Part of the great adventure of writing my first book is the things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met. At least for me, it seems like usually when I admit that I don’t know something (which is quite often), people who do know something about it are more than happy to help. As a civil engineer, I got paid to know stuff (or at least figure it out) and solve problems. Through hard work, investment of my time, I was often one of the more experienced hands in the room; at least when I had my own company, and when I headed up Land Development Engineering as the City Engineer. Then when I was promoted to director, suddenly I knew less than everyone who reported to me, which was a new experience for me. Even the new city engineer, working with engineering issues every day, quickly became more expert at those than I was. It was a humbling experience, but good training for new ventures, like writing a book.
This past week I was searching through ‘author photos’ to be used in a press kit for promotion of my book take less. do more. Looking at the photos reminded me of how sometimes in life we are the giver, and sometimes we are the receiver, and how both are valuable.
When I realized many months ago that I would need some legitimate, professional ‘author photos’ at some point, I contacted a local friend, I’ll call him Matt, who seems to know everyone in Bend. He referred me to a professional photographer friend of his, I’ll call him Bruce. Bruce agreed to meet me for coffee at Sparrow Bakery, and we talked about what I needed over Ocean Rolls and coffee. While Bruce does stunning work, the vast majority of his photos are landscapes, not profile photos. He referred me to a photographer friend of his, who I’ll call Greg, who he thought would be good for that. Since there’s no HIPAA among friends, he shared, in vague terms, that Greg had recently received a terminal diagnosis, so I shouldn’t wait too long to get in touch.
As I walked home, I realized that I already had a friend, Terri ‘Splash’ Steele, a thru-hiker and photographer, who could take the needed photos. I called her and set up a visit, but decided to meet with Greg anyway. Greg and I met the following week, again at Sparrow Bakery, and spent some enjoyable time chatting. Greg told me since he had limited time left, he had quit his job, and was working on checking off some bucket list items. One of those was a trip to Patagonia, which he wasn’t sure how it was going to happen with his new, more constrained, financial situation. Since Francie and I keep a separate bank account for just such opportunities, we were able to help in making that trip happen.
Originally when Greg came into my life, I was thinking I would be getting something from him, some headshot photos I needed. As it turned out, Greg came into my life instead so that I could do something for him. Now I’m always intrigued when someone new comes into my life, is it so that they can help me with a problem, or am I supposed to help them in some way? Sometimes, I end up finding out, it’s a little of both.
Either way, whether it’s for giving or receiving, I hope you welcome a few new people into your life when they cross your path. You just never know where it will lead!