Monday, August 06, 2012

Does your business have a talisman? Would someone recognize it?

When I visited Branscome's Grocery in Blue Ridge, TX, a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by the attention to detail through the store. This store is family-owned and operated and the only grocery in town. It's part lunch counter, part convenience store, and part full-service grocery with a deli and a meat-cutting area.

Each area of the store was loaded with interesting detail and either products or memorabilia. Proprietors Randy Branscome and Aaron Branscome (father and son) brought pieces of themselves right into the store.

Aaron gave me a tour, and here are some of the photos I took.

I'm pretty sure Aaron rode this little John Deere tractor when he was small. That he's grown and managing a grocery store doesn't matter; family history is family history.

When I looked closely, I saw a talisman or two. In business, a talisman is the sentimental reminder of  the start as well as the road forward. A talisman should help you dig deeply for energy to keep going
when the days seem difficult. 

A talisman is what we hold onto to remind us that the past is real, that the work and our histories are real, that the time we put in has—perhaps—paid off. They are the things that motivate us to take giant steps forward. 
A bucket milker from their former dairy farm. 

  Corn husks for tamales. Yum...

Fresh produce.

  Lunch. Fresh hamburgers and hand-battered onion rings. Hands-down the best in town.
A comfortable place to eat.


  Texas salsa. 

This sign is from Branscome Sr.'s first grocery store, a much smaller business that folded around the same time as one of Affiliated Food Store’s bankruptcies, in the 1990s.

The details of the store--the personal reminders of the road taken--wrapped me in good karma, and even though I spent two hours at the store, I wasn't ready to leave. The details were so easy to soak in, and I wanted to find more.

I'm looking more closely at the items in my home and my office these days. Do they represent something I want to remember? Do they bring energy to my projects? Do they wrap me in the good karma I felt in Branscome's Grocery? If they don't, I'm ready to let them go.

What things have you saved? Do you display them? Would others recognize them as your talisman?

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