Cartier: The state of Colorado has grit (column) |

Cartier: The state of Colorado has grit (column)

Spring has arrived, although some might debate whether we ever had a winter. Between high seasons, there is time to reflect on what’s occurred and what’s to come.

Part of that evaluation includes a pat on the back for our successes, and the realization that some things could have been done differently. That contemplation allows us to consider additional options and the excitement of new possibilities. Do we expand, rebrand, continue building our base or perhaps create something entirely different?

A light winter season impacts everyone in a resort region and has left some feeling insecure. Entrepreneurs are particularly vulnerable, which naturally affects employees. After the recession of 2008, homes and businesses were lost, savings disappeared, educations disrupted and many had to leave the communities they loved to seek a living elsewhere. Others were able to downsize and make additional sacrifices to rebuild here. A decade later, the effects of the recession are still felt, as the usual backup plans are not fully in place.

Yet, this is Colorado. We push the envelope in achieving what others consider to be impossible. We thrive on challenge … in our environment, our sports, our innovative lifestyle and our livelihoods. Many residents wear multiple hats as the seasons evolve, to meet their fiscal challenges certainly, but also because there is a huge variety of interests that we all desire to pursue. It’s an environment that inspires dreams and innovation. Our surroundings encourage us to reach beyond the norm, to prove ourselves worthy of the blessings we share, to demand better of ourselves. It’s called, Colorado grit.

Certainly, things may not be ideal this year, but face it, we’ve had it worse. When you’ve worked your entire life to achieve a degree of success, and seen it disappear, that can be frightening. Yet, if you’ve made it once, then experience makes it much easier to build it again. Remember, your circumstance is not your identity. What is occurring is merely a “result” of events, it is not a predetermined destiny. The only failure is giving up.

This is a familiar theme for those who read my December 2017 column on famous people who survived incredible odds,

Cartier: Expectations can define success; the only true failure is giving up (column)

Be willing to expand your comfort zone. They’ll always be reasons not to do so, but you only need one good reason to move forward … you. There will be realistic challenges, like weak seasons, but nothing you cannot overcome.

Some possibilities are limited by economics. It’s easy to say that we simply can’t afford it. Yet, we manage to make things happen when necessary. We just need to define our necessities.

Everyone has a budget, and rarely do we have such an excess of income, that we wonder how it will be spent, yet we might consider what we do in times of emergency. Regardless of how few financial resources are available, if there is an unexpected expense … medical, auto, home repair, job loss, we find a way. We sacrifice and find the money and time to fix the situation. Colorado grit.

If things are not going well in business or career, what better example to give our families, than to take adversity and turn it into success? How good it feels, when someone says, “that’s impossible”, and you say, “just watch me.”

Colorado grit means resilience beyond mere survival, but to excel in the most challenging circumstances. We produce Olympic athletes that live their lives, pushing the envelope of expectations. When others have lost hope, you become, The Little Engine That Could … the Energizer Bunny of accomplishment. Never give up. Take any unsuccessful results, adapt your strategy and keep on going.

Set aside excuses that range from money, to age, location, background, time or even the constellation. While some do produce valid challenges, none will keep you away from a determined outcome.

Keep your eye on the ball. If you concentrate on what you are accomplishing, rather than what you’ve lost, your brain will focus on possibilities, which will be missed if you continually relive past errors – what’s done is done, get over it.

Remember, when Thomas Edison was asked about his failures in creating the light bulb, he said, “Why would I feel like a failure, and why would I ever give up? I now know definitively, over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded, is another step forward. Success is almost in my grasp.” Perhaps secretly, he was from Colorado.

Jacqueline Cartier is a political and corporate consultant in Colorado and Washington, D.C. For further information, visit She may be contacted at

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