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How Important Is Your Phone?

by Adam Zack — July 6, 2022

Adam

“It’s an important tool, but is it more important that the person you are talking to?”

My wife shared with me a really cool and eye-opening short video last week. It’s only about 30 seconds long, so it won’t take much of your time. View Video >I don’t even know who the speaker is, but he made an impact on me. Like most of us, I rely on my phone not just for phone calls, but for texts, news updates, social media, email, looking up information and more. It’s an important tool, but is it more important that the person you are talking to? The person you want and need to be present for? Just by holding it in your hand while you’re talking to someone else instead of putting it in your pocket conveys the message that something more important could come along at any minute. He demonstrates holding a phone while talking and then doing the exact same thing with the phone put away. We take it to dinner and set it on the table (sometimes upside down, wooo, how polite). And maybe we even decline a call, or don’t answer a text while we’re with someone else. Like the speaker says, “Whoa, how magnanimous!”. So I’m going to take this...
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Pay A Little More

by Adam Zack — June 29, 2022

Adam

“People pay exactly what they feel a product is worth.”

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett 

I know a grocery manager/buyer who, when he looks at new items, has a great sense of pricing. Sensing the uniqueness of the product, the special attributes it might have (organic, gluten free, hard to find, etc) he would often say to me when he was deciding what to price the items at “It’s organic, so people are willing to pay a little more.” The way he said it always made me laugh, and I realized that he was (and still is) absolutely right. People pay exactly what they feel a product is worth. Its worth can be influenced by quality, convenience, consistency, eye appeal and much more. Yesterday I was at an appointment away from the grocery store I own and a woman came up to me and told me how much she absolutely loves my store, and how great the employees and selection and quality are. She told me how she will drive past other stores to get to ours, and how when we first opened in 2016 she wondered if the local, tight knit community would support a store that is service and quality focused (as opposed to low price)? We stuck to our vision and mission, bringing unique products...
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Get Moving

by Adam Zack — June 22, 2022

Adam

Too many excuses and procrastinations..

“I always get to where I am going by walking away from where I have been.”– Winnie the PoohFor being kind of a simpleton who moves sort of slowly and gets stuck in holes and honey jars, Winnie the Pooh has a lot of practical wisdom. I was reading through The Little Book of Pooh-isms for quotes to inspire and amuse our customers and I came across the one above. It got me thinking that today, being June 22, has us all nearly halfway through the year. The way time flies, especially as we age, never ceases to amaze me. Seems like we are just a few weeks removed from the Super Bowl. But what Pooh really made me think about is how much I have accomplished during the first half of the year. Not nearly as much as I should have. Too many excuses and procrastinations that have prevented more meaningful goals from being accomplished. And were those goals even ever clearly communicated and planned out? Was I present and available for my people and customers? Have you accomplished half of your goals for 2022? It’s not too late. Half the year is still ahead. And it starts by walking away from where you have been so you can get to where you are going.

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Once You’re The Best

by Adam Zack — June 15, 2022

Adam

The greatest supermarkets in the country are always looking for ways to be even better.

It must be such a relief and feeling of accomplishment once you are among the elite in your chosen field. Whether it’s basketball and a group that includes LeBron, Steph and Giannis or tennis with Novak and Rafael. Business titans including Tim Cook and Warren Buffet. Actors like Meryl Streep and Denzel. They’ve got one thing in common – they’re the best. And once you’re the best, what else is there to learn? You’ve accomplished everything, beaten everyone and look down from the peak of Mount
Success. I was listening to sports radio the other day and Joy Taylor, who teams with Colin Cowherd on his sports radio show, made a terrific point when talking about great players and coaches, and the role they play together. She said “Great players want to be coached. A players want to play with other A players.” When you saw Bill Bellichick scolding Tom Brady on the sidelines, don’t you think it made him even greater? When you get to be the best, you want to do everything you can to stay there, and part of that is asking to be coached, to be mentored, to be shown ways you can be even greater. The greatest supermarkets in the country are alw
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Chip You

by Adam Zack — June 8, 2022

Is having a chip on your shoulder a good thing?

For a very long time I have felt that holding a grudge and never forgiving is one of the biggest contributors to your own personal misery. Just not letting go of the slights and infractions brought against you by some a-hole ultimately just keeps the negativity within your own personal sphere. Like shooting a slingshot inside the Cone of Silence, it only bounces back and keeps hurting you. Contrary to what most people think, I’ve learned that forgiveness is not saying that how you were wronged, or who wronged you, is OK. It’s moving past it – letting it go. So when the theory that having a chip on your shoulder is actually a good thing was told to me, I was conflicted. Chip on your shoulder means you’re holding a grudge. That you’re daring someone to knock it off your shoulder so you can beat the crap out of them, or more eloquently, get your revenge. It’s a negative emotion that motivates you to be better. Some great athletes cite a chip on their shoulder as their motivation to achieve ultimate success. Tom Brady is the one that comes to mind first. He was picked number 199 in the 2000 NFL draft in round six. He felt he was better than that, and he was obviously right, but he used that as personal ...
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It’s All Personal

by Adam Zack — June 1, 2022

Adam

“It’s impossible not to take things that you are invested in personally.”

