Aside from eating healthy, losing weight, spending more time with the family, and learning all of the guitar parts to “Josie” by Steely Dan (…I always wanted to do that, but it seemed so hard), I have one more enormously important business goal for 2019…to educate (and, yes, scare the crap out of) retailers on the perils of ignoring both old and new sales tax rules now heaped upon us by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision (known as the “Wayfair Act”).
Make no mistake, ignorance and noncompliance of these new and somewhat complicated rules could absolutely put your store out of business in no time, especially retailers engaged in e-commerce. In light of the sales tax horror stories starting to emerge in our industry, this vital education is not only my goal this year but also my contribution to all who attend the 2019 RPMDA convention in San Diego. By the way, anyone with reliable guitar tab to Josie, send it my way for a free cocktail on me in San Diego..:>)
There are my many little personal goals of which some have been around for a while, such as playing the piano more frequently. My biggest challenge is that my days are just too short, and I unfortunately belong to those people who need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. I just don’t seem to find enough time to do sports, learn Italian, do the bookkeeping for the Chamber Music Society Kassel, visit my parents regularly, see my friends, keep in touch with my far-away sister, and enjoy life without getting stressed. Once again in 2019 I am working on it.
On the professional side, I hope this year will be less overwhelming than the last. I think that when you are too busy with lots of detail, you can lose sight of the big picture and creativity can suffer. I think it is important to be able to take a step back and reflect on what’s going on and what can be improved. This year, I am making an effort to plan things wisely so that not too much is going on at the same time. Of course, we don’t have control over all the work that comes our way but, if we are honest, we do over a good part of it.
Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the first Piano Adventures® book release and 2019 will be the 10th anniversary of Faber Piano Adventures, Inc. Together, these highlight the importance of partnerships. Nancy and I reflect with gratitude to Frank Hackinson and his family for those important formative years, and to Keith Mardak, Larry Morton, Doug Lady and David Jahnke for our dynamic relationships with Hal Leonard. Foundationally, we’re grateful to our dealer friends at RPMDA with whom we share the adventure!
My goals for 2019: to be more kind, candid and clear. Kindness is explicitly personal, but human factors are at the heart of business. Being candid, ironically, is part of being kind; it allows others to grow. Being candid contributes to clarity. Fuzziness becomes noise. I learned this in the recording studio and in playing Mozart. It applies equally well to the art of business.