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Furniture Retail Tip #32 From Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90 - Ask Yourself Questions... And Listen To The Answer

Furniture World News Desk on 2/7/2012

Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e at 90)

Do you have the habit of talking to yourself? You do? Great! Then just sit down and shake hands with Grandpa Mike-e-e! Then pour two cups of hot tea, one with a teaspoon of sugar for the ol’ geezer… and let's talk about retail life.

After all these years of running your show, when was the last time you seriously asked yourself about the pro's and con's of this retail business of yours? Perhaps way back at the beginning of your career? Perhaps once or twice for a few itty-bitty seconds?

Or, do you have a gut feeling that it's too late in your show to think about change… even little change and not just for change's sake? Or do you think that you'd be rocking the boat for the one-and-a-half employee that you've been lucky to have aboard? 

Then, again, maybe Grandpa Mike-e-e doesn't realize that your show is a lot bigger than he can imagine. A solid retail furniture operation with a team of professionals that have learned the retail score, worked hard, and improved over the years.

Grandpa thinks that all of us need to constantly question and self-test ourselves as leaders of a team. A team big or little in physical size. A team big or little in monetary volume. A team fresh or ancient in action. A team of dedicated individuals with a dedicated goal. So, if you haven't seriously looked at this issue for quite some time, here are a few questions you can answer to get you started along the path.

Self Question Your Retail Leadership:

  1. Do I enjoy innovating?     YES___  NO___  
  2. Do I discourage easily?    YES___ NO___
  3. Do I enjoy talking with strangers?    YES___ NO___
  4. Do I think: Things always happen to me?    YES___ NO___ 
  5. Do I enjoy meeting with strangers?    YES___ NO___ 
  6. Can I give orders pleasantly?     YES___ NO___ 
  7. Do I hate to owe money?     YES___ NO___ 
  8. Do I hate to keep records?     YES___ NO___ 
  9. Am I disciplined in handling time?     YES___ NO___ 
  10. Am I disciplined in handling money?    YES___ NO___

How Did You Do?

If you've checked them all “yes” then e-mail Grandpa Mike-e-e! at grandpamike-e-e!@furninfo.com  and whimper.

If you've checked none of them “yes” then e-mail Grandpa Mike-e-e! at grandpamike-e-e!@furninfo.com  and cry.

If you've answered yes to numbers 1, 3, 5, 6, 9 and 10- then buy yourself a sundae! … you will have made Grandpa Mike-e-e! very happy!

Thanks, again, for listening.
Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90


About Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90) Columnist, Retailer, Author, Composer-Lyricist, Playwright.

  • Emigrated to U.S. with parents at age 3; Graduated high school at 16; Managed a retail/manufacturer at 18.
  • Joined Tootsie Rolls/Sweets Corp. of America at 19 as Assistant to V.P. Purchasing.
  • Joined US Army Signal Corp-Communications; Selected for (ASTP) Army Specialized Training Program, Rutgers U. Qualified for Officer Candidate School and graduated as Second Lieutenant, Personnel Division in 1944 at 23.
  • Married his sweetheart, Anita, and gives thanks to the Almighty that they are still sweethearts… after 74 years.
  • Rejoined Tootsie Rolls Corp as Director of Personnel at 24 (500 employees).
  • Joined widowed sister, as President of retail/manufacturing company in 1946. Stayed on for 46 years managing and custom designing over 20,000 children's rooms.
  • Graduated Hofstra U (evenings) in 1968 at age 47... before all his three kids, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren graduated with their degrees. 
  • Answered 30 day, temporary columnist advertisement by Reed Business Newspapers (Furniture Today) and stayed on for 27 years. Columns were sold from Bangladesh to Belgium to Beijing to Brooklyn. Admitted to the Writers Hall of Fame for "Conspicuous Excellence In reports and appraisals of the Furniture Industry." Visited with 3rd/4th generation retail owners throughout the US. Retired from retail after 55 years of management.
  • At age 72: Published his first hardcover book: "Where's The Green Pea?" with vegetable characters in color, original music and lyrics on cassette.  Designed programs for primary and pre-K schools and presented them with Grandma Anita, his partner.
  • At age 76: Published hardcover book/ with color: "Gee! I Wish I Had A Bedroom That Was All My Own" presented at middle schools with tech info for parents planning a student bedroom. Included outlines for teachers and students in Home Sciences.
  • At age 80: Published hardcover book with color of unique art: "Tzedakah Of Caring and Sharing". A classic original with music for high school chorales. Ossining HS drama staged it and lona College sponsored a presentation as "American Fruit Salad".
  • At age 88: Published on-line book "Retail Life: How To Get In, Stay Alive and L-o-v-e it" for college students, with versions for industry, business schools and entrepreneurs. Includes section for "Wise Women Who Love A Career Challenge", business professors and career students seeking everyday practical trade experience and business thinking .
  • Invited to address retail salespersons, customers, Furniture Designer Associates ; I.H.F.R.A. sales associations, High Point U. students and F.I.T. retailer sessions.
  • At Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90: Writes a weekly column for entrepreneurs, sales representatives and furniture management personnel in Furniture World - a trade publication for 140 years.
  • Grandpa can't play an instrument nor read music. But you can see and hear his You Tube music video staring him with his granddaughter Becca at: http://bitly.coni/qALkrX.
Grandpa Mike-e-e

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