I think we have all had an encounter with someone who says “Don’t take this personally, but…” and goes on to say something that is not good. Could be the style of your hair, their comment on your aroma or a change in relationship – personal (It’s not you, it’s me.) or business (We’ve made some budget cuts and decided to go in another direction.) For me, it’s always personal. Criticism never feels good, no matter how constructive it is. I had this guy I worked with who was a real ass. If I said white, he said black. Up was down and smart was stupid. He said “You shouldn’t take it personally, I don’t.” Well, I did and I do. Decisions and work made with thought and planning are inherently yours, and that’s personal. It’s impossible not to take things that you are invested in personally. After all, you personally decided on your course of action and made your best effort. Business criticism and change is just as difficult for the company that is invested in the success of their customer. When they win, you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. When they criticize your work negatively, it’s very difficult not to take it as an affront to yo...
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Time

by Adam Zack — May 25, 2022

“Days are limited, you don’t get do-overs…”

I know I’m not the only one who has a major problem with the passage of time. I just looked at the calendar and realized that we are already FIVE months into 2022. That’s right. Summer’s nearly here, fall’s around the corner, football season is just a couple months away, Holy guacamole! Former L.A. Times columnist Chris Erskine put the value of time in a unique perspective. He likened his life to how many summers he has left. The best time of the year (unless you live in Palm Springs. Or Phoenix) goes by so fast. BBQs, beach, no school, cold beers on warm days. Summer is just the best. And how many do you actually get? Maybe 80 or 90 total in your life. Only about 40 or 50 that you really can savor and enjoy. I figure I have maybe 15 – 20 great summers left. When I think of it that way it’s humbling and scary. Don’t have wasted days that you can never get back because of feuds or grudges. Make the most of all you have left, because before you know it the kids are off to college and summers spent together turn into a few days each summer together. Knees start to wear out, hips get broken and then boom, no more summers for you. Summers become memories of “the good old ...
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Freshman in Life

by Adam Zack — May 18, 2022

Every career change, no matter when it is in life, is like being a freshman again.

Graduation time is here. I remember just before my freshman year in high school my friend, who was a year older and going to be a sophomore, told me harrowing stories of how freshmen were despised, ridiculed and stood somewhere between dog crap and an ant’s ass on the high school pecking order. I was warned not to ever sit in “Senior Square”, look an upperclassman in the eye or draw attention to myself in any way. All the girls were out of my league (definitely true) and the guys who had facial hair loved to beat up freshmen. Well it didn’t exactly turn out like that, although it was a little intimidating and more than a little scary. Whenever I went from one school to another or one school level to another there was some fear of the unknown. I think we tend to think about our graduating seniors – especially college – as having made the major accomplishment with the expectation that they are done and ready. In reality, graduating college (and high school for those who choose not to attend college) students are really freshmen in life. New jobs and the start of careers are scary endeavors that are not always put in perspective, especially by parents who have paid f...
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No One Is Coming

by Adam Zack — May 11, 2022

We are each responsible for ourselves.

In the movie Castaway Tom Hanks is stranded on a very remote, deserted island all alone. He figures that since his plane crashed, searchers would be looking for him and eventually he’d be rescued. Weeks go by, and he comes to the realization that no one is coming. His survival and any chance of escaping the island is totally up to him. It’s like that for our personal paths to success and happiness. Prince (or Princess) Charming isn’t coming to sweep you off your feet and whisk you off in a Rolls Royce to live in the castle. No one is coming to motivate you to work harder so you get that promotion you want. No one is coming to make you a better money manager to pay off your bills. No one is coming to tell you to eat better and exercise so you can lose weight. No one is coming to clean your house and cook your dinner. (Unless you have a housekeeper and a personal chef!). My wife, who gets many of her life hacks off Tik-Tok and saw the no one is coming video, reminded me that we are each responsible for ourselves. In this era where blame and finger pointing are the norm, it’s time to control our own destiny and make it happen, because no one is coming.

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Above Average

by Adam Zack — May 4, 2022

Adam Zack

“It takes so little effort to be above average.”

My mom was in town visiting last night and we were all sitting at the dinner table eating and we got to talking about employees, and just how hard it has been lately to really find good help. She said something very insightful. “It takes so little effort to be above average.” Wow, that really made a lot of sense. I got thinking that “average” is smack dab in the middle. Not horrible, not exceptional, just middle of the road, solid C material. So often we think about wanting to be great, and to develop greatness that we lose track that even a small step toward bettering ourselves, or bettering our employees elevates us to being above average. It is easily achievable and when just a small effort is made by management to improve the entire staff of average employees to being above average, you are now better than your competitors. The idea can even be applied to below average AND above average people improving a level. It’s not hard, and it’s not a major undertaking. Think of one thing you can do, and do it. Turns out that there is a book by Florence Littauer written nearly 40 years ago called “It Takes So Little to be Above Average.” Sounds like a quick read. I ordered it just...
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