Pee – It’s Not a Business, It’s a Calling for the PeeMan

Did you ever wonder why someone would get in the Pee Business? The PeeMan certainly has! Did the PeeMan when asked in childhood “what do you want to be when you grow up,” say: I want to sell Pee to people around the world?

If he did, I am sure there would have been therapy for that.

No, the PeeMan did not choose to be in the Pee business, it was chosen for him and he was made for it.

You see the PeeMan was educated to be a journalist, but having a job was not very appealing. The entrepreneurial spark was ignited early. It was once written that the definition of an entrepreneur was someone who would do almost anything to avoid getting a job. That is the PeeMan.

The PeeMan left college before graduation to be a journalist but did not want a job. So he started his own weekly newspaper at the age of 20 and at the age of 20 and a half, the PeeMan’s newspaper was broke. But in those 6 months, he learned where the money was and next launched a free-lance ad agency, which lead to a partnership in a real ad agency, which led to his own marketing and advertising agency which led to a client that sold urine to hunters and trappers.

For that client, the future PeeMan became the voice of urine in the marketplace and the Pee prospered. He learned the qualities, characteristics and applications of pee. He learned to talk pee like nobody else. He learned it was fun. And he learned he really liked it!

Then the client put his urine business up for sale and the PeeMan did not want to see it go – so he bought it.  In 1986 the PeeMan had his own little pee-business selling pee to sportsmen and photographers who wanted attract animals using the scent of urine as lure.

Then everything changed. A lawn and garden store in New Hampshire called one day and wanted to buy fox urine because one of their customers wanted to use it keep rabbits out of their garden. They said that the customer had gotten some urine last season from a local trapper and that it worked really great.

It was a light bulb moment for the fledgling PeeMan. The scent and lure market for hunters and trappers was nice little niche for the small pee company, but the lawn and garden market was something else entirely!

The real pee business was calling the PeeMan! And the PeeMan answered. From that point on, the PeeMan learned that his customers were leading the way for him. They were telling him everyday where his business would go. All he had to do was listen. They would call and write with their animal pest problem and the PeeMan would go to work matching a pee to the problem. And then the customers would tell him how it worked. And on it went, in 1986 the biggest animal pest problem was deer. Now over 30 years later, it is coyotes, cats and rats and the PeeMan has the right Pee for them all!

And the Pee world gets bigger and bigger everyday – The PeeMan brings the right pee for wild boar in Japan, moose in Finland, civet cats in Israel, blue bulls in India and the list goes on and on.

Everyday the PeeMan and his family get to work using the God-created tools that keep balance in nature. We get to bring you Pee – the incredible natural communicator that animals use to avoid danger and find mates. We love telling people we are in the Pee business and thank you for being a part of it too.

The PeeMan’s Daughter is getting married!

I wasn’t planning to write this blog, but something big has happened here. Our middle daughter Laura got engaged! Upon hearing the news, a whole bunch of us piled in the truck and headed south to meet up with Laura and fiance Alex to celebrate. Some might think it odd that the PeeMan would announce his daughter’s engagement to the world in his PredatorPee blog….but to Laura, it would be a surprise if he didn’t.

IMG_0367 (1)You see, we have three wonderfully unique daughters. Erica, the oldest, married with four kids and along with husband Nathan is actively involved in the Pee business, Emma our youngest, just venturing into the world of adult-hood and Laura, now planning her wedding. Three daughters is a lot for a father to handle especially since the PeeMan is pretty old-school. I have embraced the idea taught in the Bible that a father is responsible for his daughter until she is married…you can only imagine how that goes over in today’s world. Proactive fatherhood is messy, awkward, uncomfortable, risky, painful, intrusive and exhausting…. yet in the end, it is absolutely perfect.  I, of course, messed it up along the way, I am sure. There wasn’t a detailed playbook, but I kept at it. How many times haven’t I said to the girls:

“The last place I want to be is here having this conversation with you, but its my job, God gave it to me and I love you, so we’re stuck right here together until we get though this.”

Now through it all, I look back and can say it was all worth it. As teenagers and adults, I am so thankful that they have let me be a part of their lives while I know of so many fathers who have been locked out.

Two weeks ago, Alex met with my wife and I to ask permission to marry Laura….(old school, we liked that!) and we gave our blessing. Now I look forward to handing my responsibilities over to Alex…. just like it should be. Congratulations, Laura & Alex!

Until I find more words(or another daughter gets engaged) . . .The PeeMan

Virtual Handshake

Greetings from the FROZEN north woods! Highs in the teens today. . .brrr.

