Good times come with this certainty: They never last.

For businesses, that means formidable challenges (a weak economy, new competition, growing pains, staffing issues, a change in the marketplace) are always just around the corner, and unprepared business leaders face the potential for disaster.

You have to keep battling, innovating, reinventing, and outworking your competition. I know a little about the business challenges of Grand County. I started my business more than 30 years ago, a time when the shoulder seasons were 6-8 weeks long and we didn’t have traffic lights.

Navigating the ups and downs of a seasonal lifestyle takes resilience, vision and commitment. I learned a few things along the way that helped me face the day to day challenges in life, relationships and business.

You have to meet challenges head on and not be afraid to fail. Acknowledge fear, and move through it. Fear gets a bad rap, but exists for one purpose: to be conquered. I think it is important to take note of its presence, and then push through it. Fear is a normal protective response to the unknown. The trick is in not letting it dominate your psyche.

I also believe you need to commit to finishing what you start, because you have to commit before you even begin. If you start anything knowing you probably won’t succeed, then you won’t. You’re setting yourself up for failure. I believe you must show up with full commitment, complete faith, grit, and a belief in yourself.

Ask questions, seek the truth and open your mind to change. Some people’s response to challenges or obstacles is to stop asking questions or resist change. If you want to solve a problem, you have to open yourself up to the possibility that change is inevitable, and if you change your perspective, you may find a window to an otherwise undiscovered solution.

Remember that you have to be present to win. You can’t win a race if you’re not competing. So before you do anything else; before you commit to finishing what you start; before you acknowledge your fear and move through it; before you can ask questions; you have to show up. I believe 80 percent of success is showing up. 

It’s inevitable that, regardless of how well you think you’ve planned, life will throw you curveballs. They will come at you in every area, every industry, every walk of life. I’ve faced them as a dad, husband, entrepreneur, teammate, friend – you name it– but I don’t run from them. I’ve learned to apply some age old advice I learned on my first trip down Grand Canyon: ‘The only way out is through.’ The truth is, I love curveballs, because each one comes with a question: 

What the hell are you going to do next?