Are You Thinking Big?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in creativity, culture, experience, fun, furniture, Leadership, Management, marketing, mattress industry, Retail

When I was 12 years old I would wake up on Sunday morning in Houston, Texas and watch professional wrestling. This was before the WWF, I’m talking about guys like Andre The Giant, The Von Erich dynasty and Dusty Rhodes. My brother and I would watch and then throw pillows on the ground and practice body slamming each other before we had to go to church…those were the days. When they cut to commercial, this crazy guy Jim McIngvale (Mattress Mack),  would do a live spot ringside talking about his furniture business, and then he would take money out of his back pocket, jump up in the air, and tell his audience that “GALLERY FURNITURE REALLY WILL, SAVE YOU MONEY!!!!!!!!!” I had no idea at the time how much influence he would have on me later in my life. But Mack hasn’t made an impact on just me, he has made a dent in the entire industry and his community.

I first met Jim in 2008 when we launched the concept bed Starry Night at the Consumer Electronics Show when I was working for Leggett and Platt. After a private demonstration of the bed in Las Vegas, he loved the concept so much he literally jumped in the air with excitement because that kind of innovation FIRED HIM UP. (I agree with Simon Sinek, it’s funny how you connect with people that believe what you believe.) Later on, I heard him speak at an industry event and my respect for his approach to business grew even more. I recently picked up his book Always Think Big written back in 2002 and I wanted to share a few of my thoughts.

Jim believes that if you THINK BIG, great things will happen and he even gives you a road map to make this happen:

  1. Vision: In order to accomplish something big you have to see it first. Promoting your business is one thing. Sponsoring a major college football bowl game as Jim did is something different. Brainstorm with your team and do not limit yourself in any way and see what happens. It doesn’t cost you anything to dream big but if you don’t, you will be missing out on some really good stuff.
  2. Sense Of Entitlement: If you don’t BELIEVE that you are entitled to win it’s never going to happen. Hoping for a good result is nice, but absolutely expecting it to happen is a much different way of looking at things.
  3. Action Plans: If you don’t have a plan then failure is certain. Set the goal, assemble the team that will get it done, understand the opportunity and the obstacles, and then make it happen! Don’t get excited and rush off half-cocked. Been there? 🙂
  4. Managing Resources: Some retailers complain that they don’t have the big budgets to do some of the things they want to do, and to these guys I say stop making excuses. Jim didn’t have those big budgets early on at Gallery but he didn’t let that stop him, he simply got creative. If you lack resources DO NOT let that deter you, just look around and find a way to take one step at a time to reach your goal. Some of the best ideas out there don’t cost you anything at all, it’s just a matter of being intentional about pushing towards your goal. You need to have realistic expectations and be careful in how you manage your resources, but you also have to be careful not to allow this to limit your thinking. Start small, get creative and create the momentum that will take you to something BIG.

When I think about the best retailers in our industry, they are similar in many ways. They have figured out a way to connect to their consumers in an emotional way creating a preference for their stores. They deliver a great shopping experience with unique products and a strong selling process. They put the consumer at the center of everything they do, and they value innovation at every level. Jim McIngvale is without a doubt, one of the best.

 

 

 

The Thanksgiving Of 2012

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in culture, fun, holiday, Leadership, mattress industry, purpose

Several years ago I took my family to the Dominican Republic for Thanksgiving break. Dancing around the pool and beach with a local dressed up as a turkey was a new one on us, but we had a blast.

We normally just like to relax at the resort, but this time, we went on a day trip into the local villages. We visited a local school and were even invited into people’s homes to see how they live and my kids were shocked. First by the fact that the school was a single room building in the middle of the village with dirt floors. Then we went into a home that also had only one room with bedding pallets laying on the dirt floors, no bathroom, and a fire pit in the corner of the room that served as the kitchen. No refrigerator, no oven, no microwave, just a wood-burning stove. But the biggest surprise was how happy everyone seemed to be. The kids were all smiles and the parents were just as content. Too bad they can’t drive to their local Chick-fil-A for a 6-pack or take those kids to the bounce house for the afternoon. They don’t know what they’re missing! Maybe that’s why they’re so happy.

My son Nick on the left, daughter Gabby on the far right.

Americans spend a lot of time on their social media platforms these days. Posting about their vacations, new cars, awesome jobs, and amazing kids. The Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology published a study that concludes “there is in fact a causal link between the use of social media and negative effects on well-being, primarily depression and loneliness.” In a recent post, I talk about the fact that being human sucks, and the act of comparing yourself to other people is a great example of why it’s hard to be human. We know we shouldn’t do it, but apps like Facebook and Instagram make it pretty hard to avoid!

