Building Flexibility...


By Jan Guenther

The “wow!” stage has moved on. We remember the day, the hour when the World Cup at Wirth Park was cancelled and that was just the beginning. “We are all in it together” is a supportive phrase, but after a few weeks, we truly are in it “individually” as well. My personal and business challenges as a result of the Covid pandemic are different than yours. Similarity lies in the fact that 90% of ALL our lives are mightily affected; it is the details which are unique.

For me to discuss how the pandemic affects us is like suggesting a book to describe WW2. Too many differing plus sorrowful threads. Emotionally, physically, and economically, in micro (family and business) and macro (political and societal) Covid is reshaping all that is familiar and taken for granted. So, I will sidestep another discussion over Covid consequences and suggest that if possible, we look ahead to what CAN be accomplished during this unique time when much of life is suspended....

Work, but with more relaxed hours. Gear West is fortunate! Our web business ships useful ski stuff and few shoes, and our bike store remains open for bikes, accessories, and lots of service! The other businesses continue to a lesser degree with curbside pick-up for running shoes, xc gear and a tiny bit of new summer clothing etc. The alpine store sells a couple goggles for protection. I have been a retail store owner for 37 years, and suddenly operating with reduced mid-week hours from 8pm to 6pm was bizarre. I kept thinking it was Friday, daily. So yes, with reduced business hours and social distancing I have evenings free! But being slightly type A (ADHD?), i am concerned about wasting this little bit of breathing room fretting about… everything! I am way more exhausted with effort spent in preventing business failure than I am hustling in a happy way daily, all winter, selling xc skis to fun loving customers. As an owner, this current situation requires immense mental flexibility to adjust to varying degrees of fear and concern among our staff and our customers and continue to produce quality customer service and maintain profitability.  READ MORE

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