Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Leave It To The Professionals

I tend to be a control freak but the older I get there is one area that I’ve gotten better at giving up control.  That’s when working with a professional.  Someone who’s talent speaks for itself.  Someone who knows their business much better than I ever could.  Two examples of this came up recently.

The first was when my wife and I met with the photographer we’ve hired to take our family pictures this Summer.  We chose her because of her outstanding work.  We’ve seen the pictures she’s taken of our friends and their families and have been thoroughly impressed.

During the meeting she asked us our likes and dislikes.  She asked about our girls and their personalities.  She really did an excellent job getting a feel for our family and what we hoped she’d capture.  This really got my wife and I excited to set the date for the photos.

We discussed possible locations for the photo session.  Since we didn’t have anything in mind we were happy to go with a new place that she’d found and was eager to use.

Why wouldn’t we go with her suggestion?  It was obvious she was excited about it… and if you have a professional excited about the work you know you can expect outstanding results!

The second example of letting a professional do their job is when I called a florist to order flowers to give to my daughters at their dance recital.  When I was asked what I wanted I simply said, “I’d like two identical bouquets.   I’ve got a budget of $15-16 a piece.  Have fun. Create whatever you think a young girl would love to get after a night of dancing.”

The florist on the phone said, “We’ll take good care of you!”  That’s just what they did.  The bouquets were outstanding and my daughters loved them.  The flowers were extremely fresh and fragrant.

I truly believe that by placing my trust in the florist the outcome was better than if I had tried to be specific about how the flowers should be.  One other thing of note… the florist actually went under budget! Beautiful flowers for less than I was expecting!  It’s why I’ve used the same place for the last three recitals.

When you work with professionals do you find it easy to give up control?  If you’re an expert in your craft have you ever been limited by the demands of your clients?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Skip The Shortcuts

Mowing the lawn is not one of my most favorite things to do.  It’s only made tolerable by listening to some of my favorite podcasts.  So when it’s time to mow I usually like to get right at it to get it done and over with.

Today I was tempted to fire up the mower and go but knew the blade needed to be sharpened and the underneath cleaned out.  I wanted to take a shortcut and skip the maintenance but decided to do it anyway.

I’m glad I skipped the shortcut.  It only took ten minutes to sharpen the blade and clean the mower.   Spending those few minutes no doubt saved me the frustration of having to go slower because of a dull blade and clogged mower.  Plus, a sharp blade is better for the grass and makes the yard look better.

It was a reminder to me that shortcuts don’t always save time.  In fact, they could end up costing time in the long run and don’t produce as good of results.

We live in a “gotta have everything now can’t be made to wait” society… but sometimes slowing down and spending a little extra time to do things the right way is worth it in the end.

Ever have a shortcut end up taking more time or produce lack luster results?

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Things I Learned On A 3rd Grade Field Trip

Recently I took a day off from work to tag along with my youngest daughter’s 3rd grade class on their field trip to the Iowa State Capitol and State Historical Building.  It was a great day and I learned a lot.

Here are a few of my observations.

1.  Kids seem to listen to their teachers better than their parents.  (The teachers on this trip were fantastic!  So were the other parents.)

2.  Even when you don’t think they are paying attention kids really are listening.  I was surprised at the amount of facts my daughter retained when I asked her what she learned.

3.  An inexpensive digital camera with a large memory card would be a great gift for a 3rd grader.  I saw lots of budding photographers on the trip.

4.  If you took all the gold leaf off the capitol dome and made it into a ball it would be about the size of a baseball and weigh 6 pounds.  That I’ll always remember but I’m sure I’ll forget something important the next time I go to the store.

5.  There are plenty of free family activities if you search them out. Our group only saw a fraction of what we could have.  A family outing to the Capitol and State Historical Building will be added to our list of things to do this Summer.

6.  One of the benefits of going along on a class field trip is getting to know the other parents better.  This is a good thing because you’ll be seeing them at school functions for years to come.  You might as well become friends sooner rather than later.

7.  The view of downtown Des Moines from the Capitol is awesome.

Des Moines Skyline8.  Watching your child laughing and having fun with their friends will put a big smile on your face.

9.  Kids are eager to learn and will ask lots of questions if you let them… and you should let them.

10.  You’ll never regret taking a day off from work to join your child’s class on a field trip.  I regret not realizing this when my kids were younger.

Those are just a few of my thoughts after spending some time on a 3rd grade field trip.

Ever gone on a class outing with your kids?  What do you remember most about the experience?

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