Positive Yarn

December 30, 2008

Procrastination Doesn’t Pay

Filed under: Personal — heathergooch @ 8:24 pm
Tags: , ,

While professionally, I try to meet — and exceed — my project deadlines, my personal life is filled with the potholes of procrastination. Why didn’t my Christmas cards go out this year? Part of the reason, I must admit, is because of the time lost playing Solitaire on my husband’s iPhone this holiday season. Why is my wedding dress, circa 1996, still hanging in my closet on a wire hanger instead of being preserved in a box? My excuse has morphed over the years from not having the money to now not having the time.

The problem (or perhaps my saving grace) is that I always have remorse after the fact. For example, as I got ready for bed a couple nights ago after spending three hours on the Internet surfing really random, but somewhat interesting things, I lamented that I could have been stitching/folding laundry/paying bills/spending quality time with my family. Why those thoughts weren’t occurring to me as I clicked hither and yon hours before, I don’t know. I realize that everyone needs some down time now and then — but on the other hand, I firmly believe we only have one go-around in this world, and it’s up to each of us to make the most of our time.

So I admit that I had a chuckle this morning when my husband emailed me a link to a CNN health feature, “Putting a price on procrastination.” I encourage you to check it out in its entirety (don’t put it off!), but the gist is that this Web site will light a fire under you to accomplish a goal you’ve been slow to move on, be it losing weight, finally calling an old friend, cleaning out old inventory or whatever else is on your mind but not off your list yet.

What’s the catch? Well, if you don’t make your set deadline, you have to pay up. The site itself is free — they just make a donation to your charity of choice. And while your money could go to a charity you like, it really ups the ante if you put it toward one you don’t!

If the site is not your cup of tea (or maybe you just won’t get around to joining it), consider another point the CNN article makes: Procrastination could be costing you in and of itself. If you are not religiously setting aside money for retirement, for example, the interest you could be making today is not going to be there when you start to get serious about deposits five years from now.

Similarly, if you’re not ordering inventory in an appropriate volume because it’s “too much hassle” to change the invoice order, you’re paying that price every time — be it more frequent drops because you’re selling more or less profit margin because you’re selling less.

New Year’s resolutions rarely stick, I realize, though they have a better chance if there’s a support system or incentive in place. Have both, and you’re that much closer to scratching something major from your “to-do” list.

Who knows — you may even see me at the dry cleaner’s in 2009.

November 20, 2008

Just like child’s play

Filed under: Business marketing — heathergooch @ 3:26 pm
Tags: , , ,

Hey, wanna have kids?

Professionally speaking, of course. In this tight economy, it makes sense to appeal to all demographics — and where there are children, there are bound to be parents following close behind, opening their wallets to their darlings’ whim.

I know, because I am one of the wallet openers. And while my husband and I take great pains to ensure we keep our daughters from being spoiled rotten, we have certainly done our fair share of shopping for them.

We also shop — a LOT — for children’s birthday presents for the parties to which we are invited. This weekend alone, I need to buy a gift for my best friend’s daughter and another for the neighbor’s little girl who’s having a roller skating party. In fact, I’ve been to a myriad of interactive birthdays. The celebrations where a couple friends from school come over and help blow out your candles in the dining room is sooo passe. We’ve been skating, golfing, go-karting and bowling, jumped on inflatables, painted ready-to-decorate ceramics, baked cupcakes in a professional kitchen, and the list goes on.

So, why not grab a big piece of that birthday cake? Joanns does it, and so does Michaels. Host a party on otherwise-quiet Sunday afternoons, where a group of 8 to 10 kids can crochet a little purse, bead a keychain or stitch a bookmark. Even boys can get enthusiastic about it in a group setting — peer pressure can be used for good, not evil when it comes to overcoming their reservations about trying out something that seems so “girly” at face value. In fact, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts troops would appreciate a chance to spend an afternoon at your shop. Make sure birthday guests know you’re available for troop events, and make troops aware of your penchant for parties.

Kids’ creativity never ceases to amaze me, and to introduce children to the needlearts is definitely rewarding. My fourth grader has crocheted leashes for every single stuffed animal she and her sister own, and has made bracelets and necklaces for all of her friends. (I hope to eventually interest her in progressing beyond the chain stitch, but for now, she’s happy.) Both girls also took full advantage this fall of the Stan Hywet Needlework Guild’s children’s booth at the annual Ohio Mart festival, where they learned how to stitch on plastic canvas for free and took home two very cool ornaments:

OhioMart1 OhioMart2

The best part about children’s parties is if you hold them in the back room, the parents will tend to wander out front. And when they see their child really enjoying the project, it gets the wheels turning about what they can buy to sustain the interest. Try making an endcap all about kids — the Disney patterns, the brightly colored threads and yarns, the plastic needles. Show they can not only make and take, but if the next party happens to be held at home, you can supply the parents with enough activites to keep the kids occupied until the pizza arrives. In fact, just last weekend my fourth grader went to a slumber party and came home triumphantly with a new elastic necklace and a silk poinsettia wreath she made by herself (with the help of the birthday girl’s mom and her glue gun). They beat the heck out of a goody bag, because she wears the necklace nearly every day, and the wreath is pretty enough we can display Christmas after Christmas.

Similarly, the look of pride and accomplishment on my first grader’s face when she finished her Dora the Explorer “Begin to Sew” finger puppets a couple weeks ago is one I’ll never forget. These are memories I want to make again and again.

If your store has reached out to the under-10 set, be it birthday parties or otherwise, please share your experiences by commenting below.


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