Editor's NoteInspiration When You’re Running on Fumes Sometimes, the tank gets empty. Filling up on great ideas should get you started again. Published 8 months agoon October 1, 2018By Deirdre Carroll Invision October 2018 Issue Share Tweet 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. Advertisement 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 Carroll EDITOR-IN-CHIEFdee@invisionmag.com Advertisement Five Great Tips From This Issue You Can Try TodayWant to better serve the patients in need in your area? Essilor’s got the lenses covered. (Manager’s To-Do, page 18)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)Business cards are not obsolete tech. We’ve got ways to get them out there. (Tip Sheet, page 54)Looking for a way to handle cold calling reps? Download this form. (Columns, page 60)Need suggestions for some new networking groups? Well, your peers have plenty of ideas. (Do You or Don’t You, page 67)Related Topics:Editor's NoteINVISION October '18 click to Comment(Comment)Up NextI Remember My First Time… Do You?Don't MissIf You Could Be Someone Else for a Day, Would You? Advertisement SPONSORED VIDEOSPONSORED BY SAFILOSafilo’s “American Eyes” Video Celebrates Elasta and Emozioni starring ECPs Peter Tacia and Heidi DancerFor the third year in a row, Safilo has looked to trusted eyecare professionals to star in its American Eyes campaign for its Elasta and Emozioni collections.Their latest testimonials are from Peter Tacia, O.D. and Heidi Dancer, optician, of Alma, MI, talking about two best-selling collections: Elasta and Emozioni.You may like An Eyecare Pro’s Visual Guide to Making Better Choices in 5 Critical Categories 16 Ways to Win Your Employees’ Love Without Losing Their Respect That Will Be $100Promoted Headlines Safilo’s “American Eyes” Video Celebrates Elasta and Emozioni starringECPs Peter Tacia and Heidi DancerSafilo Hoya: The Right Lenses for Sun ProtectionHoya Nano Vista—The Quintessential Line for KidsAlternative and Plan B EyewearEditor's NoteSome Things Are Just Meant to Be Even when they didn’t work out as planned. Published 3 weeks agoon May 2, 2019By Deirdre Carroll I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU all got started in the optical industry but I sort of fell into it. Looking back though, I wonder if it was supposed to happen.I was always a creative kid but I grew up thinking adults got jobs like teacher, lawyer or businessman (not that I knew what businessmen did). So, I decided to be a doctor at 11. I excelled at science and became a candy striper at my local hospital in high school. I vetted the colleges I applied to for their biology and pre-med programs and went to the one with the best reputation that gave me the most money…. And then my first semester, I failed calculus.It wasn’t just because I hated math; but also, because it was at 8 a.m. twice a week. That first semester I was a little too “Woo Hoo College!” to drag myself to something as boring as calculus that early with enough regularity to have a passing chance. After that semester, I figured if you needed calculus to be a doctor, maybe I shouldn’t be a doctor.I switched majors, hustled, and managed to graduate in four years despite that extremely lackluster semester. But as graduation approached, I was adrift. I didn’t want to be a businessperson or go to grad school — the only real options, I thought, for a girl with an average GPA and a B.A. from a liberal arts college. After a little research, I decided to move to NYC, go to fashion school, and get another degree in retail buying. I loved to shop and getting a job shopping for stores and not just myself sounded like heaven.It turns out retail buyer is just a sexy name for businessperson. Most never leave their office and use spreadsheets to analyze what sold well last season just to buy it again in different colors. Yawn.But fashion school did introduce me to a job I had never considered … fashion editor. I started working in magazines before I even graduated and the rest, as they say, is history.Today, I get to blend my interest in medicine, my passion for fashion, and my love of magazines to help you guys be better businesspeople. See? Meant to be.Beginnings are funny like that. Unlike the ECP businesses we highlight