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Dealer Outlook marks seven years

It was back in the summer of 2007. The phone rang and a lady on the other end said: “Now that you’ve retired from the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, we think you’re just the guy to start a blog for marine dealers.”

The caller was Lois Caliri, then-editor of Soundings Trade Only. I said I’d have to get back to her, not wanting to admit I really didn’t know much about blogging — but I was certain somewhere back in my childhood I must have gotten shots for that.

In ’07, blogs weren’t exactly big. They were just starting to appear. Still, some media, particularly leading business publications, were adding blog content to their offerings. Soundings Trade Only wanted to be the boating industry leader in presenting content through blogging.

Obviously, I agreed to try it, she decided to name the blog Dealer Outlook and we began what is now seven years of twice-weekly blogs in which I’ve tried to include usable news and encouraging ideas that could help improve the retail side of our industry and the experience of our customers.

So, to all who regularly read this blog, I offer my sincerest thanks. Even more, I’m grateful for those of you who choose to comment or share your experiences, views and advice. In doing so, you have made this blog a conversation worth reading. It tops my to-do list.

And speaking of a to-do list, have you ever added something to your to-do list that you’ve already completed just so you can get that pleasurable feeling of crossing it off? I have and I admit I’m a slave to my to-do list.

The problem with to-do lists is that they’re only made up of things we need to do. After all, that’s why we write them up in the first place, isn’t it? But what they don’t contain are any things we choose to do.

Many years ago, a book by authors Linda and Richard Eyre entitled “Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There.” suggested a way to make the to-do list a lot more palatable. In addition to all the day’s obligations and tasks, they recommended adding one item that you choose to do for yourself or your family.

I think I’ve been following their advice since sometime in the mid-1980s and it works. If nothing else, it makes my to-do list seem more manageable and I always have something to cross off daily, even when I haven’t completed anything else on the list. If you’re a list maker, give it a try.

One thing’s for sure: I’ll keep Dealer Outlook at the top of my to-do list for Year 8.

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