I Am a Lucky Guy
Life is full of surprises and twists and turns – and I have concluded that life is not fair. So what? I just roll with the punches. Life is not easy and anyone young enough to believe that life is fair will find out quickly that it is certainly not.
Most of us who’ve lived more than a few decades come to grips with the truth – the real “facts of life” – you just have to learn to take each day as it comes and always try to do your best. Some days will float away into the neverlands, others will gnaw and nag at you for weeks, months or years, and others will be beautiful if fleeting, memories, just tiny pieces of joy and happiness, love and understanding that filled moments of days now in the past, but still and always living inside the heart.
And sometimes, I guess, we’re all a little bit underappreciative of the good things we have in our lives. Although I’m pretty sure that most of us who are still working would not count our jobs among the best things in our lives. But I’m here to tell you how thankful I am that I am able to do what I do and have such a wonderful and meaningful time doing it.
OK. So what is it I do that I think is so great? It’s nothing extraordinary. I’m not a surgeon saving lives, or an officer of the law preventing a robbery, or a minister or priest saving souls. No, I’m afraid I don’t do anything so grand as those people do.
But what I do is what I like and what I enjoy. I get to work with someone (Darcy) who is kind and understanding and honest – and who is not afraid to coil my gears should I get out of line. And I say… good for her!
Twenty-one years ago, Darcy and I started out sharing graphics on an obscure web site called Thundercloud & Eightball’s Holiday Graphics.
I can remember coming home from the job I had at that time and Darcy would message me and say …”We had 5 visitors today!” .It was exciting. Then toward Christmas, one day we had 50 visitors. I thought for sure we are on the way to becoming Internet moguls. It’s funny now, but I can remember being so excited, I’d be up at 4:00 AM and on the computer and I’d still be on the computer at midnight. I was on the computer until my eyes wouldn’t stay open another minute. Talk about a labor of love.
I’m not going to get into a long history here, suffice it to say we went on to create Cloudeight Stationery and become the most successful email stationery site on the web. We had over a quarter-million mail list subscribers and we were doing well. Then along came Windows 7 and that was the death knell for our stationery. We had to completely reinvent ourselves — or quit.
So we loped along for a while and then in 2011, we started Cloudeight Direct Computer Care. We started helping people with their computers, and instead of charging what other people were charging, we charged as little as possible. And as we got better and faster at what we were doing, we decreased the price. This is probably the opposite of what a good money-wise company would do, but we thought it was the right thing to do.
And we’ve kept our prices low because we are trying to help people and not trying to become wealthy or earn millions of dollars – we’re long past having those kinds of dreams.
But you’re probably reading this and wondering what all this has to do with me being a lucky guy. I’m going to tell you.
Just about every weekday I get a chance to help people with their computers. And that’s a great part of my job, but just as great is the chance to be able to “talk” to people – albeit most of the time though a chatbox – and, if not get to know them, at least learn a little bit about them.
And you know what I’ve discovered? Everyone is different in this crazy old world, but most people are very nice – and we all share the same planet, and we can all understand each other’s trials. And being patient and kind with people makes a difference.
I was not the most patient person, but Darcy kind of prodded me into remembering that we didn’t always understand computers. Heck! I can remember when zip files scared me to death. And when I’d breathe a sigh of relief when a program came with an installer rather than one of those confounded zip files that you had to click around inside looking for whatever it was that ran the program.
Now, you’re going to laugh – but I remember when I couldn’t even copy and paste. I pretended I knew how, but I didn’t. I finally had to break down and admit I was a computer dummy who didn’t even know how to copy and paste – probably one of the most basic and useful computer skills. Darcy taught me.
So, I found my patience with people by remembering my early days with computers. And now I enjoy working with and helping people – and enjoy getting to know them.
I know that we consider our newsletter subscribers, members, and our boosters friends. And I know it’s important that we continue to be the best we can be and help as many people as we can.
And it’s not because we’re ever going to get rich. It’s not because we make money doing it. It’s because we enjoy doing what we do – very much. While we still need to make a living, we don’t need to be wealthy. So, we help as many people as we can every day. And we try to keep the prices on the products and services we do sell as low as we can… while keeping the quality as high as possible.
Finally, it’s the knowing we’re helping people and making friends that makes me feel I’m so lucky. I know that I speak for Darcy as well in saying we’re going to keep on helping as many people as we can for as long as we can – and we hope to keep on making friends along the way.
Now you see – or at least I hope you can see – why I’m such a lucky guy.