"Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new."
---- Og Mandino
It is easy to get into the mindset that we've mastered our craft and now we will reap our rewards. For those of us who've been in the sign industry for a while, we know that this business is always changing, always altering the landscaping of the use for and the making of signage. Therefore, we must always keep studying and learning new approaches to the business.
"I believe, indeed, that overemphasis on the purely intellectual attitude, often directed solely to the practical and factual, in our education, has led directly to the impairment of ethical values."
--- Albert Einstein
Not only are we to study hard to keep pace with the massive changes of the sign industry, but we must not allow ourselves to fall into the trap of taking shortcuts for profit. Most of us would shudder to think we could ever do such a thing, but it happens to the best of us, especially during the hard times. Shaving off a little quality here, skimping on a few ethical behaviors there, adds up to a long-lasting bad reputation.
So the bottom line is that if we don't already have it, we need to acquire an attitude of continual personal and professional improvement.
"When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal."
--- Napoleon Hill
Begin developing an attitude of personal and professional development by analyzing every failure that you encounter. Determine why it happened, what you can learn from it, and how can you improve for the future. Darren Hardy, the publisher of Success Magazine, states that when he went to his first real estate seminar, he asked the lecturer to lunch. "I asked him for his best tip on being successful in real estate," says Hardy. "His answer was, 'Go fail-a lot.'"
"What?!" I said. "I thought the whole idea of success was to avoid failure." "Quite the opposite," he said. Then he told me a quote from Tom Watson of IBM: "The key to success is massive failure." He said, "Your goal is to out-fail your competition. Whoever can fail the most, the fastest and the biggest wins."
"I found that when you start thinking and saying what you really want then your mind automatically shifts and pulls you in that direction. And sometimes it can be that simple, just a little twist in vocabulary that illustrates your attitude and philosophy."
--- Jim Rohn
Of course, the goal isn't to fail, but to not be afraid of failing and then learning from each one of them. It is all in the attitude. If you see your failure as a learning experience, then you can generate even more successes while you are failing. Crazy, I know, but true!
"It is your attitude, not your aptitude that determines your altitude."
--- Zig Ziglar
Any failure in business can get you down… especially the really big, expensive ones. But you can control the outcome of each failure. You can wallow in it and become downtrodden or you can remember the ant and the rubber tree plant, the choo-choo that could, or any other nursery fable to get you over the hump. Or, you could simply journal your successes and failures and make an analysis of what works, what went wrong, and how you can improve. It is all a matter of changing and training your attitude.
Pricing Approaches and Accuracy - Is Close, Close Enough?
By Scott St. Cyr
This series on pricing and estimating will address the most common pricing approaches for different segments of the sign and graphics industry.
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Stencil Washout Techniques, Part 2
By Dawn M. Hohl
Washout will impact your print results. Follow along in this conclusion to learn the rest of this important sub-process of washout techniques to will help you create the best print results. One more variable to be controlled and repeated to attain consistent tonal-range reproduction and print quality.
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Inside a K-Mart somewhere in the US:
"Socks: Buy One Get One Free!"
Outside of a farm in North Carolina with the picture of a German Sheppard on it:
"I make it to the fence in 2.8 seconds. Can you?"
In an ad for a swimwear store:
"Our bikinis are exciting. They are simply the tops!"
We know those funny signs are out there. Take a moment and send them in to us and we'll share them with the world. Send all hysterical observations to: firstname.lastname@example.org.