By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
Today, it is easier to reach people than ever before. Phone, text, email and social media connect us — telegraphs and homing pigeons just wouldn’t make due today. We are fortunate to be able to reach out and get the information we need almost instantly from our connections (as long as they respond). The Internet also gives us the opportunity to answer our own questions before we must connect with another human.
I start my workweek connecting with my social, professional, or commercial relationships, PR and ad agencies, manufacturers, distributors, associations, buying groups and marketing folk from all over the industry. These connections bring the information needed to create the magazine you are reading.
Most recently, our connectedness has focused on all the devices and social media that keep us in touch with each other and the world. And while this outstanding technology is amazing, there is no replacement for our one- on-one interaction that keeps us joined.
According to Linkedin, I am connected to 4,300+ people. I didn’t go to school with 4,300 people, so clearly it is easier today to reach out to others than in years past. In the 26 years that I have been the kitchen and bath industry, I’ve met tens of thousands of people, and though I couldn’t have kept in touch with many of them without technology, to me, being truly connected isn’t just through a data line or cell tower, it’s through face-to-face or verbal contact. We can have all the connections in the world but until you get the chance to interact with a person and get to know who they are, not just by the repost on Twitter or the joke on Facebook, it doesn’t really seem like a true connection.
This is one of the great advantages that the independent retailer has over the big box stores—you are able to connect in a real way with your customers, and they know that they aren’t just a name on your contact sheet. I know that I need to feel that myself.
Are we really connected to thousands of people or so we just have names on a contact sheet? That’s for each of us to answer and decide how we want to be connected.
By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
Here’s a great tale of remembering what’s important in your life. It’s the story of a jar and life priorities...
A professor stood before his philosophy class and picked up a very large and empty jar, which he proceeded to fill with golf balls. He then asked his students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So next he picked up a box of small pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles filled the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor then poured a box of sand into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous, “Yes!” The professor then produced two cans of beer and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
“Now I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions – things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else – the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.”
One student raised her hand and asked what the beer represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that, no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.” --author unknown
Is your jar of life filled with the things that are most important to you in life, or filled primarily with pebbles and small stuff? It’s time to fill your life with the important things that are critical to your happiness and success. Make sure you fill the jar with those things first. The rest can wait...