There’s always a sense of discovery whenever I go to Ka’anapali. During a recent visit, I had the pleasure of talking to a young Hawaiian woman who had just moved there from her native island of Molokai. She made the journey over to Maui just a few months ago because her husband had secured a position as a paver with the union, a coveted job on any island.
As we got deeper into our conversation, she projected a sense of melancholy and regret. I asked her what the biggest challenge was about her move. What she said next just about broke my heart. She said, “Even though my husband landed a dream job here in Maui, I feel completely helpless and defeated being here. What you don’t understand Ms. Devine, is that the Hawaiian culture over on Molokai is constantly under pressure by corporate enterprise. There are so many big companies trying to come in and take over our island. If that were to happen, the culture would be completely destroyed. We are the stewards of the land, sea and way of life here. I mean we live very simply. There’s no town, no stop light, no currency. Value is exchanged through a barter system. Things are bought and sold with pigs and chickens, not dollars and cents.”
I took pause for a moment and realized that this is no different than a small business trying to protect and grow its own brand. Owners are proprietary, as they should be, just like the native islanders of Molokai. I really appreciate the commitment and dedication it takes to make this happen. It’s a non-negotiable mentality that should be respected and preserved.
However, being isolated doesn’t help because one simply doesn’t know what else is out there that can potentially help grow and preserve either a dying culture or a small business. Slow and controlled transitions are paramount as this gives time for people to embrace the required change that it takes to grow yet simultaneously preserve either the culture of a native group or a small business.
Call us today and let’s discuss how to evolve your small business culture. 833-933-8463.