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Not All In and Not All Out

Inside Scoop

How many times have you realized that something is going on just under the skin and the only reason you know this is because it creeps into a conversation as an attitude or sits in your lap, heavy and uncomfortable? You can't pinpoint the elusive something but are aware that it appears during the mention of a certain topic. The process of it coming to the surface is like a tea kettle, and once the water is a full boil, the whistle blows, and it has your full attention. For me, an action is the only thing that makes the high pitch whistle stop.

Recently, I recognized that I had been sitting with something for just under two years. Kid you not. Almost two years. My something involved my retail store.

Within a few months after moving into our downtown retail space, construction began right outside the door, two weeks before Christmas 2015 to be exact. We were behind a 10-foot fence and mountains of gravel for months. It felt like a prison. A six days a week, 8-hour sentence.

When asked what it did to my retail sales, I have no history to compare it too. But what I do know is that if my retail space were my only outlet for sales, I would have been in the corner sucking my thumb.

Two weeks ago I was walking down the street when the whistle blew. Plain as a penny laying on the ground was the realization that I haven’t been all in. Though, I also haven’t been all out. I have been straddling, hiding behind the fence, half-assing it.

Once the whistle blew, I did what is natural to my character and values and made an instant decision. All in or all out? All in is the only direction.

Then all the pieces came together. That weekend, I attended a local trade show and bought some beautiful handcrafted pieces that I know my customers will love. I spruced up the outside with a welcome mat, new plants, and wall decorations for the outside. The city finally commissioned the many years overdue mural on the side of the building – and it’s beautiful! Monday, I arrived, and the city was taking the fence down! And we have seen a 100% daily increase in customers into our store. Apparently, they didn't know we were there even though they walked by many times each week.

We’re all in, so come on in!


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