What They’re Thinking: Lorne Schmunk
Retail is about understanding human nature. Those individuals who understand that principle learn retail very quickly while those who don’t struggle. There is no better place to learn human nature than selling on a retail floor. What I am constantly learning about retail is it’s like a chess game and knowing what the next move should be.
I have a great-great-grandfather who was a frontier county sheriff and a deputy U.S. Marshal in the late 1880s. I have been researching material for a book over the past 10 years that I want to write about his life. It covers the outlaws he tracked down and brought to justice, the gunfights he was in and his determined perseverance in tracking down those who broke the law. His obituary said something to the effect that “he was the bravest man that those who worked with him had ever seen.” That has to be a great compliment for someone who worked in as hard an occupation as he did.
The most important influence in my life that shaped my character, values and motivation would have to be my mother. From a very young age, she raised my sister and I on one of the largest ranches in Western Canada. She cooked for as many as 25 workers three meals a day, seven days a week, year in and year out. She started at 5 in the morning and didn’t finish her work until 8 or 9 at night. My mother taught me perseverance through rough times, endurance as a path to success, a strong work ethic, responsibility for my actions, to seek knowledge through books (we didn’t have a TV for most of my childhood), and finding joy in life that was not necessarily linked to material possessions. She’s 86 and lives up Canada in a retirement home.