All that and a bag of chips
After listening to the two extremely charming cousins tell their stories about how they went from running hotels and selling vacation timeshares to master franchisor for Title Boxing Club in Mexico, I bid them a fond farewell. We had been sitting outside having coffee after a site visit in Monterrey, Mexico, to see if the owner of an upscale gym might be a candidate for their brand. Lesley Hawks from Edwards Global Services was along to help with the assessment, but the two young entrepreneurs were amazingly adept at vetting the candidate. They weighed the pros and cons of accepting someone with just a single unit to expand Title in Monterrey. “This guy is passionate, you need that at Title,” one of them said. “In Mexico, you can’t discount anyone because they could have family money,” the other one explained to me.
As I left, the younger cousin, Gus, called out to me, “Come visit us in Cancun anytime.” He grinned mischievously, as he added, “And don’t forget to bring your checkbook.”
“You may see me, but you’ll never see my checkbook,” I called back.
Remember that old saw about someone being able to sell snow to an Eskimo? Well, I think I just met the two young men who could do it. Gustavo Miranda Garcia, 21, and Patricio Muldowney, 34, definitely have silver tongues, figuratively, not literally—with today’s generation’s propensity for piercings one does need to be clear. After Patricio (Pato) explained how he sells timeshares in Mexico, I knew that if I ever shared any time with him, I would be the proud, but poor, owner of a vacation timeshare somewhere on a beach in Mexico.
Thirteen years apart in age, the cousins have a different relationship now than they did when they were younger. “I used to use Gus to get girls,” Pato says, laughing. He recounts the time he was driving an open-air jeep and saw a convertible ahead of him filled with girls. He put the young Gus on his lap and told him to pretend to drive, while he slumped down out of sight. The girls, of course, were intrigued and then smitten.
Pato also gave Gus advice on how to deal with bullies: Pretend to tie your shoe and then come up with an uppercut. Gus laughs remembering the consequences. Good training, however, for his current career with Title.
Growing up in a tourist town in Mexico, Gus was granted a lot of freedom by his wealthy family. In the fourth grade, he arrived at school driving a four-wheeler. At 15 he had a black BMW convertible.
Pato is also a compelling storyteller, using his expressions and body language to bring the story to life. His freshman year of high school he went to his father’s homeland of Ireland to live with his grandmother. “In Mexico it’s important to send you to another culture,” he says. After he arrived, he saw his grandmother starting to get Alzheimer’s disease.
It became a pattern: Every day as he ran down the stairs, his grandmother would ask, “Who are you?” When he told her, she replied: “When are you going back to Mexico?”
And still he says, “I loved Ireland.” I have 30 cousins in Ireland and an uncle who is the chief of police. I got to drive police motorcycles, and every Friday the police showed up to take me home.” And they didn’t just drive him home, they drove him home with sirens blazing as if they were in pursuit of a felon.
When he returned home to Mexico, he opted for a sabbatical from school, and discovered he could make more money selling than with a degree. Gus, however, said he doesn’t have a choice. He has to finish his degree. But then again, he’s in line to take over the family businesses. If you want more, and you haven’t already read page 44, go there for another take on their story.
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I probably should have used the picture of the mousepad I won at the Twin Peaks’ booth during the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference instead of the caricature of myself on the back of a Which Wich sandwich bag. I do like the fact that my face doesn’t look as drawn here as it did at the conference, and my hair doesn’t depict the damage bestowed on curly hair by the low humidity of Las Vegas.But the reason the picture of the mousepad would have been more helpful is that words can’t adequately describe why the Twin Peaks mousepad is the best holiday party white elephant gift ever.
Picture this (in your mind since it’s not on the page): An oversized cutout of a Twin Peaks server—long hair; big eyes; plaid, largely unbuttoned, shirt —with padded 3-D breasts that serve as wrist protection to help avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.
But even better than a great gift to share with the husbands of some of my closest friends at the party is the fact that I won it. I have never won an athletic competition, but I pitched three out of three bean bags through the hole in the box. Just goes to show what motivation will win you.