(Is that good or bad? I think it’s good.)
When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was “Carry on, Mr. Bowditch” by Jean Lee Latham.*
It tells the story of Nathaniel Bowditch, who grew up in Salem, MA, in the late 1700s, in the time of tall ships and the spice trade.
At age 12, he became indentured at a local ship chandlery, and throughout his indenture, taught himself math, languages, physics, and more. He ended up writing a book about navigation, first published in 1802, that saved lives, revolutionized seafaring, and that the US Government still publishes and updates today.
One chapter, early on in his indenture, has young Nat regretting being chained to this store for 9 years, when he wanted to be going to school and moving on with his life.
A retired sea captain replies, “Only a weakling gives up when he’s becalmed! A strong man sails by ash breeze!”
When a ship is becalmed, the wind died down, sometimes the sailors break out their oars. They’ll row a boat ahead of the ship and tow her. Oars are made of ash, white ash, so when you get ahead by your own get up and go – that’s sailing by ash breeze.”
Nat straightened up “I like the sound of that,” he said.
So did I.
Years ago, when I was laid off from a large telecommunications company, I had decided that I was done with other people, who I’d never even met, deciding whether or not I had a job.
So I went solo.
Running a business isn’t easy, at least, not for me.
And I am very lucky – I work with great clients and great colleagues. And it’s not like I am the only one on the oars, either – I have and have had some amazing help. But it’s still a challenge, especially these past few years.
But by sailing by ash breeze – I (we) am (are) getting it done – staying in business, getting new work, and looking ahead.
And this month – January 2023 – marks 10 years since I got serious and incorporated as Rock Pixel Scissors, Inc.
So – thank you.
Thank you to my clients for trusting me with your work and your businesses, thank you to my friends and colleagues who help in ways both big and small.
And here’s to another 10 years – or more – of website building and fixing and getting stuff done.
*Recently I was reminded of the Bowditch family which inspired me to dig out the book – I still have it! (thanks Jessica).