Apr 03, 2018 by - Wayne Salmans

What I learned from Toys-R-Us

Are you pulling a Toys-R-Us right now in your business? 

Toys-R-Us, founded in 1948, used to be the hot stuff in the toy market, the go-to-spot for that item your kids just had to have. At the height of their glory, they were the leader in the baby and kid industry. Late last month, Toys-R-Us announced that they will be shutting or selling all of their 735 U.S. stores, and laying off 31,000 employees.  

Toys-R-Us must have had a moment a few years ago when they saw the surge in internet shopping. Sure, they created a website, but they basically continued business as usual.  Perhaps they didn’t realize what a fundamental change was actually occurring. Instead of leaning in, they said, “We’re going to be okay. We can just do what we’ve always done, and we’re going to be fine.” 

Instead, they are done.  

Are you holding back your business?

What are you resisting right now because you think that you are going to be okay? What are you not leaning into at this time in your life because you think your business is going to be fine, that you don’t have to get better? If Toys-R-Us can go from being this incredible company to gone, you better watch out! 

Today I am headed to a class to learn about internet marketing strategies, click funnels and all that stuff. I don’t want to learn it! I would love to not have to use all this stuff, because it sucks! I’m going to feel like an 85-year-old man sitting with a bunch of 15-year-olds. It is tough. It is a whole new game. But here is the reality: if I don’t get good at this stuff, I am going to get my ass kicked. If I don’t start applying this new technology, it is going to be too late.  

Some of you are so close to almost being out of the game, and you don’t even know it. Maybe you’ve always had a great referral business—that is going to change. Even if your product is superior, if something is more accessible, that is the option people are going to go with. You better lean in. What are you not getting good at? What are you resisting in your business? You know you need to get better, yet you are not doing it. You are about to get Toys-R-Us-ed. 

Toys-R-Us-ed  – /tois är əsd/ 
The act of becoming extinct because of the resistance to change. 

Now, of course you are saying, this is a bit of an over-simplification. We all know that our business, just like the Toys-R-Us empire, has many operations which affect our functionality. We have to have systems, we have to maintain staff, we have to create leads, and service customers with skill and a smile. But we also have to see the future. The future is here, right here, right now. Doing what we have always done won’t work. Missing opportunities for change because we are afraid, or can’t be bothered, is inexcusable. 

So, I am leaning in. There are all sorts of excuses as to why I shouldn’t be attending this class today. It is expensive, I have plenty of things I could spend my money on to grow my business, but this is priority. It takes my time. I have little enough time as it is—doing the best for my clients, creating new opportunities, and balancing family life, and I had to reschedule all of that today to make this work—but it is time well spent. It is way out of my comfort zone. It takes my energy, and it takes my effort. But in the big picture, all of those excuses pale in contrast to my goal of staying relevant and growing. 

Don’t get Toys-R-Us-ed. Lean in. Do the hard stuff. Empower yourself. 


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