The Evolving Role of the Independent Rep

the trend report Nov 17, 2023

In this compelling episode, we explore the unique journey of Jason Levy, an industry veteran who has made his mark in the office furniture industry. Levy's story is one of resilience and adaptability. From his early days as a culinary student to stepping up to the demands of his family business after his mother's cancer diagnosis, his path is a testament to his ability to evolve and thrive.

One of the critical aspects Levy brings to light is the shifting landscape of the business world. The changes in the industry, especially amidst the pandemic, have forced businesses to innovate and adapt. This shift, however, is not a challenge for Levy. Instead, he views it as an opportunity to get creative with his marketing strategies.

Levy’s marketing approach stands out in its originality and effectiveness. From using cupcakes and donuts to engaging his audience digitally, his strategies are both inventive and refreshing. These unconventional methods reflect Levy's belief in building...

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Take It Outisde

viewpoint magazine Nov 03, 2023

Why being outside benefits you, your team and your organization

Recently we held a company offsite meeting for a couple of days.  It was the perfect opportunity to come together and discuss our new structure,  strategy, products and our plans for 2024.  The problem with the meeting was that our entire customer-facing team was away from their desk, and their daily work, which meant that emails, quotes, orders and other tasks were stacking up and we’d have to pull a few long days to catch up.

Just after lunch on our final day together, I could see the stress on their faces as I asked everyone to close their computers so we could begin to wrap up our meeting.  The stress of not responding to email, not getting quotes out and more was draining the energy from the room and our meeting.  Something had to be done.  I had to change this - for the better.  

I stood up and asked everyone to join me on a walk outside.  Even though, at the...

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Breaking the Rules and Coloring Outside the Lines

the trend report Oct 20, 2023

In our recent podcast episode, #127, we ventured into the fascinating world of nonconformity in both business and personal growth. Host Sid Meadows, a seasoned business strategist, navigated us through thought-provoking conversations about the power of daring to color outside the lines. This article expands on the insights shared in that episode, touching on key aspects that underline the impact of challenging the status quo and embracing uniqueness.

The discussion starts out with a comparison that connects our childhood coloring books with adult conformity. As children, we were taught to color within the lines, which was a silent nudge towards adhering to norms. However, as we transition into adulthood, this lesson inadvertently follows us, shaping our decision-making processes in both our personal and professional lives. Sid encourages us to ponder on a critical question: "What if we decided to break free from these invisible lines?"

This episode highlighted the...

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The 3-C’s of Business Research

viewpoint magazine Oct 08, 2023

The 3-C’s of Business Research 

Why understanding your customers, competitors and colleagues is critical to your success

I remember it like it was yesterday, but it was 20 years ago.  I was sitting at the conference table with the company’s leadership and several representatives from the customer.  We were meeting so they could share with us why we had been awarded their project.  This was a first for me and I was excited to learn why we had won.  I was anticipating they would say things like, you were the low price, you have the better products, your overall package fit our needs the best.

However, what they shared stopped me in my tracks, could this really be a driver in why we were successful?  You see, this project started when a bid landed on my desk and as I looked through it, my initial thought was “this is impossible, we’ll never win.”  But that was my job, to take the impossible and make it a reality.  So...

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The Intersection of Personal Branding and Contract Furniture with Aaron Estabrook

the trend report Sep 08, 2023

In episode 125 of The Trend Report Podcast, my guest Aaron Estabrook and I discuss all things contract furniture, and the possibilities and opportunities that exist in the industry. Aaron is the Director of Digital Marketing at OFS and he shines a light on this vibrant industry in this captivating conversation.

Aaron’s career trajectory is as unique as it is enlightening. His journey, which meandered from the music business to marketing and advertising, eventually led him to the world of contract furniture. He found his role at OFS, which he describes as bringing him immense joy, through this intriguing path. Aaron’s rich experiences, both in New York and Washington DC, have played an instrumental role in honing his skills in personal branding. 

