Week 17 – Living the Dream (For Real!)
Hope all is going well. It’s hard to believe that it’s blog time again. The weeks just seem to fly by and Labor Day weekend sort of signifies that summer is coming to a close. It truly has gone by fast. Seeing the school buses back on the road this week was the other reminder that summer is ending. Last year made me and I’m sure many people both here and around the world look forward to this summer all that much more. It is crazy how a pandemic can make you really appreciate even the small things in life. Truly fortunate to get through last year.
I tend to lose track of time more now since Tina and me do not have any young children anymore (now young adults). We would like to think they are getting older and we’re not, but we unfortunately know better. For me, fall is one of my favorite seasons (spring would be the other). There is nothing better than the crisp air in the morning and the nice temperature during the daytime. Also, the benefit of having older children is that Tina and me can take a day here and there during the fall without having to worry about the kid’s schedule, homework, etc. After this weekend, I believe that my schedule as well as our teams is going to get even busier with all of the things going on at the company.
I am sure some people are reading the title of this week’s blog and saying that I am not serious. After all, most people whether they work for themselves or someone else, typically use this saying in a sarcastic way. I must admit, there are times that I have felt that way. I’ll get into that in a moment. Science has always been something that has been in me, ever since I was a kid. To be able to do something you love is not only a blessing, it never feels like work. I love going into work each day. There are times when I walk around the business and cannot believe what we’ve created. There are a few ways I can describe the feeling. For sports fans, it is like walking up the ramp and seeing the field/pitch for the first time on a beautiful day. For those in love, it’s like the first time you meet the person you know you are going to spend the rest of your life with. For those who have pets, it’s like the first time you bring home your new friend. There is nothing better than that warm, excited feeling you get in these situations. This is the feeling I get each day I come into work. You would figure that with all of the issues that come up with being a business owner I would not feel this way, but it always comes back to my love for what I do and the belief that what our team does can really make a difference in the world.
Over the past 18+ years, it has not been an easy path by any stretch of the imagination. Owning and operating a small business is not for the faint of heart for sure. There are so many things you do not think about when you work for someone else. When I worked for an institution, I never had to worry about where my salary was coming from. Someone else was taking care of that. In contrast, being a business owner means making sure that your team is provided for. You need to have a vision for your company. When you work for someone else, you follow their vision. While the vision has morphed over time, we have been able to convey that vision and make sure that the team has full buy-in in order to execute the plan. We have been fortunate over the years to have our team fully believe in the mission. As I mentioned in our last blog, we are laser-focused on executing our business plan to move BioSurfaces to the next level. We are excited about what BioSurfaces can be in the next few years and beyond.
Over the years, we have had some tough times that have brought us almost to our knees ready to tap out. These ranged from lack of funding (something most businesses experience at one point or another), slow adoption of the technology even though we had some excellent data (partner/collaborator interest in what we do has never been greater which is really exciting), deals that have gone sideways after extensive work and folks that just did not work out for different reasons. Even during the lowest of the low, we continued to believe in what we do and have worked hard to move past it. It would have been tough to get through without a good partner. I am fortunate to have that in my personal and professional life with Tina.
For those of you who have been following this blog for some time, you know that we are big reality TV viewers. It is a mindless way to be entertained. After all, most of my time is spent dreaming, thinking, planning, developing and analyzing, with the process stuck on repeat like Groundhog Day. Reality TV gives a slight reprieve from this. Anyway, one of our favorite shows is Below Deck, which is about life of a crew on a luxury yacht. Captain Lee Rosbach, who pilots the yacht through the season, always says at the end of each season that he has the best job in the world. There is no better feeling and I couldn’t agree more. Through all the chaos, great times, heartbreaks, scientific breakthroughs and failures, I can honestly say I have the best damn job in the world.
To my US readers, hope you have a great Labor Day Weekend! We’ll see everyone back here on September 17th.