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Mojo To Go

How to rediscover your passion and enjoy going to work



In 2017, the 25th anniversary of Steve Floyd’s business, Floyd & Green Jewelers of Aiken, SC, came with problems that overshadowed what should have been a celebration.

He and his business partner Tom Williams were faced with the resignation of their top two sales staffers within a short time period. “We’d been expecting a great year, and boom, we’re losing our million-dollar sellers,” Floyd recalls. “It really was a slap in the face. We just looked at each other and said, ‘What’s going on here?’”

Floyd had started working as a bench jeweler when he was in high school in 1977. But 40 years later, it wasn’t fun coming to work, and he and his partner were getting “snippy” with one another. “It got to the point where it didn’t matter to me whether I came to work or not,” Floyd says. “Once you’re in that funk, it’s hard to get out of it. I hadn’t had to hire anyone in a while, hadn’t had turnover in a while. Hiring is no fun these days.”

Floyd and his partner had made it a practice of inviting experts to come to the store, and while that always provided a jolt of energy and enthusiasm, they felt they were at the point where they needed more. Buyers Intelligence Group CEO Abe Sherman and members of their BIG Plexus Group suggested hiring Vince Rath of Optimum Retail Solutions as a consultant. Rath and Associates visited the store every six to eight weeks for a year.

“One thing that’s hard as owners is that no one holds us accountable. We felt we needed someone who could do that birds’ eye view of the business, who wasn’t emotionally invested. We didn’t need saving, but we needed to be happy again.”
What began to turn things around was making a commitment to honest, sensitive communication between the partners.

Rath believes that a loss of enthusiasm begins “when we experience the world in a way that doesn’t align with our expectations and we feel powerless to change things. Maybe it stems from ongoing routines (a rut) that produce mediocre results and we’ve exhausted what we know to do.” Rath’s team interviewed each of Floyd’s employees for clues. “They turned us upside down,” Floyd says.


They discovered that the employees loved the partners but that the partners were not always on the same page, creating confusion among the staff. “We set some daily goals,” Floyd says. That includes getting the employees invested in the success of the store and offering them more games and incentives to keep up morale. “People are happy when they’re winning.”

As an unexpected bonus, both heavy-hitter salespeople have returned to the fold due to a change in their personal circumstances, and they’ve added other highly qualified staff as well.

Now the business is running up 25 percent for the year, Floyd is having fun again and he and Williams have never been on better terms.

“And I’ve found time to be away from the store,” Floyd says. “The ultimate luxury is time.”

We recently asked our Brain Squad to describe the status of their relationship with jewelry. Only 3 percent confessed that the passion had died, but everyone hits a slump from time to time if they’re human. Read on for advice on how to bounce back from career ennui.

12 Ways to Regain Your Mojo

1 Do what you love; avoid what you don’t. Burnout doesn’t happen when you are working long hours on invigorating activities, writes Marcus Buckingham in Go Put Your Strengths To Work. But fill your weeks with the wrong kinds of activities, and even regular hours will start the burn. Clarify and confirm which activities strengthen you and which weaken you, then start the process of pushing your time toward the former and away from the latter.


Management guru Tom Peters also has what he calls a “to don’t” list, an inventory of behaviors and practices that sap his energy, divert his focus and ought to be avoided. Each week, craft your own agenda of avoidance. Get rid of the unnecessary obligations, time-wasting distractions and useless burdens that stand in your way. What you decide not to do is probably more important than what you decide to do.

2 Learn something new. Learning means growing and can rekindle motivation. “Going to trade shows, especially ones that offer educational seminars, a few times a year totally rejuvenates me,” says Casey Gallant, Stephen Gallant Jewelers, Orleans, MA.

3 Have a partner. “I think every business owner has lost motivation,” says Patty Wedemeier of Elegant Jewelers in Sugar Land, TX. “But one thing that has helped me is my husband is in the store also, and if I have lost my mojo, he picks up the pace. If he lost his, I will step up.”

4 Surround yourself with positive people. Judy Stanley of Skippack Jewelers, Harleysville, PA, finds hiring a new employee — with exhilaration and excitement in their eyes about the jewelry industry — helps every time.

5 Manage mind-set. “When I am lacking in motivation, I tend to take time off and clear my head. I do that by spending the day golfing or fishing,” says James Stinson of Diamond Classics in McMinnville, TN. Read inspirational material, take a walk in the woods, try meditation or exercise. Set aside time for positive input and quiet reflection. Says Alan Perry of Perry’s Emporium in Wilmington, NC: “I go fishing for a week or go to my waterfront condo and read three or four books.”

6 Extend freedom to your staff. This will allow them to do great work, writes Daniel Pink in Drive. First, involve your team in goal-setting. A considerable body of research suggests that individuals are far more engaged when pursuing goals they had a hand in creating. Second, use non-controlling language. Next time you’re about to say “must” or “should,” try saying “think about” or consider” instead. Third, hold office hours for an hour or two a week. Sometimes it’s wise to let your staff come to you about anything on their mind.


7 Give yourself a break. What works better than working all the time? Not working all the time, according to a study by the Harvard Business Review. A group of consulting teams at a Boston company were instructed to take a scheduled break during the workday. They also weren’t allowed to work late or on weekends. The result? Communication, planning and office relationships improved and so did client satisfaction.

8 Find a mentor. This should be someone you respect who can help you see a new perspective. Andrea Riso of Talisman Collection Fine Jewelers in El Dorado Hills, CA, has experienced times in her business where both her health and finances failed. “I looked to other retailers for inspiration, camaraderie and mentorship. Two retailers who kept me going are Gary Long (Gary Long Jewelers) and Marie Helene Morrow (Reinhold Jewelers). Gary spent time with me in my store and brought me back from the ‘other side’ when I was facing illness, bad landlord, financial terror, exhaustion and an overwhelming workload.”

9 Practice gratitude. Find sincere reasons to be thankful for people or situations in your life, even if it isn’t easy. Alan Perry says thinking about what he has accomplished and being grateful for it can quickly return “the wind to his sails.”

10 Rediscover your purpose. The reason we do what we do has to be so big that its fulfillment carries us through the valleys. Kim Hatchell of Galloway & Moseley, in Sumter, SC, says all she has to do is get back on the sales floor. “All it takes for me is helping someone who brings back an emotional connection and reminds me why I started doing this to begin with.”

11 Give yourself a flow test. Pink suggests setting a reminder on your phone to go off at 40 random times in a week. Each time your device beeps, write down what you’re doing, how you’re feeling and whether you’re in “flow.” Record your observations, look at the patterns and consider how you might increase the number of optimal experiences and reduce the moments when you felt disengaged or distracted.

12 Realize you’re human. “We hear all the time that we have to be passionate,” writes Jessica Hagy on “Our work is supposed to be fulfilling and engrossing and we are supposed to wake up energized and enthusiastic, full of dedication and drive. And sometimes, we do. Sometimes, we love our work. Sometimes, it can feel great to tackle the to-do list. But we’re human. And humans are not built to be shiny, happy people all day, every day (those people are either liars or unwell). We all lose our mojo now and then. And when we do, it’s hard not to feel like a failure. So if you’re having one of those days where you want to be into the gig but you just don’t have the fire: Pause. Forgive yourself. It’s okay. You’re human.”



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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