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Brainstorms

The Myth of Well-Roundedness and Other Random Thoughts

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A few random-ish thoughts that could possibly be of use in running your business (or living your life):

  • Just about everything you learned in school about life is wrong, but the wrongest thing might very well be this: Being well-rounded is the secret to success. (Lesson: Do what you love. Hand off the rest. Or as much of the rest as possible, anyway.)
  • Dietary lesson: Guilt makes things taste worse. A feeling of virtue makes things taste better. Unless you overdo virtue — in which case, the opposite applies and guilt tastes delicious.
  • At the gym, for some reason, I excel at two machines — the abductor and the adductor. (The machine where you squeeze your legs together and the other where you push them apart.) On each machine, I can lift the whole stack 20 to 25 times. Why this machine? Why not bench presses? Why not pull-ups? This odd proficiency got me thinking that sometimes people’s talents may not be obvious or immediately classifiable. But they are there and, given time and opportunity, they will reveal themselves.
  • Quote from the late David Bowie, explaining why he hadn’t put out a record in so many years before 2013’s The Next Day. He wanted to wait until he had “something to say instead of something to sell.”
  • Wrapping up on a similarly musical note from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke: “I think what makes people ill a lot of the time is the belief that your thoughts are concrete and that you’re responsible for your thoughts. Whereas actually — the way I see it — your thoughts are what the wind blows through your mind.” Lesson: Don’t obsess about what’s banging around in your head; let the winds blow.

This article was originally published in May 2013.

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Brainstorms

Why You Could Do with a Set of Wheels

Hit the road!

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VANS AND TRUCKS are common with groomers, but just about all pet businesses could do with wheels. Aunt Kerry’s Pet Stop in Wilmington, NC, added some recently with the purchase of a box truck that they converted to serve as a mobile outlet. “Stepping out of the box this year means hitting the road for AKPS,” said owner Kerry Bradley. “We can’t wait to pull up to festivals, events and fundraisers in our new ride.”

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Brainstorms

For the Holidays, Go Green

… like this Grinch!

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HE’S A MEAN one and has a heart two sizes too small. But The Green Spot in Omaha, NE, discovered kids can’t get enough of the Grinch when the store invited clients to bring their kids and pets for photos with the Dr. Seuss character on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30 in 2019). “It wasn’t until we started doing the event that we realized how much people loved the Grinch,” says co-owner Jessica Ellis. The Grinch’s presence and special offers produced sales 25 percent higher than a typical Saturday, Ellis reports, while the store also received attention from local TV stations. Getting dressed up for a Christmas event? Go green.

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Brainstorms

‘Alliterate or Die!’

There is power in alliteration.

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Alliterate or die!” That was a poster a former colleague saw pasted to a newsroom wall while doing a shift at infamous British tabloid The Sun. Alliteration’s power to make words stick owes itself to the repetition of sounds. It’s something a lot of retailers know, hence “Wine Wednesdays,” “Free Cleaning Friday” or “Saturday Style.” Indeed, once you get started, it’s pretty hard to stop: Too Good to be True Tuesdays, Wet and Wild Wednesdays, Fried Food Fridays (for the staff, of course).

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