in our Big Story on page 40, the start of my career wasn’t as deliberate as intended, but for all of us it happened exactly the way it needed to. And looking back, could it really have been any other way?Best wishes for your business,Dee CarrollEDITOR-IN-CHIEFdee@invisionmag.comFive Smart Tips From This Issue1. Think graphic designers are overrated? Are you more DIY? Then these three apps are right up your alley. (Monthly Project, page 22) 2. Do we have a book for you. Imagine Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time … but for eyes. (EyeProGear, page 36) 3. Are fancy certifications or expensive equipment needed to bring in more kids? Well, that depends. (Special Feature, page 52) 4. Proceed like exceptions are the rule and never be surprised again. (Intelligence Cover, page 55) 5. Looking for ways to boost your memory, comprehension or retention? Grab a tennis ball. (Tip Sheet, page 57) Continue ReadingEditor's NoteSuch is Life, It Slows Down for No One Luckily we provide a few hacks to make managing your business a little easier. We can all use all the help we can get. Published 2 months agoon March 13, 2019By Deirdre Carroll DOES ANYONE ELSE feel like they were woefully unprepared for this year? We’re three months in and I still don’t feel like I’ve caught up.The new year comes around the same time every year … We know it’s on its way … It never just jumps out of nowhere to surprise us and yet, everyone seems to be scrambling to get where they should be by this time of year.It makes me wonder if we’ve become so accustomed to instant gratification — Amazon Prime Now, news as it happens, binging an entire season of a show in one sitting, gel manicures — that planning for things in the not-so-distant future has taken a hit.If you’re looking for some shortcuts to get back up to speed and even ahead of the game, check out our VEE Buying Guide starting on page 40. We’ve cut through all the noise for the most exciting products you should be seeking out. Our usual product features, starting on page 19, are pretty spectacular too. All in all, there are nearly 100 products in this issue for you to digest. No need to frantically lap the show floor trying to ferret it all out. We’ve taken the work out of it for you.It’s a good thing too, because there is nothing like business travel to throw a wrench in your routine. I’ve done a lot of travel in the first couple months of the year and while I love all the time I’ve gotten to spend with many of you on the road, it has definitely been a blow to my self care. Dr. Danielle Richardson to the rescue with her most recent column (page 74), with tips to tend to your wellness while traveling to Expo, or anywhere really.As much as we all sometimes would like life to just slow down a little so we can catch our breath, that isn’t an option. Hopefully, this issue of INVISION (and every issue for that matter) provides you a few hacks to make managing your business a little easier. Lord knows, we can all use all the help we can get.Best wishes for your business,Dee CarrollEDITOR-IN-CHIEFdee@invisionmag.comFive Smart Tips From This Issue1. Demonstrating lens options can be difficult; luckily there are a slew of new apps to help. (Better Vision, page 34) 2. You and your staff should be in pictures. We’ve got some tips on how to make that happen. (Monthly Project, page 20) 3. Loyal customers are worth their weight in gold and you could be cashing in. (Special Feature, page 56) 4. The inexpensive way to build product excitement right as customers walk in the door. (Tip Sheet, page 66) 5. Amazon Eyewear? Could happen… Prepare youself. (Columns, page 72) Continue ReadingEditor's NoteMy Name is Dee Carroll … and I Am a Pinner But in 2019 I am ditching resolutions for goals and making my dream board my reality. Published 4 months agoon January 21, 2019By Deirdre Carroll I’M ONE of those Pinterest people. You know the ones … We pin food we want to make, crafts we want to try, decor we wish we had, and worst of all, inspirational quotes. I would make fun of people like me, if I wasn’t one.But there’s something to be said for having stuff to aspire to. I’ve started looking at the things I pin with less envy and more of a burning desire to accomplish more. To make my