On why I wrote, “Call of the Couch”:
“…The fact is, I still love the furniture business! I sold my first piece of furniture in my parents’ store when I was 15 years old and I’ve been hooked ever since…This book really started on my 60th birthday, surrounded by about a dozen friends and family members as we enjoyed a nice dinner at Porterhouse, one of my favorite local restaurants–though I am always disappointed by a lack of a wedge salad on their menu. It’s a steakhouse, after all! I was seated next to my daughter, Jodi. She and I began to laugh over the notion of “bucket lists.” She asked what’s on mine. I confessed four–and the third was writing a book to get my parents’ story on paper so they’ll be remembered for what they achieved…”
On what Max and Edna Schneiderman accomplished:
“…I wrote this book to share my family’s genuine made-in-America narrative of how two people who started with no financial resources achieved great success through their hard work and determination. My family, like our country–has seen good times and tough times. Difficulties come and they go–but successful people push on regardless…”
On Max Schneiderman’s business beliefs:
“…Dad had a firm core of business beliefs. They were his three pillars: 1.) Don’t spend money on advertising when word-of-mouth advertising is free. 2.) No sales. 3.) Commission selling is a bad thing. Those pillars worked well–for him…”
On growing up in the business with my father:
“…Russ and I loved sports. We both played basketball on the high school team. Our grocery and hardware business had grown and Dad had expanded the furniture store. Twice a week, Dad would hire someone to go with him to deliver furniture. Then once the truck was empty, he would stock up on groceries and hardware and bring them back to the store. Every night, Russ and I had our duties in the grocery store,but twice a week we also loaded the truck with my dad. On those nights, Russ and I would come home from basketball practice, gulp down something for dinner, stock the grocery shelves, load the truck with furniture, and then do our homework. It might be 11:00pm or midnight before we finished…So I finally worked up the courage to talk to him about these two nights a week of loading. My dad was intimidating.
You know, Dad,” I began, “Russ and I come home from basketball practice. We grab something to eat, and we stock the shelves. Then we help you load the truck. It gets late and then we do our homework. Our grades are suffering.”
He said, “Alright, let me think about it.
I was feeling pretty smart. The next day I went to school. As I was walking in, the coach came up to me and asked, “What’s going on? Your dad called and said you’re no longer on the team…”
On what I’ve learned:
“…My business “truths” aren’t fixed rules. They are not presented as a manual for how to run your company. Good books filled with essential knowledge abound and they shouldn’t be ignored. The discoveries I’ve made emerged anecdotally–in unexpected moments and often from unanticipated sources…”
To read more about “The Call of the Couch” click here.