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Ideas keep swirling through my mind

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Ah, the joys of being a magazine editor. As I write this, it’s two days before our print deadline and a major snowstorm is forecast for the next day. If you’re reading this, we got the magazine to the printer in time, no doubt the result of my extraordinary leadership and steadiness at the helm. Oh yeah. Perhaps, and more likely, it was due to the efforts of our talented team and superior technology. If you’re not reading this — and how would you know? — we failed miserably and I’m looking for work.

Let’s assume we conquered the elements, avoided a major power outage and were handsomely rewarded for our heroism. Now I can start thinking about what lays ahead. I’ve got two dates circled on my calendar.

In April, I’m off to Puerto Rico for the Woodworking Industry Conference. This annual event, held at different locations, is where the movers and shakers in the woodworking industry gather to do a little business, network and enjoy each other’s company. Since I try not to move or shake – especially at the same time – I’ll be there to get the pulse of the industry and report back to you. You’re welcome.

Then there’s the IWF from Aug. 20-23 in Atlanta. I won’t do the whole song and dance (see my previous reference to moving and shaking) about why you should attend the year’s biggest trade show. It’s simply worth your time and effort. Online registration and housing deals began in January. Book now and save at

Otherwise, here’s what I got this month. I used to work with a guy who was always coming up with ideas. He’d share them frequently. Most were too ambitious or required major funding that was never going to materialize, but a few were home runs. I don’t think he slept much, what with all of these ideas swimming around in his head.

But then I got a couple of those ideas sitting in my doctor’s office. The waiting room displays paintings by a local artist. They’re nice to look at, depicting familiar local landscapes, and give the office a bit of prestige. I got up for a closer view and noticed they were for sale. I thought: what a genius marketing plan. The doctor is probably happy to have some free artwork and the artist gets his work seen by a large and captive audience. So, after returning to my uncomfortable waiting room chair, I thought this is a great place to display custom furniture. It would certainly stand out. Maybe a TV stand or occasional table. Taking it a step farther, how about the waiting room of a specialist who sees the same high-end clients you’re going after.

But wait, there’s more. I finally get in the exam room and the doctor rolls in this Walmart-special computer cart. Embarrassing, actually. He’d be beyond pleased to tell his patients (and doctor friends) about the wonderful computer stand handcrafted by his favorite patient. Now think about the other well-traveled spaces in your town to display your talents. The library, law offices, banks … add a nice plaque from the maker and the customers will come calling.

These are the kind of ideas that make me a legend in my own mind. Again, you’re welcome. 

This article originally appeared in the March 2014 issue.

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