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Editor's Note

I Remember My First Time… Do You?

Looking back to the first time.

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I remember the first time I saw INVISION — Vision Expo West, 2013. It was my ninth VEW with another trade magazine and an industry friend showed it to me. He said, “Have you seen this? It looks really good. You should see if they need an editor.”

I heard the grumblings … “Who are these people?” “They’re crazy if they think they can launch another magazine in this industry!” “They didn’t even spell ophthalmologist correctly.” (To be fair, that first H is tricky.)

But it did look good, and it did need an editor. So I emailed David Squires, INVISION’s editorial director, and my current boss, and told him it was great but he needed an editor who knew the industry. Bold move to be sure, but he wrote back! He’d hired someone three days earlier. Bummer.

I followed INVISION’s progress and appreciated how it surprised the naysayers. (Still does.) Two years later, David wrote again. The editor was leaving—was I still interested? Of course! Three weeks later, I was the new editor-in-chief of INVISION magazine.

I could not be happier to be celebrating five years of this incredible magazine! In fact, I’m so happy, we dedicated the entire Big Story to the idea of joy in the workplace and how important being happy is to finding success in what you do (page 36).

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Speaking of what you do … you know what you do … And I know … But there are probably a lot of people you encounter day-to-day who don’t really get it. So, in Long Story Short (page 44), readers share their ECP elevator pitch; a couple of sentences that explain to a stranger what they do. Read ’em over … I’m sure no one will mind if you steal an idea or two.

I know my pitch: “I run the best magazine for independent eyecare businesses in the U.S. It’s called INVISION. You should check it out.”

Do you remember your first INVISION experience? I’d love to hear it. Drop me a line at dee@invisionmag.com and tell me the story of the first time you saw the magazine. Until then…

Best wishes for your business,

Dee Carroll

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

dee@invisionmag.com

Five Smart Tips From This Issue

1. Great marketing doesn’t just happen, it needs to be planned. (Manager’s To-Do, page 20)
2. Looking for a way to make your best customers feel “ecstatic” that takes less than 5 minutes? (Intelligence Cover, page 49)
3. Health insurance for you and your small team is NOT a fiscal impossibility. Learn more. (Columns, page 54)
4. Personality conflict on staff? Here’s how you should handle yourself. (Ask INVISION, page 56)
5. Full-length dispensary mirrors give customers a complete picture of themselves in their new frames. (America’s Finest, page 68)

Having built a career in service journalism, Dee has been covering the eyecare industry for over a decade. As editor-in-chief of INVISION Magazine, she is passionate about telling independent ECPs stories and can be reached directly at dee@invisionmag.com.

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Editor's Note

Inspiration When You’re Running on Fumes

Sometimes, the tank gets empty. Filling up on great ideas should get you started again.

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NORMALLY, WHEN I SIT DOWN to write this letter each issue, I have a million ideas and figuring out how to fit them all in 300 words is a challenge.

That wasn’t the case this time.

This month, I struggled with inspiration and creativity and I beat myself up about it (I also, no doubt, drove my fantastic designers nuts procrastinating on handing this last page in.) Eventually, I just figured I’d write about exactly that: the lack of inspiration.

It is certainly something we all struggle with upon occasion. Whether you’re in a “creative” field — like writing and editing are generally considered — or running an eyecare business, periodic bouts of creative voids are inevitable. I think that’s one of the reasons INVISION is so popular; we provide out of the box ideas to help ECPs get out of their ruts. But it wasn’t exactly helping me get out of mine.

Now, this sort of thing isn’t uncommon for me at this time of year. My muse always tends to desert me right before Expo time … It’s like the tank needs to be empty in order to be filled up again. Until then I am running on fumes.

Luckily, if you’re feeling like me right about now, this issue should help you.

Struggling with your more management focused duties? Turn to the Big Story on page 36 for 16 ways to win over your employees. Have some hard decisions to make and don’t know where to start? Why not take a swing from one of our decision trees on page 49? Just generally feeling burned out? Cruise by Dr. Danielle Richardson’s column on page 57.

When I’m feeling this way, I like to remind myself it’s only temporary. What about you? Drop me a line and let me know what you like to do when you’re feeling uninspired. I’m always looking for new ideas.

Best wishes for your business, 

dee signature

Dee Carroll
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

dee@invisionmag.com

 

Five Great Tips From This Issue You Can Try Today
  1. Want to better serve the patients in need in your area? Essilor’s got the lenses covered. (Manager’s To-Do, page 18)
  2. The number of people with visual impairment and blindness will double in the U.S. in the next 30 years. Are you up-to-date on ways to help them? (Better Vision, page 30)
  3. Business cards are not obsolete tech. We’ve got ways to get them out there. (Tip Sheet, page 54)
  4. Looking for a way to handle cold calling reps? Download this form. (Columns, page 60)
  5. Need suggestions for some new networking groups? Well, your peers have plenty of ideas. (Do You or Don’t You, page 67)

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Editor's Note

If You Could Be Someone Else for a Day, Would You?

