Springtime is weird. One minute it is blue skies, sunny and warm. The flowers bloom and colorful birds fill the landscape outside my window. The next thing I know the skies are filled with black clouds. The winds blow and the rain and hail pound against the same window that, only moments before, was so filled with light. It occurred to me this morning that this spring time weather mix is a good analogy for the current business climate.

Most of us were, in the not too distant past, enjoying a pleasant run of good luck. If you are like me you probably thought you were pretty smart to have gotten yourself into such a good position.  A lot of us made money because the real estate boom was driving the availability of liquid cash up. Everyone was buying, selling, and borrowing. It seemed real property prices knew no logical bounds (nor did most banks) and much of the nation reveled in blissful wealth. I’m not sure who decided to unveil the man behind the curtain, but he was revealed and the whole party came to a crashing halt.  That brought us to where we are now.

Today the media is reporting that the worst is over and that the economy is on the mend. This may be true, but where I live in Portland, Oregon (unemployment approx. 11%) things are still pretty bleak. At Laughlin, the storm has encouraged us to make some adjustments in the way we reach out to prospective customers to try to combat the obvious changes taking place all around us. The cool thing is that these adjustments have led us to innovation and new partnerships. Just as the spring always follows winter, these adjustments have begun to show signs of growth. May’s flowers are beginning to bloom and the field’s crops are beginning to show themselves. If it hadn’t been for the challenges we have been facing through the winter of “The Great Recession”, we might not have looked around at new ways of doing things and thus the potentially greater harvest that we are looking forward to now.

Yes, spring is weird, but it is also a time that makes us feel alive. The strangeness of pouring rain falling from what appears to be a clearing sky always is surprising but always fun to see and that is what seems to be happening right now as I look out my window.