Fruita Area Chamber of Commerce
Fruita Area Chamber of Commerce
Fruita Area Chamber of Commerce
Fruita Area Chamber of Commerce
Welcome to Fruita, Colorado!
Named after the fruit trees William Pabor envisioned when he founded the town in 1884, Fruita now thrives in its historic role as an agricultural and business center. Winner of the Governor’s Smart Growth and Development Award for four consecutive years, the city’s charming “hometown” character and extraordinary quality of life are sure to captivate you. Located in Mesa county, off Interstate 70 at exit 19, Fruita is energized by the Colorado River and its breathtaking surroundings, highlighted by the Colorado National Monument.
From its diverse economic base and world-class sports and leisure activities to its bountiful fields of agricultural crops, Fruita’s offerings are abundant.
It may seem like a storm is trying to take you down, but this may be your opportunity to rise above! Without storms, we never have a chance to overcome, here’s a few lesson you can take away from failure and strife…
Weathering Storms and Working Toward Success
On Sept. 11, 1992, the strongest and most destructive hurricane to hit the Hawaiian Islands made landfall on the island of Kauai causing a path of destruction including water, wind and dirt. Hurricane Iniki hit the United States on the heels of the destruction caused by Hurricane Andrew in Florida and Louisiana. Iniki pummeled the south shore of Kauai destroying about 1,500 homes and damaging hundreds of others. Beachfront shops and businesses were also destroyed by 20 foot waves and sustained winds of 130 mph. In all, Iniki caused an estimated $1.8 billion in damage.
The storm lived up to its name Iniki, which means sharp and piercing winds in Hawaiian, as it battered Kauai with wind gusts up to 160 mph. The storm’s high winds accounted for much of the destruction. Twenty-one years later, Hurricane Iniki remains one of the costliest hurricanes to ever impact the Eastern Pacific.
One local shop keeper, a screen printer, was hit hard by the hurricane with hundreds of t-shirts drenched with water and stained with red dirt that had been churned up in the storm. What could have been a disastrous and devastating blow, causing financial ruin and ending the dreams of store owner Randy Williams, turned out to be a boon for business. Liking the reddish color and turning a seeming catastrophe into an opportunity, Randy developed a dirt dying process and sold the shirts with an, “I Survived Iniki” design. Since then, the company has grown to a worldwide brand known as the Original Red Dirt Shirts.
The company still has a factory in Kauai where they produce 10,000 shirts every month. At the other factory in Mesa, AZ, nearly 100,000 t-shirts are produced monthly. The dyeing process is 100 percent natural from the red dirt and other food grade products used to set the color through the design process to finalize the shirts’ appearance. Efforts by Randy Williams to overcome the challenges presented by Hurricane Iniki are leadership lessons for everyone.
Disasters Don’t Have to Be Disastrous – Just Ask Others
Everybody and every business is going to face challenges, obstacles and difficulties somewhere along the line. Challenges often times are the trigger points that help develop our character, hone our skills and inspire creativity. A Dutch proverb says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor the man perfected without trials.” Problems may arise and cause delays in schedules and plans but delays are not denials. In his effort to develop a nickel-iron battery, Thomas Edison tested over 9,000 experiments without getting positive outcomes. While at his work bench continuing in his effort to achieve success, a long-time associate expressed his regrets to Edison for not getting any results. Edison quickly replied, “Results! Why man, I’ve gotten a lot of results. I know thousands of things that won’t work.” Going it alone can be lonely and discouraging when working through difficulties. Seeking input, guidance, and counsel from trusted advisors can help you to see things from a different perspective, develop a strategy and stay focused on a solution.
When Life Hands You a Bowl of Dirt, Develop a Process for Making Shirts
You may need to ask yourself a series of questions in order to develop a process for overcoming the challenges, problems, or obstacles you or your team are facing. What good things are happening within the project that can be highlighted? Who needs to be notified of this problem or delay? Have others dealt with a similar problem, if so, how did they handle it? Are there other potential problems that might be created through our effort to solve the existing problem? Is there another viewpoint, solution, or perspective we have not considered? Sometimes, mind mapping a problem can help lead to a solution.
