(#318) Bigger, Shinier, Newer Not Necessarily Better

Maybe I can help start a small movement for change
in the big box.

Until March of this year, I belonged to a small, unobtrusive, not fancy, neighborhood beach gym. For eighteen years. Like Cheers, everyone knew your name. A few years ago, some members opted to join the new big box gym a half mile up the road.  I never saw the attraction.  Always thought a twenty pound barbell was a twenty pound barbell no matter the room in which I lifted.

Then our quaint, friendly and welcoming gym closed. Most of the membership, including my wife and me, ended up at the big box gym.  I’ve been a member now for three months. You know what, a twenty pound barbell is still a twenty pound barbell.  And there is not nearly, pound for pound, the camaraderie like we had at the smaller facility. Yes, it does take time to build but “the feel” is not there. The same soul and connection does not exist.

Bigger, shinier, and newer is not necessarily better.

Image: StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In a blog post last week, Seth Godin reminded us “it’s worth taking a moment to think about whether bigger is the point.  Maybe better is?”

Bigger may be able to provide more of whatever the product and service is. And it may provide a cheaper price. But bigger often doesn’t equate to having soul and connection.

I started thinking of other examples.

The cozy pizza joint down the road;

The locally-owned bookstore around the corner;

Big publishing houses vs. self-publishing;

A two-attorney start-up firm vs. a huge multi-layer law firm.

Big does not have to—and many times does not—equate with negatives. There are positives for sure. And at times big can help small.  Take American Express (big) supporting and promoting Small Business Saturday.

Video recommendation of the week.

But sometimes the bigness gets in the way of authentic relationships.  Sometimes, as Tom Petty sings, “the boys upstairs they just don’t understand anymore.”

Back to my new gym.  Rather than merely yearning for the past, I’ve taken on a personal mission of reaching out to employees who work in the big box. Like we did in our smaller gym, I learn their names, always say hello, and ask a genuine question or two about them.

Maybe I can help start a small movement in the big box. May you can as well.

Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

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You can find my podcast series at The Growth and Resilience Network (http://stevepiscitelli.com/video-media/podcasts). 

Check out my website  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

My books Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff?  (3rd edition) are published by Pearson Education.

(c) 2016. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
This entry was posted in authenticity, awareness, branding, bureaucracy, Civility, collaboration, engagement, fitness, Friendship, growth, institutional climate, institutional culture, Life lessons, Mindfulness, mindset, resilience, teamwork and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to (#318) Bigger, Shinier, Newer Not Necessarily Better

  1. Modwyn says:

    I love this idea, Steve! I used to feel bummed because Starbucks was replacing all the independent coffeeshops I loved when I was younger. But I realized that even though the menu and decor was uniform, the employees were not. So I started to connect with the different barristas at each location, and I found that each location did have a unique vibe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: (#344) A Blogger’s Retrospective: 2016 In Review | Steve Piscitelli

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