Industry Research

That Which Does Not Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

Posted on December 2, 2016 by Sara Eastwood-Richardson - Also by this author

2016 is drawing to a close and what an interesting year it’s been. Donald J. Trump is our President-Elect. Who would have thought? Now, in hindsight, it seems the better question to ask is, “Who wouldn’t have thought?”

Trump will be the voice of the forgotten middle class worker who said, “No more.” He is anything but the poster child for America, or conversely, is he the perfect fit to represent us in a time of near civil war?

After all, the Founding Fathers of our great country were anything but refined, professional career politicians. Perhaps we are coming full circle.

For the first time in my life, I avidly followed this political season. I watched virtually every news station daily and listened to talk radio with fervor. I am no politico, but this presidential race captivated me. I drew many parallels from it that relate to what is happening with my job and to all of you.

What unfolded before us is what happens to a group of like-minded people who are in a perceived fight-for-their-life. In 2015, my guest speaker at the State of the Industry, held during the International Limousine, Charter & Tour Show in Las Vegas, stood in front of 2,500 operators and predicted that, thanks to Uber (and the fact we were running dinosaur companies in an old industry), we would be falling off a “fiscal limo cliff” by year end. It was time for real panic.

There was one flaw in this and among all the pundits. The institutionalized “executives” who did the betting have been out of touch with the heart of America (that’s you), so they lost the odds. When faced with a choice to do or die, we do. This industry is amazingly creative and resilient, and it’s because the survival instinct has not been snuffed out of us. We are not paper pushers. We are not career politicians or living above reality in the C-suite. Thank God.

We are the pioneers. We are the street-smart, ass-kickers who rally for the fight in the spirit of protecting our livelihoods. So instead of a mass chauffeured car industry implosion brought on by a $50 billion behemoth called Uber, our industry got serious, banding together on all local and national fronts. You turned out in droves to our conventions to stay current, supported the NLA, and devoured LCT for trade news and education. So now we are the ones looking toward a brighter, more tech-centric 2017, while our friends in the Silicon Valley are in the fight of their lives to avoid their own cliffs.

To all of you, our industry soldiers, I salute you on behalf of the LCT team. You are amazing. Stay connected and committed to excellence.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Kwanzaa, and cheers to 2017!

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