Editor: Taking the first step

Justin Griffin, Editor

An old Chinese proverb says the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Most people obsess over the thousand-mile part of that statement, but it’s that single step that matters most. Sometimes, the odds seem so stacked it’s difficult to envision taking that initial step.

But once you do, you are harnessing the power of momentum, which many of the people featured in this month’s issue are doing as they carry out their life’s dreams.

Take Isabella Guilford, who recently opened Mercantile Maricopa. The 16-year-old found her calling in acquiring and selling collectibles and has been learning to deal with the twists and turns of running a business. But during our discussion, Isabella said something to me I found astonishingly mature: “There are always challenges to overcome, but what I find is that challenges are often followed by miracles.”

I wish I had that kind of wisdom at that age.

Or look at the story of Mike Kintner, the general manager and vice president of Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino. In the early 2000s, he interviewed for assistant director of marketing at Harrah’s Southern California and was met with rejection.

He kept digging, and in 2005, he was hired as a marketing manager at Harrah’s Ak-Chin. He held three positions at the casino prior to becoming the general manager, all while he earned his Master’s in Business Administration from the Eller School of Business at the University of Arizona. When Kintner tells employees to work hard and good things will happen, he knows what he’s talking about.

And last, but not least, Nick Sanchez, the owner of Redemption Tattoo, has quite a story to tell. Last year, InMaricopa wrote a piece about how he spent seven years in prison for aggravated assault.

After his incarceration, Sanchez found work at a tattoo parlor and started working his way up the ladder in others’ shops. Eventually, he started his own shop with a clientele in Chandler that he sold before coming to Maricopa.

He recently did a tattoo for me on his day off. Otherwise, it would have been September before I sat in his chair. The man never stops moving.

All three of these people, from different walks of life, had the courage to take that first step.

Thanks for reading our magazine.

This editor’s letter was first published in the June edition of
InMaricopa magazine.