It is 100 degrees out there. Maybe if you live in Phoenix, that is no big deal. But in Michigan that is a scorcher. Easy to just want to phone it in. No energy to do what you need to do.
It is middle of winter, the Christmas season well behind you, the buzz is gone and next year seems so far away. You feel drained.
It is the end of August, Back-to-School dominates everywhere but with you. Too early to get fired up for the holidays, too far removed from the early summer excitement. The blahs are overpowering.
We all have these moments, these points in our year where the energy from our batteries feels drained and there is nothing on the immediate horizon to recharge them. You need a charger. You need a go-to event, activity or person that will fire you up and keep you humming at full capacity.
Go to an Event
One thing that always recharges my batteries is to attend a conference or trade show. Good speakers not only get me motivated, they give me new projects to work on. Walking a trade show floor, even if I don’t find any new products, gets me excited about my own selling floor. I often get great merchandising ideas from the creative ways some vendors decorate their booths.
If there isn’t a trade show or conference in your industry, look for one in a similar or related industry. Last year I attended the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association show for half a day. It was just what the doctor ordered.
Craft an Activity
Another way to recharge your batteries is to plan a new activity. Maybe it is an event for the store. Maybe it is an event for the staff. Maybe it is just an activity for you. Something different than your normal routine.
One time I hosted a Game Night at my house for the staff. We tried a whole bunch of new games. Not only did they get fired up for selling games, they built some wonderful camaraderie that brought them all closer together.
On another occasion I planned a road trip to visit other retailers both in and out of my industry. I had never been to an Ikea store, the nearest one being more than an hour away. I must have taken four or five pages of notes.
On a quiet afternoon at the store, on a whim we took the Nerf guns outside and just started shooting them against the side of the store. The staff was laughing, having fun, and engaging the customers in new, exciting ways.
Meet Some Peeps
The easiest way for me to recharge is to simply reconnect with my peers in the toy and baby industries. I have made a lot of friends in both groups and sometimes a quick phone call, email, or Facebook message is all it takes to get my creative juices flowing again.
Friends and family are great. But having contact with your peers is sometimes even better because they share your concerns, your trials and tribulations. As an added benefit, not only do you recharge your own batteries, you often recharge theirs.
The good news is that your batteries are rechargeable. Make sure you set aside some time for recharging on a regular basis. Everything works better with fresh batteries.
PS Then again, sometimes the best thing to do is simply unplug from everything. Take a day off and go fishing, golfing, boating, biking, or whatever you want to get off the grid. Unplug your phone. Turn off the computer. Stop thinking about your business.
Taking a day off is something I haven't done for awhile. Retail can be demanding and I find using technology keep me on top of things. Also, I like to connect with other people in the industry to stay creative.
Absolutely you need to have a day off or two. I have a buddy who runs a local restaurant and every now and then he just doesn't open. Keeps him fresh on the days he is open. Sure, a few people get upset. But most people just get it.