Tell Your Story

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One challenge that presents itself every, single month in creating a magazine is the simple fact that, despite all the warnings from arguably the world’s most commonly spouted cliche, people do truly judge it based on its cover. And that’s OK; in fact, we lean into that, and it’s what makes working on our cover every month so gratifying and enjoyable.

There’s a thoughtful balance in creating a successful cover that depends on a group effort between our designers and editors—the headlines need to work with the imagery, and vice versa. It’s a coordinated effort, all aimed to deliver a feeling or “vibe” for what people can expect in that particular issue of the magazine. It tells the story.

This month’s cover was a difficult one. The story it teases, “Designation: Essential” showcases the successes a number of business owners across the country have found during the last few months of crisis in the U.S. There are tangible strategies in there, but it’s also heavy on the inspirational side. When we decided to change our original plans for this month’s feature and write about what shops have gone through the last few months, we had one, clear mandate: no doom and gloom; focus on the path forward.

Times of uncertainty and unforeseen challenges tend to reveal a person’s true character—how we react tends to show our true selves. Ratchet+Wrench was founded on the concept of providing solutions to our readers, not dwelling on problems they face. You don’t need more reminders of the challenges you face, but everyone can always use a hand and ally in facing them. 

As people across our country face myriad challenges right now, it’s an opportunity to show who you are as a business leader and your business’s overall position as a community resource. Tell your story. You don’t need a magazine or coverlines to do that; you can tell your story in every interaction you have each day, every job you move through the shop, every school or church you volunteer in, every charitable or community effort you stand behind. Show who you are. 

Our use of the word “essential” in this month’s coverline (and the feature’s headline) is meant as a play on words. It’s not just a reference to a governmental decree, but also, hopefully, a reminder as to your essential place in the lives of the people you serve. You do it every day, and I know you’ll continue to do so. And as you do, we’ll keep sharing that story; it’s a great one to tell. 

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