Frankly, I'm tired of hearing, "It's really tough out there." I'm tired of hearing that "floor covering opportunities suck." I'm tired of the mainstream media, which seem to consider it a sin to point out bright economic spots and opt instead to put a negative spin on positive news with comments like: "Of course, many economists feel this bubble could burst down the line."

Tough doesn't mean impossible. Tough doesn't mean there isn't business to be had. There are opportunities galore for sales - in many ways, more opportunities than have been around for a long time. If you think otherwise, you have fallen prey to those who dish out doom, whose tears blind them to the reality of the marketplace.

First of all, the housing market is roaring to another record year. New construction is strong. Sales of existing homes are strong. You're on another planet if you aren't aware that housing drives our industry. Like, wow, what a superb source of sales. Equally mind-boggling: the American public is increasingly home oriented. People are looking at the home as a solid investment.

All of this means that there's a huge pool of customers for floor coverings. Those remaining in their homes are interested in fixing them up, making them more comfortable, remodeling, replacing existing floors -- the whole ball of wax. Is this an exciting market? You better believe it.

The sales figures for existing homes continue to break records. People who buy existing homes spend money to remodel and replace. Is this an exciting market? You bet it is.

Starts and sales of new homes continue to break records (have been for several years). One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to know that a large percentage of the homes built three or more years ago represent a sales pool waiting to be tapped. These are people who are ready to change and upgrade their decors. Is this an exciting market? You better believe it.

Those who continue to view the economy as dead on its can are letting their tears and fears blind them to reality. The Gross Domestic Product soared 6.1 percent in the first quarter of this year. That is better than in all but four of the 40 quarters of the '90s boom, boom time. Statistics also show heavy consumer spending, month in and month out. And a lot of that spending is on big-ticket items.

The business is there for those who aggressively go out after it, and who give customers what they want. What residential and commercial accounts want are quality floors and installations, value for their dollars, complete service, sincere guidance, and wide selection. Price? It's way down on the list of reasons people buy.

Howard welcomes your comments about his editorials. He may be reached via e-mail at