So, I have decided to up my blog game in 2016. I am taking Blogging 101 through WordPress. Learn something new? At my age? Well, my wife would wonder what I could possibly learn since I seem to know everything. As much as I hate to disagree with her, there are a few tricks I don’t know yet.

When I started in the business world, phone calls, business lunches and handshakes were what got things done. Now, my business is entirely online, I avoid the phone and I only really press the flesh at church or when meeting my daughters’ new boyfriends. The explosion of blogging and social media still befuddles me, and as always I don’t know why anyone would care to read about a 60 something Maine entrepreneur, but I guess this is now my virtual hand shake or phone call, and it sure is a lot cheaper than a business lunch.

My first assignment for Blogging U(which is not as cool as Predatorpee University aka PU, but more popular as it turns out)is to reintroduce myself and possibly set some blog related goals. Well, I wish I had waited to write Back to the Blog  until after I had received my homework! That’s just like me – always ahead of the curve! Anyway, here goes . . .

peeman_pucketsSo, how do you do? My name is Ken Johnson aka The PeeMan. I am a long-time entrepreneur( 5 Qualities of an Entrepreneur ), husband and father to 3 lovely grown up daughters(Thoughts for my Daughters: Risk ). I fled New Jersey right after high school and rejected the corporate rat race shortly thereafter, always preferring to work for myself, and a lot of times by myself. predatorpee.com is a big part of the family business that now occupies my entrepreneurial energies. I like the solitude and natural beauty Maine affords. At my home, Winterberry Farm, we have chickens, 2 dogs and flower and vegetable gardens in the summer. If I have to “share” anymore about myself, then I might as well meet you for that business lunch after all.

2016 finds me right where 2015 left me – feeling my age, filling my days with farm chores, honey do projects, and of course – pee. The pee business just keeps on “flowing” and even in the cold winter months in Maine, people in warmer parts of the country and world are ordering predatorpee to keep away coyotes, pesky rodents, hungry deer and moose, etc.

My blogging goal for 2016 is pretty simple – write the dang blog posts! Topics will probably include such things as: life on Winterberry Farm, tales from the seasoned entrepreneur, project updates, blunders, mishaps,  glimpses of the family, and of course all things predatorpee related!

Until I find more words(which will probably be tomorrow because I will have more homework) . . .The PeeMan

 

 

Thoughts for My Daughters: Risk

Greetings from the snowy North Woods!

A little less than a year ago, I reworked some things on the blog and promised to expand my topics. I haven’t done a great job so far, but it is New Year’s resolution time and I might as well give it another go. I mentioned in a previous post( The Long Winter)that I had written a book for my 3 adult daughters and given it to them for Christmas 2014. I have decided to publish some of it on the blog. Probably going to stick with the topics that will have the broadest appeal. Like I wrote in the foreword:

Some shallow(thoughts), some profound, some foolish and some so-so – but nevertheless all for you(daughters)

FullSizeRenderDedication:(names are deleted to protect the innocent and not so innocent)

To(oldest daughter)who made me think being a father was going to be easy, to(second daughter)who proved that it wasn’t, to(youngest daughter)who showed me how much I still had to learn and to(my wife)who allows me to be the father I think I should be.

Love, DaD – Christmas 2014

Risk

What risks are worth taking? That is a question that we deal with in almost every endeavor. Will telling the truth damage a friendship? Will making a certain decision potentially cause an unforeseen problem? Will inaction allow something bad to happen? Will intervention put someone in harm’s way? Plus all the risky decisions that involve finance, family and livelihood. As you know, I am chronically non-risk adverse. So, take this advice accordingly. Risk is a matter of weighing the benefits against the harm and that process takes a little effort. My process starts with three steps. The first is to clearly evaluate the benefits to determine if it is even worth considering the risks. If step one is positive, step two is clearly to picture the worst case scenario if the action goes badly and estimate the likelihood of that happening. Step three is to ask yourself whether you can handle the worst case scenario. Then consider carefully all that information and make a decision.

Excerpt from Thoughts for My Daughters by Ken Johnson

Copyright 2014

Until I have more thoughts . . .The PeeMan

Back to the Blog

Greetings!

Well, it seems like every year at this time I look at the blog and realize that I have been woefully neglectful. Fortunately, the world can continue to spin without my thoughts adding to the cyberspace clutter. But, since this blogging thing is supposed to be good for business(my daughters tell me)I guess I will get back on the horse.

