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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rory's Editorial Post of The Week - The Gloom and Doom Impact

Everywhere I go I seem to be surrounded by negativity these days.  I heard and saw a great deal of it at the antique show in Charlotte last weekend.  I have also seen it at the Scott's show in Atlanta, and in every antique mall that I wander into these days.  Negativity about the economy, republicans,  democrats,  the weather, the cost of gasoline, health care, and you name it.  I think that our worst problems are not about any of these things.  I instead think that many of America's problems are due to our own " gloom and doom " mentality. 

Let me give you an example.

About 3 months ago, Lee Ann and I signed up to be vendors at the Charlotte ICA antique show.  The first day of the show there was an ice storm.  Lee Ann and I spent the entire first day of the show sitting in our booth waiting for customers that never arrived.  This is how we make our living, so it was pretty disheartening to have counted on a little income, and then have an uncontrollable event happen, like an ice storm, on the very first day. 
The second day we were hoping for good weather.  We thought we could pull out a decent amount of sales if the sun were to show it's face.  Lee Ann and I got up early and turned on the local weather channel.  Here is what the weatherman said.... " If you don't have a reason to go somewhere, it is better if you just don't go. "  And guess what happened.  Even though the weather improved a great deal, people stayed home. 

The weatherman could have easily put a little bit of a positive spin on things, but he chose not to.  As a result,  his negativity had a destructive impact on the economic welfare of several hundred vendors that were at the show that month.  One gloom and doom comment, by only one weatherman, is all that it took.

We get that same gloom and doom negativity all over the place.   You cannot turn on the tv without being bombarded by it.  Even though our economic recovery is dependent on consumer confidence, I keep seeing Americans dwelling on negatives instead of positives. 

I know it is diffcult to have a positive attitude about things during economic rough spots, but here are a few things to remember that may help.......

1. Sales are the backbone of the economy and a negative attitude never helped a salesman sell anything.

2. Most of us have very small problems in the grand scheme of things.  I personally did several million dollars better than General Motors the first quarter of 2010.  If you made any money at all, you could also say the same thing.

3. Stay way far away from the negative traps that the media sets for you.  Negativity sells more newspapers, so why print anything positive?

4. Beware of politicians who predict doom amd gloom.   Politicians know that predicting disastrous consequences if you don't vote a certain way, will probably get them on tv.  Be especially wary if they are coming up for re-election soon. 

5. As a former business manager, I had a strict rule where my employees were concerned.  I told them that they were welcome to give constructive criticism, but they were never to complain.  The difference between the two is that complaining is negative, and constructive criticism is positive.  Constructive criticism is usually coupled with a solution to the problem, where complaining has no real value. 

6. Some of the most successful people in the world got that way because they surrounded themselves with the right kind of people.  Successful people want to be around postive thinkers and problem solvers.  

 7. Make a committment to yourself that excuses and complaints don't wash anymore.  Excuses and complaints won't help your items sell on Etsy.  Instead, evaluate your situation and become your own problem solver.

Most of all, keep up the good work and stay positive.  If you can get  through these tough economic times,  you will have it made when the recovery takes hold. 

The next antique show I attend I think I will go around asking vendors a couple of simple questions like, What is working for you?  instead of,  How is it going?  By the way, I would love it if a few of you out there would post what kinds of things are working for you.  Let's hear a few success stories.



minda_is_here said...

BRAVO!!!! I hear you loud and clear. I agree with you 100% and have recently decided to ditch the negativity in my life. I won't say it was easy but it has made a HUGE difference in my everyday life. I don't have any tips for you since I'm not a dealer , but I do work in reatail and when I approach a customer I always start with a positive comment. Whether it be a simple "What a wonderful day outside!" or a "That sweater looks fabulous on you!" it seems to make a difference. Good luck to you and I LOVE your blog...Keep up the good work and the positive flow!!

ClassyChassy said...

Tons of negativity these days - you are absolutely correct! It is easy to fall into the habits of following what you are forced to listen to in the news and elsewhere! I was feeling sorry for myself this morning - I had hardly slept a wink all night last night. But then, I met a lady in a wheelchair in the afternoon on an elevator - she mentioned she hadn't slept at all last night, and even took Darvon for pain - she had a toe amputated the day before. So - I got nothing much to complain about compared to her. Glad I kept my thoughts to myself at that moment in time!

Proper Prim said...

I feel so ignorant sometimes because I don't watch the news or read the daily newspaper unless there is a happy event I want to read. I was always so down when I would watch or read negative page after page.

It is a struggle daily to stay positive and when all the forces are against us it becomes harder and harder... I have a motto that I live by... "I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet"... it has worked for me for years and so true. Sometimes you have to be the positive to turn the negative around. Negative breeds Negative.

Hugs, Deb