Columnists

State of the Majors 2022: Reflections on Resilience

ColumnistsJun 21, 2022

State of the Majors 2022: Reflections on Resilience

After suffering a professional setback, columnist Peter Smith reflects on our ability to bounce back even when the hits keep on coming.

2021_Peter Smith.jpg
Peter Smith is an industry consultant, speaker, and sales trainer. He is the author of three books (“Hiring Squirrels,” “Sell Something” and “The Sales Minute”) and a columnist for National Jeweler. He can be reached at TheRetailSmiths@gmail.com.
Editor’s Note: This story first appeared in the print edition of the 2022 State of the Majors. Click here to see the full issue.

“Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.” So said Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight champion boxer and a man who administered a few such punches in his day.

I got punched in the mouth recently. I lost my job. 

Well, to be more accurate, my position was “eliminated.” 

The circumstances surrounding that decision are decidedly less interesting than my reaction to it; an exterior calmness, followed immediately by a deeply rooted sense of excitement at the adventures to come. Adventures unknown, to be sure, but adventures nonetheless. 

I thought afterward about one of my favorite Truman Capote quotes, “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” 

Except, by no reasonable standard, could my recent three-year stint be classified as a failure. I believe, in fact, my tenure at my former company might just be the best work of my entire career.  

So, what was it that fed my optimism in the face of a job loss, an event often compared to death in the way it can psychologically derail people? 

In “The Myths of Happiness,” Sonja Lyubomirsky wrote, “Recent research reveals that people who have experienced some adversity (for example, several negative events or life-changing moments) are ultimately happier (and less distressed, traumatized, stressed or impaired) than those who have experienced no adversity at all. 

“Having a history of enduring several devastating moments toughens us up and makes us better prepared to manage later traumas, big and small.”

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”—Truman Capote

Perhaps, as Lyubomirsky implies, I’ve endured sufficient upheaval, personally and professionally, to have formed the necessary psychological calluses to carry me through a job loss? 

Maybe it was something entirely different; a sense of a job very well done, a box ticked, an opportunity for personal reinvention? 

Or perhaps it was a quiet confidence, knowing that I am primed and ready to make meaningful contributions elsewhere in our industry? 

The newly found time could be a great opportunity to do some more store trainings based on my new book, “The Sales Minute,” or to speak to organizations about the hugely important job of hiring salespeople. 

It also could be that I now have the opportunity to work with smaller brands and suppliers to help get them on track, or the luxury of working with interested retailers, who might appreciate my perspective and counsel. 

Whatever the reason for my positive attitude and upbeat demeanor following my job loss, what is clear is that most of us have a remarkable capacity for resilience in the face of setbacks. 

That resilience can reveal itself in the face of the biggest obstacles, such as losing someone close to us, having a major health scare, breaking up with a significant other, or losing a job. 

As I write this, we are still in the throes of a global pandemic, Russia has commenced the invasion of its neighbor, Ukraine, the stock market is in freefall and inflation is at its highest level in 40 years. And yet, somehow, we will survive all this, pick ourselves up in the morning and get in the game. 

We will tap the necessary reserves of resilience to tackle the demands of our day, minor and major, because of our capacity to keep on keeping on, even in the face of potentially devastating setbacks. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

We’ll do it in our stores when the customer walks out without making a purchase, or when a vendor lets us down with a delivery that seemed important at the time. 

We’ll do it at trade shows when people fail to show for their appointments, or when our outreach efforts are rebuffed, or ignored completely. 

We’ll tap into that resilience when that perfect job applicant takes a position somewhere else, when our jeweler decides to move to another state, or when our best salesperson chooses to go work for someone else. 

In “The Happiness Advantage,” Shawn Achor wrote, “Because thousands of years of evolution have made us so remarkably good at adapting to even the most extreme life circumstances, adversity never hits us quite as hard, or for quite as long, as we think it might.” 

Resilience is not an antidote to disappointment or suffering. It doesn’t mean we won’t occasionally become derailed when we get punched in the mouth. 

It does, however, give us the capacity to pick ourselves up off the canvas and get back in the fight. 

Even when your job is eliminated.  

The Latest

Stock image of a polished diamond in tweezers
SourcingApr 18, 2024
Diamond Trade Remains Cautious Amid Economic Uncertainty

De Beers’ rough diamond sales were down 18 percent year-over-year in its latest round of sales.

LVAJWS24_carousel_images_1872x1052_1.jpg
Supplier BulletinApr 18, 2024
Discover History’s Hidden Gems at the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show

Sponsored by the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show

Kelly Yoch
WatchesApr 18, 2024
Watch E-tailer Collectability Hires Kelly Yoch

The Patek Philippe expert will serve as personal curator for the brand-focused company.

1-(3.18).JPG
Brought to you by
The Blueprint for Success in Scalable, Personalized Jewelry Retail

With Ho Brothers, you can unlock your brand's true potential and offer customers the personalized jewelry experiences they desire.

Interior of TAG Heuer Boutique on Carnival Cruise Ship
WatchesApr 18, 2024
TAG Heuer Opens Its Largest Standalone Boutique at Sea

The 553-square-foot shop is aboard the Carnival Jubilee cruise ship.

