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The master bathroom was demolished. A black garbage bag was taped over missing tiles on the shower walls. The window treatments were 25 years old. The carpet… well, enough said – carpet in a bathroom is gross. Each morning, the homeowners went to another bathroom on a different level of the house to shower. This went on for three years. Want to hear the really amazing part? When they decided to fix it up, it took only one weekend and cost a few hundred dollars.

It wasn’t a matter of having the time. It wasn’t the money. An argument can be made for laziness. The truth was, after a while they didn’t even see it. It was only when they decided to sell the house that it became an issue. Only when they looked at the bathroom through a potential buyer’s eyes did the eyesore, and inconvenience become urgent.

Starting out in the parking lot, walk your store and see it through Ms. Jones eyes. Are you tolerating a broken doorknob, a stained carpet, a cluttered desk, a dirty bathroom? You can do this exercise literally, looking at the structure and design, or you can do it figuratively and examine your policies, procedures, cultures and attitudes.

What does Ms. Jones see that has become invisible to you?

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