I am often aligned with creative people. In the past, I wondered why, because I didn’t feel like I had any discernible art-form. Then, one day, while interviewing a guest on Up In Your Business, I realized that business itself is creative and that problem solving with others, in the frame of business, is my art-form.
Meet Robert Ray from Michigan. He climbs flagpoles. Through NIFDA, we learned of Robert’s nerves of steel and hired him to climb the 30 ft. flagpole atop the five story Federal Bankruptcy Court building in downtown Little Rock.
It is not easy to be the rule enforcer at home or at work. The answers of how, when, and what actions should be taken, will be lessened by following these simple and straightforward rules.
Each fall, after flag season (which is April, May and June), the flag manufacturers and dealers of this cottage industry get together and compare notes. We are friendly competitors. Like restaurants clustering together in proximity for increased market share, flag companies are stronger together.
The flag business is seasonal. During the cold months, our sales drop off dramatically. It makes sense; during the winter, we’re all indoors and flags, for the most part, are outdoor products. Last year, during these slow months, FlagandBanner.com made a calculated decision to allocate more money for advertising than ever before. If there was ever a silver bullet for selling flags in the winter months, we were going to find it. I can conclusively say: There is no silver bullet.
As you can imagine, I had lots of comments about my decision to stop selling the Confederate battle flag. My favorite response was from a lady who was in favor of my decision. Her closing words were “Not today, Satan, not today!”
Shortly after my announcement, I got a visit from my friend, Randall, who also happens to be the President of the Sons of the Confederacy in Arkansas. He, as he put it, “Came in defense of my ancestors.” I was expecting him.
As I said in a press conference on the front sidewalk of the FlagandBanner.com building, freedom of speech is what makes America great, which includes waving the flag of your choice. And, frankly, I just figured it would blow over soon. I was wrong.
A few years back I took a leap of faith and hired for a new position, a sales assistant position. My thought was, this new person could help streamline and alleviate some of the busy work of my sales staff, thus freeing up my experienced salespeople to use their time more wisely, ie. selling. It worked. Sales increased, morale increased, and a team atmosphere was garnered.
I’ve heard it said, “He is a natural born manager.” I don’t believe it.
It took me years no, – decades – to learn how to manage employees. As I sit in the salon chair getting my hair blown out and listen to my stylist (who also happens to be the salon owner) shout orders to her assistants, I realize how much I’ve learned.
In FlagandBanner.com’s parking lot stands an 80 ft. flagpole with a 15×25 ft. American flag. The past few Mondays as husband Grady entered the parking lot, he noticed that over the weekends someone was driving circles around our flagpole.
At first it was a curious site, like a crop circle, but as the circular ruts in the lot deepened, the problem of potholes and strewn gravel became a nuisance. As Grady pondered who would so consistently be returning to do “donuts” in our parking lot, a suspect came to mind.