This Episode: You Make A Difference

This episode is for EVERYONE who works in retail: owners, managers and team members. You are awesome, you make a difference, and you deserve a giant pat on the back for all you do.

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Hi. I’m Bob Negen. And in this episode of Real Retail TV, I’m going to send you a love letter.

When I sit down and plan out these Real Retail TV episodes, when I think about what would be valuable to you, what would benefit you, what would help you build your business more effectively, more efficiently, I always get filled with a feeling of gratitude. I always get filled with a feeling of the recognition of the importance of the work you do.

And so I was writing out some episodes and outlining them. And I thought, you know, I just need to send everybody who watches Real Retail TV a love letter. You are awesome. If you are an owner of a retail business, you are awesome. You contribute to your community in more ways than you probably think about.

You probably don’t think about it because you do it selflessly. You do it because you are naturally a good person. Think about all the great things that you do. You contribute money to your local economy. And not just with your rent, but with the people you hire, with the community events that you sponsor, with your participation. So you contribute to your community.

Think about how you affect the people who work for you. Sometimes, those people who come to work for you are teenagers, and it’s the first job they’ve ever had. And it’s your opportunity to help mold that young person into someone who knows how to do work the right way. Someone who takes pride in the work they do. And so just recognize that you have an impact with everybody you touch who works for you.

Let me tell you a story. Through the 19 years that we had the Mackinaw Kite Company, we employed hundreds, if not thousands, of people. During our yo-yo boom days, at one time, we had 120 people working for us. And I clearly remember a young man named Dan Zod.

He worked at our Grand Haven store. And we worked together. He was a nice kid. I liked him. He was a good employee. He was a good guy. I liked Dan. Many years later, probably 12, maybe even 15, years later, I was reading the obituary in our local newspaper. And Dan had died. And right away, I recognized his name, of course. And I went through and I read his obituary. And he went to the University of Michigan, which is a good school. It’s difficult to get into the University of Michigan. He had successes in his life. But one of the things that was mentioned in his obituary was that he loved his time working at the Mackinaw Kite Company. And when I read that, it just struck me, it just drove home what I’m sharing with you here right now. You make a difference. You have an impact.

A lot of you have adult employees. You are helping those people support their families. So you have an impact with your employees. You have an impact in everything you do. Recognize that as an entrepreneur. You make a difference. Now, if you’re a manager, you have perhaps a thankless job. You aren’t able to make the decisions that an owner can make. But here’s what you can do. Every day, you have a chance to make a difference. Customers who come in, you have a chance to make their day. The employees who work with you, just as I mentioned with the owners, you have a chance to help mold people. You have a chance to help them grow personally, professionally. You make a difference.

One of the toughest jobs in retail is that of a store manager. And I salute you for the work that you do, the often thankless work that you do. You make that store run too well. You help that store make the impact and that it has in your community.

And the final piece of this love letter is to all of you front line people. All of you, whether who are called sales associates in your store or team members or, at the Mackinaw Kite Company, we called them crew, you are awesome. You are the people who are face-to-face with the customers. You are the people who are giving those people the great experience, the kind of experience that makes people want to come back to your store. The kind of experience that make people want to shop at all other independent retail stores. You’re the person who takes the grief. You’re the person who deals with the grumpy customers and makes it all right. You are on the front lines. You are important. You matter. You are awesome, and I salute you.

That’s all I really have to say. We spend our professional lives trying our best to help all of you do your best. And I just wanted to say that I am grateful for you, I salute you, and this is a love letter to you. So this is a special edition episode of Real Retail TV. So if you like Real Retail TV, if you want to build a better business, I would encourage you to go to whizbangtraining.com and sign up for our free email tip of the week. And of course, I love your likes, I love your comments, I love your shares. So I’m Bob Negen, and this is Real Retail TV. And I’ll see you next time.

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