"It's March," she said languidly with a sigh, resting her chin in the palm of her right hand. She gazed from her high-rise window over the sticky smog that hovered on the Phoenix horizon. "Nothing interesting ever happens in March."

All right, so perhaps I'm being a tad dramatic, but in a sense, it's true. Between Super Bowl and Memorial Day lies a veritable wasteland of insipidity. If you were fortunate enough to dodge the commercialism of February's horrific lovefest, you can now wait on St. Patrick's Day. But if you celebrate the holiday in due form, you likely won't remember much of it except the cabbage that repeats on you for several days afterward and, somewhere along the line, singing an Irish bar tune with people whose names have escaped you. If you observe, Easter could be noteworthy--eating lots of chocolate and marshmallow bunnies and popping the buttons on our pants. Now that's excitement.

In light of this scarcity, we should all be grateful the SSA chose an excellent site for its Spring Conference and Tradeshow this month--a city with some real intrigue and character. New Orleans! Being an ardent Anne Rice fan, I'm particularly thrilled at the opportunity to tour the landmarks illustrated in her novels: Lafayette Cemetery, Café du Monde, the house on First Street and Chesnut. I've heard, too, about a positively spellbinding Voodoo tour, guided by a true-to-life Voodoo priestess and culminating at the grave of Marie Laveau.

I've said nothing, yet, of this month's issue. This is for no lack of enthusiasm, I assure you, but sometimes you just have to stray from the path. Frequently, in this missive, I talk about profit-building and innovation, industry trends and tactics. I could easily continue that course, as the following articles address all those things. But the overall point--of this rambling and this issue--is simply this: Do something different. Do something new in your business this year. Maybe you'll add truck rentals to your list of offerings or launch a phone center to answer incoming calls. Perhaps you'll start a self-storage hotline or direct-mail program. Whatever it is, do it soon and be smart about it. You'll find plenty of great ideas right here in these pages.

Life's too short for us to be bored--or boring for that matter. Here's hoping your March is anything but.

Wishing you whimsy,

Teri L. Lanza
[email protected]

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