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Change: The Law of Life and Business

I read once that there is not much growth in our comfort zones, and not much comfort in our growth zones. 

Change – whether that’s relocating to a new area, starting a new job, or trying a new business model, among a number of other periodic changes – is not always easy. In fact, sometimes it’s downright tough. 

Lucky for us there was Socrates. 

“The secret of change,” he said, “is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.” 

Wise words from someone who has been called the father of Western philosophy.

I’m still trying to “build the new” as I adjust to changes in my own life and career – settling into a new area, learning my new job and responsibilities, and being away from family and friends who are back in the West. I’m also adjusting to the climate of the upper Midwest. 

But all is well, and I am making concerted efforts to apply Socrates’s philosophy. Along the way I am experiencing new adventures, learning new things, and getting to know the good people in the Dakotas and western Minnesota, including my new work family at Prairie Business and its sister publication the Grand Forks Herald. Great people, all, and I am proud to call them colleagues and friends. 

But life and business are about change, and as you read this issue of Prairie Business, you’ll notice change is a big part of the feature stories presented here. 

What are the ways that law firms and rural communities are adapting with regards to getting more attorneys into rural communities where town-based legal counsel might not be available? You’ll find out in our story about lawyering in small towns. 

For our energy topic this month, Sam Easter looks at the lignite coal industry and the changes that industry is confronted with and likely will be for some time to come.

Also, find out what changes are happening on the higher education scene, especially with one South Dakota University is trying to attract more international students.

It’s a changing world, and there are trends all around us. Sometimes change is uncomfortable, as I mentioned, but other times it’s a boon. January is a good time to reflect upon the changes in our lives and businesses, what changes might be beneficial for us to make ourselves, and then to put a plan in motion to make those positive changes happen. 

“If you do not change direction,” said Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, “you may end up where you are heading.”

And one more, this one from President John F. Kennedy: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

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Prairie Business Editor Andrew Weeks may be reached at aweeks@prairiebusinessmagazine.com or 701-780-1276. Also find him on Twitter @PB_AndrewWeeks.