Almost four years ago a wildfire burned through my land and destroyed much of my existing business and took with it many of our ancient 400 to 600-year-old cypress trees.
Evacuating customers, employees and my children is a memory I will not forget. Since then we have rebuilt. It has been slow and sometimes back-breaking work–literally and figuratively.
Most people would have folded their tent and moved on. We did not, primarily due to the tenacity of my partner who refused to be whipped by life’s circumstances.
I remember once– in the first few days when we were crossing sheriff lines to get on the property and continue fighting the fire to prevent further destruction–my 17-year-old daughter looked up at me with an ash and sweat covered face and asked me, “What is going to happen to us?”
She says the confidence with which I replied held her through the weeks and years to come. I simply said, “I don’t know exactly what will happen. But don’t worry–your dad and I are resourceful and we will think of something.” I believed it, so she did to.
It was a dark time and my partner’s need to stay busy and plough forward, rather than look at the overwhelming situation actually had us open for business again the following year. My ability to manage our organization in upheaval, procure almost a million dollars in funding, and rethink our business has allowed us to stay on our land, cut down probably 10,000 dead trees making way for new life, and build again.
This past Saturday, Austin and the surrounding area became the stage for flooding–in city streets and on rivers and creeks.
Overnight, the raging sound of my normally babbling creek was deafening. I had no idea what I would wake to Sunday morning as I began exploring our land to assess if we could open for business. We were blessed to simply have much debris to clear, but no significant damage.
Unfortunately, many others have not been so fortunate as land, cypress trees, bridges and homes were stripped from the banks of the Blanco River nearby. Today, I happened to read a passage from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich on persistence that I want to share with those affected by these storms and for anyone who is facing serious challenges in their own lives and businesses.
“A few people know from experience the soundness of persistence. They are the ones who have not accepted defeat as being anything more than temporary.”
I can tell you from experience that:
- YOU are more resourceful than you think.
- You have capacity to get through this. For years I looked at my land–devastated and charred; however, it is healing and so is my family.
- If you feel afraid, discouraged, and overwhelmed–who wouldn’t!
- This is only temporary, not permanent defeat. Your life will never look the way it did. Mine certainly does not. But it will get better again.
- Depend on others more than you ever have before and trust we are actually happy to help.
- Just do the next thing, don’t think about what might happen.
Most importantly be persistent and believe in yourself!
Here is a quick view of the water and flooding we saw in our area this past weekend.