Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90)
Every time I wander out into this business world of ours I’m always bumping into great people who were once retailers and should be fresh ones again.
And when I cross-examine them, I discover all kinds of dreamers who dreamed of going back to their roots in retail, but just haven't.
Further discussion usually ends up with a load of "ifs" and “buts”. They say, "I almost did it but never really did" or “I almost did it but I got married instead."
And then there's the group who did try again mentally but after many hopes, prayers and wishes, they got tired of mental tries and never asked someone else in the game for help.
There's a rich pool of men and women out there who are experienced in our game, but seem to be unable to find the right-fitting holes for their business pegs. They are more than qualified because they've tasted the flavor of being successful plus the failure of falling off the track.
They're experienced, but now are unable to find the right niche. They are retail veterans who lived the game and now could be valuable to other retailers eager to re-enforce their going team.
This team of "outs who were ins" did not jump off the train to play golf and bridge. Health could have been a factor. Their stores may have been located in declining areas or they were priced out of retail by gentrification, or a cash flow that just didn't flow fast enough. Who knows?
One thing for sure, experience doesn't evaporate. Experience is education and education can't be taken away. You earn it with sweat and tears. A good retailer always has the retail bug. It’s a virus you can't easily unload. Under right new circumstances these people can battle windmills, especially with a sidekick that has the experience or a touch for the game.
So, if you are a retailer who is temporarily out of the game and have a feeling you might want to jump back in, just jump! It helps if you are willing to try new tricks with the benefit of having old experiences.
You may just find someone who needs your help and is considering bringing in a fresh teammate.
Go on, guys and dolls. You've done it before. Take it from this old retailer. Twist it a bit and do it again.
Thanks, again, for listening.
Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90
Got a question? Got a comment? Great!! E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. See the new YouTube music video staring me, Grandpa Mike-e-e! with my granddaughter Becca in a supporting role at http://bitly.com/qALkrX
About Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e!)
Retailer, author, columnist, lecturer, composer and lyricist.
Came to US with immigrant parents in 1924 at the age of three.
Graduated high school at 16.
Managed a small bedding retail and manufacturing company at 18 in 1939.
Hired as Assistant to the VP of Purchasing (Sweets Corp. of America... approximately 500 employees) in 1940 at 19.
Drafted into US Army Signal Corp - Communications Personnel Div., Fort Monmouth.Tested and selected for Army Specialized Training Program, Rutgers University. Qualified for O.C.S. - Officer Candidate School and graduated as Second Lieutenant, Inventory/ Personnel Division in 1944 at 23.
Married his sweetheart, Anita, and he gives thanks to the Almighty that they are still sweethearts... after 73 years.
Rejoined Sweets Corp as Director of Personnel in 1945 at 24.
Joined his suddenly widowed sister as President of a small retail/ manufacturing company in 1946. Stayed on for 46 years managing the custom designing of over 20,000 childrens rooms and master bedroom beds.
Attended Hofstra University (evening program), and graduated in 1968 at age 47. Two of his kids followed right along at two other college campuses.
Applied for 30 day temporary columnist opening offered by the Reed Business Newspapers in NC and stayed on for 27 years. His retail columns were distributed everywhere from Brooklyn to Bangladesh, to Belgium to Beijing.
Traveled the US and visited with 3rd/ 4th generation retail owners.
He was admitted to the Writers Hall of Fame for, "Conspicuous Excellence In reports and appraisals of the furniture industry."
Retired from retail management at age 70.
BOOKS: (1) At age 72: published first book "Where's The Green Pea?" vegetable character stories including his original music and CD.
Designed programs for primary and pre-K schools and presented them with his Anita. (2) At age 76: Gee! I Wish I Had A Bedroom All My Own," lectured in middle schools (teenage), with tech info for parents, teachers and students in Home
Science. (3) At age 80: Tzedakah - Caring And Sharing classic book with original music CD and illustrations for high school chorales and drama groups.
At 89 -- published Retail Life: How To Get In, Stay Alive a-n-d Love It! in online and printed version for business schools, industry, and entrepreneurs. Includes how-to educational section for "Wise Women Who Love A Challenge" and "Oldtimer Retailers Who've Missed Some Basic Goodies In Business Promotion. Also provides business professors and career students seeking everyday practical trade experiences and business thinking.
Invited to address Levitz Furniture retail salespersons, Furniture Designer Associate members,
IHFRA sales associations, High Point University students and F.I.T. retailer evening sessions. Also accepted as an ASID associate member.
At 90 plus... is a musical playwright, composer and lyricist with original music and thinking for very young and very old America.
Furniture World Magazine-Business solutions for furniture retailers