Category Archives: Uncategorized


“Enthusiasm spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” 
Norman Vincent Peale

Do the Happy Dance“…

Step into the spotlight!  Do the right thing!  Say something!  Voice your opinion!

Shout!  Share!  Create Something NEW!  Try it even if it might not work!

Take action where there is need!

Take a deep breath and GO FOR IT!

Did you realize the difference between winning and losing could be only 1/100,000th of a second? Run to win!  Beat the odds!  Have courage when the odds are against you!

Do the work!

To paraphrase the quote at the beginning of this post, “If you’re not excited, why should I get excited?

Some things to think about, by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….

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Complete Home Energy Savings Guide

From Energy.Gov, a complete guide to home energy savings.  This guide includes a substantial section on the subject of home appliances.  Did you know that some of the biggest energy hogs in your home are your hot water heater, your refrigerator, and your clothes dryer?  

Click here to find the download link:  


When searching for a new home appliance, the price tag is only half of the story.  Part two is the annual operating cost.  If you would like help in calculating your energy savings, bring the old appliance model number to A-1 Appliance and I’ll be glad to help.  You might be amazed at how much we can lower your utility bills!


I am committed to helping you find energy saving solutions for your  home.  Look for my smart car parked UNDER the store sign and you’ll know that I’m in….


or give me a call….


Useful tips from Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it…

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Your Point Of View

I think it must be a law of nature, that for every point of view, there is an equally strong and opposite point of view.  The trouble is that we always think our point of view is right and must prevail.

I’m thinking about this tonight as I watch the President’s State of the Union address.  He certainly made his point of view clear, but immediately after it ended, the opposite point of view filled the screen.  


So who is right?  Can we ever know for sure?

Our world has become a very complicated place….and we are now surrounded by multiple opinions and points of view.  My hope tonight is that we will be more tolerant of those around us. 

Share….Listen…..Consider the flip side of the coin… might change your point of view!

Thoughts as I watch TV, by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it…..

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Don’t Re-Invent The Wheel

I’ve been discussing creativity recently, so this post is going to sound strange. But several times today I’ve thought about the futility (or total waste of time) of doing things in new ways that are already being done quite well.  The best use of our time might be using the existing methods, templates, or organzations that already exist.  Why mess with a good thing?  There is some truth in the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Creating something new is great, but remember that it causes discomfort, fear, and resistance. Change is never easy.  Allowing the “wheel” to roll meets very little resistance.  Do you reallly want to create roadblocks to progress?

Remember that 99% will always be followers.  It is the rare person who invents, leads, creates.  If you are an “outlier” or “entrepreneur”….keep doing what you do….we need you!  But remember that change will always be met with resistance.

Can you think of examples of ships that have gone off in a new direction, leaving the fleet behind, never to be seen again?  I’m trying to paint a mental picture here, so bear with me!  My point is that new is not always better.  Established methods get the work done!  Don’t be discouraged when no one follows you into the unknown.  Just realize that change is slow.

Maybe we just need to improve on what we already have.  Can you think of a process, method, or organization that could do the work better without being re-invented?  My challenge to you today is “Stay the course and focus on improvement.”  

Random thoughts at the end of the day by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….







What’s Inside?

I was reading an observation this morning about what we see as we pass most businesses and it triggered today’s post.  Think about your own experiences.  As you walk down a busy street, what do you observe?  You may pass a restaurant with tables on a street side patio or see a menu board standing in front of the entry.  Each view gives you a different sense of what this restaurant is all about.  Continuing down the street, you may pass a bank with revolving glass doors and a large sign on the top of the building….very little information here!  Next on the block is a retail store.  Most have very large display windows showing you what to expect if you come in.  Finally you pass a street vendor selling lunch.  You can see the preparation and smell the food.  You can observe others enjoying the food, and you can see the menu with prices posted….LOTS of information here!  I think I might like to stop here and have lunch!

