Roll With the Punches

Challenges and adversity are nothing new, and they can make us better.

I’ve mentioned before how we’re always working months ahead in the publishing industry. You’re always looking ahead, too. But it’s hard to plan when you have no idea what next month will look like.

This is the July issue, but I’m writing this column in early May, well past my deadline but more than a month before the magazine mails out. I didn’t want to write something early and have it be out of touch by the time you read it. Even now, it doesn’t pay to say much about a situation that’s still changing and evolving by the day.

As noted, it’s hard to plan for the unknown. But that’s no excuse to neglect the tasks of the day. Roll with the punches and get to what’s real, as David Lee Roth sang. There will be a future, and we can’t just cover our ears and hope everything goes back to normal.

I think there’s comfort in challenge. It’s probably one of life’s greatest constants. We’re all comfortable with what’s familiar, but challenges push the little things aside and make us focus on the task at hand, and that’s how progress is made. That’s how we get better.

Some things will be forever changed, and while that can be unsettling, it’s reality. We’re looking for new ways of doing business, adapting and setting a new course. There’s opportunity in the upheaval.

I’ve been working from home since mid-March. My day-to-day is different and there are new challenges, but my deadlines haven’t changed. I just have to approach some things differently and adapt to the new normal.

We’re still mostly putting the magazine together as we always have, but you’ll notice some little changes over the next few months. With the shutdowns, some stories and photos have been harder to get.

As a result, some of our utility profiles will rely more on contributed photos. Starting this month, you’ll also notice that we’re sharing some of our top stories from the past 10 years. It’s a good time to review and reflect, and we feel these stories are worth revisiting. They all rank at or near the top in page views at over the past decade.

These are all stories that connected strongly with our audience. Whether you read them the first time around or they’re fresh to your eyes this time, they still hold lessons, they highlight technology and strategies for working safer and more efficiently, and they give you the opportunity to learn from others’ successes. And sometimes looking back can help clarify where you’re at now and realign the course forward.

At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. Like another famous ’80s icon once said, “It ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

Enjoy this month’s issue. 

Comments on this column or about any article in this publication may be directed to editor Luke Laggis, 800-257-7222;


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