Keep Calm and Carry On

Choosing positivity in the midst of chaos

Well, that was dramatic: The economy was booming and everyone was gearing up for a great 2020, and then: coronavirus. I sure didn’t see that coming.

I write this as the World Health Organization is declaring coronavirus a global pandemic and the stock market is in turmoil. I hope by the time you’re reading this, we’re all rolling our eyes that the outcry was overblown, but only time will tell.

As a relatively new business owner, I’ve appreciated the steadfastness of people in our industry as the world seems to devolve into mayhem. I haven’t weathered the storms many of you have overcome — the stock market crash of the ’80s, 9/11 and the Great Recession, to name a few. Though speaking specifically about politics, what Eric Cassidy from Valley Pool & Spa says on page 20 helped me find a good perspective. The gist of what he says is:

We are going to stay positive no matter what. If the attitude of upper management is that we’re bracing for something bad to happen, that feeling can trickle down to our employees and next thing you know, something bad is happening. It can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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It’s interesting that two of the topics we chose for this issue, long before any of us had ever heard of COVID-19, were valet services and long-commuting hot tub owners. During the last recession, many savvy hot tub businesses looked to their service departments for steady cash flow and have grown them into healthy profit centers (pages 22 and 32). And retailers have continued to expand while finding ways to carve out the lifestyle they want for their families (page 38).

As I’ve made abundantly clear — seriously, I can’t stop talking about her, I know — my days and nights are ruled by a tiny, maniacal (albeit the cutest ever) 6-month-old overlord. Throw in a global health crisis, and life can feel out of control. But as I look at my colleagues in the industry and see that you’ve all survived much larger personal and professional crises than these — and that you’ve found creative ways to mold your businesses and your lives in the midst of them — I’m hopeful and encouraged.

It’s cliché, but we can’t control everything — only our response to the things thrown at us. I am choosing to stay positive, focused and hopeful.

Megan Kendrick, publisher