Now shift to the virtual world of the internet or a particular website.  The experience can be very similar.  You might begin with a google search and simply find a listing of possible sites to visit.  As you continue, you may browse a particular site…..nothing much to see here…meh…on to the next virtual storefront.  Suddenly you come upon bright colors, movement, links to reviews, and sale signs with lots of pictures.  That’s pretty inviting….I think I’ll go in here, since I have a pretty good idea of what I will find inside.  I might want to buy what I’m looking for here!  

So I want to invite you to my storefront.  We have a lot going on at A-1 Appliance!  You can always find me near the big sign…. (usually parked on the ground)


When you come inside, you might find me cooking! 


We have amazing kitchen displays throughout the showroom!


When you need help with your next appliance purchase:


And when you need LOTS of information, you can visit our website at or our blog at

But wait, there’s more….we’re on twitter too!  You can find us   or me @nashvillesmart.  Come on over, we have a deal for you!  We create “Appliance Happiness”



Tom Burns invites you to “See What’s Inside” at A-1 Appliance, where I sell things essential to life as we know it….


How Do We Become Creative?

I’ve been thinking about creativity all day today.  I had a hard time coming up with a title for this blog.

Should I have called it “Creative People” and listed the accomplishments of the most amazing people I could find, or should I have said  “On Being Creative”….kind of existential…. or should I have asked “What is Creativity?” and gone into a lengthy dictionary style definition?

In the end, I decided to ask, “How Do We Become Creative?”  Are we born creative?  Is it something we can learn?  Certainly I think we can point to a genetic origin.  If we didn’t have creative ways of coping with our environment, we might not have survived as a species.  But as we evolved, we learned from trial and error, and creativity became a learned activity. 

You might wonder why I’m concerned with creativity.  I should hope you are too.  If it were not for creative minds, we would have no progress, no invention, no future to look forward to.

So, how do you become creative?  Start by observing everything….from the commonplace to the exotic.  Ask yourself where the idea came from.  Take the time to trace it’s origin.

As you look at items or concepts, you might ask, “Was it’s purpose to solve a problem?”   “Was it developed to entertain?”  Might it be used in a different way than originally intended?  Look around the room right now.  As you look at each item, don’t you wonder why someone made it?  Did it exist 100 years ago?  Will it exist 100 years from now?  What might replace it 1000 years from now?  Let your mind explore the possibilities!

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here, but as we think about creative ideas, do you keep some ideas and toss others based on a cost/benefit analysis?  If we think too hard, we may have never had skateboards or hula-hoops!  Some things just need to be created….we’ll think about the details later!

My challenge for you today is to look at everything with a creative eye.  From processes and routines, to products you use 24/7…. and give yourself permission to consider alternatives, different combinations, or a totally new idea.  Ask “Why”….or ask “Why Not?” 

Exercise your creativity….the future depends on it!


Musings from Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….


The Incredible Value of Social Media

Some days a blog topic literally jumps onto the page and demands attention! Today it seems to be social media.  The very first e-mail I received today referred to a post on Linkedin titled 

The 1 Thing Every Business Executive Must Understand About Social Media

Quite an impressive story!  And the most incredible part of the story is how common this action has become!  Are you taking advantage of social media tools like this….both as a sender and a receiver?

As my day started with the first cup of coffee, I read breaking news from around the world to business developments in downtown Nashville.  How amazing that within a few minutes I was able to scan a significant number of stories from global sources, read more details about the topics of interest important to me, share a business post with someone at work, and follow news about the snowstorm in the northeast….in real time!!!

Throughout the day I had occasion to search for information using google, I continued to follow news of the #blizzard, and shared business news with my network.  I used “Twitterfeed” to share a variety of posts from various sources concerning kitchen appliances, and had “virtual conversations” with a variety of people on facebook and through e-mail.  And none of this would have been possible only a few short years ago!  Just think what the near future holds in store for us!

Tonight and tomorrow, many people in the northeast will depend on social media sources like facebook and twitter to search for help and to offer help.  Emergency crews will be notified, and families will be relieved to hear that sons and daughters are ok.  

I am finishing the day after reading an article asking if I am ready for facebook graph search.  The article made an important point…that in the digital age, we are all on display 24/7.  That goes for us as individuals and for our businesses.

