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Week 21 – Appreciating Life

Hope all is going well. It has been a long couple of weeks. I do not mean that in a negative way. There were a lot of things going on with both the business and personal fronts that have needed my attention all at once. It is times like these that make me a little envious of my friends who have a 9 to 5 job. Being able to shut off at the end of the shift would be a treat once in a while. Being a small business owner, the two worlds tend to collide quite a bit (for example, I am sitting here at 10:30pm writing this blog). When things are busy, it does make it slightly challenging. But in these times, there are signs always being sent to keep things in perspective. I remember this time when I was with a group of people and I saw an elderly gentleman who clearly needed help getting out of his car. His wife had a panicked look on her face. They were so appreciative when I came over to help him. One of the people I was with asked me how I knew that he needed help. I told him you just have to keep your head up and your eyes open. This is the same philosophy for seeing what life can bring you.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been chatting with a few friends and business acquaintances about how their jobs were going. A constant theme I was hearing from them was a dissatisfaction with their jobs. These people work for large fortune 500 companies and are likely making some serious cash, but that is not bringing them happiness. There are times over the past 18+ years we’ve been in business that I have wished to have this kind of stability in my life. But then I catch myself this week doing some research in the lab, humming a tune and really enjoying the moment. I come to think how spoiled am I that I get to do what I love every day. While the money can always be better (many of us think this way), my happiness is more important than bringing in a bigger paycheck. I feel bad for the folks that I know that do not feel this sense of satisfaction in their lives. It is always easier to feel that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but that is not usually the case.

The past few weeks also made Tina and me think about the value of friendship, another area more important than money. It is always easy to have friends when times are great, but you will really know who your friends are when you are at your lowest. As I mentioned in previous blogs, we’ve had our share of ups and downs at the business. Tina and I have made it a point to always take stock in the people that have had our back through thick and thin. It is humbling when you have that level of support and belief in who you are and what you believe in. We are so fortunate to have such dear friends. It is something that Tina and I will never forgot and we will look to pass it forward.

When I think about where the business started, where we are at and where we want to go, it also gives us great appreciation for the opportunity we have been given. Most biotech companies do not make it past 5 years let alone over 18 years. We had hoped that we would make it for a few years so I could get a reprieve from commuting into Boston. But as the data continues to come in, we realize that we have something special here. It has driven us to continue working hard in spite of sometimes strong headwinds. Even with the headwinds, we have never lost faith. We have also been so fortunate to be our own boss. Tina and I have had this blessing (and curse sometimes too) for a while. Being able to withstand the hills and valleys, we are planning for our future. It is going to be lot of work with no guarantees of success. Just the type of odds we are used to dealing with. We have a lot of great people supporting us and looking to drive this with us to the finish line so we are up to the challenge.

On a final note, we would like to wish Kirsten Harnden of our manufacturing team success as she leaves us this week to pursue her next endeavor. It is always hard in a small company to lose any member of our team as each person becomes part of the extended family. That being said, Tina and I always say that it is important for someone to follow a path that brings them happiness and fulfilment in their professional life. We hope that our team feels this passion and enjoys their experience here. Nothing is more important. We have been blessed to feel this way for over 18 years even through all of the trials and challenges we’ve faced. We will continue to take time to smell the roses and appreciate what life has given us.

See you back here on November 12th.


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