The British have a fascination (some might say obsession) with the weather – they just can’t help talking about it at every opportunity. Actually, it’s probably the number one topic of conversation in pubs across the UK. Right now millions of Brits across the country are talking about the weather for no good reason other than it’s a nice ice-breaker when talking to strangers.

Ironically, even though I live in Utah now (I’m originally from the UK), the subject of the weather still crops up quite frequently because there’s a saying around these parts that if you don’t like the weather to wait five minutes and it’ll change. Something about being in a valley surrounded by mountains apparently, and it’s actually a fairly accurate statement. Sunshine and snow frequently share the same day.

So here’s why I raised this topic. I keep hearing what I consider to be bizarre comments from friends and other locals here in Salt Lake City. They keep telling me that many service businesses virtually ‘hibernate’ in the winter because there’s no demand, or the winter conditions make it too difficult.

Firstly, the suggestion that snow or rain should stop businesses from working is ridiculous. There are a bunch of states north of us that really experience winter, and might justifiably have some challenges to serving their customers.

Secondly, conversations like this should remind you how fortunate we are to have eBay. With potential customers from literally all corners of the globe – the weather – or virtually any other geographic or seasonal factors become insignificant.

Why would anyone want to be involved in any business where part of their year was wiped out by something as unpredictable as the weather? Beats me. It’s not like eBay is some secret site where only certain people of a certain height, color, or weight can join. It’s open to everyone, and these days everyone’s heard of eBay so it’s not that they don’t know about it.

I know. It’s hard to tell friends to stop complaining over things that they are in full control of, whether they realize it or not. I sympathize to an extent, but no one is forcing them to stay in their current occupation. I get the feeling that some people are so entrenched in being negative they don’t even realize it. They don’t know any other way.

In fact, that reminds me of the story about two families that drive into a new town. The father of the first family stops by the side of the road, winds down his window and calls out to an old gentleman, clearly a local.

“We’re planning on moving here. Tell me, what sort of people live in this town” asks the newcomer.

“What sort of folks were in the town where you used to live?” asks the old man?

“Awful, couldn’t stand them” comes the reply.

“Same here” says the old man.

A few hours later the second family approach the same old man and the father says:

“We’re thinking of moving here. Tell me, what kind of people live here?”

Again, the old man says: “What kind of people lived in your old town?”

“They were great, really wonderful.”

“Same here” says the old man.

The lesson should be obvious. YOU hold the key to your future, and the key might be in your attitude. Always strive to be positive, look for the good in others, and preserve in creating your own success, no one else will do it for you.

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