"But if you ask Sam how's business, he's never satisfied. He says, 'Bernie, things are really lousy. Ourlines are too long at the cash registers. Our people aren't being helpful enough. I don't know what we'regonna do to get them motivated.' Then you ask some of these CEOs from other retail organizations whoyou know are on the verge of going out of business, and they brag and tell you how great everything is.
Now when they come home for a visit, it makes them sad that the old town square isn't exactly like it waswhen they left it back in 1954. It's almost like they want their hometown to be stuck in time, anold-fashioned place filled with old-fashioned people doing business the old-fashioned way. Somehow,small-town populations weren't supposed to move out into their own suburbs, and they weren't supposedto go out to the intersections of highways and build malls with lots of free parking. That's just not the waysome of these people remember their old towns. But folks who grew up in big cities feel the same wayabout what's happened to their cities over the last forty or fifty years. A lot of the stores and the movietheaters and the restaurants that they remember loving as kids have boarded up and either gone out ofbusiness or moved to the suburbs too.
RULE 6: CELEBRATE your successes. Find some humor in your failures. Don't take yourself soseriously. Loosen up, and everybody around you will loosen up. Have fun. Show enthusiasmalways.
Meanwhile, the house was dividing up against itself. A lot of the newer, younger guys were lining up onRon's side, and the older bunch who ran the stores were backing Ferold. When I began to sense howdeep this split really was, I got real agitated about it, and then I became even more involved insecond-guessing everybody.