Archive - Nov 2009
If half a company’s revenue came from five percent of its customer base, the CEO would begin each day with the same ritual: prayer.
That’s a narrow base upon which to build hope, let alone a sustainable business.
To an extent, that’s Vermont’s issue, not at the corporate level but with state government. We have a spending level that is disproportionately dependent on a progressive income tax structure and a paltry number of taxpayers.
In business, it’s not always possible to achieve your mission the first year out of the block. But there’s evidence that 51 Main Street in Middlebury has come pretty close.
Roll back the clock with me to a scene there last April. It’s a cold, blustery Thursday night and one would have expected Middlebury’s Main Street to be quiet at the 8 o’clock hour.
This night, however, was different.
In the past, we’ve generally started our Christmas shopping around Dec. 18.
There’s a powerful adrenalin surge that comes from the mob hysteria the week before the holiday. Similar to the running of the bulls in Pamplona every July, the shopping of the desperate in the mall every December is an annual rite that draws thousands, thrills the participants and poses a serious threat of trampling. Granted, the risk of being gored at the mall is comparatively small, but it’s still a pretty good time.
When a dark mood overtakes me, I force myself to feel grateful.
“Think of three things you’re thankful for,” a small, wise voice inside will say. “Just three little things.”
“OK. I’m grateful for the dinner I had last night. And for having friends. I’m usually grateful I’m alive.”
If that little recitation fails to turn the tide, I’ll try to name three more things for which I’m grateful. And three after that.
As I build a little mental pile of my personal blessings, it becomes easier to bear whatever fictitious burden I imagine myself to be carrying.