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To invest, or not to invest, that is the question

by Adam Zack — December 2, 2020

Don’t Stop Investing.

Man, investing is a commitment. It’s sometimes scary and many times risky. It’s expensive and often takes years to recoup. And sometimes you hit the jackpot, and sometimes you lose your shirt. When we were young, my dad always encouraged us to stretch our financial limits to gain assets. He told us that if we wanted to get ahead, we had to take the risk – albeit a reasonable risk with due diligence done. And it’s mostly worked – except for the times we didn’t do our homework and got caught up in things like the tech bubble or things that just seemed too good to be true. Live and learn. Remember and don’t make the same mistakes again. But don’t stop investing. Saving is not investing. Investing in your store, or your future, or your house has a big upside in terms of payback. Saving keeps your money safe, but it does nothing to reward you besides being there when you want to look at it. Like being in miserable relationship but doing nothing about it, even when the cute single girl asks you for coffee, investing in your happiness involves risk and change. Some people have no appetite for investing, and that’s OK. Some of the best people in the world are safe and stable and have a wonderful quality of life. But when it comes to the gro...
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Little Thanks

by Adam Zack — November 24, 2020

Adam Zack

How my dad taught me to fix almost anything.

While “Bigger” is better with a lot of things (pay raise, glass of great wine, piece of pie, parade honoring you, discount on your cable bill, muscles from working out, and family), “Bigger” can really be the opposite of better with a lot of things (pay cut, hairy mole on your nose, headache from too many big glasses of wine, pant size needed due to the big piece of pie, and family). At Thanksgiving, especially during this 2020 year of BIG events, it’s important to remember and recognize that it’s not the big things that deserve all the attention. There are some big things that bring happiness and fulfillment to our lives, but it’s the dozens of little things that contribute (some imperceptibly) to our happiness, that if taken away would leave us with a big hole in our lives. It takes some reflection to realize what the little things are because they are the most easily taken for granted.10 Little Things That I Appreciate Most 2020
  1. The way my wife Linda does so many mundane but necessary chores in our household without complaining, ever.
  2. How DW always seems to know the right time to say something that makes others feel good, loved and appreciated.
  3. Sim
    ...
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Friends

by webmaster — November 18, 2020

Form friendships that will last a lifetime

“The friends you have will form you as you go through life. Make some good friends, keep them for the rest of your life, but have them be people that you admire as well as like.” – Bill GatesThis Thanksgiving is very different from any other. You don’t need a moron like me to tell you that. Those large family gatherings are going to be much smaller. For the first time in a long time I won’t be seeing my daughters for the holiday. They have prudently chosen to have a “Friendsgiving” with just each other, their spouses and one other close friend couple. While it (selfishly) makes me a little sad, it also makes me proud and thankful that they are being responsible and that they are best friends and have formed friendships that will last a lifetime. You know when parents tell you how great your friends are that you’ve done good. When your parents want to hang out with your friends and your friends want to hang out with your parents, you’ve formed some special bonds. Lifelong friendships are something to cherish and be so thankful for. Last weekend we got to spend a couple days with friends I’ve known for 38 years. The instant comfort, the mutual respect and admiration, the ease of conversation and genuine tinge...
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Opportunity Doesn’t Knock Loud

by Adam Zack — November 11, 2020

Adam Zack

“Ta Da! Here I am!”

So I was talking with my wife about someone she knew who was less than enchanted with her job and the salary she makes. The person has been at her job for many years, still made minimum wage, and felt pretty much taken for granted by her employer. (She is not in the grocery business, we do better than that.) While she lamented her position and where she is in her career, she really didn’t have a path that she could see that would provide a more meaningful and fulfilling career. She asked my wife just how she could do something different? How can she find another opportunity? It struck me that opportunities don’t regularly present themselves with a “Ta Da! Here I am!” They don’t knock loud. Usually they don’t knock at all. Opportunities for advancement and success – in anything – from a new marketing campaign to a job promotion – have to be sought out. The trees have to be shaken. Standing still and waiting will be endless. Carpe diem.

Read More – Attachment

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Motivation

by Adam Zack — November 4, 2020

Hello,Guest blog writer for this week here. My name is Scott Lawhon and Adam needed some help with this week’s blog since he’ll be away in Oklahoma visiting family. Some of you may know me as Adam’s oldest friend of 51 years or the guy needing the liver transplant, so, apparently, he thinks I have too much time on my hands. He’s right but don’t tell him that, he still believes he’s smarter than I am. Probably believes in Santa, too.This week’s subject is about employee motivation and what to look for in each individual’s so-called “job language”. Like a marriage, or any relationship for that matter, a person’s “love language” is key in recognizing what our partner is motivated by therefore keeping the relationship happy and healthy. In the workplace, each employee may have a very different and separate job language from the others. One might be there just for the paycheck while another is there to feel part of a family while a third is there because they seek recognition. As a manager, you need to find each member of your staff’s job language and work at staying aware of why he or she gets up in the morning, puts on their uniform or apron, while making sure to leave the drama and outside issues at the door. Their goal is to make sure the customer is happy, store well stocked as well as continuing to be pleasant and helpful. We cannot always control the motivation behind each individual language, nor can we always succumb to that individual’s wants and d...
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The Dentist

