Stress is a given in our daily lives … or is it? Can one really have it all—and how do you get it? PromoKitchen Chefs Mark Graham, co-founder of commonsku and CEO of RIGHTSLEEVE Marketing, Inc. (UPIC: RIGHT795), and Bobby Lehew, CAS, chief branding officer for distributor ROBYN (UPIC: ROBY0001), hosted an intimate, just-among-friends Q&A panel discussion over lunch at The PPAI Expo 2015 on Tuesday that was attended by more than 100 people. Special guests at the table were Jo-an Lantz, MAS, COO of top distributor Geiger (UPIC: geiger), and Marty Lott, owner and president of apparel supplier SanMar (UPIC: SNMR).
The hosts asked forthright questions; the panelists were thoughtful and often surprising with their answers as they discussed stress management, the future and each wants want to be remembered.
Tips to manage stress:
Lantz: “Mark a pie plate in quarters and divide up your life based on the percentage of time you are now spending on each area―work, family, faith, etc.―and then look at how you want to spend it. You can have it all but can you do it all?”
Lott: “I don’t get stressed.” (He said he’s only been stressed out twice in his life: both times were customer-service issues early on in his career.)
Advice to stay calm and focused:
Lantz: “Focus on what is most important. Get perspective by asking yourself: How important will this be in seven minutes, in seven days, in seven years? Write down the most important goals you want to accomplish. Running helps me stay balanced.”
Lott: “Yoga—at least 20 minutes to 90 minutes every day.”
How do you want to be remembered?
Lantz: “When I’m gone, I want to be remembered for touching and impacting others, and helping them to accomplish their goals—whatever those are.”
Lott: “I want to be known for building a culture where being nice and telling the truth is expected. I don’t see the point in being around people who aren’t nice.”
Advice for a 20-something just starting in this industry:
Lantz: “I’d ask a lot of questions. I’d also tell them to pay attention to the numbers—know your cost of doing business, know the value of your time.”
Lott: “I would tell them this is a great country we live in. If you work hard you’ll get more out of it. You’ve got to make your own way. You’ve also got to save.”
Concerns over the next five years:
Lantz: “A recession is overdue. Change isn’t coming; it’s here. Not everyone is aware of the change. Buyer channels have changed. The tipping point will be with the next recession.”
Lott: “The high chance of another recession. I strategize over it but don’t stress over it.”
What are you excited about?
Lantz: “There’s a new skill set to be successful in this industry (based on analytics and how the client interacts with you.)”
Lott: “The rate of change. I had a comment about our website from a customer who wanted to order on her own. Some people want to help themselves. This excites me.”
Final bit of advice:
Lantz: “People see things from a different perspective. It’s important for me to see what you see through your eyes.”
Lott: “Love what you do. Work is such a big piece of life. Make it your hobby.”