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Try or Do
Posted 6/4/2018
Author Mario Macaluso
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Back in the mid 1980’s I had the opportunity to see Leo Buscaglia speak. Leo was a famous author and lecturer. Although I learned many things from his speech, there are two things he said that have stuck with me all these years.

The first is to share something new that you learned each day.

The second was a quote from Lao Tzu, the famous ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He wrote, “to know and not do is not yet to know.”

Most of the self storage owners and managers I know are people who know and do. They do not just ‘try’ to do something, they do it. It may take some time and there may be challenges along the way but they always find a way to make it happen.

In the self storage industry are fortunate to have many great resources available at our fingertips. These resources allow us to learn more, do more and become better people both in and out of the workplace.

For example, the Self Storage Association (SSA) and Inside Self Storage (ISS) provide valuable information for owners, managers and investors. These resources are often free or have a nominal fee.

The SSA offers the Certified Self Storage Manager (CSSM) program. It advances the professionalism of the facility manager’s role through various standardized courses. The program encourages continuing education and practical experience throughout a manager’s tenure in the industry and is even available through the SSA Online University.

I recently had the good fortune to speak with Marti Jordan, Regional Manager for Absolute Storage Management, Inc. Marti shared that the CSSM© course reinforced the standards she learned from Absolute Storage Management. She found the course content to be relevant and engaging.

“CSSM certification is a great opportunity for managers who want to improve their performance, enhance their skills and develop new ideas,” shared Jordan.

Inside Self Storage annually hosts the ISS World Expo, our industry’s largest conference and tradeshow. They also offer Self Storage Talk, an interactive online forum that provides community engagement and educational programs.

Through its online store, ISS provides a wide range of educational and informational products, including employee-training materials. Offerings include digital and softcover books, videos in on-demand and DVD format, audiocasts, industry reports and business tools and more. Some are produced in-house by the ISS team, which has more than 60 collective years of experience in self storage; others are by well-known industry experts including Bob Copper, Marc Goodin, Jeff Greenberger, Mark Helm, Brad North and members of Colliers International.

Other resources are available from the Self Storage Legal Network. One good example is the new book titled Everyday Business Forms for Self Storage Operators, by D. Carlos Kaslow, Esq. and Scott Zucker, Esq. This e-book provides addendums and forms to help operators resolve issues that frequently arise at self storage facilities.

If you need a break from the books and are ready to get active out in the field, you are in luck. Don Clauson, President of Strat Property Management Inc., shared some great ideas just a few weeks ago. Here are a few of his suggestions for getting involved and improving your community visibility:

  • Volunteer at a local blood drive, homeless shelter or food bank as a team
  • Designate your facility as a drop-off point for donation drives
  • Sponsor a local youth sports team and attend a game with your staff
  • Offer free use of your facility grounds for community gatherings like scout meetings
  • Loan your moving truck to a worthy cause

No matter how you choose to get involved, be passionate about what you are doing! There is always some aspect of our life we can improve; we either choose to do or not. By taking time to better ourselves personally and professionally, we are doing rather than trying and by bettering ourselves, we can better serve others.

About the Author

Mario J. Macaluso is senior vice president for SBOA Tenant Insurance (SBOATI). For five consecutive years, SBOATI has been rated the Best Tenant Insurance by Inside Self Storage. SBOATI is administered by Cornerstone Insurance Producers who is licensed where the product is sold and is dedicated to providing quality insurance products that are compliant with state law. For more information, call 1-800-792-0345 or visit

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