There’s more good news than I can write about. Discretion has its drawbacks. I have been heartened by the news shared by friends: new jobs, significant clients, unexpected opportunities, products that finally the market in a big way. The wave started a few months ago, and I’ve looked forward to sharing the good news here, but have been waiting for the public announcements so I didn’t break confidances by publicizing the news before the time they considered appropriate. I wonder how much good news remains uncelebrated from humility, caution, and an understandable desire for privacy. I decided to share what I can, even though it is only a spoonful from a much larger bowl.
Congratulations to Alan Beckley, one of the few folks who truly understands what my first few years at Boeing were like because we traded jobs, involuntarily, occasionally. He left the world of major aerospace fifteen years before I did. There was wisdom in that considering he ended up working for some odd new technology in 1983 called cellular telephones. Ah, but that will never go anywhere because they are too bulky, expensive, and only useful in a few places. Ha! He is restless because his mind is so active. He left the frenetic telecommunications world to prove himself as an inventor. Check out his blog. As I have chronicled personal finances ups and downs (and hopefully ups again) he has chronicled the struggles of inventors in America. The success rate of inventors is about the same as the success rate of writers, which probably has more to say about the creative economy than inventing or writing; but he recently became one of the success stories.
“Today, my product is one of the hottest selling new products on DRTV: the Wonder Wallet. It sells on TV commercials, on HSN, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond and soon other retailers all across the US and Canada. I have achieved the American Dream. Persistence pays!” – Persistence Pays
As someone in Silicon Valley has said, one way to become a billionaire is to do something good for a billion people. If Alan manages to relieve back pain for a million people, he will become a millionaire. Many people are trying to save the planet, but along the way there is great value in someone who makes a wallet that is slim enough that it can fit in a back pocket without throwing off a man’s ergonomics. The amount spent in treating injuries from bad ergonomics is in the billions. A slimmer wallet won’t make a difference to many of my friends because wallets bulk up from credit cards and cash. While many of my friends don’t have credit cards and are nearly cashless from choice or necessity, they are in the very small minority. Alan saw a need, saw a solution, and pursued it for years until finally, success. I believe a long vacation is due and deserved.
Congratulations to Dr. Craig Weiner and Alina Frank, a couple who’ve probably heard too many jokes about wieners and franks, but who are known on Whidbey for their healing practices. I’ve written about Dr. Craig’s work before, partly because of a session I had with him, but particularly because of a bit of wisdom he provided in a video. The video was about EFT, which I’ll quickly define in a bit, but the anecdote he relayed in the video was one of the best examples I’ve seen of how history and emotions can cause real physical pain – and also how to relieve it. Since then, he and Alina have made incredible progress spreading the message of what they do and how it works. EFT stands for (pardon me as I look it up again) Emotional Freedom Techniques.
The good news is that, after years of practice and an expanding network of clients, they’ve decided to take their offerings beyond the island, and beyond the region. His enthusiasm and awareness of risk were an interesting balance to hear playing together as he told me about his next venture, which is to make their teachings available in an online seminar. It is one thing to find a way to help friends, and friends of friends, but realizing you can help strangers regardless of location can be awesome and intimidating. And, they’re taking that step. They’re online event starts October 19, with them and a much wider array of instructors in various fields. They’re taking their knowledge and understanding, trusting in themselves, and taking a step too few take. Their schedule is what prompted this post.
In the same league as Alan, Craig, and Alina are easily dozens of friends who have recently attained levels of success they deserve and didn’t expect, or at least didn’t expect to have happen the way it did. Some are selling food, others are consultants, others have made connections that finally mean ideas are finding the right audience. One got to stroll the red carpet for real. One small (probably soon to be widely successful) company managed to be recognized for high-quality work by being personally, repeatedly, and authentically championed in front of the elite audience they’ve always tried to reach. The list goes on, and on. Some of it is public. Most is not. Too little is available for me to relay because I don’t want to exploit confidences, many people want to control every aspect of their message, and because I’ve lost track of who I can and can’t talk about freely. Information is power, and is necessarily guarded.
Unfortunately, humility, caution, and an understandable desire for privacy and control also mean we hear less good news. We need good news. There’s too much bad news. It is too easy for me to write about bad news, because, weird as it is, people are more likely to encourage the publication of bad news while trying to control good news. I know of lots of good news. It is one of the sources of my optimism. So much good news happens because of lots of honest, sincere work that finally finds an auspicious moment. Serendipity happens, and is wonderful. Sometimes it is a patron. Sometimes it is a customer. Sometimes it is basic capitalism, a demand finding a supply.
My life is a mix, as are all of our lives. I have lots of good news, but at least temporarily and monetarily, the balance falls on the bad news side. But I expect that to change. That expectation is based on logic and variations of the 10,000 hour rule, and also emotion and comments like the one I received today.
“You are probably the most Renaissance man I’ve ever known because you manage to do so much intellectually, physically, and artistically.” (Paraphrased because I was whacking blackberries at the time – maybe the inspiration for the physical comment, though there is dancing, walking, hiking, and karate; so she may have a point.)
Too often we downplay the good news, even if it is stellar. It is easier to emphasize the bad news, because there are things that desperately need to be fixed. But, I think the only way we’re going to make progress on the bad news is to recognize the good news, share it, and celebrate it. So, to those who’ve shared good news that I didn’t include; my apologies. In the future, I hope to include more posts of good news, like this one. And to those I’ve cajoled, kidded, and encouraged to share their good news, know that we are waiting. We want to hear it. We need to hear it.
Doh! So here’s my bit of good news. Tuesday evening, October 20th, 2015, I’ll be giving a talk on Social Media at the Mill Creek Library (though the meeting is in the Annex, wherever that is). That’s good news because, 1) I enjoy helping people, 2) I enjoy public speaking, 3) they’re paying me, and 4) I’m finally taking my public speaking and consulting services off the island, stepping out ala Dr. Craig and Alina. Take this far enough and who knows, maybe I’ll give talks down Alan’s way in Texas. Stay tuned.