Life … if it is to be worthwhile … is full of experiences that shape you for the better in ways that could not have happened any other way. It reminds me of one of those lapidary drums used to polish stones. You toss in an ordinary looking piece of stone, rough to the touch and not particularly pleasant to hold, and after Tumbling around in an abrasive, out comes a polished specimen which, if not beautiful, is at least interesting and nicer to be around. The thing is, though, the rock in the lapidary tumbler doesn’t have to do a thing to undergo this transformation. For us, life’s experiences provide the abrasive but it is up to us how … and whether … our experiences shape us. Do they make us better? More interesting? Or old and bitter? That, my blogging friends, is my five-cent bit of philosophy and I’m giving it to you for free as Thought Number One on this Top Sites Tuesday #245.
Being self-employed (actually a partner in a two-man Limited Liability Company) after years working in big industry has been one of the experiences that has shaped me the most. I bring this up because today we are submitting a small proposal to the government, a small proposal that could bring us one of the biggest jobs we’ve had in years. Or not. Writing proposals has always been one of my fortes … largely because I am, at my center, a writer (although it took me many years to realize that). As a book manager for a skatey-eight million page proposal in Big Industry, I had a staff of hundreds at my disposal, many of them what I considered as support people, necessary but not important to the science. Today, as we finalize the proposal and get ready to upload it to the customer site, I am: engineer, responsible for technical content; technical writer … well, writing about the science in understandable English; contracts, worrying about what we are offering to do and whether it can be done for the money we’re bidding; typing pool; proofreader; art department; Information Technology department, being sure file formats are correct and uploads proceed correctly; CEO, actually making the decision when the proposal is ready to be uploaded and locked. So, here’s Thought Number Two: The experience of being self-employed has made me more appreciative of the people I used to take for granted, not just in business, but in life. And that’s a good thing.
What experience has changed you dramatically as you travel the road of life? Too philosophical for a Top Sites Tuesday? Sorry … it’s been a busy week and that’s what I’ve got. Please push my button … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #245 before you move on.
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