It can happen in an instant. For golfer Tiger Woods, it was the 1997 victory of his first Masters tournament. For many baby boomers, it was the day President John F. Kennedy was shot. For cyclist Lance Armstrong, the minute he was diagnosed with cancer.

It is a turning point — a single event that redefines who you are and, in many cases, the way you live your life.

While these moments are rare, individuals in the pool and spa industry have had their fair share of joy and tragedy. What’s amazing is the impact that these experiences have had on the success of their businesses.

For this special issue of Pool & Spa News, we discovered 27 people whose lives and companies have been touched by turning points. We asked them to tell their own stories and share how their businesses subsequently improved.

The turning points are of all types. The “Fork in the Road” section highlights life-altering moments, while “On the Homefront” emphasizes domestic issues. “The Danger Zone” takes a look at the effects of events beyond our control, and “In the Line of Duty” examines the potency of a single business decision. In the “Circle of Life” section, individuals share personal tales of heartache and hope. And finally, there’s “The Perfect Project,” showing how the craft of pool design can forever change the way we work.

I love every one of these stories. Some of them made me incredibly proud of our industry, while others brought tears to my eyes. One turning point reads like an adventure novel, with life literally hanging in the balance. There’s a taste of a spy thriller, a gamble with especially high stakes and one of my personal favorites, a simple story of a man who survived cancer and used the lessons he learned to help improve not just his business, but the entire world.

As you read the following tales, prepare to be moved, inspired and, perhaps, embrace a new vision.

Erika Taylor
Erika Taylor