When I think about my history and the way things have happened in my life, the phrase, “Now I am one” comes to mind. It is also the reason the title of this edition of Retail Education is not called, “Goal oriented.” A long time ago I realized I’ve never really set any goals throughout my life. It might strike many of you as strange to hear that the retail education guru never had any ambitions to become an expert. But that is the story of my life.
When I was young, I never had any desire to play sports but my dad put me in lots of them starting with baseball, then foot- ball and basketball. To my advantage, I was a big kid and with repetition and a, well-learned understanding of sports I became a starter in every one, including 11 letters in high school sports. But without drive I was always a starter and never a star.
The other name for myself was a 90%-er, meaning there was always someone better than me at everything. This pattern followed me with everything I did.
Even becoming a writer, author and columnist just kind of happened. Up until the day I wrote my first training manual, I had no ambitions or goals for writing. Like everything else it became a project and it happened fast. I systematically went about learning how to get that book sold. So I called the guy whom I thought did it the best: Warren Tyler, my mentor and the real guru in flooring sales. Warren was surprisingly very open to helping a future competitor in book sales. He explained the steps to take, the channels to follow and explained what the newspapers looked for. My project was to follow his advice, and to make a long story short, now I am one.
It took me a long time to understand why good things happened in my life until one day when I was talking to a close friend about our childhood. He said his dad gave him daily tasks to do and when he was done, his time was his own. Then I explained that I had my chores as well, but whenever I wanted to go somewhere with my friends my dad would add a task like cleaning out the garage before I could go. I’m sure his intention was to make it so I never had enough time to get into trouble with those bad friends of mine, but much to his surprise I’d always get the task done and still have time to get into trouble.
The best part is that I now realize I set up projects for myself every day. I’ve incorporated a motto from another friend of mine I like to call, “pay & play.” First you pay with hard work and then you get to play hard. So, when I decide to indulge myself by taking it easy or playing I feel I’ve earned it.
Accumulation can be a great thing. Putting your change in jar every night, exercising and walking a few miles every week, and other small things like getting rid of clutter daily can really make your life less stressful.
I’m always reminded of my Grandpa Kramer. Even though he would work 10 to 12 hours a day at the GM foundry in a grueling job, he would spend an hour every day with his six boys playing ball. The end result was having two boys good enough to make the big leagues but more importantly, a family that simply loved him.
Take some time and accomplish your own list of projects at work and in your personal life. Being project minded can make everything seem a little easier and success seem effortless.
Thanks for reading.