American Quilt Retailer: October 2021 Issue

As much as we want our lives to return to pre-Covid-19 normal, it is clear that is not going to happen anytime soon. Changes continue to occur all around us. I’m finding myself going between having planned strategies to feeling like everything is complete chaos.

I’m currently trying to evaluate my goals, both short term and long term. In the last 18 months, there have been lots of quick pivoting and large shifts in plans. But I’m a planner and I like a good road map of where I’m going. It’s time to really get serious about what I want to see happen in the next 18 months. So in the last quarter of 2021, I’m following advice from life coach Beth Montpas and looking back to look forward. Here are questions to ask yourself looking back at this past year:

  • Was I happy? If so, what made me so?
  • What’s the most valuable lesson I learned this year?
  • Was I present in the moment? If not, why not? (Be vulnerable and ask others to give you feedback on yourself.)
  • Did I reach the goals I set out for myself and my business? If not, what roadblocks stopped me? If yes, what propelled me to accomplish those goals?
  • What did I learn? What skills, knowledge or awareness did I develop? How am I different this year from last year?

And here are questions to ask looking forward to the coming year:

  • What excuses can I remove from my life or business?
  • What’s one thing that could make my new year immeasurably more satisfying or profitable?
  • What’s my plan for investing in my personal and/or professional growth?
  • What habit can my staff and I establish to help us achieve more?
  • Picturing myself or my shop at the end of next year, what’s at least one thing that will be different?

I’ve got my notebook and am ready to spend time reflecting on each of these questions. How are you going to wrap up this final quarter of 2021 to make 2022 your best year yet?

Table of Contents

  • From the Editor
  • Subject Line: Did It Grab Your Attention?: The Design Trio shares their top 10 tips for writing an effective newsletter.
  • Thanks for Your Complaint: Follow these eight steps from Tom Shay to turn customer dissatisfaction into a positive experience.
  • Know Yourself: Life coach Beth Montpas shows us how awareness of our personality style can lead to better relationships with others.
  • Promote Your Online Store: Sommer Leigh helps you create a marketing plan just in the time to make the most of the holidays.
  • The Eclectic World of Leon & Lulu: Kizer and Bender tour a unique store in Michigan that offers tons of merchandising ideas.
  • Materials Matter: Find the latest fabrics and designs about to hit your store shelves.
  • Hot Picks: Check out products and notions to offer to your customers.
  • Overcome Financial $tress: CPA Jacob Curtis explains how a cash management system sets you on the path to profits.
  • Consistent Customer Service: Gwen Bortner encourages a plan for consistent communication with your customers.
  • Ready to Blow? Time to Get in Flow!: Follow three simple tips to live and work in your greatness.
  • Free-to-Use Pattern: Get to know Minnesota designer Sherri Falls and check out this issue’s free-to-use pattern, Sparkle, Sparkle!

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