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I am happy and energized to have seen the number of retailers turning out at trade shows this year. From Frankfurt to San Francisco and every regional gift show in between, retailers have mustered up the courage and conviction to search out new products, new merchandising concepts and ideas to get their customers back into their stores and shopping again.
Admit it— there were days in January when you probably thought you would never see a customer darken your doorway ever again. Those were dark days in a season of normally dark days.
To our joy, customers started to trickle back to shopping again in late spring. While maybe not back to where it was, at least shoppers are looking for ideas and if the ideas excite them, they are buying.
Our “time out” last spring taught us a lot...
No matter how much we work, when things are down, they are down. Most of us would have made more money taking a vacation in January rather than going to work and opening the front door.
No matter how important we think we are, it is obvious that we are just a small part of a bigger economic model. No one person has all the answers.
We learned that the “systems” that we and our parents had confidence in were more fragile than anyone ever expected.
No matter how tall the giant bank building is in the center of town, even their money can simply dry up.
Real security is the confidence we have in ourselves.
Our lives are complex, individual and personal. Happiness in life is a mixing, a folding, and a blending of important elements on a daily basis.
If any part of our lives get out of whack, we are, at best, uncomfortable. At worst, it can damage the fabric of our existence.
While making a sale, opening a new account or launching a new line is important, business is just one aspect of our lives that we have to control each day. Just listen to a working Mom tell you about her day and it makes most of us seem like we are standing still.
Balance in life is the goal and today to achieve that balance is a bigger struggle than ever before.
Experience a garden regularly, no matter how challenging a life you live. They used to say “smell the roses” but for those of us who appreciate gardens, the scent of a flower is only one part of the experience. Gardens change by season making each season unique to capture your senses for a time and provide you with a vacation or an escape from normal.
Make yourself a priority. Go for that annual physical that you just keep putting off. Engage in regular physical activity. Get enough sleep at night. Eat a good breakfast. Do all those things your mother told you were right. There is no time better to get back on track than today.
Love your job. If you don’t, find a new one. You owe it to yourself to love what you do because there is no activity that you are engaged in where you spend more time. You simply can’t be happy if such an important component of your life leaves you unfulfilled.
Commit yourself to becoming a great listener. “Listening” requires less energy and is usually less stressful than talking. In addition, it is the one thing we do that guarantees we will learn something new every time. Listen to your customers as they walk in your front door, and listen to them talk on blogs, twitter and a host of other social networks where they share incredible thoughts that you can deliver on.
Save. One of the benefits of this economy is that Americans have more money in personal savings than ever before. These savings have helped businesses and families get through these tough economic times.
Commit yourself to family. Many people feel that it is enough to take an annual family vacation or sit down together for Thanksgiving. With schedules being what they are, family time takes work and planning on everyone’s part but the benefits are great. I can’t believe the numbers of people I hear are back to playing board games together as families.
Control your stress. Eliminating stress is a great goal but just not practical. One of the biggest contributors to our stress is procrastination whereby we put things off and they hang over our heads and never go away. When you feel stressed, analyze the reasons for the procrastination and then face them squarely followed by a plan of action.
Celebrate your successes. This is difficult for many of us but we need to take time to pause between our numerous tasks to acknowledge and check off our accomplishments, otherwise, they remain on the never ending list of to-do’s. Keep your favorite champagne on ice because you never know when a big success will come to you in life.
Be the Best in Class. You are good enough, you are smart enough and you deserve it. Believe in you. Self-belief has to be a fire burning inside you and if it is strong enough it will pull in the people around you to experience your energy. You can do it.