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Furniture Retail Tip #23 From Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90 - Bet on Yourself: Choose A New Retail Life

Furniture World Magazine


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

The trouble with most of us is that we're scared to bet on ourselves. Some of us can remember times when we failed to step-up and make an important bet. Here are some common scenarios.

1. We go to to the metaphorical race track on any given day, already knowing all about the conditions on the track, our competition, our horse and of course us... the jockey. Result? If we fail to bet on ourselves... Nada, headache. Take one Tylenol.

2. Or we start choosing a college and a career. That one is simple. At this point we already have eighteen years of experience; a string of dedicated "friends" with advice; college catalogs with exquisite, color photos of the campus; guidance office volunteers and caring parents to help us make campus evaluation visits and maybe pushing us just a bit. But if we play it safe and don't follow our dream? The Result? Nada... take two Tylenol.

3. Or maybe we thought about taking a romantic love step. But then we started sweating about the ifs, the whats, the buts, the whos and the maybes. The Result? Nada… and we've run out of Tylenol!

Then there's our work career. And this is the part of my story that is the main point of this article. When it comes to our work career, we jump in and try to swim without Tylenol. We get pushed around by the job currents. And before we know it, a quarter of a century or more rolls by and we've become really good at building all kind of personnel and personal connections. Plus, constantly polishing our business techniques we've become pretty good at our jobs whether they be inside or outside of retail.

Then one day we look around, along with our neighbors and their families, and see that things are tough out there. Business is lousy, as is the stock market, the housing market, and maybe even our moods!

At 90, believe me that I have some perspective on the business cycle. There is nothing new about a job market, a business market, or a home-house market collapse. It's just a regular occurance. But no matter what the time period, the business carousels still keep going round-and-round with the steel horses on them still going up-and-down.

So as a retailer with almost 50 years experience and a business columnist with 27 years under my belt I think I can rate some sort of decent opinion. A-n-d if you don't like what I say, let me tell you this... at 108 pounds I belive that no thrown, flying shoe can find me.

So here it is. Most of you reading this article are already in the Retail Life, but if you aren't, and have considered it, don't be scared to act. Jump in! Go into business for yourself.

If you already have a retail store or came up like so many of us in a family business, but are having troubles, don't be afraid to bet on yourself. Don't get bogged down by what you've always done or what your family business always did. Take a look around, then rebrand your store, change it's name [or if you've had really big troubles -- change your own name! :)], put up a big sign, with a new logo, reach out to a slighly new target demographic,  bring in exciting new merchandise. Do what it takes to be a successful competitor and serve your customers.

Or if you lost a job and are thinking of starting out again, remember you have solid years of experience, with good business relationships, a home desk, a telephone and very low overhead costs. All you need is a customer. And you may have that, too.

Who? Your old boss! Yes, the corporation that just fired you. How come? Because the corporation as an entity says they can't use you, but the gals and guys, your contacts still remaining at the corporate desks know they can. They can contract you Retail Life style: Same known high-tech quality. Same known experience quality. Same known fine individual person quality. Plus, every one a winner at a bargain price.

Go on! Print your Personal Cards. Place your bet, and then make telephone calls to some of your old working buddies who'll be pleased you called with your Retail Life proposal and will even thank you.

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

Got a question? Got a comment? Great!! E-mail: grandpamike-e-e!@furninfo.com

PS. See the new YouTube music video staring me, Grandpa Mike-e-e! with my granddaughter Becca in a supporting role at  http://bitly.com/qALkrX

About Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e!)

Retailer, author, columnist, lecturer, composer and lyricist.

Came to US with immigrant parents in 1924 at the age of three.

Graduated high school at 16.

Managed a small bedding retail and manufacturing company at 18 in 1939.

Hired as Assistant to the VP of Purchasing (Sweets Corp. of America... approximately 500 employees) in 1940 at 19.

Drafted into US Army Signal Corp - Communications Personnel Div., Fort Monmouth.Tested and selected for Army Specialized Training Program, Rutgers University. Qualified for O.C.S. - Officer Candidate School and graduated as Second Lieutenant, Inventory/ Personnel Division in 1944 at 23.

Married his sweetheart, Anita, and he gives thanks to the Almighty that they are still sweethearts... after 73 years.

Rejoined Sweets Corp as Director of Personnel in 1945 at 24.

Joined his suddenly widowed sister as President of a small retail/ manufacturing company in 1946. Stayed on for 46 years managing the custom designing of over 20,000 childrens rooms and master bedroom beds.

Attended Hofstra University (evening program), and graduated in 1968 at age 47. Two of his kids followed right along at two other college campuses.

Applied for 30 day temporary columnist opening offered by the Reed Business Newspapers in NC and stayed on for 27 years. His retail columns were distributed everywhere from Brooklyn to Bangladesh, to Belgium to Beijing.

Traveled the US and visited with 3rd/ 4th generation retail owners.

He was admitted to the Writers Hall of Fame for, "Conspicuous Excellence In reports and appraisals of the furniture industry."

Retired from retail management at age 70.

BOOKS: (1) At age 72: published first book "Where's The Green Pea?" vegetable character stories including his original music and CD.

Designed programs for primary and pre-K schools and presented them with his Anita. (2) At age 76: Gee! I Wish I Had A Bedroom All My Own," lectured in middle schools (teenage), with tech info for parents, teachers and students in Home

Science. (3) At age 80: Tzedakah - Caring And Sharing classic book with original music CD and illustrations for high school chorales and drama groups.

At 89 -- published Retail Life: How To Get In, Stay Alive a-n-d Love It! in online and printed version for business schools, industry, and entrepreneurs. Includes how-to educational section for "Wise Women Who Love A Challenge" and "Oldtimer Retailers Who've Missed Some Basic Goodies In Business Promotion. Also provides business professors and career students seeking everyday practical trade experiences and business thinking.

Invited to address Levitz Furniture retail salespersons, Furniture Designer Associate members,

IHFRA sales associations, High Point University students and F.I.T. retailer evening sessions. Also accepted as an ASID associate member.

At 90 plus... is a musical playwright, composer and lyricist with original music and thinking for very young and very old America.


Grandpa Mike-e-e

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