Come in, come in, I’ve been expecting you. Now take a good look around you. You see all this? It’s mine. My empire spans many miles – a man has to provide for his family - but it didn’t come easily. I’ve had to fight tooth and toenail for my business and trample many enemies along the way. You want to have what I have? You’ll have to listen carefully…
Make them an offer they can’t refuse.
To be a good businessman, you have to first become a salesman. You have to make your victim client feel like they’re getting something unique, something special. First, make them trust you by looking them in the eyes, holding their gaze and complimenting their sock choice. What's that? You're unimpressed with their choice of holed, musty grey gym-socks? Don't turn your toes up - offer constructive feedback. After all, not all aspiring businessmen are cut from the same, naturally stylish cotton as the Cottones.
Start them young.
Listen: one day you'll run a great business, but you have some big shoes to fill. I've got to where I am today thanks to the lessons passed down from generation to generation of Cottones. Remember that your own young heirs will someday take over your empire, so bring them up to be a reflection of your very best qualities. I even dress mine just like me, just to be sure.
Trust no one.
A successful businessman is always one step ahead of the competition, forever on his toes. Whilst building an empire may require you to establish relationships, remember this: it’s just business. Trust no man, unless he’s made from the same fine cotton as you are. (As the saying goes; family is woven, not chosen).
Never let anyone know what you are thinking.
Now, this probably contradicts the openness of my blog, but what can I say – I’m a generous man. Some secrets of the sock drawer are best kept as just that: secrets. Keep your achilles heel a mystery and you should keep your fortune. Keep your feet up and your laces tied, unless you're in the company of a trusted set.
Use the element of surprise.
If there’s one thing Feeto understands, it’s how to surprise a man. The trick is never to judge by appearances. A man may wear a simple, smart black dress shoe, but underneath the leather lays a sock with a sole of its own. Lure your enemies into a false sense of security and then reveal yourself when the shoes come off and the guard is down.
Plan for all eventualities.
Remember this: even the best-laced plans can come untied. People change, and so (we hope) do their socks. Be prepared to welcome new and sometimes surprising additions to your sock drawer, and try not to judge by design. Keep an open mind and you may even find that a clownish fellow becomes one of your closest companions.
Women make the heart and sole of a business.
Successful as I am, I would be nothing without the women in my life. My mother was a strong, starched sock, who loved me dearly but never allowed me to step out of line. My wife is the right foot to my pair, her soft cotton and strong mind helping to build what has become the unshakable Cottone empire. Celebrate your successes with your loved ones, and treat them to something special to remind them of your appreciation.
I’ve learned that time erodes gratitude more quickly than it does beauty – be careful not to fall into this trap. Recognise when you have a good offer on the table and be thankful to those enabling it. Show thanks, or you may wake up with a pair of horse head patterned socks in your sock drawer.
Meet Don Cottone
You know the saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day"? Well, neither was my empire. You must take careful steps to build something from the ground up, if you want to leave a legacy. From time to time, other businessmen will step on your toes. Do not allow yourself to become distracted - stride forward, knowing that your sock drawer is full of riches. Every time you slip off your shoes, you'll be reminded of who has had the last laugh.
Every man has a destiny.
Use yours wisely. Will you choose to stride through life like a Cottone, or sink into the depths and swim with the fishes? Tread carefully and remember everything I've taught you. You wouldn’t want to disappoint old Feeto now, would you?