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