Optimism Beats Pessimism
In their Fall 2013 newsletter, Employee Assistance Program, LLC commented on research regarding optimistic people saying, “According to psychologist Suzanne Segerstrom, optimism is not just about feeling positive. It’s also about being motivated and persistent. In her book, ‘Breaking Murphy’s Law: How Optimists Get What They Want From Life – and Pessimists Can Too,’ Segerstrom explains that optimists tend to deal with problems head-on. Instead of walking away, they plan a course of action, seek advice from others, and stay focused on solutions. Segerstrom also says that optimists tend to expect a good outcome, and even when they don’t get it, they find ways to learn and grow from the negative experience. Optimists believe their actions shape their destinies.”
There Must Be a Pony in Here
It’s kind of like the story of the twin boys had who had developed extreme personalities — one was a total pessimist, while the other was a total optimist. Concerned for their children, the parents took them to a psychiatrist. First, the psychiatrist treated the pessimist. Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. But instead of being overjoyed, the little boy burst into tears. Confused, the psychiatrist asked, “What’s the matter? Don’t you want to play with any of the toys?” “Yes,” the little boy cried, “but if I did I’d only break them.” Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to discourage his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist was delighted. Then he climbed to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and excitedly began digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. “What do you think you’re doing?” the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. “With all this manure,” the beaming little boy replied, “there must be a pony in here somewhere!” Success can sometimes be buried beneath a lot of dirt, mud, and manure. Keep digging!
3 Lessons Learned From a Failed Jump
On April 5, 1988, an experienced skydiving videographer was filming an instructor and first-time student as they skydived from approximately 10,000 feet, when he realized he DIDN’T have a parachute!
The videographer had made two successful jumps earlier that day. With technology what it was back then, the recording equipment the videographer used was a heavy VHS deck stored in a backpack that he wore. The camera was unlike the smaller GoPro style cameras used today but was nonetheless mounted to his helmet in order to capture all the action. The videographer was the first to jump from the plane followed by the instructor and student. All seemed to be in order. Shortly after filming the other skydivers for a brief period and hurtling toward the ground at 150 mph, the videographer attempted to deploy his parachute only to discover he wasn’t wearing one!
The videographer was a veteran skydiver who had made over 800 jumps in his career. Strapping on a parachute would only seem natural to the casual observer. By those who knew the videographer and those present that day, it is believed his preoccupation with the recording equipment, the weight of the equipment itself, and fatigue caused him to lose focus and fail to properly prepare. The videographer free fell nearly two miles and as a result of his improper preparation, he tragically lost his life.
While most leaders and business people don’t find themselves in this kind of life and death scenario, there are some important lessons that can be learned from this story.
Repetition Can Create a Lack of Focus
When doing the same thing over and over again it’s easy to lose focus on what’s important. A skydiver with 800 jumps could almost fold and pack a parachute blindfolded. Strapping on a parachute before entering the plane is second nature to the veteran skydiver. Yet, from time to time, we learn of these unbelievable stories of someone failing to remember the most basic necessity of skydiving, the parachute.
What is the repetitive action in your occupation or business that you run the risk of forgetting to do? Is it failing to simply “ask” for the sale assuming the potential buyer will surrender to you at some point? Is it failing to prepare for the presentation that you’ve done a hundred times before?
Preoccupation Can Ruin a Good Occupation
The National Science Foundation estimates the average person thinks thousands of thoughts per day. With that much inner traffic, it’s easy to become distracted. Business owners and operators have much to think about and prepare for. With so much on their minds it’s easy to become preoccupied with things that waste valuable time. It’s critical to prioritize tasks to ensure the most important items get done first. To avoid becoming preoccupied with less important and irrelevant tasks, it’s good to develop a daily plan of action. Whether one chooses to use an electronic planner, a written to-do list or a hybrid of both, developing a good system will ensure greater success.
Being Prepared is Not Just For Boy Scouts
Preparing for the task at hand is one of the most important aspects of successfully completing the task. Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.” It’s easy to take short cuts when it comes to doing things one has done over and over again. Winging it might work every now and then, but to expect great results, one must prepare for success. What’s the goal of the event? What’s the desired outcome for the meeting? What does a winning sales call entail? Proper vision, planning, and preparation will create higher rates of success.
Mark Turner is President/CEO of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce. After 20 years of sales and marketing, he left the corporate world and served 12 years in the ministry as an Associate Pastor before accepting his current position with the Chamber of Commerce.
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