Friday, July 12, 2013

It's Been Awhile

Hard to believe it's full-on summer.  Harder to believe the last time I posted snow was flying in all parts of the country.  Everyone was wearing parkas and boots. We're definitely into shorts and sandals weather now.

Time has flown by because the pace of our business has increased exponentially just since the first of the year.  Our growth has been remarkable.  The many and varied changes taking place in the mortgage industry have led to interesting, productive conversations with lenders.  Not only have I been busy, I've been having a lot of fun as well.

Business at the current pace would be enough to keep me occupied.  I like to be really busy, however, so I've taken on a number of big projects as well.  While I am not ready to talk about what they are or how they might further improve on the mortgage process it won't be long before I can.  I will say this, though, the new customers who have joined us combined with the projects underway make for exciting times and opportunities for our business.

You know I like to read.  While traveling this last week I finished Susan Cain's book Quiet.  Cain is a corporate attorney and an introvert.  Quiet is about thriving, and helping introverts thrive, in our extroverted American culture.  When she began practicing law she thought she might struggle because she tended to listen intently rather than talk frequently.  When she did talk she tended to ask questions - lots of them - rather than make statements.  She also knew she preferred, or even required, very quiet spaces in which to work.

What she found was her introverted nature served her well.  Turns out listening carefully and asking many thoughtful questions are qualities of a good negotiator, and a good lawyer.  Also turns out the detailed study of law and legal cases is often best done in quiet places.   Being an introvert not only worked, it made her very successful.  History, too, is full of successful introverts.  Vincent van Gogh, Bill Gates, Meryl Streep, Clint Eastwood, Albert Einstein.  Cain is in good company.  

That got her thinking about how, as a culture, we came to celebrate extroverts while dismissing introverts.  I wondered that, too because I work with a lot of introverts. As I was building the company I was careful, and adamant, about having quiet spaces where our developers could create.  I suppose I knew intuitively they would have a hard time thriving in noisy, open office environments.  It also seemed pretty obvious we could not or would not attract the creative software and other artists we needed to be successful if we didn't have the right environment.  There wasn't any hard evidence at the time that supported these ideas.  For that reason Cain's book was a revelation, and one of my best reads this year.   If you're an introvert, celebrate it.  I am and I do.

It won't be six months between posts.  Not this time.  Might not even be six days.  Check back next weekend.  One or two of those big projects I mentioned might just be ready for bright, summer sunlight.

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