Opportunity Amidst Difficulty

By focusing on what works and looking for new opportunities, we can emerge from this moment intact—different, but perhaps even stronger.

by Jan Wright, Publisher

“Out of clutter find simplicity. From discord make harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Known across the internet as Albert Einstein’s “Three Rules of Work,” this famous quotation is actually from another physicist, a colleague describing Einstein’s approach in a 1979 Newsweek article. Regardless of origins, these words of wisdom are applicable to a broad range of challenges, including the multiple crises we face in America today. 

As we take this issue to print, we aren’t sure what the next week will bring, much less the next year. The pandemic has stretched on for months; the hours and days blur together. It is difficult to focus, tempers are growing shorter, and I hear many stories of exhaustion and burnout. Now more than ever, we must highlight the positive in our community—and the ways we can continue to make it better. Our ingenuity and can-do spirit have gotten us through tough times in the past. I believe they can see us through today’s hardships as well. 

For the second straight year, we partnered with Bradley University’s Turner Center for Entrepreneurship to highlight the winners of their second annual Small Business Awards. During this time of adversity, small businesses have carried on, startups are still starting up, and entrepreneurs continue to seek opportunities. They understand we must be creative in adaptation, that we should “get better, not bitter,” as one small business owner declares in this issue. By focusing on what works and looking for new opportunities, we can emerge from this moment intact—different, but perhaps even stronger.

Like so many of you, we’ve had to make significant adjustments to our operations, as in-person events have become an integral part of our business. This fall we will unveil our 40 Leaders Under Forty, our 27th annual class of emerging young leaders—and the first virtual one! They will be the ones to guide us into the future with new insights for the new era to come. 

As a positive voice for business, community and the arts, we encourage you to nominate a friend or colleague for this honor at peoriamagazines.com. (And do it quickly: the deadline for nominations is 5:00pm on Friday, September 4!) Please support this important program by attending the virtual event—the details will be announced soon. 

We hope that you find opportunity amidst the difficulty, harmony within the discord, and simplicity in the clutter. Perhaps our “new normal” is exactly that. PM

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