                The school gym.

My hope for you this Thanksgiving is that you are able to unplug, live in the moment, and realize how great things are in your own life. Take some inventory of all the things you are grateful for and just soak that up and know that you are likely living someone else’s dream.

I want you to know that if you are reading this, I am grateful for you. I’ve been writing this blog for several years now and it means a lot to me that people are out there using their time to look at what I post. I love the emails you send, the comments you make on LinkedIn or on this site, and the thoughts you share with me when I see you at events. I write for myself but mostly I write for you and for those moments, so thank you for paying attention and for your continued support.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Quinn Family!

 

Magowitz Does It AGAIN!

Posted 5 CommentsPosted in charity, experience, faith, fun, Leadership, mattress industry, purpose

We had another incredible weekend thanks to Roger Magowitz and the Seena Magowitz golf classic. Roger has been working hard along with Dr. Daniel Von Hoff and the great people at tgen, to find a cure for pancreatic cancer and I am happy to report that they are making some great progress. They are extending life for people and getting much closer to finding a test that will help in early detection. Roger, Liz McBeth and everyone else involved… thanks for what you do and for putting on a first-class event!

On Saturday we visited a dude ranch where Kinsley and I had a vicious competition in three events…bow and arrow target shooting, hatchet throwing and steer roping. It was close but in the end, I pulled it off and won the cowboy challenge which is a big deal because Kinsly beats me in just about every competition we have. (I blame it on my age and the fact that he has way better hair.) Then Kinsley and I were invited to the big arena to compete against Phil Sherman from Customatic, and his team to milk a goat. Phil’s group didn’t just win, they obliterated us HOWEVER, it turns out that Phil was a ringer. He was named the #1 goat milker on the east coast as a member of the Future Farmers Of America, so it was never really a fair fight. (I may have that detail wrong but we are going with it.) On Sunday people played golf, Kinsley and his foursome won the ugly golf pants competition AGAIN, and I went on a hike to see if I could climb Camelback Mountain. I did and lived to tell about it and had an incredible day.

The best part of the weekend is always the dinner on Saturday night where we get to listen to Dr. Von Hoff talk about the progress he is making, Kinsley and I get to be auctioneers doing our best to extract money out of the audience, and this year we heard from several of the WARRIORS currently inflicted with pancreatic cancer. These people have every reason to have a bad attitude, feel sorry for themselves and be angry at the world but that’s not what you get from them. Through tears, they express their gratitude for Dr. Von Hoff, their friends and family, and everyone in the room standing with them in their struggle. They talk about the love they have for the people in their life and they express their HOPE to one day find a cure for it all. They are fighters and they inspire me in ways I can’t express in words.

Remember that no matter what you are facing it isn’t what you are dealing with, it’s how you choose to react to what you are dealing with. Parts of life can really suck there is no doubt, but if you have the right people in your world and a strong faith in something other than yourself, you can get through anything.

Kinley’s outfit may be ugly BUT, it has a very cool Kippo phone pocket on the side. www.kippo.com

Dr. Von Hoff, in my house we pray for you and Ann often, and for the people you work with and the patients you care for. Thank you for who you are and for the incredibly bright light you shine. 

 

TikTok And You Won’t Stop

Posted 1 CommentPosted in advertising, creativity, culture, e-commerce, fun, marketing, mattress industry, Retail, social media

Is your store a brand or do you carry “RELEVANT” brands in your store? We have a good discussion in this episode of the Dos Marcos Podcast about these questions and much, much more. How do you know if you even have a brand? Listen to find out!

My daughter Gabby is 17 and my son Nick is 15 so thanks to them I am fairly up to speed on some of the recent social media trends that could impact your business. But before I get to that, I want to bring you up to speed on some of the new language being used today (by my son and his crew), so you can clearly communicate with the younger generation. Ready?

             Gabby and Nick

Salty: When someone says, “That’s salty bro.” this is a bad thing. It would be like me saying “that is unfortunate” or “the outcome of this event fell short of my expectation.”

Sweaty: This one is tricky because it can be both good and bad. My daughter was named 2nd Team All-Conference in softball yesterday so my wife actually said, “that’s so sweaty” and according to my son, she used the word in its proper context. Well done Bridget. Now…you could also say…”that dude is so sweaty when he plays”, which would be a reference to the fact that he is diving all over the court and he plays at a 10 all the time, even in a casual pick up game.

