It’s that time of the year and depending on the hat I wear, it is called different things.
When I wear my retailer hat, it’s called the fourth quarter. As a consumer, it‘s Black Friday/Cyber Monday. As a customer, it’s Small Business Saturday. As just me, it becomes the holiday season, winter, the time of insane giving and raw joy.
Being a retailer can be hard, and while I don’t necessarily find it hard, it is a ton of work and major juggling, mixed with a large dose of gambling. Do I have the “right” sale, the “array of products that people want to purchase,” the “right price”? Where is my nearest source of packing tape or bubble wrap if we run out? I count on my staff staying healthy, the weather being good, so the electricity doesn't go out, and our ability to connect with any person no matter what is going on in their life or our own.
As a consumer, I have never done the Black Friday/Cyber Monday thing. Sleeping is more important to me than getting up at 4:00 AM and waiting outside with 300 others to save a few hundred bucks on (fill in the blank) which is probably something I don’t need or want. Though I do rely on people that do this to share their early morning, wake up calls, the meetups, breakfasts, the frenzy, the deals. It’s always a big belly laugh. Good medicine.
But I feel a disconnect that only I can fix. Hence, metanoia (n) the journey of changing one's mind, heart, self, or way of life.
As a retailer, I have found myself climbing aboard the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals bus. And though we count on sales during this time of the year to remain afloat, I hate the idea of even getting on this bus because it feels like the wrong bus.
And I am on the wrong bus. Honestly, my motivation for having our once a year killer sale/deal is to give back to our customers. It’s our way of saying thanks. showing our appreciation for the support and feedback and I just don’t convey this in our announcements or social media blasts during this time of year. So if you hear someone yelling, “Stop the damn bus; let me off!" It’s me.
Next year I’m going to do this whole Black Friday/Cyber Monday thing as just me, no matter the hat I have to wear. Focusing my energy on delivering the message from my heart will put me on the right bus. I know that the adventure will be far more exciting, the sharing explosive, and the ride much more joyful. And I have a whole year to plan.
Happy trails. Have a wonderful holiday season.