The Trend Report, Episode 125

Aaron offers valuable insights into leveraging digital marketing to create engaging content. He believes that digital marketing can be an efficient tool to provide customers with content that...

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The Importance of Continuous Growth

viewpoint magazine Sep 01, 2023

Understanding the role that personal, professional and industry specific growth plays in your success!

There is no doubt that the world around us is constantly changing, evolving and in most cases, moving forward.  Whether you’re a seasoned professional like me, a budding newbie to the industry, or somewhere in the middle, forward progress is critical for your continued growth and success. 

My journey of continuous growth started just a few short years ago.  In March of 2017, I entered a room of 25 other aspiring Coaches and my world changed forever.  

During this year-long program to become a Certified Professional Coach, I discovered what professional development and growth was all about.  It’s about me.  It’s about me doing the work, sometimes, really hard work, to understand who I am, who I want to be and how I am going to become the best version of me.  Because it’s about me, and it’s about you. ...

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Experiences that Shaped an Industry Leader with Sam Richardson, CEO of Identity Group

the trend report Aug 20, 2023

In episode 124 of The Trend Report Podcast, I had an engaging conversation with Sam Richardson, the President and CEO of the Identity Group. His journey to the top is an intriguing blend of sports, international living, and a deep dive into the paper and print industry. His experiences, from his time on the college sports field to the aroma of paper plants in the southern United States and his international stint in Brussels, Belgium, shaped his approach to the contract interiors industry.

The Trend Report, Episode 124

In this podcast interview, Sam shares valuable insights into the evolution of the Identity Group, honed through years of hard work and strategic decisions. The company has undergone a transformative journey in providing signage services, experiential graphics, and branded environments. These services are a testament to Richardson's belief in seizing opportunities, learning from experiences, and maintaining a delicate balance between personal growth and family...

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"I'm A Great Multitasker"

business of furniture Jun 12, 2022

Debunking the myth that you can effectively do more than one thing at a time.

Almost everyday, my clients talk about how effective they are at multitasking and how they are getting so much accomplished. Well, I hate to break it to you, but guess what? Multitasking is a lie!

The only thing that multitasking does is give you the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time. You might think I’m being a pessimist, but science backs me up - multitasking is a hoax.

When you try to do two things at once, you can’t do either of them well. The reality is, our brains don’t work that way.  Our brains have channels and where there is channel interference, we aren’t able to process fully and focus effectively on doing either of the tasks we try to “multitask.” These channels are what allow us to walk and chew gum at the same time - because that activity is using different channels, not the same channel. 

Think about this for a minute...

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Are You Listening?

Uncategorized Feb 09, 2022

When most people think (or talk) about listening, they go directly to the actual act of listening in conversations between individuals and they’re right we all need to be better relational listeners. In fact, I’d argue it’s the most underdeveloped skill we possess, and I could write multiple columns and do several podcast episodes about it and still not convince people they needed to work on enhancing their listening skills.

But today, I’d like to direct your attention to a different form of listening. Today’s column is all about social listening. Over the past several months, I’ve heard this term used in a variety of places in different contexts, but I didn’t fully understanding the meaning — so, I started a quest to learn more about “social listening,” what it is, and how I can use it in my business and everyday life.

So, let’s dive into the most intriguing things I’ve learned about...

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How Block Timing Can Help You Get More Done

business of furniture Sep 15, 2021

How Block Timing Can Help You Get More Done

It's no surprise that time management is a hot topic right now. Most of us feel like we don't have enough hours in the day to get everything done, and it seems like there will never be enough hours to complete our daily to-do’s again. 

But all this worry surrounding how little time there is available each day leads some people to spend more time on their tasks than they need — and for most people, this perpetual anxiety and overthinking means they do an average job, at best.

How can you manage your time better? One strategy to tackle time management systematically is with block timing! Block timing lets you give yourself chunks of focused work-time, so you can get through each task efficiently, without sacrificing the quality of your work or getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work left undone.

What is block timing, and how can it help me get more done in a day?

A question I am frequently asked by my clients is,...

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