I have walked a very crooked line of jobs over my years of employment. While I started out as a kid mowing lawns for bubble gum money… and could have gone into the lawn care maintenance business. That career direction was cut short as the family picked up and moved out to the country. On the farm I learned how to do all of the things that a farmer does every day. Plowing fields, planting crops, bailing hay, taking care of the animals… and so I could have been a farmer. As I entered college I was working for a grocery store and among other things I worked in the meat room doing all of the things a butcher does and could have easily stepped into that kind of a job. My father used to do handyman type projects on the weekends and when Northwest Airlines mechanics went on strike… which used to happen all of the time. He built decks and room additions as well as paint houses and all sorts of home related projects. As one of those strikes came to an end… he asked me to join him finishing up a job that he was on… as we finished the job the customer needed a lot of other projects worked on… as my dad was unable to do them… I was handed that job as a handyman… for several years I built decks, room additions, painted houses and rooms as well as all home related projects… and so I could have done that. As I finished college with a teaching degree… I was set up to be an Art teacher… having taught a number of classes and coached a couple of teams… I could have done that. As the years went by it so happened that I was able to start a smaller marketing company that designed logos, did art work for a guy who lived in the building that I was caretaker of… so graphic artist and or building maintenance was right there for the taking. At that same time I applied for and got a job as an Orthotist… having a back ground in working with kids as a teacher, anatomy, kinesiology, biomechanics thru my coaching related courses… additionally I had plenty of experience with hand tools, power tools and hand eye skills that would be needed. Additionally I did a lot of sculpture in plaster at this job and it so happened that my Art back ground came in really handy there. As fate would have it… several jobs came to an end shortly after my son was born and I took a hard right turn into 100% commission sales.
Fortunately for me I had a bunch of things going for me. The position was for home improvement sales… go guess what I knew my way around every single kind of home improvement project known to man… and I could walk the walk and talk the talk. I personally enjoy sitting down and talking with folks about what they need done… my butcher and marketing job had a healthy slice of talking to and selling people in it. And most importantly… my wife had a pretty good paying job that made it possible to not sweat the pay check for at least a little while as I got the commission roll started. As it turned out I am a pretty good salesman! For the twenty plus years that I have been in this career… I have been one of the top salesman at the companies that I have sold for with a pat on my own back being top guy for more than 2/3 of those years.
Come to think of it… I was pretty good at all of those jobs… if I do say so myself! Recently I was looking thru old picture albums and came across several pictures of deck that I designed and built. I also came across letters from my students way back when… and according to those letters… I was a pretty good teacher! Some of the logos that I designed
as a graphic artist still hang on buildings, show up on TV, and are on stands to this day! As an orthotist… when I left Gillette… they needed 3 guys to replace me… I was very good at what I did there as well. As a caretaker, I took two buildings that had three units occupied… to completely filled inside one year… and had a waiting list for anyone who wanted to move out which made me pretty good at that! I did some painting as in picture painting for the fun of it for a while… in three different art auctions… my paintings would sell for 3 times more than the next ones down and there were a dozen plus professional artist that were competition at the time!
Which brings me to my next venture…it’s right here… you are reading it. I practicing to be a writer. I’ve thought about it now and then as I read other authors’ work… how would I write a book? Well… maybe it’s like building a room addition. I need a plan… maybe think about the pros and cons of the plan… redesign parts that aren’t quite right… and so on. I guess we start with a foundation… so I’ll need a story line to build on. Then I’ll need to build the walls and introduce some characters, put a door here a villain there. I will need a good guy and a smoking hot babe for a girl friend with two windows over there. Wow is this thing getting tangled up or what? But I think it all works the same… all I’ve had to do is put my mind and energy to anything and sooner or later I’ve been able to get pretty good at it.
Now the other thing I’d like to try is to be a bush pilot… now there the concept of redoing something until you get it right is another question with a much harder answer. On all the other things that one could do in life… what’s the worst that could happen? None of the things that I can think of in my mind involve broken bones, tragic and scary endings that don’t end well for all involved… so maybe I’ll let them do the flying… and I’ll write about it… right?
Please do me a favor… if you read this… like it or don’t like it… leave a comment if you will … I’d appreciate it