Adversity and Resolve

Last Sunday, an early snow storm slammed Connecticut and its still leafy trees causing a record 800,000 homes to lose power. Most residents’ electricity (and heat) was out for at least three days, and some, like my in-laws, are still in the dark a week later. For those of us in the retail industry, this is another set back in a long string of adversity that began in 2008.

Us retailers have had a tough few years. The Great Recession has destroyed some business and slowed down many more. The housing crisis reduced wealth and drove mortgage and real estate professionals to seek other work. This year in New England, we had record breaking snow in January and February, a tornado that caused $90 million of damage in Springfield, Mass., and Hurricane Irene, the then record for power outages in Connecticut, with 700,000 customers losing power. We had an earthquake too.

Through all of this adversity, I am amazed by the resilience of my sales team. Each of these set backs has hurt their paychecks. Yet they remain dedicated to their profession and our company. What’s more amazing is each time we get through a disaster our team gets stronger for going through it together. We are always growing more resolute.

I see these trying professional times as forging a generation of resilient workers. The Great Depression created a generation of American workers who could do more with less, leading to a half-century of innovation. The Great Recession will again temper the resolve of the American professional. We are learning to make money no matter what the economy or Mother Nature throws our way. I can’t wait to see what we come with up when the wind shifts to our backs.