Optical Retail Success 97


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.


“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own…”

– Epictetus


<Control> <Fault> <Delete>


Ever had one of those weeks? One of those months? Ever have so much to do you feel like you can’t breathe and every step forward seems to yield two steps back? Of course, you have. That happens to be my experience lately. I’m not complaining. In fact, I know many have it far worse. But, if that’s you, know that you’re not alone.


I am overwhelmed with what I have on my plate. Sometimes it invigorates me and pushes me forward (my wife is far better at this than I am). Sometimes I feel suffocated, which tends to have the opposite effect.  I always lose sleep because of it. Many nights I’m up until 2 - 3 AM or later. Tonight will be one of them. Again, I’m not complaining. In some twisted way, I almost enjoy the urgency. Although, it’s probably more the direction and the purpose—the feeling of trying to build and contribute to something bigger.   


Q: How do you eat an elephant?

A: One bite at a time.


Anyway, John and I shot a fun, different kind of video last week that I intended to use to launch a free OpticianWorks In-Office Finishing course this week. But, among other things, the technical part of the course registration wasn’t coming together as planned. So, I asked my son to help with a tedious website maintenance project in an effort to save time. He helped me for a few hours on Saturday and started work again Monday afternoon.


That’s when I received the following text (he usually works upstairs and I work downstairs):


I just really f**** up
This is baddddddd


I didn’t see the text. I had just stepped into the shower.


With a head full of shampoo, I heard some frantic mumbling through the door. I only made out every other word, but it was enough. I turned off the water and grabbed a towel. “Oh, shit. Oh, shit. Oh, shit.”, I repeated under my breath.

Through an unfortunate series of events, he had deleted ALL the course content from the OpticianWorks website.


All of it.




Hundreds of paying members suddenly without training material.


He thought I was going to kill him and looked like he wanted to crawl into a hole.


To make matters worse, recalling some vagaries from a conversation I had last week with my server admin, I had a bad feeling about the site backups. For a brief moment, I thought, “This might not even be recoverable.”


I didn’t have time to worry or to be angry with my son. Neither would have helped. It really wasn’t his fault. Not that it would have mattered. The only thing that would help is dealing with circumstance at hand.


Something I always try to emphasize to my family—and to myself—to the point where it’s almost become a mantra, is “We have no control over what happens to us once it has happened. The only thing we get to choose is how we respond.”


After a phone call and a little digging, it turned out the site backup hadn’t run successfully in two months. Well, at least we had that. I knew, however, that John was constantly updating and adding to the course material. If we did get everything restored there would still be much work to do.


I thought he was going to kill me.


But, by end of the day, thanks to the help of my good friend (and server admin), we got the site mostly recovered.   


By Wednesday, John had reworked most of the changes that he had put in place over the previous two months.


Today, I finally got the technical bits working for the free In-Office Finishing Course. But when I say finally I mean, literally, minutes ago, as I write this.  


Which means, the video edit isn’t yet complete, this newsletter still needs to be finished, and I have testing and tweaking to do before releasing the course registration into the wild, so, unfortunately, the release will have to wait another week.


Even though he won’t use it as such, John will be thrilled when he reads this, to discover he gets a breather. He works his ass off to get these videos shot for you each and every week, so I am also happy for that, as well.


Please, take the opportunity to give John a shout out in the comment sections on any of the videos on YouTube or Facebook for all the work he does.


I’ve also put in place a backup system for our backup system—another good outcome.


Finally, I didn’t even give my son as much as an angry look throughout the ordeal. Something that probably wouldn’t have been the case a few years ago. I think he realizes that even as an “old man” I am still trying to improve and at least try to act according to my words. He has been given an opportunity to learn a thing or two and continued to help me today working on the same tedious, yet important project.


At this point, I am further behind and just as overwhelmed as I was at the beginning of the week. But looking back and recognizing that we managed to make it through a minor catastrophe and still move forward gives me more motivation and encouragement to take on the elephant.


No matter what happens in life, there is no point in fretting over what’s already done or finding someone to blame for it. None of it matters. The most important thing is to learn what we can from any given situation; recognize that no matter what it is, it can always be worse; and move forward.


You can only choose how you respond. So, respond well.


All of this reminds me of a book I read a few years ago (and now plan to read again) that was instrumental in changing my life and has a near daily impact on my decision making, The Obstacle Is The Way, by Ryan Holiday.


If you haven’t read it (or even if you have), here’s an animated video of Ryan giving a synopsis of the ideas in the book. I can’t recommend it enough.


Amor Fati


Video of The Week:  And Now For Something Completely DIfferent


In case you haven’t had a chance to yet, take a few (twenty) minutes to check out the How It’s Made: Lenses and Coatings video. John and I put a lot of effort into this one. We’ve been getting some great feedback. There’s some good information here about freeform and conventional surfacing that’s generally missing in the industry.  


And although, we may already have more video content to create than we can finish before we die, send me an email and let me know if there is anything you’d like to see us cover.


Through the OpticianWorks free video lessons, Laramy-K Optical is making every effort to provide better and more accessible education for opticians everywhere, but we’re only able to do it with your support.

You can help keep it going in two ways:

Become a paid member of OpticianWorks.com for access to the best in online optician training (The videos are only a small portion).

Or, even better, open a Laramy-K Optical lab account for the very best in independent uncut work and we'll throw in the OpticianWorks memberships for free! Your customers and your staff will thank you!


I hope you enjoyed 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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