Some are so immersed in creating demons that they are overcome by them. I mean powerful demons that shatter the confidence of their victims and blind them to bountiful business opportunities.

Things aren’t as easy as before, yet with it all, opportunities abound for success in the floor covering industry. Yes, even with the economy, Iraq, terrorism, and hot spots around the world, the industry has numerous bright prospects.

Yet some in our industry paint themselves into the corner. They throw in the towel. They create doom-and-gloom scenarios. They give up without trying. They so overwhelm themselves creating demons that they fail to see their strengths.

There are retailers who ignore the tools guaranteed to capture sales and profits. They sit and wait for business to come in instead of taking the bull by the horns and aggressively going after the business. They shut their eyes so tightly, they can’t see the plusses of the marketplace. They close the blinds, making it impossible for the sunshine to come in.

They don’t have a clue as to what’s really happening. They don’t realize that consumers are into their homes big-time. They are in love with fixing up their homes, redecorating. New and existing home sales continue to rack up big time figures, representing a superb market for every single type of floor covering.

Consumers are putting a high priority on their homes. They are plowing money into them for products that provide them with comfort, enjoyment and personal satisfaction -- just three of the many benefits floor coverings deliver.

Will they automatically come rushing into your store? Of course not, but what is important is that consumers are receptive to those who actively pursue their business, who advertise and promote their stores and products, and who truly serve their needs.

There is business out there for the floor covering retailer. Believe me, even the Big Boxes can’t hold a candle to floor covering retailers who work smart. There is an article elsewhere in this issue featuring two outstanding retailers’ strategies for busting the Big Boxes. Read it. You will see that you have more going for you than you might think.

There’s no magic bullet available. What is available: educational programs for retailers and contractors that cover all of the bases. To mention a few programs: certification, marketing, merchandising, salesmanship, installation, business management -- the list goes on. They are available from industry manufacturers, distributors, associations as well as independent organizations.

The bottom line: the world belongs to those retailers, contractors, distributors, manufacturers, installers, and cleaners who use their power to reach out to and to serve their customers.