Why Do You Get Out of Bed Every Morning?

By Rich Lindblom, YSN

I’m serious about that question. I’d really like you to take the time to consider exactly why you get out of bed every morning and go to your store.

Because to be perfectly frank with you, if you get up every morning and dread going to work, then sadly you are probably in the wrong line of work. 

To succeed in just about any business, you need to have a passion for what you do.  And if you don’t have a passion for what you are doing, then you may as well go find something else to do with your life. (On the bright side, I hear McDonald’s is pretty much always hiring.) 

Think about it: Artists have a passion for their art, musicians have a passion for their music, athletes have a passion for their sport, and chefs have a passion for the food they prepare.  In fact, when you get right down to it, there are very few professions out there where passion is not a requirement for success.

So why should retailers be any different? 

In my forty-plus years in the family business, I can probably count on one hand the number of times that I woke up in the morning and truly didn’t want to go to work.  And in all honesty, those times were typically because of a hangover rather than because of the job itself.  In fact, I think I can truly say that for the vast majority of the mornings over the past forty years, I looked forward to going to my store. 

It didn’t matter if business was good or bad.  It didn’t matter if the day before was a nightmare of a day.  And it didn’t matter if I knew my upcoming day was going to be challenging.  No matter what, I always had a passion for my job.  In fact, as I was writing this column, I came to the realization that I loved my job.

I have always been a very competitive person and I think that helped fuel my passion for retail.  In baseball they talk about “winning the inning.” In simple terms, if you score more runs than your opponent then you’ve won the inning.  I viewed retail the same way.  Every morning when I woke up and went to work, it was a chance to win that day.  

Even as I got older and knew that the end was in sight, I never lost the love of the game.  Even at 58 years old with my company up for sale I often got to the store at 6:00 in the morning.  My wife would sometimes ask me sarcastically, “What, are you punching a clock?”  She just didn’t understand it.  It wasn’t that I had to go in that early.  I went in that early because I wanted to. 

It is my most fervent hope that you all have that same kind of passion for your businesses.  And it isn’t just you that I have that hope for; it is also your employees.  If you have employees who are passionate about what they do, you need to recognize that, reward them for it, and do whatever you need to do to hold on to them, because they are an enormous asset to your business.

See: The Third ‘R’ of Employee Retention

No one said owning your own retail business was easy, and that is why statistics show that 50 percent of all businesses fail within the first five years.  Looking at BrandSource, I would have to say that the vast majority of you have already beaten those odds by getting to where you are today.  So pat yourselves on the back and remember that every single day is another chance for you to succeed where many others have failed. 

So, let me ask you again: Why do you get out of bed every morning?

It’s always gratifying when someone reaches out because one of my columns struck a chord. So, if you have a question or comment (good or bad) about something I wrote about, please contact me at egvrich@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you.