Photo-1 Woodhouse Lynch is the great gem of a men's clothing store around the corner.

My father bought his suits there. They are so well made that I still wear those suits. And I always shop there first.

The comfortable shop is amiably and expertly run by a father and son team both named "Tom Lynch." Father Tom wears out brooms, pretending to sweep the sidewalk in front of the store. He does this so he's out on the street with a purpose. But the purpose isn't sweeping. The purpose is getting caught up in conversations about life with passers-by. It's great marketing. (It's "Broomstick Marketing.")

Woodhouse Lynch Will Never Close
Until the end of the month. An article in The Columbus Dispatch this weekend (with that great photo above by Chris Russell) reported that, yes, indeed Tom and Tom are indeed entitled to close their shop if they want to.

And they have decided they want to.


Of course, there are economic realities at play. Per capita suit purchase is down, now that you can come to the office in a halter-top and flip-flops. Suburban shopping is up with fancy malls that refuse to call themselves "malls." And consumer spending is currently in the cruncher. And, it's clear to me, we'll be in full recession, with the Dow in the low 7,000s by March 2008 (though the Obama administration will be doing whatever it can).

But, even with the economic writing on the wall for a small business, it takes enormous courage to shut 'er town.

The Courage To Change
It takes courage to close – and move to the next chapter.

In recent weeks, several people have described the same fear that keeps them from making big change in their lives.

Mainly, they worry what the world will think. One after another says, "If I close my business (or reject my long-standing profession), the world will think…" They trail off.

So I ask: think what?

They answer in a whisper, "…that I failed."

Au contraire, mon frère.
A friend told me several years ago that this fear doesn't really come to pass.

He had made enormous change in his professional life. Several times. He asked me, "Do you know what the world would say if you changed everything? What would the world say if you were to close Young Isaac?"

A lot of words came to mind. I thought my move would generate drama. Friends would be shocked. Clients would be disappointed. Employees would be destitute.

No, he explained. Here's what the world would say:


"And then the world will return to its daily life."

What Will Change Is Your World
To be sure, your own world changes when you change everything.

For example, if you are a banker and you leave banking to become an artist, the bankers will say, "Huh." They might envy you. They might think you lost your mind.

But, if they think anything more than "huh," you won't be there to hear it.

You will be standing among artists, listening more to what they say. 

So Did I Change Everything?
Kinda. Sorta. Four years ago, I had to change everything. Young Isaac wasn't growing like it should. I was frustrated.

Happily, rather than closing Young Isaac, I re-opened it, as the Chinese restaurants say, under new management.

What About You?
If the world didn't care, what would you change?