Weekly QuizApr 11, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this seven-question quiz.
Take the Quiz
 Stock image of a gavel
Policies & IssuesApr 17, 2024
NDC Prevails in U.K. Case Over Lab-Grown Diamond Advertising

NDC filed a complaint against Skydiamond for use of phrases like “diamonds made entirely from the sky.”

John Carter, 2024 Shipley Award winner
Events & AwardsApr 17, 2024
And the 2024 Winner of the Shipley Award Is …

John Carter received the AGS’s highest honor Tuesday afternoon at Conclave in Austin, Texas.

Jewelers of America Fly In Washington, D.C.
Brought to you by
How Jewelers of America Represents Your Business

For over 30 years, JA has advocated for the industry, fought against harmful legislation and backed measures that help jewelry businesses.

Visual from Tiffany & Co.’s With Love Since 1837 campaign
FinancialsApr 17, 2024
LVMH’s Q1 Jewelry Sales Fall 5%

LVMH said the company performed well despite an uncertain geopolitical and economic environment.

 B&D ribbon cutting in RI
MajorsApr 17, 2024
Stuller’s B&D Opens New Headquarters

B&D Sales and Service held a ribbon-cutting event for its new location in Cranston, Rhode Island.

Model Wearing Eat Cake Collection
CollectionsApr 16, 2024
Akaila Reid Launches ‘Eat Cake’ Collection

It’s ultra-feminine and filled with gold, pearls, and soft pastels.

Emily Highet Morgan, Emily Bennett
MajorsApr 16, 2024
Loudr Adds 2 Directors

Emily Highet Morgan and Emily Bennett have joined the agency’s team.

Stuller catalogs
MajorsApr 16, 2024
Stuller Releases First Lab-Grown Diamond Jewelry Catalog

Its updated book for mountings is also now available.

Headshot of Karen Rentmeesters
SourcingApr 16, 2024
Karen Rentmeesters Takes Over as Interim CEO of AWDC

She has been with the organization since 2010, most recently serving as its chief officer of PR and industry relations.

Joyce’s Jewelry
TechnologyApr 15, 2024
Judge Rules Jeweler’s Lawsuit Against PNC Bank Can Move Forward

Joyce’s Jewelry sued the bank after cybercriminals drained its accounts of nearly $1.6 million through a series of wire transfers.

Alfred W. DeScenza
IndependentsApr 15, 2024
Alfred W. DeScenza of DeScenza Diamonds Dies at 95

He is remembered by loved ones for his loyalty, integrity, and kindness.

Madeleine K. Albright
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
Madeleine K. Albright Jewelry, Pins Coming to Auction

Hosted by Freeman’s | Hindman, the sale will take place May 7-8.

Audemars Piguet circa 1985 emerald car watch
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
All of Sotheby’s ‘Rough Diamonds’ Sold in Less Than an Hour

The auction house said all 24 timepieces offered in its underground sale of rare and avant-garde watches quickly found buyers.

AGS Conclave 2024 logo Austin
Events & AwardsApr 15, 2024
10 Can’t-Miss Sessions at AGS Conclave 2024

From lab-grown diamonds and AI to the inevitable Taylor Swift mention, here are some of Conclave’s most intriguing educational offerings.

My Next Question webinar
Recorded WebinarsApr 12, 2024
Watch: What Jewelers Need to Know About Insurance

From cybersecurity liability to trade show coverage, insurance experts share tips on how to build the right policy.

Evil Eye Charm with Turquoise Disc
CollectionsApr 12, 2024
Piece of the Week: Lionheart’s Evil Eye Gemstone Charm

The charm is a modern rendition of the evil eye amulet that has been worn for thousands of years.

The Jewelry Symposium scholarship winners 2024
Events & AwardsApr 12, 2024
The Jewelry Symposium Announces 4 Scholarship Winners

Ahead of its trade show next month, TJS awarded free registration and accommodations to one jewelry professional and three students.

SRK Empire and SRK House
Policies & IssuesApr 11, 2024
SRK Exports’ Journey Toward Net Zero Impact

By the end of this year, SRK’s diamond manufacturing complexes will achieve net zero emissions, one of an impressive array of achievements.

AGTA logo
Lab-GrownApr 11, 2024
AGTA Bans Lab-Grown Diamonds, Gemstones at GemFair

Members can still sell lab-grown stones, it said, but only natural gems are allowed on the show floor.

Steven Rosdal
IndependentsApr 11, 2024
Steven Rosdal, Co-Founder of Hyde Park Jewelers, Dies at 77

He is remembered for his charisma, passion, integrity, kindness, and wit.

Macy’s Herald Square store
MajorsApr 11, 2024
Macy’s Opens Books for Possible Buyout

The retailer also appointed two new board members, avoiding a proxy fight from a potential buyer.

Sylvie Jewelry model
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
Sylvie Launches New Nature-Inspired Collection, ‘Tulira’

The bridal collection consists of 35 engagement rings and seven wedding bands.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy