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Making a seasonal business work all year round



Nearly every business experiences some ups and downs throughout the year but truly seasonal businesses, such as those at ski resorts or beaches, often require a year-round strategy to ensure that they are running effectively, according to Entrepreneur Magazine. For these businesses, the bulk of their yearly income could come from only a handful of months, and it is necessary for them to budget well and spend their time wisely during the offseason to prepare for the next busy time.

Using the Winter Sports School in Harbor Springs, Michigan as an example of a business that actually closes their doors during the offseason, the family-owned business knows exactly how long they will be open during the year, and they understand that the money will stop coming in once they close their doors in April. Rather than taking a long break and scrambling to re-open in November, the family gets to work updating calendars, brochures, and the website so that potential customers will always have the most up-to-date information about booking. They also maintain a broad network of ski instructors during the summer to ensure that they remain well staffed.

Rather than closing up shop, some seasonal businesses find ways to either extend their season or pivot into a related field during downtime so that they can generate income all year. Delphinium Designs, a landscaping business, used this strategy to open a separate business during the winter months centered around holiday decorations. Their landscaping clients made natural prospects for the decorating, and it allowed the owner to split her year into different planning and execution phases around both businesses.

Another concept, a Christmas store, began completely transforming their store for each major season to bring in new customers all year without losing sight of their original idea.

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Embracing Life Beyond the 9-5: How to Truly Live Every Day



A Modern Guide to Living Fully.

In an era where the daily grind overshadows the beauty of existence, the distinction between merely existing and genuinely living has never been more critical. With longer working hours and unyielding routines, many find themselves asking: Am I living or just surviving?

For countless individuals, life seems to have become a monotonous cycle of wake, work, sleep, and repeat. The fleeting moments of joy are overshadowed by the looming pressures of modern life. The fundamental problem? Many of us have forgotten the true meaning of “living life to the fullest.” But all is not lost; the first step towards a more fulfilled life is recognizing the need for change.

The essence of life is much more than routine tasks and societal obligations. The choices made daily – from eating habits to entertainment preferences – might seem trivial, yet they carry profound impacts on our future. While the challenges of abusive relationships or unfulfilling jobs can be daunting, one thing remains clear: Every individual has the power to choose their path. Every decision, be it perceived as “good” or “bad,” molds one’s destiny.

While dreams paint our aspirations, they risk remaining just that – dreams. Transforming these aspirations into concrete goals is vital. However, setting unattainable dreams can be just as perilous, making the once possible seem impossibly distant. The balance lies in dreaming big but grounding those dreams in reality, ensuring they inspire progress rather than stagnation.

True success and happiness lie in bridging the gap between dreams and reality. This entails moving beyond the safety of mediocrity, challenging oneself, and taking actionable steps toward one’s aspirations. Resources abound for those seeking guidance on this journey. Still, the path is neither short nor easy and demands resilience, adaptability, and an unwavering focus.

The secret to truly living is embracing life with both its highs and lows. By determining our true desires, setting actionable goals, and persistently working towards them, we can break free from the shackles of monotony and experience life in its full glory. After all, each day is an opportunity – an opportunity not just to exist but to live, laugh, love, and leave a legacy.

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The Art of Negotiation: A Masterclass with Wharton Professor G. Richard Shell



Unlocking Success in Every Bargain—from Flea Markets to Corporate Deals.

In today’s dynamic world, where transactional interactions are a norm rather than an exception, the ability to negotiate is not just a skill but a necessity. While many view negotiation as a momentary confrontation, G. Richard Shell, a renowned lawyer and professor at the Wharton School of Business, challenges this notion. Shell posits that effective negotiation starts long before you sit down at the table.

According to Shell, the first cornerstone of a successful negotiation is understanding your desires clearly. “You have to know what you want most, what you want if that is not possible, and what you will settle for,” Shell advises. For cooperative people, this means doing the difficult work of outlining goals, discussing them with peers, and giving themselves permission to achieve what they deserve. Contrarily, competitive personalities often excel at demanding their desires but could benefit from empathizing with others and balancing their goals more prudently.

