REI: No Black Friday

Yesterday I received an email from REI, with the subject line: “REI is Closing Black Friday.” Of course like so many people who received the email, my response was: “What, what, what?” It is a great marketing ploy and strategy. I immediately was curious and opened the email and read it out loud to Chris. My next thought was: “Did someone hack into their email server or is this legit?” Here is an excerpt of the email I received from REI:

“This Black Friday the co-op is doing something different. We’re closing all 143 of our stores. Instead of reporting to work, we’re paying our employees to do what we love most—be outside.

We want you, our members, to be the first to hear—not just what we’re doing, but why.
We’re passionate about bringing you great gear, but we’re even more passionate about the experiences it unlocks for all of us. Perhaps John Muir said it best back in 1901: “thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home.”

We think Black Friday is the perfect day to remind people of this essential truth.

And don’t worry, as a member you’ll still enjoy great deals on great gear all holiday season long. But on this one day, we’re going to #OptOutside and we want you to join us.”

From what I can tell, it is legitimate and I applaud REI for driving the point home so clearly – potentially at a loss of revenue. Maybe though — just maybe their members and frequent shoppers will find this admirable and not worry a bit that they will not be open. Of course their website will still transact orders. Why not have the deals happen the day after Black Friday? Why does it have to follow consumerism tradition and happen on Black Friday?

In any case, I hope it starts a new trend. I for one do whatever I can possible to stay away from ANY shopping on Black Friday. The only thing I would do is venture out to what Portland calls “Little Boxes” which supports small businesses. That is something I can support. It makes it even better that they want folks to be outside. Maybe other companies will join #OptOutside.

Other improvements to this year are companies that previously were open on Thanksgiving day are choosing to stay closed. Staples and GameStop will be closed this year as the companies want customers and employees to enjoy the holiday they way they want to celebrate it. There is even a group of individuals trying to get a local mall closed for Thanksgiving Day by way of a Change.org campaign.

We need to add more to that list!

My Archetype: The Maestro

I love to share good things. It feels wrong to me to keep them to myself. I wrote a blog post in December titled: “How do you fascinate?” that shared ideas from the book: “How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination” by Sally Hogshead. I have now had more time to process and contemplate this book and the personality test that is included in this 400+ page book. Let me share the turn of events. I took the test and shared my interest in this book with a co-worker. They in turn were curious and found a link online to take the test for free. It spread quickly with my team at work. We were intrigued, fascinated (no pun intended), and learned a bit more about ourselves.

You might be thinking, rah, rah, another personality test. It is, and it isn’t. I have read the 400+ page book. I have studied the 49 different results. This is not just a personality test for me. It is a new way of looking at myself and others. Why? Well the premise of her book is that we are 99% boring and 1% fascinating. The results of the test are meant to tell you more about your 1%. That 1% is what the world sees when they see you.

Take the quiz at this link: www.harperbusiness.com/you

Did you take it? I have more to share, but it might make more sense after you have taken the quiz. I promise it only takes a few minutes. Done? Okay, so here I go. My results took me a while to process. I was shy about it. I thought, really? This is how people see me? Then, I embraced it. You have an archetype that is made up of a first and second advantage, and then a dormant advantage. Your advantages are how you communicate.

My archetype: The Maestro (Ambitious, Focused, Confident, Uncompromising, Formidable)
My first advantage: Power – You lead with command (Confident, Goal-Oriented, Decisive)
My second advantage: Prestige – You earn respect with higher standards (Ambitious, Results Oriented, Respected)
My dormant advantage: Mystique – You communicate with substance (Which means hiding my emotions or opinions drains me.)

While I struggled with my results, or maybe was a bit shocked, I am everything the adjectives describe. Relentless to make things happen, focused on the goal, and all with excellence leading the way (I have a hard time completing anything that does not meet my high expectations).

Did you just learn a lot about me? I am curious what your results are – leave a note in the comments section with your results and how you feel about them.

A writer, a scientist, a talker

A good friend shared this quote recently via social media, and it was a reminder to me to keep writing. You know those days when you say: “why am I still doing this?” Lots of things in our life take time, and sometimes that means time away from our family, friends, work. Each activity can be a sacrifice to not be doing something or being with someone else. Sometimes my blog has been that for me. At other times I wonder why I write at all. The quote my friend shared was from Chris Guillebeau:

“That’s the promise: you will live more curiously if you write. You will become a scientist, if not of the natural world than of whatever world you care about. More of that world will pop alive. You will see more when you look at it.

Writing needn’t be a formal enterprise to have this effect. You don’t have to write well. You don’t even have to “write,” exactly—you can just talk onto the page.”

I have read his book “The Art of Non-Conformity” and have a hold on his most recent book “The Happiness of Pursuit” which came out in early September. I loved the idea of being a scientist. I am like that each day when I blog. I start out by reviewing ideas and notes from my day. Sometimes I am sparked by something someone said. A conversation with a colleague, family member, or my better half. Other times it is an article I read, a video I watched, or some idea that was shared via social media.

However I came across the idea, I dig a little deeper to find out if my fingers will start to tap away. If they do, I see where the idea goes. I have almost two hundred draft posts in different stages of completion. Often I start a post and find that there is no ending, so I leave it and try another idea. Sometimes I go back to those older posts and find that I have an ending, and the writing comes alive for me again.

Be a scientist. Curious, raw, and alive.