What Emeran’s Reading: Cutting For Stone, the verdict

April 20, 2012

What a great book! We all know that life is complicated. This story follows the life of Marion Stone and the tortured, yet ultimately resolved, relationships with his family. He goes through life doing what he thinks is expected of him. He is successful as a doctor, yet has lost, or buried, himself. There is ultimately resolution, but not without loss. Don’t we all have idealistic tendencies when we are teenagers: love, career, importance? So does the lead character. However, his life continues to be turned upside down by complicated relationships. As I get older, I look back at my life and chuckle at my youthful ideals. At times I am discouraged about the lost opportunities and mistakes that have cost me emotional upheaval.

I can particularly relate to this quote about Marion’s father as he reviews a series of events in his life “…like a cinema projectionist he watches his life play out on the screen of the blank ceiling, or sometimes in the light playing on his window. He cannot control the content or order of the reels. What he can do is observe dispassionately, separate emotions from events, and judge the actor who plays him.” We all make mistakes; it is how we react to the mistake that shows one’s true colors. Being able to learn from our mistakes allows us to move forward, grow stronger and smarter, and come along side and help those who are making the same mistake.

I have done a lot of things right and several things wrong during the 10-year existence of A&E Coffee Roastery & Tea. Looking back objectively, I can say that I don’t regret this adventure. It has been very hard emotionally at times, and yet even more rewarding. I know where my strengths and weaknesses lie as a person, business owner and employer. I have had tortured relationships and amazing friendships; I have had resolution in seemingly insurmountable situations; I have had loss and dejection when a potential account goes with a competitor; and I have had tremendous elation when an account I have been pursing finally comes on board.

The real challenge is where I go from here. I am comfortable with the operations of the cafe and wholesale business. I can stay in this place without much effort. But is that challenging? Is staying static even possible in business? Is that ultimately rewarding? Does that benefit our current customers? When I ask these questions, the answer is “no;” I can’t stay static. So, where does that lead me and the business? It leads to growth and expansion, both in size and scope. It leads to another level of risk and responsibility. It also leads to making a bigger positive impact in my community, and with my customers and my staff. I look back at the movie reel of the past 10 years, and I see a lot of risk and hard work, yet a lot of reward and success. I hope I have learned from my mistakes, and have grown stronger and smarter as I face the next 10 years.

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