Shell argues that allowing the other party to make the first offer often results in more favorable conditions than anticipated. If you find yourself in a position where making the first offer is inevitable, Shell suggests presenting your best possible outcome—backed with solid evidence. In essence, the opening offer sets the stage, anchoring the range of possible outcomes. “Keep concessions small. Making big trade-offs too soon weakens your position,” Shell notes.

Active inquiry is another crucial element of negotiation. Continually asking questions can unearth surprising obstacles or opportunities, leading to unexpected but beneficial outcomes. After reaching an agreement, securing a commitment is the final key step. Shell believes this sequence—from establishing what you want to seal the deal with a commitment—is the backbone of any successful negotiation, whether it be in a market or a boardroom.

While strategic considerations are undoubtedly essential, the emotional and social aspects of negotiation often get overlooked. Shell’s take on maintaining goodwill, especially for those with aggressive negotiation styles, emphasizes the long-term gains of collaborative engagement over the quick wins of combative bargaining.

Successful negotiation isn’t about just that one moment of transaction but involves a structured approach that starts long before the meeting takes place. As businesses and individual interactions continue to be heavily based on negotiated agreements, the insights from G. Richard Shell offer a comprehensive guide for making every negotiation a win-win.

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The Network Effect: How Workplace Friendships Can Turbocharge Your Career



Building Social Capital in the Era of Remote Work and Pandemic Fatigue.

In an era where remote work, digital interactions, and corporate efficiency often overshadow in-person interactions, new research suggests that creating genuine connections at work is more valuable than ever. According to a recent press release, it’s not just about job satisfaction. Forming workplace friendships can significantly impact productivity and overall well-being. But how does one navigate the tightrope of personal and professional boundaries while seeking genuine connections? Here’s an in-depth look.

Imagine that it’s Monday morning, and rather than dreading the start of a new workweek, you’re actually looking forward to it. Why? Because the office isn’t just a place to grind away for eight hours—it’s a community where you’ve formed meaningful relationships.

Breaking the ice with colleagues isn’t just a social nicety; it’s a gateway to better teamwork and even professional growth. Whether it’s during coffee breaks or over virtual team meetings, casual conversations about shared interests or current events could be the building blocks of meaningful professional relationships.

Beyond casual talks, the role of social activities in enhancing work relationships is compelling. Participating in team-building exercises, after-work parties, or even volunteer initiatives provides opportunities for non-transactional interactions that are essential in building trust.

However, building friendships isn’t merely about finding common ground on hobbies or interests. Emotional intelligence, characterized by empathy and genuine care, is often the cornerstone of lasting workplace relationships. The subtle act of asking a colleague how they are doing, especially in these turbulent times, can go a long way in strengthening bonds.

That said, striking a balance between friendship and professionalism is crucial. As the lines between work and personal life blur, especially in remote work settings, respecting workplace policies becomes indispensable. Favoritism or the formation of exclusive cliques can be counterproductive and may even alienate others.

It’s not just anecdotal evidence that emphasizes the importance of these connections. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management revealed a powerful insight: employees with a “best friend” at work are not only more engaged but also demonstrate higher levels of productivity. The findings echo the broader trend toward re-humanizing the corporate environment, recognizing that financial incentives alone cannot sustain a motivated workforce.

As the work environment continues to evolve, the need for human connection remains constant. In a world increasingly defined by digital interactions and constant hustle, the value of workplace friendships goes beyond mere camaraderie. It is a form of social capital, a network that can lead to collaborative triumphs and individual career advancements. But like any form of capital, it requires investment: time, emotional intelligence, and, yes, a bit of courage to initiate that first conversation.

Is it worth it? The numbers and experts say yes. So, the next time you find yourself hesitating to join that virtual happy hour or team-building event, remember that the ROI on building meaningful workplace connections could be your career’s game-changer.

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WD-40: From Aerospace Marvel to Everyday Essential



The iconic solvent’s surprising journey from Cold War aviation to household garages.

WD-40 is as ubiquitous as sliced bread, often touted as the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to solvents. But few are acquainted with its fascinating origins, intimately tied to the fervor of Cold War aviation and the race for the stars.

