Business 1.0 September/October 2023

October 13th, 2023 by Nathan Hobbs

The Bridge

I heard them before I saw them and surprisingly was startled by their arrival. I had been walking through the Fullersburg woods along the Salt Creek in Oak Brook, Ill., and there didn’t seem to be another human anywhere to be found … until they came along. I regularly walk these woods and the quiet and peacefulness found here is hard to duplicate. A pebble had made its way into my right shoe, and I had stopped to remove it. I was sitting on a large rock and just retying my shoe as they approached. They stopped just a few feet away and looked toward the bridge that crosses the creek at this juncture.

“Dad, look at this bridge. Isn’t it cool?” asked the boy, who I would have guessed was about six years-old.

“Yes, Joey, it is pretty cool, and I’m going to take a picture of it with my phone to show your mother,” replied the father, who I would have guessed was in his mid-thirties.

A New Pair

I had not previously seen this pair. To be sure, there are regulars who visit these woods; For example, there’s Ron, the retired Wisconsin policeman, and Laura, Sandi, and Matteo the singing Italian bike rider who loves to serenade the animals and humans who frequent these woods with his beautiful Italian operatic baritone voice. No one complains about Matteo’s singing. He’s too nice a guy and too good of a singer, and besides, he’s gone so quickly that you don’t have time to be annoyed. There are others whose names I don’t know but regularly recognize. The father and son were new and did not notice me.

“Dad,” little Joey began after his dad had snapped a few pictures, “do you think we could go across this bridge?”

“Oh, I don’t think that would be a good idea, Joey,” the father calmly replied.

Adventure or Not

Kids, particularly little boys, love exploring and having an adventure. For probably more than 30 years, we have vacationed each August in Door County, Wis. One of our traditional hikes was on a trail called the Eagles Bluff in the Peninsula State Park. We would always hide a quarter in one certain cave there and then, from year to year, hunt to see if we could remember where we put it and if it was still there. This lost most of its appeal as the kids got older, but when they were young, they loved exploring new trails and areas almost as much as they liked the familiarity of things previously discovered.

“Dad, why can’t we go across the bridge?” little Joey asked as he stared up at his father.

“Well, Joey, we can’t go across the bridge because we don’t really know what’s on the other side” replied the dad.

I think the world is made up of two kinds of people. One group is the adventurers-the ones who want to cross every bridge and enter every cave. These people often go into business for themselves because they have to find out if they have what it takes to make it. To them, the adventure is worth the risk and trouble. The other group is made up of those who are relatively satisfied with what they have or what they already know. I firmly believe that our environments and training during our formative years dictate the type of person we become. The world needs a dose of both and, while all of us have a little adventure in us, most also have an appropriate amount of practical fear and hesitation. The overly adventurous are often prone to recklessness, while the overly timid can often miss out on what life offers. Somehow, we need to balance the extremes. We’re all different, and thankfully so, but my heart, from a business standpoint anyway, sides with the adventurers-the ones who “go for it,” knowing full well they may fail but giving their every ounce of energy and strength in an attempt not to.

“But Dad,” Joey began as he looked imploringly at his father, “we gotta cross this bridge because if we don’t, we’re never going to know what’s on the other side.”

The father took Joey’s hand and walked down the path as the little boy continued to look over his shoulder at the bridge. Soon, they were gone, and I was sad.

Humor columnist Lyle R. Hill is the former owner of a window film company in the Midwest. He also serves as president of®, an information portal and job generation company. Hill has more than 50 years of experience in film and glass-related industries and can be reached at

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