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I am a curious person. Always have been. I was one of those kids that asked questions about everything. Turns out it is a good trait to have as a journalist.

I am incredibly curious about other people’s lives and what makes them tick. So, when I asked this month’s Buzz Session question – If you could live one “day in the life” of anyone, who would it be and why? – I was really looking forward to your responses (page 76). Being so interested in other people, I can’t imagine anything cooler than living someone else’s life for a day; seeing the world through their eyes, understanding their concerns and insecurities, and what brings them joy.

And boy, did your answers run the gamut! There was a lot of Donald Trump. I think some chose him earnestly, others ironically, but damn if I could figure out who. I was impressed by those who said Mother Theresa and wanted to know what it’s like to live so selflessly. Many named celebrities, understandably. A few even named their own relatives. What a perfect way to gain an appreciation for your loved ones’ point of view.

What surprised me was how many of you declined to name anyone, stating you were happy with your life. At first I thought it was a lame answer. After a day, you’d be back in your own life. How could you pass up that opportunity? For someone as curious as me it just did not compute. But in editing the piece, I realized that there is something beautiful in being content with who you are … not to mention the potential downside of becoming less satisfied with your own existence when you returned to it. So, kudos to you guys for being happy with exactly who you are!

I still think it would be pretty cool to be Blake Lively for a day though.

Best wishes for your business, 

dee signature

Dee Carroll
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

dee@invisionmag.com

 

Five Great Tips From This Issue You Can Try Today
  1. session with your co-workers. Less stress for everyone is a good thing. (Manager’s To Do, page 22)
  2. Do your patients worry about how blue light might affect their non-glasses wearing loved ones? (Eye Pro Gear, page 38)
  3. Attending VEW? Or not? Doesn’t matter. You should know about these latest products, tools and campaigns. (Special Feature, page 50)
  4. Know what a hot spot is? Know where yours are? (Tip Sheet, page 60)
  5. Novelty contacts aren’t just for the movies. ECPs are finding success, profit and fun selling them safely and legally. (Benchmarks, page 72)

 


This article originally appeared in the September 2018 edition of INVISION.      

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Editor's Note

I Am Not a Mother, but I Have Thoughts on Kids

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I am not a mother yet, and for better or worse, that ship has most likely sailed. But I do have lots of kids in my life… nieces and nephews, friends’ children, all the random kiddos I make goofy faces at in public places. And while I’m often one of those curmudgeons who just wants to eat, fly, shop, or swim in child-free peace, I do think kids are pretty remarkable.

They are pure id. Totally free of guile and contrivance. Though many seem like masters of manipulation, at the root of everything they do there is one underlying motivation – their own pleasure. It they want, or do not want, something you will know it. (Well, at least before they hit their teens. See Robert Bell’s column on page 68.) Such a single-minded focus on one’s own enjoyment is enviable, even if they do always seem to be inexplicably … gooey.

There is a point to my musings: Kids present a unique set of challenges as patients and customers. So, we’ve dedicated this issue to dealing with those challenges.

The biggest challenge they present is that children are the patients but their parents are the decision makers. Eyecare may be the only industry where parents might consider it acceptable to send their child unaccompanied to an appointment, balk at the cost of a prescription or insist a prescription is completely unnecessary. What’s more, because of the retail component, many of these conflicts become a lot more public than they would in other healthcare establishments.

So, what’s an ECP to do? Well in this issue we have several tips, tricks, and stories to help you deal with your littlest patients; check out the Big Story on page 38. Even if that “dealing” is just a co-misery-laden chuckle (see the special feature, Tall Tales on page 53, for that.)

After all, capture the littlest eyes and you could have a patient for a literal lifetime.

Best wishes for your business,

dee signature

Dee Carroll
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

dee@invisionmag.com

Five Great Tips From This Issue You Can Try Today
  1. Need a fun way to describe contact lenses to children?(Eye Spy, page 12)
  2. Have you trimmed the bacn? Your inbox will thank you. (Manager’s To-Do, page 20)
  3. A summer BBQ could help build your business; learn how. (Tip Sheet, page 62)
  4. Live and work in the same small community? Dr. Chani Miller has some advice for you. (Columns, page 66)
  5. Do you charge for small repair jobs? Maybe you should. (Ask INVISION, page 67)

This article originally appeared in the May 2018 edition of INVISION.   

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