Mike O'Donnell | Sep. 30, 2020

The Farewell Musing

It is with much sadness that I conclude my twenty years with Colorado Lending Source. The time passed quickly because I surrounded myself with an incredible team of amazingly smart individuals, and I was able to meet so many breathtaking entrepreneurs, partners, thought-leaders, mentors, and others who inspired me, on a daily basis, as a journeyed through two decades of evolving economic conditions.

Our mission of fostering the economic growth of diverse small businesses within our communities was my primary focus during all of those years. And although a mission is a journey rather than a destination, I was fortunate enough to be able to travel a goodly number of kilometers down that track, Jack, as the organization educated thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs and bankers about the affordable and friendly financing options offered by Colorado Lending Source and other partners. 

I did make some missteps along the way, and the occasional flat tire delayed but didn’t deter me on my quest to make Colorado Lending Source an integral part of the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the best / most innovative certified development company in the nation. I feel we were able to get most of the way there. 

And yes, in retrospect, there were things I could certainly have done better, and I am the wiser for all those experiences. But there were many highlights nonetheless, and I appreciate the patience of the staff, board, Job and all the other key stakeholders of Colorado Lending Source as I stumbled my way towards 2020.

In the times of ancient Rome, twenty years as a legionary would have earned me a small parcel of land in eastern Gaul and the best wishes of the emperor as I embarked on a new career growing vegetable marrows and accumulating menhirs in the backyard. 

For me today, this year of the plague, in addition to growing vegetable marrows in eastern Colorado, I’m looking forward to continuing my involvement in helping to create and grow entrepreneurial ecosystems because in the years ahead, more so than in any years ever before, we will need small businesses creating meaningful, sustainable living wage jobs. It won’t be big businesses or the government that rescue us from the deep depths of this recession: it will be, like it always is, small businesses and entrepreneurs.

I have appreciated the chance to share my rambling thoughts with several of you from time to time over the years, especially my original two readers from 2001. It’s been a blast!

Please spend local, shop small, and buy American-made where you can. And as you do, the economy will recover. I hope to see everyone around like a rissole somewhere, sometime, in the interim.  

Wishing you all the very, very best!!!