Tryhard: Normally we praise someone that is trying hard to achieve success in their life. Evidently, you can go too far in that pursuit. You may hear someone say, “DUDE, you are such a TRY HARD” after watching the aforementioned kid on the basketball court. It could also be used to reference an ass kisser who is going that extra mile at the office to gain favor with the boss. Used in context…ass kisser brings the boss coffee before the Monday morning meeting begins and so you say…”Jim, YOU’RE SUCH A TRY HARD! SIT DOWN.”

EXTRA: This is typically used in the negative when someone does too much with their appearance or with a social media post. I INCORRECTLY used this word on my wife at a basketball tournament in an effort to compliment her. She was a little late and was approaching a group of us parents sitting courtside waiting for the game to begin. She was all dolled up and looked terrific so I say, “Honey look at you!!!  All “EXTRA” for the game today.” Apparently you should not use this word as a compliment or in a way that would cause them to feel like they are overdressed. My advice…don’t try these words out in large groups of people until you get the hang of it.

The real reason I wanted to talk about trends today was to point out something that could be very relevant to your business which is the app called TikTok. TikTok was launched in 2017 but has popped up on my radar in the last six months or so. As with most things in the social media space, apps like TikTok become popular with the younger generation, grow in popularity, and then dorks like you and me get interested and start checking them out. Once that happens and we start using the platform, we ultimately ruin it for the younger crowd requiring them to invent another creative outlet that their parents don’t know about. (My Space, Facebook and now Instagram have all suffered this fate.)

TikTok is a vlog of sorts where you can create your own video 3-60 seconds in length and share it with your followers. There are dancers, singers, comedians, politicians and other bizarre things being posted and it’s awesome, but I warn you…once you start scrolling the feed, it’s a very easy way to lose an hour of your life. Or more.

TikTok was the third most downloaded app in the U.S. in the first quarter of this year and now boasts over 14.3 million users. Before you discount this as a marketing platform, consider that almost 50% of its users are between the ages of 25-65. Give this a look and let me know what you think and send me a note on creative ways you could create your own TikTok videos, and for you “TRY HARDS” out there, send us a link when you get your first one done. If you want to have some fun, make your customers feel something about your company or brand, and tell a story at the same time, then see what you can do. Greg and Katy Law at Sweet Dreams….this is ALL YOU!

 

I would share mine with you HOWEVER, my kids have threatened pain and suffering for me if I start doing my own stuff. So it’s up to you! Get SWEATY.

***Today is a gift. What are you going to do with it?

 

I Hate Being Human

Posted 1 CommentPosted in culture, experience, faith, Leadership, Management, mattresses, strategy

Two things before I get started…#1 if you have not already registered to attend the Seena Magowitz Charity Golf Tournament to support Roger in finding a cure for pancreatic cancer, then stop reading this and click HERE to sign up. I promise you will not regret it.  #2 on the Dos Marcos Podcast I talk to Derick Miller, Cheif Sales Officer, and Melanie Huet, Chief Marketing Officer at Serta/Simmons Bedding. We cover everything from their new product launch in Vegas, consumer research, brand building, Tuft & Needle and more so CHECK IT OUT.

I was on a walk with my dogs feeling sorry for myself about something not going my way, and then a little ray of light somehow broke through that thinking and I was able to remind myself that faith is a verb. My approach to life is to trust in something bigger than myself and not stress out about outcomes…He’s got me regardless of where it lands. But why do I have to constantly remind myself of this? Why do I have to continue to go through that slide into negative thinking and ultimately push myself into the better place…because I’m human and sometimes being human just sucks.

I hate the negative thinking that beats me down sometimes. I hate doing things that are bad for me knowing that they are bad for me. I hate seeing bad things happen to good people. I hate social injustice, war, death, pain, children in distress, long lines, taxes, when my wife and kids are sad, and I especially hate when the Cubs don’t make it into the playoffs.

I asked the Dos Marcos Facebook audience what they hated about being human and Dale Read said he hates the health issues he continues to have as a result of being exposed to agent orange in Vietnam. (Thank you for your service Dale.) TJ Whelan hates his constant battle with depression. And Dan White hates his insatiable desire of always wanting more. Me too.

Getting depressed? Hang on, this is where it turns. 🙂  

But how about the good parts of being human. Feeling the love from my wife and kids. The excitement and anticipation of looking forward to Christmas, birthdays, or a trip to Silver Dollar City with my family.  Driving anywhere with the top-down blasting my favorite playlist. Watching my kids play sports. How about the learning that comes from all of the crappy things that happen? Would we feel joy the way we do, if those things weren’t also going on in our life?

There are a lot of reasons to hate the hard things that happen to us. I guess it’s up to us not to really hate anything. It’s all perspective and how we choose to think about the things that happen in our life. There is a lot of darkness out there, that’s for sure, but there is also a cure for that. Strike a match…see what happens.