure Mr Feathertone never imagined that future way back in ’57 but regardless, he had an inspiration, made it real and well, even today there are a couple of those tacky birds sitting in my backyard because I love the complete goofiness of them.  Me and millions of other people, apparently.

And that’s my point.

You just never know what’s going to come of your creative inspirations or goofy ideas.  You don’t know what will grab people’s attention or spark a movement or whatever.

But for so many people, the ideas that light us up are quickly extinguished by the “Yeah, but…” stories that set out to crush us with thoughts like  “it’s a dumb idea or who’s going to pay for that?”  And then the idea gets tucked in a draw or pitched in the trash and it’s back to same ole’, same ole’. Nothing new and nothing changes.

So in honor of the awesome Pink Flamingo and all they stand for, how about today you turn off the yackity yaks in your brain, and let your imagination soar.  Give space and support to those off the wall ideas and see where they take you.

Imagine the equivalent of seeing your idea, product or service on the proverbial front lawn of every house in America.  Of having a holiday declared in your honor.  Imagine bringing joy and fun and playfulness to others, simply because you had an idea and took action.

Will all ideas turn into Pink Flamingos?  No.  Will yours?  I have no idea.

But what I do know without a shadow of a doubt is that if you DON’T take action, your idea won’t go anywhere.

Period. End of report.

And I think that’s really sad because what if your idea was so awesome, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Me and a million of my closest friends.

Are you willing to risk missing out?  I hope not.

So get out there! Gather your excitement, take a risk and make peace with your discomfort.  Go out and make something happens.

The Pink Flamingos and I salute you!




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