So I will end this post with a question:  What message are you sending out today?  

Thoughts by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….

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Your Blog as "Home Base."

Why do you blog?  There are probably as many answers as there are blogs….and the answers evolve over time.  When I first started writing my blog, it was focused on work related topics.  As I started the new year, I resolved to write every day.  It has become a place where I can write about things that I observed during the day.

How did this happen?  Last year I enjoyed following a friend’s photography posts on facebook.  He called it “Project 365” because he posted a new picture every day for a year.  He inspired me to carry a camera and to be more observant of things around me.  I was amazed that previously, while walking through the woods, I focused on the path….where I was going.  After putting a camera in my hands, I began to notice things around me that I had never seen before…..light, shadows, reflections, the landscape, colors, people, and animals.  I found myself wanting to stop more often to “see” where I was!  


I think writing a blog can have a similar effect.  I know that at the end of the day, I will have to record my thoughts.  It has made me much more observant of the people around me, the actions, the work, the “why” of what I do all day, and the analysis of things going on around me has been very thought provoking!   I am “seeing” my work from a different perspective.

So why do I refer to my blog as “home base”?  Because “home” is comfortable and safe.  It is a quiet place in my mind where I can connect the dots, find understanding, and organize my thoughts.

Today, I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage you to write every day.  By accepting this challenge, I hope it will open your eyes (and mind) to things you previously missed.  Even if you never hit the “publish” button, write for your own benefit.  

I hope you will try this experiment today.  Put a “virtual camera” in your hand as you go through your day….and “see” what you’ve been missing!

Blogging thoughts by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….

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You’re A Hero When It Works…

Unfortunately, most of us have a one-sided view of the world….ours!  It’s one of my pet peeves!

But more on that another time.  For now, we’re talking about business.  To a degree, it’s related to our one-sided viewpoint.  We celebrate success, but make fun of failure.  For every one that goes out on a limb, tries something radically new and different, there are a thousand who try and fail.  The reason many stop trying is the fear of ridicule.  How unfortunate that we don’t equally celebrate failure as one more step in the direction of success.  It’s much like the work of a scientist….multitudes of trials, experiments, hypotheses and tests….sometimes a lifetime of study hoping for a breakthrough. But the scientist does not stop when an experiment fails to prove the hypothesis!  It’s on to the next trial.

And so it should be in business.  Everyone loves a victory, But don’t forget about all of the hard workers out there trying something new every day!

Here is a good way to think about it.  A computer “speaks” in ones and zeros.  One=on and Zero=off. We think of things as “working” when they are on, and “not working” when they are off.  But a computer strings many ones and zeros together to operate.  Equating this to business, we might say success=on and failure=off, but when we put many of these together, we form the “code for success.”  Both are necessary!  

So I challenge you to go out on a limb…..imagine what could happen if….and just do it!  …and if that fails, do it again!  What will you try today?

Thoughts by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….

Speed Up….Or Slow Down?

As I was driving home tonight in “race track” traffic, I was thinking of the fast pace of life.

I had an early morning breakfast meeting at 7:30 (WOW….there is a LOT of traffic very early in the morning), followed by a very full day….(I went to lunch at 3:15)….followed by an after-work birthday party.  It’s 9:00 P.M. now and I’ve finished reading and responding to my e-mail and started writing my blog.

I think this describes most people.  For many it is further complicated (blessed) by children.  Hurry up and get everyone out of the house to school and work on time, followed by the rush of after school activities and being sure the homework gets done….and a thousand other things!  

If we could only go faster…..  but who says we have to continue at this pace?  Have you ever stopped to think about who and what has influenced you to do the things you do every day?  We are surrounded by invisible forces of politics, advertising, social media, peer pressure, magazines and tabloids screaming at us, urging us to be more productive, to buy more things, to look and feel better…but hurry, the sale ends tomorrow at midnight!  Don’t you start to think it will be total disaster if you don’t get everything done?  Even as I sit here watching the blinking cursor, I feel like I have to hurry up and finish this thought!  

 Just sayin’…..  Do we dare slow down? 

Thoughts by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….