Category: magic videos

Two Business “Don’ts” I Recently Experienced

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

I generally want to write and speak in the positive. I find it more often entertainment than sage wisdom when reading the “10 Don’ts” list. “Ten thing not to do when standing in a puddle of water!”. “Seven things not to say to your wife when you’ve had too much to drink.”

I think you get the picture.

So, today, I am writing to tell you “Two things your business should NOT practice.” Here we go, I’m sure they won’t be as entertaining as “7 things not to say to your wife”, but I’ll take my chances.

Create A Negative Environment

That sounds pretty simple and you would think no business owner would cultivate a climate of negativity in their business. I’ll just spell out my real life example and you can draw your own conclusion.

I got to visit one of our customers to do some automation improvements. When I called to make the appointment, I was greeted with a very negative ‘receptionist.’ This is often the case with a small company where the owner is being ‘protected’ by this first line of defense. Usually, when they understand that I am calling on business requested by the owner, this barrier is taken down, and I can proceed as needed. I was told I could come when I wanted to, but no guarantees that the person I needed to meet with would be available. Since I can usually do my work on the computer and not have significant interaction, this was okay.

Upon arrival, I was treated rather business-like, and finally handed off to one of the minions whose system I needed to work on. And yes, the owner, who made the arrangements with others for me to be there, was NOT there. I proceeded with my work, and as it is rather straight-forward in its completion, I was privy to listen in on the office conversations. I had 3 more systems to work on before getting completed. I got to hear about how the accounting girl wouldn’t do anything unless the owner told her to. She also called in from her lunch break to inform the office that her mother had been in a car wreck. Instead of hearing words of sympathy,  I heard, “I wonder if her mother really had a wreck.” The accounting girl had told the receptionist that she would be at the emergency room of a large local hospital. Easy enough to check out, don’t you think?

Later I got to work on the ‘warehouse’ guy’s system. He prided himself to me on ‘running the place.’ Things don’t happen without him. And while that may be true to a fault for a small business, someone shouldn’t be taking the attitude with customers that ‘you have to crawl to me if you want it!’ What makes this story so incredible, is that when the owner did show up, and everyone was telling him of the things they thought he needed to know, he was right there with them. The warehouse guy was telling him about a customer who complained about the quality of his order he had received (they sell upscale Italian leather goods, belts, shoes, etc.) He told the owner, and apparently the owner agreed, “I’ll get his replacement out when I feel like it. I told him I looked over his order before I sent it out, and there was nothing wrong.”

All of the negativity going on, and no one to stop it. YIKES!

Address A Customer Problem In Such A Way As To Make Them Never Buy From You Again

I’ve been doing a little organizing. Some might say very little… and that’s ok. I’ve been organizing Dallas Magic Clubs Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings. It’s not easy herding cats. But I like a good laugh. If we were a group of barbershop quartet artists, we could just show up at some restaurant and pull a few tables together, and away we go. Talking, laughing, singing. But no, magic is slightly different in that we prefer to keep some of our discussions away from the lay people. And as that is a goal I shoot for, I look for a venue that can accommodate such arrangements.

In comes The Midway Point. They have a sports bar feel with a nice room in the back where groups can meet. At the outset of us trying to use their facility, the co-owner, Ellen Latchaw, indicated that they usually require twenty people to open the room. Additionally, she told me that they would hire someone to work the room exclusively. I explained that we were just getting started, and that twenty might be difficult. She said she would work with us. Instead of having an exclusive waitress, they would treat the room as just another table, and whoever would help us would. That seemed workable.

As the SIGS got going, we ended up having 3, Mentalism, Close Up, and Family Entertainment. The close up has been attended fairly well, mentalism is still developing, and the chemistry for Family Entertainment needs some adjusting. So with the SIGS not being attended as well as I would like, I confered with all of the heads of state, and decided to have one SIG meeting with all three groups in the same venue! Voila! Problem solved, right?

The SECOND meeting of the joint SIGS is at the Midway Point on Wednesday, Dec 28. The room had been confirmed with Ms Latchaw on Dec 9, (in person, not over the phone.) We had about six that showed up. And of course, the holiday’s are to blame.

We’re still having our meeting. We’re eating, we’re drinking, we’re discussing magic secrets, when someone in a cowboy hat, denim jacket and snarl comes strolling in. This was actually not an unusual sight as the room is next to the restrooms. So, someone tends to stroll in on occasion, just to see what the group is doing all to itself. What did make it strange is the prompt return of the cowboy, where he then commenced to telling us that “You are done. I have to spend a lot of money to open this room. I hired someone just to wait on you.” (the waitresses waiting on us had already told us that there was no one exclusive for the room that evening.) Since I was the organizer, I decided to introduce myself and see what was the issue. We were lectured that we could have our meeting in any one of the empty tables out on the dining floor. We were costing him money, and we were not going to do it again. I explained that I had made the arrangements with Ellen, where upon he said, “that’s my wife, I’m the owner.” Yes, James R. Latchaw, is the owner.

