You know those antique wooden snowshoes that you see fastened above fire places in log cabins? My husband, Sam, and I are crafting two sets — one for me and one for him. When we went back east for Christmas recently, we discovered that Sam’s father had all the tools and knowledge to make them.
Naturally, we had to have a pair. So, we ran to the local lumber yard, found the best wood for snowshoes, and commenced with our project. It was going well until we tried to steam and form the wood. We broke six pieces the first time around. Finally, success! We had four formed pieces of wood ready to be laced.
The next step was the lacing, which turned out to be a back-breaker, too. Let’s just say, my husband took over for me on this part. That is until he handed it back to me half laced, in need of some lacing in smaller portions of the snowshoe. So, I was all alone with my unfinished snowshoe again … joy. For two weeks, I stared at them every time I walked by. It was like facing an arch enemy before battle.
Finally, I started lacing the first toe, and when it was finished it resembled a preschooler’s first art project. After trial and error, I started in on the second snowshoe toe, which looks even better than the first! I was proud of myself.
Throughout the process, I found myself applying my snowshoe lessons to work. At work, you can either jump in and accomplish your projects or “stare” at them relentlessly in meetings. As great as it is to have a million meetings discussing how you will get something done, nothing teaches better than diving in, learning and finishing the project. It is more fulfilling to have a final project that isn’t perfect, than a “perfect” project on paper that isn’t finished.
What you learn from diving in and finishing projects:
- There are no easy projects. If it’s an easy project, you either aren’t challenging yourself enough, or you have done it so many times that the process is perfected. One way or another, involve yourself with projects that stretch your capabilities. A project should be hard. The harder the project, the greater the accomplishment.
- A measurable project equals a good project. Measure your projects through goals. Use goals as your yardstick. Don’t put them off. Procrastination does not take you to the destination. By finishing a project, you can look back and measure your success against your goals. If it measures up, then you did well. If it doesn’t, then revamp your goals and try again.
- Change leads to improvement. If we never recognize we need to change, we can never improve. The same goes for projects. Reviewing a project and highlighting areas for improvement is a good habit to practice. The first time I laced the snowshoe toe, it was disastrous. I learned what I could correct for the next lacing and advanced drastically. Look for opportunities to improve and act on them.
- Accomplishment brings confidence, which makes you want to do more projects. The greater the challenge, the greater the satisfaction and the more projects you will want to do. The better you become at solving problems, the more driven you are to excel. All of this leads to more confidence, character, and capability.
Funny how snowshoes teach business lessons. Well, my hands hurt from lacing, but completion is close. You know a project was worthwhile when a little sweat and blood went into it.
About the Author: As the Communications Specialist, Colette Williamson is involved in compiling eSilverBullet’s message, not only through this blog, but through twitter, facebook, etc. Relevant knowledge can help eSilverBullet’s customers have greater success. When Colette is not working, she skis, hikes, knits, reads, creates delicious homemade pizza, makes snowshoes, and finds random activities to keep herself happy and busy.