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Be a Leader and Free Your Inner Boss |  October 14, 2015 (0 comments)


Miami, FL—Working with so many next-generation owner operators through the Continental Buying Group and Preferred Jewelers, I want to share a few lessons that I feel truly helped me the last 36 years working in our industry:

1. Be ready to learn. Don’t walk into a room or a showroom floor and think that you’re an expert just because you see something you like. Take advantage of the wisdom and experience of those around you who have been in the business for a very long time.     

2. Know when to say no to a request. You can’t always say yes to every project. If you say yes to too much, you can’t be involved in every project to the degree you would like.  Don’t stretch yourself too thin. You will be mediocre. Always strive to be the best.

3. Don’t be too proud to apologize. Oh please! In 36 years I have made my share of mistakes—big ones.  Sometimes, I do regret an exchange where I could have been nicer. I feel badly, not usually in the moment, but by the time I get home or have slept on it. But sitting and worrying over and regretting behavior for days is horrible. It’s much easier to just apologize.

4. Keep your mouth shut sometimes. OK, this one is really hard for me, but a must. When going to trade shows, attending seminars or motivational training, don’t speak. This is the time to recognize this is an exceptional opportunity to learn. What makes people successful is being passionate and curious and knowing how to listen.

5. Brace yourself for failure. Never allow failure to be your undoing. There are quite a few people who work incredibly hard, so a setback can be catastrophic. Luck and hard work has something to do with success, but it’s often the relationships you cultivate that help you re-group. I see it almost on a daily basis through Continental Buying Group and Preferred Jewelers International.

6. Inspire those around you. Trust me, I’m not always a patient person. (For those who know me, this is an understatement!) It is challenging to be a good boss. You must think about how to get others to grow. Too often the instinct is, if something is not done right, just do it yourself, fix it, and be slightly annoyed by somebody falling short. The challenge, however, is to teach the person how to do the task better and think differently.

7. Take breaks for the fun of it! Special in-store events between your employees (i.e. who can take the best jewelry selfie) make it fun to want to be at work. Give your employees the freedom to not only sell but also to have some of their good customers come in for a coffee or just to hang out at a cool store. Be the place you want to stop by just to see everyone and see what’s new.  

Andie Weinman, president and CEO of Preferred Jewelers International / Continental Buying Group Inc., was born with the “Jewelry Gene” working in the jewelry industry since she was only ten years old. Her first job was as a cashier in the opening of a catalog showroom doing a fantastic job even at that tender age. Andie holds a B.A. in musical theatre and a B.S. in marine biology from The University of Tampa. When she realized that seawater and marine biology were not good on her hair and she wasn’t quite good enough to make it on Broadway, the jewelry business beckoned. Andie has picked diamonds, sorted color stones, shot waxes and performed a multitude of jobs in the manufacturing of jewelry.  Her negotiating experience and prowess has given her the reputation as being tough but fair in her dealings with vendors. In 2012 the Indian Diamond and Color Association awarded Andie the Prestigious Doyenne Award of the Year.

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