I did not see Mr. Latchaw before his tirade. I cannot confirm or deny his consumption of adult beverages before entering the room. I can only affirm that after we relocated to a table in the dining area, after debating leaving all together, Jim Latchaw did hoist more than 2 brown long necks. And as he is over 21, quite legal to do so.

Mr. Latchaw had every reason to tell me that our arrangement wasn’t working out. He could have done it in a way that I would have thanked him and endorsed his restaurant bar as a great place to eat and meet. But I think there are at least 6 members of the Dallas Magic Clubs that will not suggest to any attendees of TAOM 2013 that they should spend one nickel at that location.


Do These 12 Things For Yourself In 2012

Published / by Molly Whitehouse

magic in 2012One of the greatest inspirational speakers of our time, Zig Ziglar, said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” So, let’s start off a great 2012 with these 12 things to do for yourself!

  1. Spend time with the right people. — There’s not enough time in life to spend what precious little of it with people who drain the very life essence out of you. The people that make room for you are the ones that want you in their life. Don’t force yourself on those that don’t value your contributions and worth. True friends will be there when life isn’t smooth.
  2. Face your problems head on. — Don’t run from them. Sure, it’s not easy. Every person in the world has had their go at adversity, and not everyone has handled it with perfection. Instant problem solving is not genetically infused in us. Human DNA has the survival instinct in it. We get upset and mad, sad and hurt, we stumble and fall. But we rise and fight, learn and adapt, experience and succeed! This is what helps us become the developed person we aspire to!
  3. Speak truth to yourself. — You can lie to everyone, but you can’t lie to yourself and mean it. We improve our state when we engage the risk. One of the first risks we can engage is being totally honest with ourselves.
  4. Be your own self. — Stop trying to be someone you are not. The world seems to challenge us to be conforming and like others. You can always see someone else who is more intelligent, more sophisticated, arguably more attractive or younger, and they will never be you. In the same vein, don’t change them to be like you and don’t change yourself to be like them. Be yourself, and those that matter will love the person you are.
  5. Be courageous when facing tasks ridden with potential for mistakes. While failure may not be an option, the fear of failure should not be a show-stopper. Look at all the successes that had years of failure that paved the way. Many performers of 20 years become ‘over-night’ sensations.
  6. Look for happiness in yourself. —Don’t look exclusively to others to fulfill your happiness. You have to create your own happiness by being happy with who you are. If you aren’t happy with who you are, take some steps to get your inner relationship corrected.
  7. Get busy. — Take action. Don’t over analyze or you’ll create a problem where one never existed. Evaluate quickly, then act decisively. You won’t change what isn’t confronted. You can’t make a 15 yard completion if you never throw the ball. Progess involves taking risks.
  8. Reject self-pity and negative talk. — Don’t complain and feel sorry for yourself. Adversity comes for a reason: to cause you to take action, change a course of direction. At the moment things happen, you may not see the reason or understand why, with reflection, you’ll see that they often have led you to become a better person .
  9. Practice forgiveness and forgetfulness. — You shouldn’t live your life with hate and grudges in your heart. You end up hurting yourself more. When you forgive, let go, find peace, and be free from the emotional entaglements the grudge or wrongful act has brought to you. And the part about forgetfulness is to let the other person know, without saying a word, that the grudge is truly in the past. By the way, while you’re at it, remember to forgive yourself.
  10. Rise above the fray. — When those around you would pull you down into the mud to muck it up, take a stand and refuse to wallow in their level. Adhere to higher standards.
  11. Take time to enjoy precious moments. — Rejoice in the little things, for little things have a tendency to become big things. I’ve heard stories over and over of elderly folk who discovered late in life that one of their most influential moments in life had been one considered by them to be quite trivial, but the one who shared that moment had experienced a mountain of importance.
  12. Focus on what you want to happen. — Avoid focusing on what you don’t want happening. The basic tenant of every success story is positive thinking! When your day begins with thoughts of what wonderful things that will happen today, you tend to seek those wonderful things. And when you seek them, you find them.

And for the baker’s dozen, be thankful. I am thankful for all that I have materially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. My dream for 2012 is to be the best employee I can, to do more magic shows, and to enjoy my family more than ever.