Want a Peek Inside a Distributor’s World?

Distributing, Inspiring No Comments »

While doing some research into Anderson Merchandisers, the company that supplies books, CDs, DVDs and more to Walmarts, Sam’s Clubs, and military bases all across the country and around the world, I came across this fascinating article: Entrepreneur Seeks New Channels as Media Goes Digital.

The company was founded in 1917 by Clyde Anderson when, in the wake of his father’s accidental death, he started a small newsstand in a makeshift shed. The fledgling venture grew to become Anderson Companies, one of the nation’s largest family-owned enterprises. I thought this statement was rather humorous and reflective of a true entrepreneurial spirit:

“Anderson says he doesn’t know how many companies the family owns currently, but estimates they’ve bought, sold and kept at least 150.”

Based on the article, current CEO and President, Charlie Anderson, is obviously a creative, forward-thinking business owner. Consider this statement related to the music industry:

“I do not see a music industry supported by 99-cents single downloads,’ he says. ‘That may still be around, but that will just be one revenue stream. We have to come up with many more.”

Articles like this inspire me to keep looking ahead, developing new ideas, and pursuing fresh opportunities. You have to be in touch with where things are at in the market, where things are headed, and how to create new ways of doing business that will appeal to consumers. That requires lots of “high level thinking”:

“Charlie is spending a vast amount of his time figuring out what the next generation of Anderson Media looks like…Charlie thinks at a high level, as does the rest of the family. He doesn’t think about little ideas, he is about big game-changing ideas.”

If we aim to be producers and culture-changers, we have to be willing to take the time to think and plan and try new things. This is both thrilling and scary! I am still learning more all the time about what works and what doesn’t (usually from plenteous mistakes!) in various business pursuits. But it sure is a fun adventure – and it’s great to be able to learn from those who have traveled the entrepreneurial path for many years!

Writing Advice from C.S. Lewis

Writing/Editing 2 Comments »

These insights from C.S. Lewis really resonated with me:

The way for a person to develop a style is (a) to know exactly what he wants to say, and (b) to be sure he is saying exactly that.

The reader, we must remember, does not start by knowing what we mean. If our words are ambiguous, our meaning will escape him.

I sometimes think that writing is like driving sheep down a road. If there is any gate open to the left or the right the reader will most certainly go into it.

This is definitely a challenge when writing, but then again, this is what makes writing such an adventurous pursuit! I have had my words (in my book, Pajama School) taken differently than I intended on numerous occasions. While at first I was tempted to become frustrated and to blame it solely on the reader, I am learning to view such experiences as an opportunity to refine my message and communicate with greater clarity what I really mean. The above quote from C.S. Lewis is a good reminder of how to do that!

HT: Justin Taylor

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