• Photo by Shane Plummer

Industry Insider: Lemonade Stand

Winter-geddon 2021 hit Texas.  It is pretty serious actually.  Below-zero weather is very extreme in these parts.  This once-in-a-generation winter storm has caused electricity blackouts throughout the state, frozen pipes that are yet to thaw, fatal accidents and unrest untold.  

The show producers of the 2021 Bonanza Cutting canceled their show just two days into the event. For the safety of competitors and animals.  A wise decision in my opinion.  As events have unfolded, there will be a lot of fallout affecting millions.

As if 2020 wasn’t enough, 2021 has Texans shaking our collective heads.  A look ahead in the forecast, mid 60s next week!  Got to love Texas weather.  It has its extremes, but it is never boring.

This week has been a setback in disruption of business.  I am grateful that our people, livestock, and facilities (for the most part), have fared circumstance as well as we have.  I am seeing things online that haven’t been as fortunate.  I saw a post on Facebook which included the professionals at Weatherford Equine rescuing a horse stuck in a freezing cold tank and rehabilitation back to wellness.

I am seeing the goodness of people and this area coming out in droves.  Warming stations, messages of food here and water there, brings warmth to my soul.  I know there is a lot of darkness and tribulation going on, but if you look for it – there is so much goodness and light.

It will be above freezing for the first time in late afternoon, then to go down again through the night.  Tomorrow, the full thaw and back to “normal.”  I hope the winter storm has a light touch for those affected.

I don’t know if there will ever be a winter storm like this again, in this area, in my lifetime. Last time it happened here, was 60 years ago.  I’m good with that; don’t want to go through it again.  But I know there will be other trials, other “bumps in our road.”

As this long hard week comes to an end, there is opportunity a plenty coming for some.  This Plummer is green with envy for plumbers next week. Their services repairing broken pipes from this freeze will be a boom for their businesses.  It is just reality.  Where there is crisis, there is opportunity.  For those that know me, I speak Chinese from living in Taiwan for two years.  I really mean it when I say, where there is crisis (危機Wéijī), there is opportunity (機會Jīhuì).  See the same character in both words?

Can you find opportunity through the hard times?  As an employer, do I take notice on those tending to business when the going gets tough? You bet I do.  As a friend, do I take notice of those that show love and concern?  Of course. As a citizen, will I hold the powers that be in their sworn duty?  Yes. As a husband and father, I am taking notice of any deficiencies I can see in our lives that I’ll be more prepared for as needed next time?  Seeing the good.  Finding opportunity.  Silver linings.  Lemons to lemonade.  Trying at least.

Do you know who Noah McVicker is or more accurately said, was?  If you don’t, I wouldn’t feel bad.  I bet you do know his handiwork though.  Noah was a chemist.  His company was hired by the Kroger Grocery Company to come up with something that could clean the coal soot off of wallpaper.  He made a putty that did just that, but it was short lived because washable vinyl wallpaper become commonplace after World War II.  This business defeat because his product was no longer needed could have been debilitating for Noah, but as it turned out, was all the greater opportunity created.

Noah had learned that a schoolteacher had been using his putty with her elementary class as toy putty, molding the pliable substance into various shapes which would maintain their form.  By simply adding colors to this putty, a whole new reality opened, and Play-Doh was born.  From crisis to opportunity, Noah McVicker kept going.

We all love a good rags-to-riches story.  We just love the stories of redemption.  At least I do.  Where some saw a failed race/halter horse, the Jensens’ saw Doc Bar.  Ever heard of him?

Life isn’t all about winning or money, success doesn’t only mean fortune.  It means what it means to you.  As a horse breeder, my passion is producing quality.  I can only measure that by what we produce, what they go out and win or reproduce.  As a competitor, it is measured by finals and money won.  As a stallion manager, did I add value to my client’s stud or did the mare owner get the foal of their expectation.  I want to win with what we do.  I am learning in this big thing we call life, perspective and never giving up, is success.  I tell my kids, you can’t fail if you don’t quit.

If you live in Texas, keep your head up.  Got to get back on the horse.  If don’t live here, please pray for Texas.  This really did get serious and it’s not over yet.  I try and keep my focus on the light, if I do that, it keeps the darkness away.  It also keeps my lemonade stand open for business.