Success lies in finding balance

Published 10:20 pm Wednesday, June 18, 2003

By By BILL CRIST - Publisher
That was Brewton Mayor Ted Jennings' reaction at the official announcement that local Internet company Econec would be expanding its operation in the near future. The expansion will mean the renovation of a former retail store and employment for approximately 175 people.
And as Jennings added, "this is just the tip of the iceberg."
Brewton has a strong history of economic development, with a diverse industrial base, a good mix of retail stores and leadership that is not afraid to be on the front line of change and growth. Locally owned businesses as well as international corporations fuel our area's economy. Our workforce is made up of a variety of professionals, who bring numerable skills to the table. But there was a striking example of what makes for a truly successful person that came out during Tuesday's announcement.
For those of you who have not been to such an event, the announcement of a new business or industry generally includes statements from all the involved parties. Praises are sung to the economic developer who put the deal together, to the city who made the move possible and to the people who believed in the dream as it was coming to shape.
Such announcements and praise are often handed out by people who work more hours in a week than most of us can count. There are kudos to business partners, mentors and employees who bought into the dream and helped make it a reality. More often than not, though, those words of thanks omit a very important part of the crowd.
Gary Stanley, president of Econec, reminded those of us who fit that profile of the people we often overlook; our family.
Stanley was nearing the end of his announcement, telling us how many people his business would soon employ and what it would mean to our local economy, when he started thanking the people who had helped him realize his dream. When he got to his wife and family, he had to pause and catch himself. It was clear to those of us in the room that he was deeply moved and sincerely appreciative of the contributions and sacrifices made by those closest to him. After catching his breath, he thanked his wife and quickly made his way back to the head table.
Later, he was able to joke about his emotions, but deep down, the crowd was able to sense that all the work Stanley had put into this project had gotten the undying support of his family. Many of us were able to instantly connect with the emotions expressed by someone who would soon be directing one of the largest companies in Brewton.
How many of us would have been able to chase our dreams and chart our path without the unquestioning support of a spouse? Successful businesspeople surround themselves with a supporting cast that helps them achieve their goals at the workplace. However, to be truly prosperous, a person needs to have the backing of his or her family. By finding the balance between professional and personal obligations, and meeting them equally, each of us can live a fulfilling life and achieve whatever goals we set out for ourselves.
Gary Stanley shared a couple of messages on Tuesday, both of them very positive. His expansion announcement is a mark of success in business and an example we can all admire. His emotion in thanking his family is a sign of something deeper, a devotion to his family that is something we should all take home and practice.
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