Target – An Epiphany

By Melissa Tosetti

The epiphany came to me the moment my client said, “and there’s a Starbuck’s right there.”  She was talking about the diabolical marketing geniuses that go by the name of Target.

The client I was speaking with is a doctor with three children.  Her husband is also in the medical profession.  There’s an understandable level of stress to their lives.

She visits Target to purchase necessary items, but every time she walks out the door, it’s with at least three or four items she didn’t walk in to buy.

“I just love Target”, she said.  “And there’s a Starbuck’s right there.”

That’s when I had the epiphany that Target is her sanctuary.  Not just hers, but a large portion of the U.S. population.

Target, and stores like Target, is not just a place where you “have” to go to make purchases for necessities such as toothpaste and dish soap; it’s also a place you want to go for all the other wonderful items that change with the season.

Target gives us a 15 – 60 minute break from our never-ending to do list.  Because we have to walk in the door for the necessities, we give ourselves permission to spend more time there relaxing and “looking around”.  Permission we would NEVER give ourselves to go to a café, sit down for 15 minutes, relax and have a cup of coffee.  But, at Target, we’re there to buy toilet paper so why not go ahead and grab a Frappuccino at Starbucks, that’s right there, to sip as we meander around the store?

Of course Target is in the business of making its store a pleasant place to spend time. The more time you spend there, the more likely you are to purchase more. By making their store a pleasant sanctuary, they are setting the mood to increase their sales.

This realization comes back to something I’ve become evangelical about over the years.  We’re TOO BUSY!

I understand that, especially with parents, there’s a period of time that we don’t have as much control over our schedules as we’d like.  But, it’s imperative that we look for signs for when we can begin to control our schedules.  To say “no” to things.

Busy-ness is a habit.  We become used to filling every free space on our calendar with another event, task or errand.  Without the habit of blocking out space for free time, we’ll fall into The 20 Year Sprint.

A few years ago I woke up and realized I was too heavily involved in the PTA at my son Dante’s school.  The time, energy and stress I was spending on the organization prevented me from being able to spend time with my kid!  Um, that’s not how it’s supposed to be.

As my work load became heavier with The Savvy Life and helping my husband a few nights a week at his martial arts school, the person who wasn’t getting my time and attention was Dante!  It was unacceptable.  I gave notice to the PTA that I would be quitting at the end of the year.

Now, Tuesday and Thursday nights are blocked out on our calendar reserved for us to just hang out together.  It has to be something really important  for us to schedule over that time.

The moral of the story is that nature abhors a vacuum and without purposefully scheduling down time each week, you’ll fill that space keeping you in that eternal sprint.

Target is a great place to purchase necessities.  Just don’t use Target as a destination for “me” time.  It’s an expensive habit that very often results in clutter which is fodder for an article unto itself.