Word Of The Week: INVENTORY


Anyone who has, or is responsible for anything of  value knows the word. 

Both a noun and a verb, it’s a complete and unblinking account or listing of what exists, tangibles, even intangibles. It’s a frozen moment in time, usually done because of some  greater, larger value.

Whether you are 8 years old and doing a daily check of your Halloween candy-as a precaution against marauding older siblings, a person in recovery looking to stay that way, or a businessperson needing to balance their books, it’s a tool to base further actions on.

As we are rocketing to another new year, it’s a big topic of conversation. Having a clean slate and a plan in place for the new year is an attractive thought, but it can feel like a daunting task to look back and honestly, thoroughly enumerate our actions-or inactions, and the results.  Here are a few things that many years in retail taught me to get started, and get through it:

  • Listing/recording is all it is.  There is no critical analysis,  guilt, or judgement,  in the proces of inventory.
  • Whatever is, “IS”.  You can’t re-write history, but you can learn from it.  And sort of a Darwin-ian corollary, if there are  aspirations to continue-grow-even thrive-you need need to first know all  of what “IS”.
  • It’s rarely as bad as you think it is. The guilt/procrastination is the worst.
  • You can’t do anything genuinely productive until you really know what “IS”
  • SURPRISE! A solid inventory also reminds you of all the good and positive things.

As a store manager, it was lots of paperwork before, then after, to reconcile.  As a human being hoping to keep evolving into the best person I can be,  it means revisiting those too-flip comments that hang heavy in the air, hours later. Since the refreshed home carries little physical inventory,  professionally it means asking other trusted professionals for their opinions, and their feedback

If you have read this far, chances are good that bettering  yourself is one of your goals as well. ALSO-that there is a fair amount of “good stuff” that you have long forgotten, or taken for granted.  

No matter if it’s for personal or professional reasons, taking an inventory is not just a great way to start the new year, it’s an even better way to wrap up the current one.  Take a deep breath, you’ll be fine.