Optical Retail Success 170


Tasty nuggets of random goodness; tips, stories, and science hand-picked to help you find the most success in your life and optical retail business/career.


Be a rainbow in somebody else's cloud.
― Maya Angelou


Buckle Up? Maybe That’s Not Enough

Perhaps a 3-Point harness is in order. A roll bar? A fire-suppression system? Any other safety mechanisms you can fashion together in the next few weeks? 

In the last newsletter, I wrote, “Buckle Up” in reference to the situation looming for retailers—particularly, small business retailers—in the coming months. But, in reality, what we face is much larger. 

Look. As the Happiest Place on Earth has now officially reopened, I really, really hate to sound like a Debbie Downer.  Seriously, I do. 

But, I fear there are some dark times ahead both in terms of the virus and the economy and I don’t want you to be caught off guard. I’m more hopeful on the social front, but that one’s still up in the air too. It’s not that I expect the apocalypse, but I do believe things are going to get worse before they get better. And right now, while many of our lives seem to be getting better economically—at least giving us a chance to regain our footing—this is the time we need to be thinking about and preparing for what may still lie ahead. 

Currently, COVID-19 numbers are growing at astronomical rates across the U.S. Hospitals are nearing or exceeding capacity here in Georgia, as they are elsewhere across the country. If you have any lingering doubts about the seriousness of the pandemic (and are a member of the Opticians on Facebook group) read just a few of the 500+ responses to this post

The words “sobering” and “heartbreaking” simply don’t begin to describe what people—your fellow opticians—are going through.  

Now it also appears the majority of public schools are preparing to open their doors for in-person classroom learning, which will almost certainly add fuel to this coronavirus dumpster fire. Beyond that, the fall/winter flu season awaits, promising to compound the virus threat and stretch our medical facilities and resources even further. Then, of course, there’s the uncertainty of how the colder weather will impact the spread and severity of COVID-19. All-in-all the future’s not looking too bright.  

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of a near-total economic shutdown, record unemployment, racial and political turmoil the likes of we haven’t seen in over a half-century, small-business closures, and still in the throes of the ever-worsening pandemic, 

...the optical industry appears to be booming. 

The stock market—having been long overdue for a correction even before the pandemic—is climbing. Car dealers and lenders are experiencing record months. And beach towns are seeing more visitors than they’ve seen in years. Sure, people have sheltering-in-place for months and there is pent-up demand, but that doesn’t explain it all. The phrase, “irrational exuberance” keeps coming to mind. 

It’s like we’re in some kind of Bizzaro world

The reality is, we still have yet to see the consequences of what 2020 has wrought (or has yet to wreak?). The other shoe has yet to drop.

So, I ask you to no let your guard down yet and consider the following strategies going forward (sooner rather than later):

  • Keep your personal and business spending low. Maximize your savings.
  • Look for ways to add sources of personal income or business revenue. Ideally, ones that can continue—at some level—in tough times. 
  • Even if you don’t expect it to happen, plan for another shutdown, a significant drop in business, or the loss of a job. 
  • Maintain a reasonable stock of food and supplies NOW, so you’re not caught off guard and left contributing to the chaos the next time there’s run on toilet paper and bread flour.
  • Take the pandemic seriously. It’s not just media-hype or a global conspiracy to ruin the President’s re-election chances. I promise. Again, see the FB post above. It’s real. 
  • Never forget, with challenges always come opportunities. Look for the silver lining.
  • Figure out how you might help your fellow-humans if/when things get worse. 
  • Take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, veggies, and vitamin D. 
  • Wear your damn mask.
  • Be nice.


The Edge of Seventeen

How do you think like a 17-year-old genius? It turns out it’s pretty simple. You take a crisis like the health disaster we’re enduring, that is causing us to social distance, and find a way to be helpful.

A dozen or so incredibly valuable lessons learned from a 17 year-old entrepreneur


Do The Mash 

...during the dumpster fire that is 2020, it is particularly important to appreciate the privilege of being witness to something so beautiful, one has no choice but to momentarily look away from the darkness to revel in the awe of being confronted with greatness. While the world is trembling at the knees, Bill McClintock is out here doing God's work, reminding us that we're more similar than we are different.

—Bruce Wayne, YouTube Commentor

I just can’t get enough of these

Somehow, there’s nothing quite like seeing Marvin Gaye step in on vocals with Ratt, The Isley Brothers mosh with Lemmy or The Temptations (and their teenage audience from the 1950’s) rock out with Sabbath.

They really do remind us that we are, in fact, more similar than different.


OpticianWorks Video of the Week: Coronavirus PPE for Opticians

SIOS was kind enough to provide Laramy-K OpticianWorks with some items from their brand new PPE (personal protective equipment) catalog for our perusal. Let's take a look and see what they offer that might help keep you, your co-workers, and your customers safe and healthy, and perhaps make your job a bit easier


Through the OpticianWorks free videos, Laramy-K Optical is making every effort to provide better and more accessible (and yes, even free) 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 lab work and we'll throw in the OpticianWorks memberships for your entire staff for free! Your customers and your staff will thank you!


I hope you enjoyed this edition of Optical Retail Success. Please share with anyone you think might benefit from it. If someone shared it with you and you would like to receive future updates, join over 15,000 optical professionals and sign up here. https://www.laramyk.com/optical-retail-success/

Until next time, stay safe, be strong, and don’t forget to love one another.