There has been a significant amount of change in our lives over the last six to eight months. We moved into a two bedroom “barnomenium”, we have birthed new life into our family and careers. Two weeks ago today my family welcomed a brand new baby girl into this world. My first born son, soon to be four is utterly smitten with her. It is one of the most heartwarming things I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing in my life.
My wife was under doctor’s orders to not drive for two weeks after the birth and while for several days we had friends and family helping us after I dropped him off at school but, it was up to myself to take care of running my boy around to school and his swimming, which my wife would typically tend to. It’s been a big increase in pace and I would love to say I did wonderful but must admit there was a minor hiccup or two.
To help manage things I attempted to put every appointment and duty onto my calendar so that I would not forget any of my commitments. My calendar, which was synced to my phone, my Outlook, and my Gmail, told me who I was meeting with, when and where to be. I was beyond organized and no matter where I was I knew where and when I had to be somewhere. For the most part this worked almost flawlessly. Every day when I woke up I got a reminder I had to take our son to school, pick him up, take him to swim, and the several meetings I had between those times.
On Friday when I got back to the office I noticed my calendar was free for the rest of the day. I thought to myself it would be a great opportunity to take out a potential client who I had previously done business with. As luck would have it, he was available for the last minute lunch.
At lunch time I grabbed Michael, my business partner, and we loaded up in my truck and picked up our potential client and went to lunch. About 15 minutes into lunch Michael’s phone rang. He looked at me and asked “Why would your wife be calling me?” At first I said, “I have no idea” and reached for my phone. When I realized it was in my car I asked him to answer it. At that very moment I realized my mistake and said out loud “#!@%, I am the worst father ever.” When my wife got on the phone she asked if I was going to pick our son up. I apologized profusely and said “of course”.
Now I am sitting at lunch with Michael and our potential client. We are just getting ready to order our meal and my first thought is I must leave immediately and pick up our son. I soon realize we are all road together in my vehicle and I just can’t leave these guys alone without a ride. A bit of panic washes over me as I have absolutely no idea what to do so I excuse myself from the table. Options run through my head, they could call a cab, or our office is not that far away and Michael can walk and get his truck, but all I know is I have to leave and get my son.
After I compose myself and return to the table I asked Michael to order myself a plate of nachos and a burrito for my son. I then drive and pick my son up from school who is actually only a few blocks away. He is sitting in the office waiting for me and says with a sad kind of look and defeated voice, “Dad, you forgot me.” I apologize to him and he cheers up and we head back to lunch. It is not every day you bring your three year old son to a business lunch but on this day we did. Maybe in the future I will tell him this story with a twist insisting I introduced him to business at a very young age. Our potential client was very gracious and did not make a big deal out of it but I could only imagine what he was thinking of all of this, as I myself, was not feeling really proud.
I often would tell people if I ever had to work in sales for a living I would probably starve to death. As a new business owner I release I will always be in sales and pray that my old words do not come back to haunt me.
Over the next several weeks we are going to make a concentrated effort to let people know that we started a new company, what we do, how we are different, and hopefully find some work to keep the bills paid. Gaining work in a time when generally work in the industry is contracting is a challenge in and of itself. I pray that despite my faults and ineptitude in “sales” that people can see us for who we are, recognize our skills, and hunger to do a great job for them, so that we can pick up a job or two to keep the bills paid.
Wish us luck!!!