museums&MORE Fall 2012
Editor’s Letter: The Profit Puzzle

As someone who loves words, I enjoy doing the occasional crossword puzzle.

Sometimes one word after another is filled in with relative ease and the whole thing is completed, leaving me feeling like somewhat of a genius. It’s fun when that happens, but it’s not much of a challenge.

Then there are the puzzles where I start out feeling smart and then run into a string of clues that stump me. So I try to fill in some of the words around the challenging clues, and once I have enough letters filled in, the answers usually end up becoming pretty clear and I go on to complete the puzzle.

And of course, there are some puzzles that I absolutely can’t figure out. I come at them from every angle — filling in a letter here and there, but never enough to answer the clue. Those are the times that I’m tempted to flip to the answer in the back of the paper, simply because the option is there and I want to make things a little bit easier.

When I see the answer, sometimes it’s embarrassingly obvious and I realize I was completely overthinking things instead of having the confidence to just fill in the box and move on, not worried if I’d made a mistake. Other times there is no way I would have ever known that particular word, no matter how long I sat there and thought about it.

Retail can be the same way, now can’t it?

It’s basically a series of questions on what will work or not — some with glaringly obvious answers while others are harder to crack. Maybe it’s rearranging your store more often or bringing in Fair Trade product, a topic we cover in this issue.

You can’t flip to the back for the solution, but even if you can’t see them, there are answers. Through trial and error, at some point all the blanks will fill in and you’ll see how it all fits together. If it were easy and there was no challenge attached, everyone would do it, and the retail rewards might not feel quite as…well, rewarding.

It’s easier said than done, of course, but to bring all this back to the puzzle — you can fill in the blanks as you go. Hopefully this issue will give you a clue where to start.

-Abby Heugel

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