The Obstacle Course
Shout out to Lindsay Webdell for suggesting my next topic. I have to admit, this was a challenge. Lindsay asked me to talk about the obstacles women face in the industry and in small business in general.
This is a great topic because it was a bit laborious for me to think of anything speciﬁc. Sure, we all get the occasional chauvinistic customer that “wants to speak to one of the guys” or asks something like “Do you even install?” 🙄, but that’s no diﬀerent than one of my shop guys dealing with a woman with an attitude problem.
It happens all the time. So aside from being short and not being able to carry the big ladder by myself I haven’t really faced too many obstacles. Which leads me to another shout out. This one is for the industry. You are all truly a bunch of professionals and I’m proud I get to work with you.
Because I couldn’t think of many obstacles I face, I forced myself to look at the bigger picture. What kind of obstacles have I faced as a businessperson? Whew! That’s going to be a long list but I’ll try to sum it up and hope it helps some of you as well.
1.) Learning to swallow my pride
I still work on this but I read something I truly think about when entering a battle. The author said, “If you won’t remember this moment five years from now, is it truly worth arguing?” I’m here to tell you friends, most of the time the answer is “No.”
2.) The hustle doesn’t sleep
This one wasn’t as diﬃcult for me. Usually, if I’m working, I’m being productive, which means I’m staying out of trouble so I’ve always been one to pick up extra hours. It’s worse now that I live above our shop but at the end of the day I feel accomplished (most days) and that is a peace of mind like no other. Now I will admit to being a night owl so getting out of bed is rough some days but again, the hustles doesn’t sleep and I have three, great, fur covered alarm clocks.
3.) Learning on the job
I had a huge learning curve when I started working at the shop. I barely knew how to send an invoice, not to mention what VLT stands for or how it was going to eﬀect my ability to sell a job. Just listening to a sales pitch on the phone, and learning from my colleagues has morphed me into something I’d never thought I’d be, a successful business partner. Obviously, I owe some credit to my teachers but the list is so long I could never cover everyone.
4.) Becoming comfortable admitting when I am wrong
It’s extremely diﬃcult for us as humans to admit when we are at fault. Perfection seems to be something we strive for, or even something some people would die for, but at the end of the day, we’re all human. So as long as you keep that in mind, portray to others you do care and are putting your best eﬀort forward, you’d be surprised at how understanding people can be and how willing they are to help you grow. Accepting constructive criticism is one of those uncomfortable truths but a jagged pill worth swallowing.
Four lessons seems like such an odd number of thoughts to leave you with but they’re thoughts nonetheless. Perhaps you’ll take them to heart. Perhaps you already know all of these philosophies. Either way, I hope you enjoyed the read. Until next time, see you in the Shade!