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Commentary: The Business

Jeff Unger: I Wish

Once you know what you really want from life, you have a simple choice to make.

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AT LAST SUMMER’S JCK Show, the words I kept hearing over and over were, “I wish.”

They would see me walking the show floor in casual wear, without a booth, and heading for the pool in the afternoons. I would tell those exhibitors who asked where I was going and they would say, “I wish I didn’t have to be behind this booth and I could lay out at the pool.” It got me thinking, what does “I wish” really mean? If you break it down, the phrase has three different meanings:

When we were kids, we always wished our birthday or Christmas would come more quickly. We all wish we could go back to high school with the money and knowledge we have today and be the cool one on campus. There is a song by Kenny Chesney called “A Lot of Things Different”. We all wish that we could change what happened in the past, but these are fantasy wishes that will never come true.

Then there’s the jealousy wish. I wish I had tickets to the Masters. I wish I could afford that diamond. And, of course, I wish I would win the lottery. In these situations, you can make that wish come true (well, maybe not the lottery). You can buy tickets to the Masters, and you can buy that diamond ring you always wanted. These are wishes that you can turn to reality if you’re willing to pay the price.

Finally, there’s the “I wish” that you could make happen simply by deciding to do it. After all, you are fully in control of your own destiny! The question you have to ask yourself after this kind of “I wish” statement is, “Why?” These are simple wishes that you can fulfill if you’re willing to take the step.

This brings us back to the statement, “I wish I didn’t have a booth at the jewelry show.” You don’t have to do a jewelry show — and retailers, you don’t have to be in your store every day — but you’re also afraid you’re going to miss the business. If you’re behind a booth or a store countertop saying to yourself “I wish” in a negative tone, it’s time for you to make your wish come true and do what makes you happy.

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My wish since I was a kid has been to play golf at Pebble Beach. I recently made my wish come true for only $10,000.

Turn “I wish” into “I will” into “I did.” You may not be able to go back to school and be the Big Man or Woman On Campus, but you have the power to change your current personal and business life.

Jeff Unger was the president and co-owner of B & N Jewelry (d.b.a. Alisa Unger Designs) and a long-time INSTORE contributor. He passed away in February 2019 after a valiant 10-year battle with cancer.

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