The best view comes after the hardest climb

May 4, 2020Doug Peters, President and CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

I wrote that headline, but it’s stolen. You probably know I’m a fan of quotes – especially when they’re inspiring. And I can’t even tell you who said this one. Sounds like something my dad would’ve said.

But it’s true – think about what we’ve been through over the last however-many weeks. Like a grueling climb, we got tired – largely from worrying about things beyond our control – and admittedly the air got a little thin at times.

For small business owners, that’s not unusual. In fact, operating a small business is a lot like a climb – and the view does and will get better. It’s cliché that has sold a gazillion inspirational posters over the years.

The Abilene Chamber has been at your service for 112 years. Consider us your business Sherpa, and mountaineering is our specialty.

What’s cool about your Chamber is that it’s chock-full of people who love your business. People like you, who get up everyday to continue the climb. Those who climb the mountain one step at a time. Your peers, surrounded by a trained, professional staff who’ve been up and down that mountain a few times.

Some of you have made it to the top and elected to go climb another mountain. Regardless of who they are, I’m convinced that they’re born with something in their spirit that the rest of the population just doesn’t have.

And those are the people we celebrate each year during National Small Business Week, a designation made by the President of the United States consistently since 1963.

This latest climb has been a doozy. The summit has been in the clouds and out of view for those of us who’ve looked tirelessly for it. And even though the US Small Business Administration has moved the date, your Chamber – your cheerleader – your champion – is going to celebrate you anyway – this week.

And that’s why starting today, your Chamber is going to proceed as normal, bringing attention to what you do and why you do it, despite the ridiculous challenges of recent weeks.

Yes, it will be virtual. Yes, it will begin with a Mayoral Proclamation Monday morning at 11:00 am, and yes we will be screaming from the rooftops about why you’re so special.  Especially now.

The week looks like this:

TUES., MAY 5: We’re celebrating all day on social media. Join us as we highlight previous winners and nominate your favorite small business. We’ll also be hosting a seminar “Communicating and Building a Brand Through a Crisis” for FREE for Small Business Week.

WED., MAY 6: Join us for a virtual Wake Up Wednesday Small Business edition with virtual Ribbon Cuttings for businesses without a storefront.

THURS., MAY 7: We’re back on social media with more highlights and videos from our small businesses. We’ll also be hosting another webinar for small businesses thanks to Eide Bailly, LLP. Join us at 10:00 am for “Managing your finances and budget through a crisis.”

FRIDAY, MAY 8: What kind of impact do small businesses have on our economy? Join us as we share the impact.

Additional details can be found here.

But you know what else we’re going to celebrate? Something that we all take for granted, and something that we’re all thinking about and likely talking about now.  Like, right now.

There are a lot of unsung heroes who help small businesses with their climb, those behind the scenes who provide an essential service to help you continue your climb and those climbing with you – your employees – to continue to scale the mountain face.

I’m talking about our childcare providers. Have you ever stopped to think about what exactly they do for us? And the impact – even indirectly – that they have on our businesses?

We reached out to Cynthia Pearson, president & CEO of Day Nursery of Abilene to ask her to pen a short article that captures the essence of childcare. Those who teach our kids to love to learn. Those who ease our minds, knowing our most valuable are in good hands.

And boy, she nailed it. I hope you’ll take a moment or two to read Cynthia’s article in this edition – it can also be found here.

Soo much is happening around us, and even though it feels like time is dragging on, it’s actually happening quickly. Our climbing conditions continue to change yet you keep on climbing.

Take a few minutes this week to encourage those around you to celebrate small business, the very backbone of our economy. Let’s take a moment to pause on the mountainside to look at how far we’ve come (in this case, it’s okay to look down). Let’s cheer for ourselves and be thankful that you were born with that spirit that drives you to take another hard step.

Regardless of your ability to engage, we’re still here – making sure our community knows about you and your trek. Because your Chamber is all around you, helping you to take those difficult steps, clearing the pathway to the summit, providing you the tools to make the climb doable and encouraging you along the way.

After all, that’s what good Sherpas do.






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