I didn't attend a posh preparatory school like the Welton Academy featured in the 1989 film classic Dead Poets Society. And, granted, I graduated 30 years later than the film-set year 1959. Even still, who didn't feel inspired--and just a wee bit melancholy and maudlin--by this film about angst- and hormone-ridden teenage boys chasing girls, embracing literature and learning the thorny lessons of life. When teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) tells them, "Carpe diem, boys! Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary!," I want to sell all my stuff, rent a villa in Tuscany, and spend my days reposing and writing reams of verse.
The best part is watching Charles "Charlie" Dalton, the ever-seditious class clown, transform into his bawdy beatnik alter-ego, Nuwanda. A midnight assembly of the DPS finds him in a tribal stomp, chanting, "Laughing, crying, tumbling, mumbling--gotta do more, gotta be more. Chaos screaming, chaos dreaming--gotta be more, gotta do more." And here we come to the moral of this month's little missive: We ALL "gotta do more, gotta be more" when it comes to succeeding in this business.
No one knows if or when the bottom will fall out on self-storage. Domestic development continues and expands to international terrain, but everywhere you here people whispering in corners about overbuilding. The grim reaper we call competition lurks in the stairwells. Ask not for whom the bells of "step up to the plate" toll--they toll for thee. As I write this, our country lies on the brink of war. Who knows what will have transpired when you hold this issue in your hands? How will you ensure your business fares, in spite of what demons may howl at your door?
Don't call me doom-and-gloom girl yet--all hope is not lost! There are real-world solutions to the challenges of economic distress, overbuilding and competition. While we cannot control the financial status of our consumers, nor the the actions of our rivals, what we can control is the philosophy and offerings of our own operations. In this issue, we've experimented with an "Ancillary Products and Services Extra," a special section devoted to highlighting ways to diversify the storage product, increase revenue and lure prospects. Experts in the fields of truck rental, wine storage, retail sales, cell towers, mobile storage and more contributed insight and advice to this segment.
Carpe felicitas, boys (and girls). Seize success. Make your business extraordinary!
Teri L. Lanza