And Me

The road to a business is a variegated process. Who knows, as he or she goes in, what steps are finally going to be a plus either in terms of profit or in the way of better products. I have been in it, for instance, long enough to know that well-made whatever is not enough to ensure success. Neither, on the other hand, is a profit a sign of a “good” company in all the ways that word can be defined.

Somehow a person has to develop an inner barometer that helps her or him begin to feel authentic and, therefore, in some measure at peace. My meter is to sense the things and people around me as patterns begin to develop. As a boy I would see what others were trying to attain and either use it as a jumping off place or as an opposite pole to find a new direction.

As a minister I stayed in small churches (not where the ministers with whom I circulated were aiming) because there I could focus on the people and issues that seemed important to me without the pressures attached to parts of the job I didn’t want. In contracting and furniture making, I have focused on having a partner against whom I could become better. In construction contracting, I was extremely fortunate to find a man who, although not the most talented in terms of techniques, was bone good. I will look for a long time – even in the mirror – and never meet anyone that good. In furniture making, I have taken a step into my family. My son, whose carvings are highlighted occasionally in these newsletters, is extremely creative. My daughter is creative in a different way. She is my business consultant, identifying patterns which will help me to grow as businessman and craftsman.

Our piece for today is a carving by my son. It points to his guitar playing.

And then there’s me.