Blogging, it’s been on my mind for some time, so here we go! I’m writing this as 2021 is just beginning. 2020 was a challenging year for most everyone, including myself. This year has been particularly problematic for small businesses across the country and for Hillside Brass that is certainly a true statement! I started the business in 2017, teaching smaller groups on a relatively inconsistent basis, and 2020 was the anticipated year of expansion. I had always looked forward to the future for a period of growth, as I stepped towards retirement from my day job. I looked forward to fulfilling my goal of making military and law enforcement caliber firearms training available to the general public. As I took a huge step in that direction, the Covid-19 pandemic smacked me right in the face and wrecked the carefully considered plans I had built.
Those that know me well can tell you that my 20 plus years of military service have helped motivate and mold me into who I am today. I reflected upon this as an Officer that I have had the opportunity to serve (and teach) with, LTC Ben Warner, set out to publish a book. This book, titled “Twenty Year Letter'', embraces the challenges faced by Army Officers. An effective Army Officer must understand how plans adjust, shift, and accommodate their ever-changing environments. One of my first firearms training programs consisted of a small team of American Soldiers I led and our mission of teaching the Iraqi Highway Patrol how to shoot. When teaching them the basics of shooting, I thought about them training in a dusty, hot gravel parking lot in one of the most dangerous parts of the world (at that time). My small business challenges due to Covid-19, do not need to be seen as a reason to give up, but rather an opportunity to adjust and persevere. I will continue to bring realistic firearms training to the record number of new gun owners in Central Kentucky.
The military unit that I have spent the majority of my 22 years of service with has a motto, and it rings so true to me now more than ever. This motto, “Seize the Opportunity”, lies in the forefront of my mind as this business enters a new era. This is also exemplified in one of my favorite Bible verses. James tell us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2-3, NIV). I will rejoice in the challenges of 2020, giving thanks to God for allowing me to continue this business in the face of adversity. I will seize the opportunities that 2021 brings. I encourage you to come along with me!