virtual dream board my reality.This time of year the word “resolutions” gets kicked around a lot to discuss the things we’d like to achieve in the new year. But the running joke of course is that we never stick to our resolutions. So, I’m kicking the concept of resolutions out and making goals instead. After all, a resolution is just a synonym for something you’d like to do but probably won’t. A goal has a much more positive connotation and I am nothing if not a connoisseur of semantics.To accomplish my goals, and move my real life closer to my Pinterest life, I’m relying on that not-so-old adage, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten.” That’s why I love this issue’s Big Story on Contrarian Rules of Business. Sometimes you have to break out of your rut and throw conventional wisdom out. Sometimes you just have to be contrary.That is certainly what the 10 practices profiled in the Special Feature did. When traditional managed care plans weren’t working for them or all their patients, they came up with alternatives. No two are the same, but they have one thing in common: they have captured patients the business may have lost and turned them into repeat customers. A lofty goal many of you aspire to, no doubt.Just like my secret wedding Pinterest board, I am not going to share my 2019 goals with you, but I do hope you adjust your thinking on what you want to accomplish in the new year. Ditch the resolutions and set some goals. Make them quantifiable, set deadlines, and hold yourself accountable. I’ll check back in with you in December to see how we all did. Until then …Best wishes for your business,Dee CarrollEDITOR-IN-CHIEFdee@invisionmag.comFive Smart Tips From This Issue1. Presbyopes could be the greatest opportunity for growth in daily disposables. (Better Vision, page 24) 2. Are you asking your reps for year-end sales figures to benchmark your own turns against other retailers? You should be. (Manager’s To-Do, page 20) 3. Don’t promise excellent customer service, be an underachiever, and think small. Sometimes doing what seems counterintuitive is the best thing for your business. (The Big Story, page 28) 4. Talk till you’re blue in the face … then keep going. (Tip Sheet, page 45) 5. Beer goggles can be great for business. (Columns, page 47) Continue ReadingAdvertisementLatestTrendingVideos Ask INVISION3 mins agoHow Much Community Work is Too Much Community Work and and More Questions for June Benchmarks22 hours agoWe Asked ECPs Which Famous Names Bought Their Eyewear Tip Sheet23 hours agoStart Bold, Take Better Breaks and And More Tips for May Manager's To-Do23 hours agoApproach Your Business Like A Customer Would and More Manager’s To-Dos for July Calendar23 hours agoAn Excuse to Celebrate “Nothing” and More July Events Headlines4 weeks agoEyewear Executive Dies Unexpectedly Headlines3 weeks agoOnline Eyewear Seller Gets More Prison Time Headlines2 weeks agoWalmart and Optometrists Agree On New State Bill Headlines4 weeks ago2 Accused of Selling Counterfeit Ray-Bans in $2M Fraud Case Headlines2 days ago8-Location Eyecare Practice Closes Its Doors INVISION Podcast3 weeks agoPodcast: What the Heck is Marketing? And What Should ECPs Focus on to Attract New Clients? Sponsored Content2 months agoHoya: The Right Lenses for Sun Protection Sponsored Content2 months agoNano Vista—The Quintessential Line for Kids Sponsored Content2 months agoNew ‘Auxiliary Skin’ Transforms Eyewear into Seamless Sunglasses INVISION Podcast3 months agoPodcast: More Ways to Motivate Your Own Eyecare Business Team AdvertisementAdvertisement Most Popular Headlines2 days ago8-Location Eyecare Practice Closes Its Doors Headlines6 days agoLongtime AOA Leader and Volunteer Dies at Age 62 America's Finest6 days agoA Stunning Milwaukee Practice That Is the Culmination of 3 Decades of Constant Improvement Photo Gallery1 week agoIdaho ECP Takes on the Snow in Style … and More Brain Squad Members in Their INVISION T-Shirts Headlines6 days agoFDA Approves Drug for Diabetic Eye Disease Headlines1 week agoEssilor and Luxottica Iron Out Leadership Struggles Headlines5 days agoShopko Optical Acquisition Completed; 80 Stores to Become Freestanding Locations Real Deal6 days agoEver Feel Like Your Billing Policy Is Backfiring?