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Editor's Note

A Fortunate “One”

Being good at something is paramount, but don’t discount luck.

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WHEN I PLAYED golf in the late ’90s, I had a recurring “skins game” wager with a friend who was about as good as I was, but much, much luckier, I used to think. His errant shots would roll out from under bushes, as though pushed by small animals within; mine would not. His tee shots into trees would ricochet back into the fairway; mine would fall stymied. It got to where I really psyched myself out and lost the bet repeatedly.

Then I began a multi-year regime of practicing during work lunches and whenever else I could. Although I got better gradually in practice sessions, it took three years — about a thousand hours of practice — to consistently deliver the results under “pressure” of the skins game.

I remember the breakthrough: My approach shot had rolled up short of a sand trap guarding a green. “Unlucky,” my friend said to me. To get onto the green would mean traversing the bunker; a flubbed shot would end up in it. I had practiced this shot many times — and pulled it off. “That was a good shot,” I said to myself, “not lucky.”

While most of the sign pros we heard from would also rather be good than lucky (see page 26), it’s worth being open to elements of luck — it does exist. In golf, I’ve hit a number of bad tee shots and a number of good tee shots … and one that went into the hole. Lucky, good or a bit of both?

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5 Smart Tips from This Issue

  1. Consider the many advantages of designing in photo and drawing applications. (Tech Products)
  2. Compare aesthetics, setting and safety when choosing LED or neon as a light source. (Light ’Em Up)
  3. Bragging about your company is one of several ideas on how to attract new employees. (Heidi Tillmanns)
  4. Follow 10 simple rules to make your signshop easier to run and more profitable. (Maggie Harlow).
  5. Find out what makes perfect business partners. (Dale Salamacha)
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