Crafted for the Skies

It all began in San Diego in 1953, within the confines of a modest lab. Here, a determined trio of researchers from Rocket Chemicals were absorbed in an ambitious endeavor. Their mission? To engineer a solvent that would be the bane of rust and the ultimate de-greaser, serving the burgeoning aerospace industry.

In the wake of World War II, airplanes had solidified their position as vital military assets. Meanwhile, the Cold War had ignited a strategic tussle between the US and the Soviet Union, and the space race was rapidly ascending the list of national imperatives. Such was the backdrop when Rocket Chemicals embarked on creating a “Water Displacement” (WD) solvent, aiming to ward off moisture.

After 39 attempts that didn’t quite hit the mark, the 40th trial finally delivered the desired concoction. The Water Displacement-40th Formula, a title soon to be deemed rather lengthy, emerged in its shortened and now iconic form: WD-40.

From Missiles to Mufflers

Though initially crafted to shield missiles from the bane of corrosion, the wonders of WD-40 soon caught the attention of aerospace workers. In a twist that no one saw coming, employees began pilfering cans to reap the solvent’s benefits at home. However, instead of clamping down on these covert operations, Rocket Company chose a different strategy. They publicized WD-40 for everyday users.

Their decision to transition WD-40 from aerospace exclusivity to general availability was fortuitous. Fast forward to today, and the figures are staggering. Weekly sales exceed a million cans, and the fiscal year 2022 saw the WD-40 company boasting revenues exceeding a whopping $500 million. Whether in professional workshops or home garages, the presence of a WD-40 is almost inevitable.

A Legacy of Adaptability

WD-40’s ascent from its niche aerospace application to global household essentials underscores the unpredictable paths innovation can take. It stands as a testament to the value of adaptability, of recognizing potential beyond intended purposes.

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The Entrepreneurial Quandary: Scaling Success Without Sacrificing Sanity



The Stress Equation in the World of Startups: A Crucible or Catalyst for Growth?

In the fraught wilderness of entrepreneurship, where many ventures and few return unscathed, stress functions as both saboteur and silent partner. At its crux, the question endures: How do you inflate the balloon of business success without popping your personal well-being?

It’s said that our prehistoric ancestors had a simpler, if not necessarily easier, relationship with stress. Spot a predatory bear while gathering some Paleolithic snacks, and your fight-or-flight response could be the line between survival and becoming bear chow. Nowadays, the corporate boardroom has replaced the forest, but the bears? They’ve morphed into incessant emails, payroll uncertainties, and the looming specter of market irrelevance.

In a world vibrating with the tension of a pulled rubber band, what are the implications of chronic stress on the ambitious entrepreneur? After all, modern stress isn’t a sprint; it’s an ultra-marathon.

First, let’s bathe in the cold, hard light of statistical reality. A staggering 43% of adults show physical signs of stress, while up to 90% of physician visits harbor stress as a silent instigator. When spiritual leader Marianne Williamson solemnly declares, “The number one root of all illness, as we know, is stress,” one could argue that the connection between stress and health isn’t just correlative but rather alarmingly causative.

Entrepreneurs—those hardy souls willing to risk security for the lottery ticket of startup glory—are particular stress magnets. Your body might not discern between running from a carnivorous mammal and navigating a high-stakes VC meeting, but it reacts nonetheless. Elevated stress hormones, if sustained, become saboteurs, eroding your decision-making skills, creativity, and even your physical stamina. So, what’s the counter-strategy?

Here’s the tantalizing paradox: Stress can also catalyze growth, both personal and professional. But how? Well, pull up your mental blueprints, and let’s get to architecting.

The fundamentals matter, a trio akin to the Three Musketeers of Health: Exercise, Diet, and Sleep. They combat stress not episodically but systemically, providing your physiological systems the tools they need to parry the strikes of chronic stress.

Moving into the realm of the metaphysical, practices like mindfulness meditation, yoga, and even basic deep-breathing exercises serve as your anti-stress armory. Consider them akin to the magical elixirs and enchanted weapons in a video game.

