The Worst and the Best is Yet to Come

Someone said to me recently, “Just when we survive the pandemic, then we’re hit with skyrocketing inflation and a likely recession… when will all this ever end? When will things finally get back to normal?!” I just smiled because my experience has shown me that “normal” is anything but black and white. Neither is it a straight line but rather a curvy, hilly, often mountainous journey for which we cannot see around the next curve and in which there is every shade of gray.

I’ve been in business for myself since 1995. I’ve been in the dental field since 1977. If we are truly heading into a recession, this will be the third one I have lived through. In addition, I remember hard hits to the dental industry from the onset of the AIDS epidemic in the 80’s, waterline contamination issues in the 90’s, and who can forget the exposé in Reader’s Digest in 1997 entitled, “How Dentists Rip Us Off,” outlining just how unscrupulous and untrustworthy general dentists in America really were. I’ve experienced the skittish nature of business growth when stock markets were volatile, when wars broke out in foreign countries, when interest rates changed, and when we rolled over into a new millennium. I’ve seen the meetings and training industries disrupted several times with 9/11, SARS, and COVID. There has been an over-abundance of hygienists followed by a serious shortage, followed by an abundance once again.  And so on, and so on, and so on.

I have learned that this is simply life. This is business. It is a road filled with uncertainty and is not for the faint hearted. But in learning to expect and navigate these twists and turns, curves and gray areas, we strengthen our courage and sharpen our faith to thrive in any circumstance that life throws in our path. Great leaders and professionals step into the fear of the unknown and unknowable, seek out mentors and coaches to encourage and guide them, and embrace their vulnerability and mistakes along the way.

We will survive this economic downturn as we always have. By living through it, we will grow stronger and even more prepared for the next new thing that is surely coming. Step into the gray. Set your feet on the winding, curvy road. Stop wishing for a “normal” that doesn’t exist, and, instead, get your glove, get ready, and get set for the surprising homeruns and the shocking curve balls that are heading your way. There is no straight path—only the illusion of it in the moments when you can catch your breath. This is the game, and this is what you signed up for when you became a business professional and a leader. You can do this. You have the resources, creativity, ability, intelligence, and stamina to play this game of life and business… and win. And above all, remember that you are not alone out there on this road of life. We’re all in this together, and I’m right there beside you every thrilling step of the way.

“If life were predictable, it would cease to be life and be without flavor.”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt


  1. Great article Katherine! You are so right! Normal doesn’t stay normal as growth and change create disruptions. Strong leaders and employees flex to whatever the next change brings.

    1. Amen, Linda! You know better than anyone after being in this business for so many years. Those that go the distance have definitely learned to flex.

  2. Great message! Stuff will continue to happen…we can move from victim of our circumstances by shifting our mindset. When we stop wallowing in the, “oh no this happened” and be a creator thinker, “So now what will I do?”

    1. I love that, JK! “Now, what will I do?!” Awesome perspective, as usual.

    1. Oh Nikole, I’m so happy to hear that this week’s Stretch put “some needed wind back in your sails!” As that is what we always hope for, you made my day by taking a minute to write and tell me so. Wishing you a great week ahead.

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