There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle and the other is as though everything is miracle.
– Albert Einstein
I just came across this quote which was timely since I feel like I just experienced a miracle. Twenty-five years ago, I had a skiiing accident that came back to haunt me. Last year, I had been waiting for a pain in my right knee to go away when I went to the doctor to have it checked out. I was stunned to hear that there was no cartilage and sooner or later I would have to have that knee replaced. Yikes. Not what I wanted to hear. I was not going to be able to get back to walking and dancing without the surgery that heard had a grueling three month recovery period.
This was a difficult decision to make since I did not really know when I would be able to go back to work. Would it be a month, or two months? I hate being in mystery but I figured my team could handle whatever happened and I scheduled the surgery for January 5th, right after the holidays, without a real clue what to expect.
The miracle I experienced was that after two weeks when I detoxed myself off of those nausea inducing pain pills, I felt pretty damn good. I walked into my doctors office to get my staples out, without a walker or even a cane. After three weeks I was able to go back to work. I am still doing PT to get all of my bend back but I can walk without a limp and go up and downstairs, every other foot like a normal person. Amazing.
But… was it really a miracle? When I considered it more closely I realized that I had I had planted a lot of seeds over the past eighteen months that had left me in good health and confident that I could trust my team to handle New Tricks, whether I would be out a month or two or longer.
These seeds included 18 months of regularly scheduled work-outs with a trainer while following the Weight Watchers program, resulting in a 50 pounds weight loss and increased physical well-being. In New Tricks, I had been feeling swamped with minutia that was interfering with my doing the work I loved. Over the last year, I brought on a Project Manager and a Bookkeeper/Office Assistant, we implemented new workflow tools; Box, and Insightly for project management, we upgraded our documentation and created a new proposal template that we are using in Proposify to make quick business of customized project proposals.
Reporting this to you makes it sound easy. Not so.
In the area of health, I am an inconsistent exerciser and dieter. I had a friend who I walked with regularly but as my knee started to hurt, I couldn’t walk distances. Knowing I had to do something, I made a commitment to work with a trainer and make the time three days a week from 8-9 am, sacred. Many mornings, I did not feel like going, or felt like I had work to do, but I went to work out any way and always felt better for it. My weight loss has been slow but steady but again, consistency has been the key.
Making the changes needed at New Tricks, in order to grow and save my sanity, was also a difficult process. It’s hard for small business owners to hire quality people when we need them since we worry about how we will pay for it. Even if we have the money today, we wonder whether the cash-flow will continue in a way that will support new financial commitments. It is tricky timing wise because we need help in order to grow our businesses but if we wait until we are really sure we can afford it, the fur will start to fly and we will can’t reach the new place without help. The old adage about needing to spend money to make money is true but it does not make it any easier to do.
So I made it a bit easier by engaging the services of a project manager who was recommended to me, for just ten hours, to help me determine what we needed and to help create a plan to carry it out. Enrolling Jennifer in this short term process was just what I needed to get rolling and was a safe way to see if there was a fit for working together. After the initial evaluation, I contracted for another block of her time for her help in implementing our plan, which included an overhaul of our policies and procedures and project workflow and changing our project management system, and hiring an bookeeper/office assistant to work onsite ten hours a week to do the books and take over some of the tasks related to invoicing and billing.
As I was already overloaded, Jennifer, my part-time project manager took care of setting up and coordinating all of the details. She also helped us test, configure and implement our new project management software system. And she set up the process we decided on for finding the right bookkeeper. She posted an ad on Craigslist with the instructions to complete a job questionnaire that I had created and embedded on a page on my website. I asked a lot of open-ended questions that would tell me what I needed to know about each candidate. The interesting thing was out of 42 responses to my job posting, only 5 followed directions and filled out the questionnaire. The others just sent a resume. We eliminated everyone that proved they could not follow directions and Jennifer set up interviews for me in one day with four of the candidates who filled out the form. That week we hired Aleesha, a cheerful and capable bookkeeper, who actually lives less than a mile from our office and walks her dog on the trail behind our building and is a great addition to our team.
I knew I needed a project manager on an ongoing basis but initially, wasn’t quite prepared to make the financial commitment. Working with Jennifer on these short term projects, gave us both an opportunity to experience working together. Through that process, we experienced results made possible because of Jennifer’s involvement on our team. She is a great fit and was takes care of making everything work smoothly so that I am able to focus on what I do best. I was hooked and she was too.
Taking these needed steps in my personal life and business was hard work. I see now it was like plowing the field and planting the crops. Over time, the seeds that we planted, watered and nurtured grew into a fine crop which allowed me to be in good health and not worry about work leading to the recovery from my knee surgery feeling nothing short of miraculous.
I am so happy to be back on my feet, feeling great and back with you. What things do you need to do today to bring you miracles in your life?