It’s been nearly 15 years since we sold our business in Oregon and moved to Kansas. This past week, we returned for the first time to the place our now 17 year old daughter was born. It was also the first time our little family spent in the state as Oregon tourists and not Oregon business owners. We started with a visit to our old stomping ground, Portland. Then we spent the week driving down the Oregon Coast into the Redwoods of Northern California, something we had never done before. Here’s a few observations made throughout the week.
The Business is doing Great!
Our first stop was visiting the business that brought us to Oregon. There are still a couple of my former employees working there. It was great to see them and reflect on all the changes over the years. In the last couple years the new owners have added on to the building. It was rewarding to see that everything we had originally designed into the building to allow for future expansion played out just as planned, including adding on additional service bays to the shop. Now, the General Manager is already thinking about their next expansion!
There is always going to be choices
In a perfect world I would have loved to have visited so many of the people that I considered friends when we owned the business. Many of them customers and former employees. But when you’re with your family and you are on a schedule you have to make choices. We chose to spend the limited time in Portland visiting some relatives that live there, family we don’t often get to see. As we neared the end of the trip, my daughter commented that the time she spent with our relatives was one of the favorite parts of the trip.
All work and no play…
One of the things I regret about the years of living in Oregon was that I spent too much time working in the business. I did get better at working on the business as the business grew, but still there were so many things we never made the time for. One example: we had visited Multnomah Falls dozens of times, but never took the time to hike all the way to the top. This trip we did. We had also been to a number of places along the Oregon coast but never took the time to simply drive down Hwy 101, considered one of the most scenic drives in the country. Now we have.
The Redwoods are amazing
You could make of number of different business analogies with the majestic Redwoods. It is hard to explain the feeling staring at a tree 1,000 – 1,500 yrs old and many of them are over the length of a football field tall. Maybe the message for the small business owner is there will always be a place for you. We saw a slug climbing up the side of one of these trees, it was huge for a slug so it was obviously very healthy! Plus there were thousands of smaller plants and trees thriving in the forest among the massive conifers that tower over them in size. It reminded me that small business is constantly evolving but there will always be a place for it.
What about you? Have you ever revisited a place where you previously lived? We hope you’re making the time to enjoy some downtime this summer. It is a great way to recharge your batteries and clear your head. As always, we value your comments in the space below.
Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach