When A Friend’s Passing Stops You In Your Tracks

The last weeks years have kept me busy thinking about reinvention. Remodeling contractors large and small have taken hard economic hits, and it will take years to recover. Not that there is no work, mind you, but there is much less of it, and contractors have to work a great deal harder to get it. And so I have been trying to come up with new marketing ideas, and ways of monetizing construction knowledge in other ways. Hardly a day goes by that I do not think about this stuff.

This morning my little bubble of self-absorbed reinvention burst. I received an email informing me that a long-time friend passed away. He was 90 years old and in declining health, so this should not have been a surprise. Yet, it was a shock. I had plans for this beautiful Sunday, including a backlog of thinking I wanted to catch up on. But all that came to a hard stop.

Suddenly my thoughts are focused on humanity, human values, humility. Who cares about always chasing the almighty buck? Are we, as a nation, only living to survive a never-ending rat race? To squeeze money out of each other at every turn, no matter the consequences? When will we start placing greater importance on people rather than money?

As for my business, I want to provide a service that is genuinely useful, and that also allows me to make a living. My friend once said that most business people are crooks. I think he was right, and I strive not to be among them.

Abe was the most authentic person I have known. Wise, smart, and a mean ping-pong player. I know his wisdom will continue to influence my life for a very long time. And I suspect he will leave his mark on my business as well. May he rest in peace.

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