by Adam Zack — October 28, 2020

Adam Zack

Remodels are both painful and expensive

Man, I hate going to the dentist. I bet about 80% feel the same. It’s like a tortuous combination of waterboarding, construction tools and pure discomfort. The minutes seem to take five times as long as a normal minute and every time you feel the end is near, the dentist says “almost done. This will take three more minutes.” Yet I go to the dentist cleaning every six months for cleaning because 30 minutes of torture by choice as maintenance is much better than hours of heavy construction due to lack of maintenance. It’s like changing my car’s oil. Do it regularly, or I’m going to pay later. Not to mention dirty teeth and bad breath are just gross. Sometimes routine maintenance results in the discovery of needed repairs. Like a cracked tooth that needs a crown or fillings that must be replaced. So how does this boring tale of dentistry relate at all to our grocery business? I knew you’d ask that. I liken it to how we take care of our stores. We have to maintain them so that they look and smell great every day, and over time, they need major repairs and remodels. And those remodels are both painful and expensive. Like oral surgery, the whole team has to be in on the plan to achieve success. ...
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What’s the Plan?

by Adam Zack — October 21, 2020

“You gotta love it when a plan comes together!”

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren BuffettI was talking to a very good friend a couple months ago about a project that we had done that resulted in positive sales, employee involvement and customer satisfaction. It was something I was proud of and told her enthusiastically “You gotta love it when a plan comes together!” She said, “Yeah, but first you have to have a plan.” It’s an obvious answer that is easily overlooked. Today I was on the phone with another friend and fellow grocer. We were talking about how 2020 has derailed all of our usual promotional planning, and how much satisfaction we would get when a planned promotion was completed and we could sit back and analyze the results, making notes about future plans and what we might do to change things. Although the pandemic of 2020 has altered most of our plans – both personal and in business – it will not go on forever. Now is the time to start listing and organizing your future plans. You don’t even have to put a date on them, they can just be labeled and prioritized “post pandemic promotions and goals”. Your employees and customers can’t wait to have something to ...
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Did you leave a mark?

by Adam Zack — October 14, 2020

Adam Zack

Don’t take the easy way, take the impactful way.

“You live as long as the last person that remembers you.”            -Lakota Indian sayingAs I’ve traveled along the journey with my best friend of 52 years who has had to navigate liver failure and the extreme toll it’s taken on his body, it has reminded me that we all have an expiration date and will one day be looking down the barrel of our own mortality. It always seems like it’s so far away. It seems like it only happens to other people. I feel mentally like I did at 25. So Scott’s journey has in a way been an education and reminder for me to make choices and act in ways that result in me leaving a mark that will be remembered once I’m gone. There are plenty of people who die every day that will be forgotten tomorrow because they didn’t leave a lasting impression on anyone. Whether it’s the narcissist, the loner or just one of the A-holes in the world, once they are gone, well, they are gone. My friend Scott is one of the guys who has left a mark. In fact, lots of marks. And I’m not just talking skidmarks in his shorts that happened so many times when we were kids. He’s loved and admired and is part of so many people’s memories an...
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I’m all ears

by Adam Zack — October 7, 2020

“Wow, I just thought he was an arrogant prick!”

A lot of companies have what they call The Open Door Policy. It’s where the boss tells his team that his door is always open if they want to talk. It encourages communication, closes the gap of the “them vs. us” view of management and humanizes the boss a little. It brings management and workers closer to the same perceived level, even though the responsibilities and work structure remain unchanged. How great is it for an employee to feel comfortable enough to knock lightly on the bosses office door and ask for a moment of their time. Although many times it may result in something that is not important at all to the boss, it is always important to the employee. Employees always talk amongst themselves, and when one tells others that they went to the boss and he genuinely listened to me, the positive results spread quickly. “Wow, I just thought he was an arrogant prick!” the other employee might say, changing their whole opinion of the boss. If you do preach the Open Door Policy, do you actually practice it? Body language, the habit of always appearing too busy, being in a rush and closing your office door as soon as you get in there while you immerse yourself in computer work defeats the hard work you’...
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Smart does not equal wise

by Adam Zack — September 29, 2020

Adam Zack

The truly smart leader asks for help all the time.

Some of the smartest guys I’ve ever met are the dumbest. I know that like an oxymoron. Or just a statement from a moron. I’ve known people who can solve complex mathematical problems that stagger my mind but couldn’t microwave a potato for dinner to save their lives. I’ve known brilliant lawyers with knowledge of the law that they can recite at will. These same people make terrible life and business choices that leave them marginally successful at best. I’ve seen computer programmers that can build a network that is amazingly efficient, but when asked to apply it to our industry just flail wildly, leaving everyone to wonder if they have any intelligence at all. I am convinced that the smartest leaders are indeed not the smartest people. The smartest leaders surround themselves with the smartest people. Leaders get the credit for the work of the smart people that he surrounds himself with. But hey! That’s unfair! The smart ones make things happen, right? And he gets all the credit. Unfair! I think it’s just the opposite. Smart leadership takes wisdom, and wisdom is making the right choices, learning from mistakes and having the instincts to achieve your goals for success. Smart l...
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