I always get excited about cracking open a new book. The thought that each page takes me on a path to the unknown, and the only thing to guide me is the brief summary on the back cover, what has happened in the pages before, and my imagination. Will I keep hurrying through the pages? Or slow down to digest every word? That is up to me to decide. Will the book change my thought process along the way? WillI have a life changing revelation at the end? I never know until I start reading.
As I begin each year, I often find myself looking at the days ahead with anticipation and excitement about what those pages may bring. Will it be a continuation of the year before? What twists and turns will lie ahead? Will I be ready? Will it end the way I hoped? I have no idea what the new chapter will hold, but what I do know is that I have a hand in deciding how it turns out.
Working at FabACab has been like starting a new book that I get to help write. I work with an amazing group of people that try every day to choose the best possible outcome to the story for our employees and customers. I guess you could say I joined FabACab somewhere around Chapter 2 of the story. Still very early on with much to be written. With that, came the opportunity to have a lot of input on how that story went. I had never been involved in a “story” about the elevator industry before. None of us had. So here we are, a group of people (the size of that group growing each day), working and learning together, choosing the path for what is turning out to be an awesome story.
When you are a co-author of a story, you are immersed in researching, writing, editing, re-writing and hopefully enjoying the story as it goes. As the FabACab story unfolds I have found some truths along the way that have shaped how I write my part of the story. Below is a list of some of those.
- Every day is a blank page. You can be messy and, trust me, it’s ok to erase. The important thing is that you are doing it. Business and life are both messy. Some of the most beautiful things in life come out of a mess. If you don’t like how things are going, you can back up and go a different direction. You have some control in how things turn out. At FabACab, we occasionally change direction, and we sometimes make mistakes. We are human. Who doesn’t make mistakes? We admit it when we have, and ask what can we do to improve so that it doesn’t happen again. We end up stronger in the end.
- As I mentioned before, early on none of us came from the elevator industry, but what we lacked in experience, we made up for in a common desire to make things better. Better for our customers, and better for ourselves. Having a core group, whether in work or life that can share the same vision and want to go in the same direction as you can make all the difference in the world. There is a strength in working together to accomplish something. Find your group and go for it.
- Slow down and enjoy every moment. I’ve had an ordinary life full of extraordinary moments. It has happened in the blink of an eye. I have not truly experienced all those amazing moments to the fullest. I travel a lot with FabACab, and I’ve seen some amazing places that I never thought I would see. But in that moment, I don’t always take time to appreciate it. Most times when I travel I feel like, I have to hurry because in my head I need to do this, or I have to do that, while I miss the sometimes, beautiful scenery around me. I can say the same about my personal life. What have I missed out on because I didn’t take the time to just enjoy it while it was happening? Find a good work life balance. If you have a family, your kids won’t be young forever. Enjoy those moments with family and friends.
- Feedback is one of the best ways to improve. I am a believer in constructive criticism. It is one of the best ways to help someone grow. One of the things that inspired me the most when I decided to join the FabACab team was that our company was built—and continues to be built— on feedback. It is a company that lets the customers write some of the content too! Some of my greatest mentors and friends in life have been the ones that have been brutally honest with me. There is a certain level of respect and growth that comes from a moment of being raw and real with another person. Ask for that feedback and grow from the answer you get in return.
- Sometimes the fire breathing dragon at the end of the book is you. We all can be our own worst enemy. Don’t let yourself, your fear and your hesitations get in the way of progress. There is something liberating in overcoming an obstacle or fear. Many who know me well, know I have had a tremendous fear of flying from a very early age. If I had an opportunity to drive 3,000 miles to get to a destination or fly four hours, hands down I would drive. Since I joined the FabACab team, I fly a lot. The first time I had to fly for a business trip, I was a nervous wreck. But if I wanted to be successful and help FabACab be successful I had to conquer that fear. Now I have flown so much, it doesn’t bother me at all. I sit down, buckle my seatbelt and enjoy the ride.
- If you want a successful ending to a story…LOVE. Love yourself, and love others around you. One Saturday morning I had an opportunity to talk with my Grandpa. I reminded him that his birthday was coming up…his 101st birthday! I asked him if he had any tips for me on living a long, healthy life like he has. His response was simple, “I have had a lot of love in my life, Sonya.” I could not think of truer words than what he had just spoken. Think about how much people and things flourish with love. For a plant to produce fruit, it needs love and care. I can honestly say I work with a group of people I love and believe love me too. They are my extended family. We truly care about one another and want everyone to be successful at work, and in our personal lives. I know that isn’t common in a work environment, but I believe that genuine love and care for each other and what we are doing has been an instrumental part of writing a great FabACab story. And by the way, one of our core values at FabACab is, “Love People” because we believe that extending love is that important.
I hope this encourages you to pick up a pen and start writing. Or if you have already started, it encourages you to keep going. In my conversation with my grandpa, he continued his advice by reminding me that we aren’t meant to stay here on this earth. Enjoy your time here and the people you’re with. Listen to someone’s story, learn from it, and if they just so happen to ask you to help write it, truly consider it. And most of all, extend love to others because it makes this world a better place.