Monday, August 3, 2009

Take One Small Step

Well it's been too long since my last post. Sorry about that!

After a great family trip to Disney World and NASA, I returned back home to suburban Detroit. My small business soon thereafter faced some tremendous challenges that threatened its viability.
First, let's talk about the fun stuff. This was the easy part!
I took my family to Orlando for 10 days to have some fun this summer. We departed right before the 4th. We stayed at the JW Marriott for a couple nights and then the Marriott Grande Vista, two very gorgeous resorts. We could have just hung out at the resorts and had a great time!

We travelled with my in-laws. It's not what you might think. They're fantastic. This trip was a belated Christmas present to them. They live in central Missouri and we live in suburban Detroit. It's not easy to get together so this was a great opportunity to hang out and enjoy some fun places together.

We did Disney of course. We love that place. It brings out the kid in all of us. I also loved seeing the kids and their grandparents explore all the cool stuff that is Disney. The Magic Kingdom brought out the nostalgia of Disney. We still love the "Jungle Cruise" and "Pirates of the Caribbean". I can't help but think how quickly my kids are growing up. I'm glad the Magic Kingdom was not too kiddie-like for them yet.

At Epcot, we all were inspired by "Soarin'". I love aircraft and this attraction is a fantastic experience that simulates flying over the greatest sights of California. It was outstanding!

When we trekked throughout Animal Kingdom and admired the setting, animals, and of course the adventure rollercoaster "Expedition Everest". Disney's Hollywood Studios thrilled us also with the "Rock 'n Roller Coaster" and the "Tower of Terror".

I managed to get a few runs in the hot Florida sun. I actually like hot weather running, although not all the time. I certainly empathize though with my running friends from the South.

I sweated something terrible, but enjoyed getting the workouts in and especially liked hitting the lazy river for my post-run treat! At Disney, we must have walked forever! It was great exercise though and we mixed it up with plenty of drinks and pit-stops.

We took two side trips to Kennedy Space Center. The first was to tour the exhibits while the second trip was to witness the launch of the shuttle Endeavour. Unfortunately, the shuttle launch was delayed beyond our vacation time, so we missed the launch.

The NASA trips were amazing and invigorated our spirits with that pioneering sense of adventure and Amercian innovation. If you have not visited Kennedy (in Cape Canaveral) or Johnson (in Houston) Space Centers, you must! It's just a small step from home, but a giant leap ...

Upon returning home, my kids stayed with their grandparents in Missouri for a couple more weeks while I got back to work. Here is when the real fun began. Believe me, I'm kidding when I say fun!

I started my business 12 years ago in the aerospace and defense industries. The business is growing and we are fortunate to be expanding right now. Nonetheless, our largest customer called with a 911 that at first glance appeared to be a crippling blow to the business. By crippling, I mean lights out for good. Our team responded and as of now it turns out that all is well. In truth, it might be better than it seemingly was before. We managed to avert a crisis and in so doing, gained a better relationship than we would have had otherwise. Although I wouldn't want to repeat the stress of the last several weeks, I'm glad we tackled the issues and made for a better outlook as a result. You never know when you're going to get a curve ball in life or business, but when you do, you've got to step up and give it your best.

Running helps me in difficult times. I'm reminded of Churchill when he said "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in ..."!

There's been many times I've been very tired on a run and felt like stopping. We have all been there. It seems one more step is just not possible. We don't have the energy or will to continue. And then someway, somehow we don't give in. We take another step!
With each step we build our confidence and resolve. These steps strengthen us and help us grow.
Despite the turmoil of the last couple weeks, I know that my business and my life are better for it.
Orlando happened to be the easy run. Work then brought upon a very tough and unexpected long run at what seemed to be on a rocky course that was all uphill! However, we did not give in. We took another step. Believe me, I am so grateful!
Enjoy each day. Enjoy your runs. Live and run with confidence that each step will help you grow in so many ways.
Never give in! Take one small step!
All the best,