Then there’s the workplace environment. As you scale your startup, you wield the chisel that shapes its culture. A wellness-focused work environment isn’t merely an altruistic endeavor—it’s an investment in collective productivity and morale. Encourage open dialogues on mental health, bring the possibility of a relaxation zone into fruition, or even devise team-wide stress management protocols.

Lastly, let’s talk about the under-recognized, often-underused superpower in stress management—delegation. The Herculean impulse to manage every microcosm of your business not only stretches you thin but sets a precarious example for your team. Learn to delegate effectively, and you liberate yourself to focus on high-impact decisions, the chess moves only the king or queen can make.

In a world swirling with chronic stress, the entrepreneurial journey resembles less a linear path and more a labyrinth, complete with its minotaurs of uncertainty and pitfalls of burnout. Yet, it’s precisely this challenging milieu that offers a forge for character and a test track for resilience. By wielding stress as a tool for growth rather than a ticking time bomb, you’re not just surviving—you’re thriving.

So, while you aim for the stars in your professional endeavors, remember that your most valuable asset resides not in your product, your intellectual property, or even your team. It’s you. So treat yourself with the same level of care and strategic focus as you would your burgeoning empire.

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The Federal Reserve’s Delicate Dance with Interest Rates



Navigating the Soft Landing Amidst Inflation Concerns.

The ever-evolving discourse surrounding the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decisions is a hot topic among financial pundits. These conversations often teeter between predictions of a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ landing for the economy. To appreciate this dialogue, one must first unravel the terminologies and comprehend the Federal Reserve’s principal objectives.

The U.S. Federal Reserve, as mandated by Congress, is primarily tasked with ensuring stable prices—translating to controlled inflation—and advocating for minimal unemployment. This dual mandate is accomplished chiefly through its control over interest rates. Here’s the simple rundown: Low interest rates can kickstart economic activity, offering businesses the opportunity to borrow and invest while also enabling consumers to capitalize on credit purchases. However, the allure of low rates can usher in the menace of high inflation, which is detrimental to both businesses and consumers.

To counteract escalating inflation, the Federal Reserve sometimes opts to increase interest rates, an act which dampens excessive economic activity. In the current financial landscape, the Federal Reserve has embarked on this very journey, heightening interest rates to rein in inflation. Initial data suggests a positive trend, indicating that these increments are successfully moderating inflation rates. But here’s where the debate intensifies.

Certain analysts and financial commentators caution that these hikes, though aimed at curbing inflation, might inadvertently damage the economy, potentially ushering in a recession. This adverse outcome, where the economy takes a downturn following the Federal Reserve’s intervention, is what’s termed a ‘hard landing.’

On the flip side, a ‘soft landing’ is the ideal scenario. It’s the art of tweaking interest rates to balance economic growth and inflation without inducing a recession. The Federal Reserve’s ongoing strategy seems to be geared towards achieving this delicate equilibrium, aiming to temper the economy and stabilize inflation while avoiding any drastic negative impacts.

The Federal Reserve’s strategy is a nuanced ballet of economic adjustments, all while trying to ensure the best outcomes for the U.S. economy. Whether their recent measures will result in a hard or soft landing remains a topic of fervent debate, but their mission is clear: stabilize inflation and ensure sustainable economic growth.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Mountain Creative Consulting

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Jamboree LLC

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Arc of Warren County

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

10:30 am College Day @ Corron Community Development Center
College Day @ Corron Community Development Center
Sep 27 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
College Day @ Corron Community Development Center
Join us for College Day at the Middletown Campus, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Sept. 27, in the Corron Community Development Center. Meet with reps from more than 40 public and private universities, including Bluefield[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Sep 27 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
10:00 am Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth C... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth C... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 30 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall Wild Edible Plants: Earth Connections Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. Join professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch to learn about the remarkable seasonal wild edible and medicinal plants of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This full-day hike will cover native and[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Oct 4 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 7 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Oct 7 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 8 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Oct 11 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 14 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
6:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 14 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA’s Jet Propulsion[...]