Optical Retail Success 79


Formerly Optician Success but still the same tasty, weekly nuggets of random goodness; tips, stories, and science hand-picked to help you find the most success in your optical retail business/career.


Stop Being An Eyecare Professional

I missed this back in November, Will Burdeaux won the Invision Magazine essay contest with a piece that absolutely knocked it out of the park, particularly in the last paragraph.

Stop being an ‘eyecare professional’ and start being a human

Bring your guitar to work on slow days, juggle, knit stuff for your patients, make crafts out of old lenses and frames, build Galilean telescopes out of duct tape and plumbing supplies. Whatever your thing is, do it. Let your patients see it. In fact, make sure they see it. Have fun with what you do. Stop trying so hard to be an authority. We aren’t vision police. They don’t really care all that much as long as you are competent.
Of all the things I could have you do, why this? In the face of the growing online sales industry, our personalities are the very things that will save us. No matter how hard a website tries to brand itself to have a personality, it’s still a website. Be quirky where they are sterile, individualistic where they are cookie-cutter, custom where they are cheap. Remember: They can compete with your business, but no one can compete with you as an individual. Stop being an eyecare professional. Just be you.


This is so important. Be you and find your tribe.


A line in the opening paragraph that I have to take exception with is:


We forget that those patients are here for one thing and one thing alone. To see better.


I truly hope you trying to do more for the people that come in your door than help them see better. Because, if that’s all they want, the internet can—in many cases—do the trick. I suspect Will means something different here because if he believed that to be true, the paragraphs I quoted above would be meaningless. People want an experience. Will sees the importance here. No internet retailer, no chain, no other independent can provide the same customer experience that YOU can provide. That’s how you set yourself apart. Do You. You’ll be happier and more importantly, your customers will be happier.


You can read Will’s essay here. 


Let me know what you think.


New Habits

I bought a CD yesterday.

That didn't used to be news. I used to buy a CD every week, week after week, year after year. It adds up.

Hi-rez streaming changed that habit for me, but it took about a year before the itch (mostly) subsided.

Old habits die hard, and it's entirely possible that your customers are on fumes, buying your old stuff now and then, down from often and on their way to rarely.

You can live on old habits for a while, but the future depends on investing in finding and building some new ones with (and for) your customers. Or your family. Or yourself.

The most powerful insight is that you can do it with intent. You can decide that you want some new habits, and then go get them.


—Seth Godin


The Myth of the “Jack-of-All-Trades, Master of None”

One of the main issues, when people are trying to define what it is they would like to spend their next X years doing and eventually mastering, is not really choosing, but rather trying to figure out how does that occupation fit in the larger context of their own existence.

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene


Sick and Tired

Unfortunately, I happen to be both right now. So, I’m going to cut this issue short, but first I want to share something I got in my inbox from The Daily Stoic that seems appropriate.


Think about the last time you were sick. Maybe it was food poisoning. Or the flu. Or a nasty bug that just knocked you on your ass. As you laid there, soaked in your own sweat, or as you made your way back to the bathroom to empty the contents of your stomach once again, you probably thought to yourself: When will this end? When will this be over? As the days dragged on, you started to think, “I can’t go on like this. It’s too terrible. Dying might actually be a relief.”

It was hyperbole, sure, but you were in real pain. We’ve all been there. The mind goes to dark places when we’re sick. But it’s interesting to think about how long ago that all seems now. Even if it was two weeks ago, those feelings have receded far back into the distance. Like it never happened. You won’t think of those feelings again...until the symptoms return the next time you’re sick.

It’s a reminder of a line from Marcus Aurelius, who himself suffered from a number of nasty illnesses, many of which were chronic and painful. “If it’s endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining,” he said. “If it’s unendurable . . . then stop complaining. Your destruction will mean its end as well.” His point is one worth remembering: Pain is either endurable or it's not. And if it’s not—as the third day of flu’s fever delirium can sometimes feel—well, you won’t have to put up with it much longer because you won’t be here!

That seems dark, and it is, but it’s also a relief. It just means you don’t need to make yourself more miserable extrapolating out how long this is going to last and whether you can handle it. Either you can or you can’t. So let it happen. And remember that in due time, after you recover, this will all feel like a bad dream and you’ll forget it.


OpticianWorks Video Of The Week - The Nominal Lens Formula

What is the Nominal Lens Formula and what value does it still have in a world of freeform generators and 3D printed lenses? Still, a vital concept to understand, in the first of this 4-part series covering the Nominal Lens Formula, we talk about the importance of base curve and how it relates to lens power.


I hope you this edition of Optical Retail Success.  

Here’s to your success in this year and beyond.

Thanks for reading and sharing!


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