What Did you Learn?

Remember that girl called Goldilocks?
How she broke into the house of the Three Bears?
And how she ate their porridge, sat in their chairs, and slept on their beds?
All while the three bears felt that their little home in the forest was safe and secure while they went into the woods for a picnic that day.

Well, that’s what has happened to many business owners.

Something has eaten your porridge, rocked in your chairs, and rustled those¬†sheets while it slept in your bed — all while you felt you were secure enough that you could relax and go into the woods for a picnic while your business took care of itself.

And suddenly you arrived home to find the doors unlocked, the bed unmade, and the porridge all gone. “Woe is me!” you moan, as you wring your hands. “What is a hard working business person to do?”

I’ve read posts on the gift basket bulletin boards both from people starting a business and from those who have been in business for years. They ask,

“What can we do to rescue our businesses in this economy?

What techniques are working for the rest of you? “

“Tell me, Tell me quick so that I can do it do,” they seem to say.

Businesses are closing daily while others are in dire need of resuscitation. But you’re looking for the wrong Goldilocks.

It’s not the economy. People are still spending money on “feel good” gifts.
It’s not the lack of customers. They’re still there, waiting to buy.
It’s not the industry.
As a whole, it is as strong as ever and will remain whole
even if your business doesn’t.

The answer is easy.

Take a few moments, step into your bathroom, and look into the mirror.

You’ll see the answer staring you in the face.

Ask that person that you see looking back at you, “Are you taking advantage of every resource out there to keep your business growing and thriving in today’s world?”

Then step back, think a few moments, and listen to the answer swirling around in your head.

I believe that the strength and the backbone of any industry, including the gift and gift basket industry, rests with the educational offerings, resources, and information shared with each other. The world is changing. The gift industry is changing. That’s not news. It has been changing from the time it first began. There are always new ways to attract customers, new technology to embrace, new ways to keep our customers coming back, and new ways to motivate employees. There are always new products, new techniques, and new resources.

So let me ask you the questions:

What did you learn today?

What resource did you take advantage of?

What new technique did you try?

What idea did you put into practice?

And don’t say, “How can I do that? There aren’t any resources! I’m all alone.”

It’s not a question of a lack of resources.

You can operate your business on a shoestring but you can’t grow it without spending some money on important resources.

Are you learning everything you can about changes in the industry and in technology? Some of you are while others are stretched out on the grass sleeping away the afternoon while Goldilocks trashes your house.

So look in that mirror and place the responsibility, for making sure that your business continues to grow and thrive, where it belongs. Today, and at the end of each day, ask the face that is staring back at you, “What did you learn today?”

And then share your comments with the rest of us here.

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