Friday, January 30, 2009

Blow Up Your TV, Throw Away Your Papers!

It's time to follow the sage advice of one of my favorite folk singer/songwriters when John Prine told us all to...

Blow up your TV/Throw away your papers/Move to the country/Build you a home...

No, I'm not moving to the country, but I'm getting close to canceling cable TV and my daily read of the local newspaper.

After ten hours stuck in an airport with CNN on the TV, I've had enough bad news to last the year (and it's only January!)

Over and over I heard about Boeing, Dell, AOL and Starbucks layoffs, talking head after talking head wrangle over the pork spending in the bailout bill, all of the cities shutdown by ice storms, and even a lament for poor Tiger Woods that he might lose his #1 ranking in golf because of the long layoff due to his injury.

It was one bad story after another. I even tried sitting facing the other direction. There was a TV on that wall, too. I finally found a spot with a pillar and a baby stroller to shield me from the negativity.

If I listened or read any more bad news, I would wonder how anyone could survive.

Then I got to Florida. Change of scenery, change of perspective.

I'm speaking at the IDEX Show, a trade show for the collectible doll & plush industry. This is a market, that by all signs, should be hard-pressed in these economic times - expensive, non-essential items for adults. Yet, at the buyer's reception last night I asked for a show of hands of how many businesses had growth last year. Half the hands went up. Throughout the evening I met three people who were planning to open stores this year.

Obviously none of them had read the news or watched CNN.

And neither should you.

Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can or you can't, you are right."

Avoid those negative thoughts and start working on a positive attitude. That's the first step to being successful in 2009. And you can start by turning off the TV.

Over the next couple weeks I'll tell you what I told that crowd of buyers last night. There are some trends we are following at Toy House with great interest, and I have some strategies for taking full advantage of them.

-Phil

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