It’s been an interesting week for me, on both a personal and a business level.
On the personal side, I took my daughter for aptitude testing so she could decide on her subject choices at the end of Grade 9. Obviously, this process has been even more fraught with uncertainty than usual, considering she hasn’t been in school since mid-March and has only been doing e-learning.
Talking to the psychologist during the feedback session, he was pleased that I fully supported his recommendations for her, even though they included Maths Literacy and no sciences. He told me that he often faces opposition from parents who insist on their artsy child taking these subjects even though the child struggles with them and has low prospects of success.
“Well,” I said, “I don’t expect her to decide what she’s going to do for the rest of her life right now – she’s only 15. I would be disappointed if her goals don’t shift throughout her life. I’m nearly fifty and my career has changed direction many times over the years. All I want is for her to be happy and do what she loves – and for right now, pick subjects that won’t limit her choices in the future because of a decision she took before she could even vote or drive.”
Taking my daughter through this process caused me to pause and take stock of my own career. I started out with a degree in Journalism, realised quickly I wasn’t hard-nosed enough to be a good one, changed to PR, started doing page layout, got more into the graphic design field, changed to web design, branched into content development …
I’ve been a chameleon for a really long time, and that the one common thread through all of this is that I’ve never been afraid to challenge myself with learning something new. I’ve been self-employed for over 18 years. Business has ebbed and flowed, customers have come and gone (and in many cases, come back again), times have been good and then suddenly tough, and there is always a level of stress.
But I wouldn’t change any of it for one simple reason. I’ve loved every minute of it! Even when there has been failure or disappointments, I choose not to see them as that, but rather treat it as a learning process – and grow. As Thomas Edison once famously said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
The other interesting thing that has happened this week is from a business perspective. In these troubled times, people really want to help people they know. I’ve been pushing awareness of Groundworx out on various social media platforms, and there are inquiries coming in on a steady basis.
The one thing they all have in common? It is ALL referral business, from friends, former colleagues, and customers both past and present.
It’s a reminder that people buy from people, and that generally, most human beings want to see others prosper and survive.
So to all those people who have sent me business via friends, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s relationships like these that keep our family in our home, paying school fees and making sure my ever-ravenous teenage son doesn’t starve by being forced to eat only three meals a day! Small businesses rely on personal relationships, and I am so grateful for all the generosity and kindness that has been shown to Groundworx in the last few months.
And rest assured, if I can ever return the favour, I will do so in spades.
Keep well, keep positive, and let’s “just keep swimming” like Dory until we get to the other side.