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Editor's Note

Expect the Unexpected

“You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather.”




“EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.” This is what my husband said the night before my first half marathon. He repeated it the next morning when my Garmin watch decided to reboot as we were walking out the door. I repeated it to myself when I rammed my toe into a grate around mile 9, and again when exhausted runners stopped running right in front of me.

I completed the Miami Half Marathon holding hands with my sister. We ran the 13.1 miles (well, 13.4 due to the crowd – expect the unexpected) together. The smiles on our faces as we crossed the finish line say it all. Afterward, we recovered by the pool with our family in the Florida sun. What could be better?

Well, I’ll tell you. I could have eaten closer to the race start. Drank less Gatorade. Poured water on my wrists, not my entire body, to cool down. Instead of focusing on the good, I started leaning into what I could have done differently.

When reflecting on big events like vacations, celebrations, or industry tradeshows, I tend to focus on the “woulda, coulda, shouldas.” If I would have said that, or we could have gone there, or we should have done this… It’s the perfectionist in me always wanting the best possible experience.

I started to go down this rabbit hole when I received my copy of the January/February issue. In last month’s Editor’s Note, I mentioned our bigger, bolder, better book. The book was indeed bigger (and bolder and better), but due to a miscommunication with our printer, we ended up with saddle stitch binding vs. the planned perfect binding. I wasn’t expecting that.

I opened the January Brain Squad survey results, anticipating reflections of the negative thoughts swirling in my head. Instead, I saw Kristi Duvall’s response: “This is my favorite issue yet!” See other reactions in our new Inbox section here.

The binding of the book doesn’t matter to Kristi. Yes, it’s important to me, but what matters most is the expert advice on topics that will help you succeed. Just like my race finish time would never negate the incredible experience I had with my sister, the presentation of the magazine could never outshine the content inside.

For me, “expect the unexpected” isn’t about focusing only on the positives. It’s about being mentally agile and overcoming unforeseen circumstances.

Smart Tips From This Issue

  1. Utilize a third party’s expertise to gain a competitive advantage. (Special Feature, 26)
  2. Provide value by diversifying your application offerings. (Brain Squad, 36)
  3. Need inspiration for diversifying your application offerings? Grab ideas from the 2023 Best of Wide Format Award winners. (The Big Story, 42)
  4. Reduce color shifts by minimizing temperature and humidity fluctuations. (Big Business, 63)



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