Gotta' have faith

It's a new year, and that means it's time to clear the decks, reset and start fresh. Whether the previous year was good or bad, the change of the calendar gives us a chance to assess, build from past successes, and learn from challenges that may have bedeviled us on that last trip around the sun.

I'm always struck by how attitudes so directly impact the overall state of business. In my interactions with people at all levels, I always like to ask broad questions about how someone is feeling about the economy and their business prospects. I've long wondered whether optimism or pessimism about business conditions is more of a reaction to what is, or a self-fulfilling prophecy of what will be.

I think the answer tends to be the latter more often than not. Optimism breeds success simply for the fact that it puts people and businesses in a forward leaning, growth focused position. Pessimism naturally inspires a defensive, risk-averse posture.

Of course, I'm not saying we should all be Pollyanna and be glad for some of the rocky years we've had since the housing bubble burst in 2008. Some years are just rotten and we've seen plenty of those. But, I do believe it is important to not be weighed down by the memory of those years. It's easy to have economic post-traumatic stress disorder after the Great Recession, and think there is another disaster right around the corner. But, that kind of fear keeps businesses from hiring, growing, and ultimately, succeeding.

I'm always impressed by the businesses that have the courage, in tough times, to realize that rocky conditions are temporary and continue investing in new products and services. Sometimes, those things don't provide immediate return. But, taking the long view can really pay off when things get better.

In this issue of PHC News, we look ahead to 2015 in our forecast feature. We spoke to numerous people in the industry and polled our readers, to get an idea of what people are thinking about the coming year. I'm pleased to report that optimism is indeed the word of the day. Yes, there will certainly be some dips and stumbles in 2015, but the best way to get through those is to have faith that they are only temporary setbacks and better things lie ahead. So, keep the faith and keep moving forward. We look forward to hearing your success stories in 2015. Share them with us at

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