Change is the new reality. This vacation was a big wake up call, and we all have to either surf the wave or drown. Read on for a bit of good-old fashioned truth telling ....
(to read part 1 of this article, the story behind the devasting vacation, click here. Both part 1 and part 2 are also available as audio files.)
You know what’s important in the story of my devastating vacation driving 2,500 km through the smoke of my burning province?
(in addition to my feelings of course :)
From a business perspective?
Well, as I was travelling through this, I thought to myself several times “I’m glad I’m not in the tourism or outdoor/travel industry right now”.
(I’ve been an entrepreneur/small business owner my whole life, and my parents owned a small business in the BC Interior, so yes, I’m very tuned into the problems and challenges they go through).
Notice that we left a day early (lost revenue for the hotel), decided not to rent bikes or paddle boats (lost revenue for the equipment rental company), left early from the beach (more lost dollars to the beachfront businesses).
The day we left, they announced the cancellation of two major triathlons that were scheduled in the area. (I’ve been involved in putting on an event that I cared about that had to be cancelled at the last minute. Not only is it a heartbreaking punch in the gut for the people that organized it with their blood, sweat and tears, it’s a economic blow to the region too.)
I’m also aware of the self-centredness of the thought I kept having: “I’m glad it’s not me”. It was probably a form of psychological self-protection. Because I’m not a tourist operator in that region, I can push the problem away. But in fact, I know I can’t. If anything, the whole lesson of the story (as I see it anyway), is the “it’s coming for you” feeling. The hard truth that there is no escape.
Our premier is calling it “the new normal’, and he’s right. Change is the new normal. There is no point pretending otherwise. As the great poet John Dunne said ...
“Do not ask for whom the bell tolls.
It tolls for thee.”
This is a big bell tolling for all us. There is no such thing as an isolated business in this country. We actually are all in it together.
There is no refuge. There is no escape. Change is coming, and the truth hurts.
Thinking “wow, glad that’s not me”, while human, isn’t actually real. It’s a form of denial.
One of the reasons I joined up with Tana and David in Hume Chalk is that they get this, and they are fearless when it comes to both revealing and confronting truth. Revealing and confronting truth is also the role of the bard, the writer, the communicator, and I love working with them and taking my place alongside them.
Another reason is that I don’t know anyone else I would want to turn to in times of crisis and change. Innovation, open to possibilities, clear-headedness, revealing a path towards the new future that is emerging, financial and business acumen, systems that really work and are designed for the human emotional beings that we are.
Do I know how to ‘fix’ or ‘adapt’ to this wildfire/smoke/business/economic/health crisis that we are all facing?
No I don’t. Neither does Tana or David.
But I believe in possibilities, in human beings, in answers arising, in light shining in the darkest of times. So do they. And they know how to work with people in a way where solutions do arise. Between the two of them, they’ve literally changed industries, made massive economic impact and turned multiple businesses around. Introduced whole new concepts and business models into the world. Cool incredible stuff, not by being lone heros, but by heartfelt engaging with people and drawing out innovation.
(and by being fearless, and true and honest).
And if I was a tourism operator in BC right now, or a business owner in any of the myriad of other industries that are in turmoil, and I was looking out my window and seeing that tidal wave of crisis and change coming my way, if my back was against the wall and I knew that what I was doing just wasn’t going to work anymore, I’d get Tana on the phone immediately.
Because that tolling bell is as loud as I’ve ever heard it.
Diane Currie Sam has worked for over 25 years across multiple industries to help her clients to initiate massive growth in their businesses, secure millions of dollars in funding and sales contracts, and initiate change through the power of strategic storytelling. She is the founder/CEO of “Be a Better Story” business services, and contributing columnist for Inc. Magazine. She has a Bachelor's of Science degree from the University of BC and a Masters of Arts in psychology from Trinity Western University.
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