Sunday Message From Ben: Turning Obstacles Into Opportunities


It’s not the strongest that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change. – Charles Darwin

Happy Mothers Day! This week continues our transition phase from sprint to marathon, as we adjust to this new era of living with COVID-19.

This week’s inspiration was our “Retail Reopening” webinar, featuring four amazing retail leaders: Carol Ai May, Tanna Dang, Tina Yamaki and Michelle Kirk. These leaders talked about how rather than competing, they are finding ways to collaborate and cooperate. And they are right. It isn’t zero sum. Today more than ever, we all need to work together to regrow the pie that is our local economy. Think local and buy local whenever we can.

The crisis has focused these organizations on creatively reworking their business models and their operations, right down to the small details. Social distancing in the store while serving customers and selling is not an obstacle to these leaders! They are opportunities to engage customers beyond the cash register, improve the customer experience and strengthen the brand. I love it! This type of entrepreneurial vigor, combined with a strengthened sense of community, will get us through!

I saw a quote on Twitter that said “When did America become a ‘can’t do’ country?” This rings true to me today and makes me want to ask this question to some of our federal and state government leaders. Why can’t we control the virus while also restarting our economy? Why are our elected officials either discrediting science or avoiding a reopening plan and framework? It does not have to be either/or. Surely there is room for creativity and innovation, applying lean startup entrepreneurial concepts to these challenges.

Nowhere do the ideas of creativity and innovation seem more critical than solving for how Hawaii will rebuild a successful tourism industry. This discussion isn’t getting much traction today, but we can’t give up. This podcast on “How Do you Reopen a Country by Freakonomics” inspired me this week. Have a listen and pass it along.

PPP Loans continue to be funded for many clients, and the challenging issues of tracking and managing expenses for forgiveness and proper loan use have begun. If you haven’t yet read our Strategic Guide to Use of PPP Funds please do so, or sign up here for a consult if you would like help on workforce planning for your business.

We don’t have all the answers, but we are here to help.

I’ll finish this shorter letter with a special note of appreciation to all the Mom’s who are reading. The combination of kids at home and work from home, brings unique new challenges to every family, and often a disproportionate burden on Moms. And while I’m running ProService today, I couldn’t do it without my wife Yvonne, who is both a teacher and a wonderful mom to our three boys. Thank you, Moms.

And mahalo and much aloha to each of you.

Ben Godsey

President & CEO