K-mart is where the US Government taxed my very first paycheck when I was just 16 years old. I learned two things that will stick with me for life from my K-mart journey.
- Don’t throw paint cans in the box crusher. (The paint will spray out all four sides and get on your uniform.)
- “The Cutting Edge”
There was a young manager that worked in hard-lines that was always really motivated. He stood out as he was always in your face and excited. Every evening just after they locked the doors there would be a meeting. I dreaded it because I just wanted to get the store cleaned up and go home. During these meetings, he would always mention “The Cutting Edge”.
The Cutting Edge was a term he used to express how important it was to bring product to the edge of the shelf. He would explain how if it is was not on the edge of the shelf then our awesome customers would not see it, plus it looked more presentable to the eyes when everything was even down an aisle.
I think about the cutting edge all the time. It has been almost 20 years and every time I walk into a supermarket, I pay attention to the product on the shelves to see if they are on the edge. I have since modified what this young manager had taught me to fit other parts of my life.
What does “The Cutting Edge” mean to me now?
The photo above (man standing on the edge of a cliff getting ready to jump) represents my daily choices as an entrepreneur. In a perfect world, you would measure how deep the water was before you jumped. We all know the business world is not perfect. Let’s now add your being chased by a Tiger (Competitor). You have to make a choice. Jump without knowing the depth or risk being eaten. That is my “Cutting Edge”. I believe my companies’ success has been based off my willingness to jump without knowing the depth. I live on “The Cutting Edge”.