The importance of staying in the game

Let’s be honest, folks. 2022 was a tough year that left many of us between that proverbial rock and a hard place.

But, to our credit, at our core, we are survivors. We are determined and resilient and have even been known to laugh in the face of adversity a time or two.

So, with that in mind, I hope you will entertain my sophomoric attempt to brighten your day with my idea of a board game designed specifically for those of us in the home furnishings sector.

In the spirit of full transparency, I admit to borrowing heavily from a few well-established and popular games, including Monopoly, Candyland, and Chutes & Ladders.

In trying to come up with a catchy name, I’ve considered Furnitureland, Snakes and Laminators, Monstrosity, and Really Sorry, but am open to your suggestions.

Every popular board game has tokens and mine is no exception. You get to play either as a retailer, a designer, a distributor, a rep, a factory owner or a showroom leasing agent.

The game comes with tokens, a pair of dice, a game board and 100 cards, equally divided among “windfall” cards (those are good and can help you win) and “consequence’” cards (those are bad and can cause you to lose).

Every player starts the game with the same amount of cash — $1 million — and the rules are quite simple. The player with the biggest wad of dough at the end of the game wins.

I’ve created the game to reflect our industry — fast-paced, demanding, often unpredictable, sometimes rewarding, sometimes frustrating, but never dull.

In fact, I am shuffling through the deck of cards which should make the game challenging.

Some of the windfall cards include things like: You just got a huge, unexpected order. Advance three spaces. Your competitor unexpectedly just filed Chapter 11. Move ahead four spaces. Your market introductions were huge hits. Advance three spaces.

But watch out — those Consequence cards can wipe you out. Here are just a few samples: The CPSC has a big problem with your product. Go back four spaces.

Your biggest retailer canceled 10 containers with no notice. Go back two spaces.

Your factory just told you your most profitable line is now a house account. Go back four spaces.

All of your suppliers are raising their prices by 25%. Go back to accounting to figure out how you can show a profit.

You just fired all of your workers with no advance notice. Do not pass go. Go directly to jail.

I’m convinced that every great board game becomes popular because it mirrors some aspect of life and I tried to make my game follow suit.

I was really hoping that my new game would be a home run, but I just got an email that may knock me out of the game.

My supplier just raised my price by 30% and to make things worse, my trucking company just called and said they can’t deliver it in time for the holidays.

I guess at the end of the day, it’s less about playing the game and more about staying in the game.

With that in mind, here’s to a wonderful holiday season and to staying in the game.

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