Obviously lots of things have happened at Winterberry Farm since May but I don’t want to update you with one huge post so be on the lookout for posts to come about the summer and fall goings on. The topics may or may not include: The Airstream Not So Dry Run , The Great Fall, Wilbur and Templeton, The Great Rooster Culling, PeeMan Sings Country, The Boyfriends, etc.

For now I just want to say that I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you all the best for 2016!

The Long Winter

snowfiddleGreetings from the FROZEN North Woods,

It has been four months since I last blogged. Four months of winter. I live in Maine, I should expect it, right? It may come every year, but each Maine winter has its own surprises. This winter is no exception. Big snow storm and freezing first of November. Early December more snow. Then, it all melts and it is near 50 for Christmas! January is colder but no snow. And then, the Emperor of the North(I stole that phrase from somewhere)descended on a carpet of white and has yet to recede one bit. We now have 4 feet of snow and February is going on the books as the coldest month in this part of the world. Not only the coldest February – the coldest month – jumping ahead of four Januarys in the top five coldest months on record. So, I have just been on shovel, snowblow, plow, roof rake and repeat mode for a month. My stink pipe has frozen over multiple times, the roof of the greenhouse almost collapsed under the weight of snow, my transmission went in the truck, I substituted the Scout for plowing, got the truck back, one of my laying hens died, and meanwhile the snow drifts just keep growing and blowing. My driveway disappears regularly with the drifting which means more plowing. In between snow duties, I have to find time to make sure the pee gets out the door. I have to have inventory deliveries made at my daughter’s house in town because the UPS guy can’t always make it down the driveway. So I haven’t had much time for blogging. I have complained an awful lot and I don’t like just letting problems hang out there without resolution. Advice to self – “So, quit your bellyaching and do something!”

snowscout2015

Snow Scout reporting for duty!

Well, I can’t make the snow disappear but I can use the time inside forced on me by the brutal wind and snow to do something productive. So, I am updating the blog, changing some things up and broadening the scope of my posts. Don’t worry, I will still pass along tidbits about all the wonderful uses of pee – I am the PeeMan after all! But, I will start posting about what life is like for me. Now, I don’t know why anyone would really want to take time to read about a 60 something entreprenuer who lives in the woods of Maine, but my daughters tell me that this blogging is an important part of the whole internet commerce thing. On that note, think backyard chickens(2015 is the year of the chicken at predatorpee.com), think gardening – seedlings going to be started soon, don’t forget airstream refurbish #2, the Scout project, pig husbandry, and maybe even some excerpts from the book I wrote for my daughters for Christmas 2014.

Update from the PeeMan’s Farm

Greetings!

It has been a busy, full summer, and I have spent most of it outside on the farm and not in front of the computer – obviously. This post is long overdue. Even though I failed to document it on the blogosphere, amazingly life at Winterberry Farm has kept buzzing along. I used last year’s pigpen to plant my garden. Apparently pig manure is very nutrient filled as I have pumpkins coming out my ears and mchickens and roosterounds of

corn. This year’s pigs, Peter and Oreo are growing but they are not nearly as hefty as Stanley was at this point last year. The eight chicks from this spring are now full grown, and one has actually turned out to be a rooster. With nine hens surrounding him, he is one happy man.

Last night, SEPTEMBER 19, we had a killing frost! So, our growing season is pretty much over up here in the North Woods. Chilly temperatures and changing leaves means it is time for cider making. The apple trees on the farm this year are all heavy with fruit. Even trees that have not fruited since we have lived here are covered with apples. In fact, I have been making apple pie which according to my youngest daughter are more than just edible. The PeeMan can bake!

pumpkins picnic tableOnce again my wife and I are hosting the annual church harvest party/hayride, and the preparations have already begun. In fact between now and then I will be lucky if I have time to do anything other than get the property up to my wife’s high aesthetic standards.peter pig

As far as business goes, this is the time of year when we start to remind people, as much as they might not want to think about it, that winter is coming. With the onset of winter comes the threat of rodent invasion of attics, basements, stored vehicles, oreo pigboatrooster and hen1s and rvs. That is why we are letting everyone know about our PeeShots – they come in an 8 pack and are “Pee-Loaded” with PredatorPee. Just remove the caps and place the vented canisters under sink, in basement, attic, garage, shed etc. Choose BobcatPeeShots for mice, CoyotePeeShots for rats and ‘coons, FoxPeeShots for squirrels, and WolfPeeShots for domestic and feral cats.

And speaking of storing things for the winter, I now have in my possession an Airstream of my very own. As you may recall, I have already refurbished one that belonged to some friends. This beauty, however, is my very own. Look for a post about that “PeeMan Project”soon.

Until I find more words . . .The PeeMan