IS THE GLASS half full or half empty? Your answer to that question may determine your outlook on the past eight months, as well as what 2021 may bring. It’s all about perspective. In my travels, I’m fortunate enough to interact and speak with a lot of different people and business owners. I’m amazed at the wide range of opinions and the difference in people’s perspective, specifically, our peers from the stone industry.

I view life as a series of events. How we respond to specific events is what makes us all unique. Personally, I’m a glass half full person. I’m always going to look at the positive side. What benefits were created from an event? What learnings were taught when things did not go as planned? And most intriguing, what opportunities may be generated? No one will argue the dramatic negative impacts of COVID-19 that has devastated many families and industries throughout the world. The hospitality industry has especially been devastated. However, perspective matters. For example, I had a front seat to two very different perspectives from two different restaurateurs. COVID-19 have changed the rules of engagement for restaurants. The glass half full owner/operator shared with me the following: “People have to eat. My restaurant was thriving before COVID-19 because people loved our food. We needed to figure out a way to shift our model to get our food into people’s homes.” Another restaurant owner shared a very different viewpoint with me: “It is impossible to overcome such devastation when your customer base completely disappears overnight.” It would not take a lot of thought to conclude which restaurant is still open and flourishing and which one has vaporized. Perspective matters, especially in the darkest circumstances. The restaurateur who looked for the opportunities in the face of significant adversity not only kept his ship afloat, his strategy has now created a new, high-margin revenue stream in the form of a thriving take-out business that previously didn’t exist. Think about it; they charge full price for a take-out meal with minimal operational burdens and expense — genius! Perspective matters.


The end of a calendar year brings a season of reflection. One of the most beneficial exercises I practiced for two decades was my proverbial time on my “mountain,” isolated to clear my mind and just think. I put myself in an environment free of distractions. I brought myself through a process to answer the following questions regarding the past year:

• What were my top three accomplishments, personally and professionally?

• Where did I fall short?

• Why? Specifically, what was the main cause?

• What learnings were generated?

• Where are my opportunities for the future?

• What needs to happen to capitalize on the opportunities?

• What is the number one thing I can do to ensure I’m successful?

Some of my biggest accomplishments over the years were first created in these mountaintop sessions. Our brains are the most powerful supercomputers available to us if we choose to harness the potential. 

This time of the year also triggers a season for gratitude for me. I am extremely thankful for all the blessings. From my incredible family to all my supporting industry friends and peers, I am beyond thankful. We can all make a significant impact on others by pausing and showing some appreciation and thanks to the people that make each of us better. Our families, friends, support teams, co-workers, customers, suppliers, and even our competitors, provide influence that contribute to growing a better version of ourselves. This is the perfect time of year to make a list of those positive influencers in your life and let them know how they have influenced you. In our current “me-first” culture I encourage you to turn the spotlight off yourself and on to others in your life that make you better. Sincere, face-to-face conversations saying, “thank you,” go a long way. Who are your top five supporters that poured into you in 2020? When is the last time you gave them some appreciation?

It has been a year most of us will not forget anytime soon. The events of 2020 have created a lot of business opportunities which I am welcoming with eyes wide open. THANK YOU all for being such great fans over the last 12 months. I appreciate all the kind words, comments and success stories more than you know. THANK YOU! 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!


E. Tryon