By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
How many times have you heard, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? I personally have heard this hundreds of times. Let’s take it a few steps further and say, “Who knows you and where are they now?” Just knowing someone or something is just a small part of the equation. It’s also realizing that the knowledge you have came from someone else.
I remember my dad used to tell me not to give out my knowledge to anyone, because that person would become twice as smart as I was. He reasoned that they would have my knowledge added to their knowledge, therefore it was better for me to listen and learn so I would have the upper hand. Well Dad, I listened and learned quite a bit but somehow I think I could have learned more.
Interaction and sharing knowledge leads to more knowledge that can bring out ideas to possibly lead you down different pathways. If we are open to these new discussions, we will find ourselves exploring more avenues. Surrounded by people with the knowledge we need, we can learn more and share what we have.
A friend of mine called it “co-opertition”, where two or more companies competing in a similar geographic location or trade come together to share ideas and knowledge. Very similar to the associations and buying groups we support today. Which groups do you belong to? What knowledge are you giving and what knowledge are you receiving?
In the last 20+ years, the most important thing I've realized is this: once I finally started to spread the knowledge my dad advised I should keep to myself, I received four times the knowledge back in return. With that added knowledge, I have four times more to share, which will potentially give me that much more knowledge to receive. So don’t just sit in a chair on the sidelines watching and wasting your opportunities to learn. Get up and start sharing!
By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
Managing the occasional deluge
Well, the lazy days of summer are winding down, and life’s hustle is cranking up again. It seems that once Labor Day hits, boom! The next thing you know, the holidays are upon us. And as Murphy’s Law would have it, these busy times seem to be when life’s little emergencies seem to pop up unexpectedly! Managing what life throws at us while keeping up with our businesses takes some talent, organization, and sometimes, even the costly outside contractor.
There are times when there’s just so much on our plates that hiring outside help becomes a necessity. Now I am definitely a do-it-yourself kinda girl whenever I possibly can, but there are times when there are not enough hours in the day to take care of it all. For example, in the middle of last month’s crunch time in publishing The Retail Observer, a copper pipe in my office sprung a leak, flooding my desk and equipment, requiring me rip out the ceiling, walls and crown molding. The air conditioner on the roof leaked the following day and proceeded to flood the upstairs master suite as well, leaving me without air conditioning for one full month in the Vegas triple digit heat — a remodel I am still in the middle of. The timing couldn’t have been worse. While working on the repair as best I could, it just made more sense to hire workers so that I could continue to deal with the most important issue at hand — the magazine.
While many people are hesitant to hire outside help in the effort to save money, there are times when hiring an outside contractor or business consultant becomes the best financial decision you can make. Having someone take care of the items that draw your focus away from your job frees you up to concentrate on the crucial areas of your business that bring in the money, grow the company, and ensure repeat customers. Your time is well spent in your business—after all, its success is largely dependent on the values and culture you established when you originally opened your doors. Now is a good time to find qualified help with the many changes in the workplace environment over the past year. Start interviewing and hiring excellent talent now to free you up to be the best captain to take your business into the future.
Ahoy — and full steam ahead,