On Time? It Depends. (Susan Lapin)

November 7th, 2006 Posted by Thought Tools No Comment yet

My husband and I didn’t know each other during our school days. But it seems that we took very different approaches to our studies. When I was assigned a paper that was due, let’s say, in six weeks, I immediately gave myself a slightly earlier artificial due date in case of unexpected impediments, and then working backwards, put in intermediary deadlines. And I met all my deadlines, ideally with the final work ready a few days early or at worst, on time.

Not so my husband. From what I hear it seems that his methodology was quite different. To begin with, he pretty much ignored the assignment figuring that if it was important it would get mentioned again. If it began to seem pressing he would mentally make a list of all the reasons it might not be necessary to actually do it. After all, teachers have been known to get sick, schools to burn down and epidemics to break out. It would certainly be a shame to put in all that work and find out that after all, the deadline was cancelled. If, the night before the due date nothing cataclysmic had occurred and he had used up his quota of feigned illnesses, then there was nothing to do but work through the night and hand in as much of the work as could be done at the last minute. (Guess whose school stories our children had more fun listening to?)

Since we weren’t in class together and never had to deal with a team academic project, these differing work methods didn’t seem to form a barrier to a successful marriage. And over the years, while we discussed and helped each other with everything we did whether it was preparing lectures, homeschooling our children, writing books or paying bills, each activity fell mainly into one of our domains. Everything worked fine until we technically became empty nesters last year. (I say technically because there still seem to be a lot of people running around our house, but I digress). At that point we decided to launch a new endeavor to vastly increase production of books and audio material. With my homeschooling years behind me, I theoretically had endless newly freed hours to devote to this project as well as to our organization, Toward Tradition. We could work as a team on a joint venture.

Well, over the past year, we have each learned many new things. I have come to see that even with the best of intentions, running a business entails lots of variables that aren’t always within one’s control. Sometimes, deadlines need to be flexible. And my husband has learned that when he tells me that something will be ready by Monday, I actually enter that on my calendar and count on having it. Most of all, we’ve confirmed that we’d rather work with each other than with anyone else. We are pleased to announce that our web-site is finally up and our store is open. We have one new product of which we are immensely proud and others in the pipeline. Most of all, we’re glad to have you along for the ride.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment.

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