Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dangerous Job

Our 5 year old daughter is currently obsessed with anything to do with outer space.  Last weekend, after hours of looking at library books and websites about space, she and my husband spent an entire afternoon building an orrery (a model of the solar system) out of styrofoam balls and paint.  Absolutely adorable, I know.

It was during one of our conversations with her about astronauts, that she became very concerned about the danger of their job.  (It was probably after looking at one of those pictures where the astronaut is floating out in space, tethered to their ship by what looks like an umbilical cord.)  Our response was something like, “Yes, their job is dangerous.  Plenty of jobs can be dangerous...but, maybe not web design”.

Did some of the glory of what we do every day diminish because we admitted to our daughter that our job is not in anyway heroic?  Will this make her think less of what we do?  Is there a way to make web design seem more exciting or glamorous than it really is?  How can Bizango compete with NASA for our daughter’s attention?  Because really, that’s what this is about; I want our daughter to come work for us when she’s of age, not run off to NASA (although I suppose there are worse things).  

This all got me to thinking about what my husband, Mark, and I do for a living.  How did we get into this business, anyway?  

To be honest, neither one of us grew up dreaming of being web designers or even owning our own business.  Heck, I didn’t own a computer until after college!  As adults just starting out, Mark and I had very different career paths.  For Mark, a career in the arts; for me, a career in medicine.  And step by step, the decisions we made along the way brought us here -- to owning our own web design business. 

To me, it makes total sense.  Mark has built a career that perfectly combines his creativity, his passion to communicate effectively and his vast technical knowledge, not to mention his natural ability to run a business.  For myself, my career change was a bit more of a stretch.  But I do feel the skills I used to manage a busy clinic schedule in addition to all the daily extras (prescription refills, lab follow ups, acute triages, provider to provider consults, etc), are similar to the skills I use to manage our business.  My ability to think analytically, organize and prioritize projects complements Mark’s many talents.  

Coming to own this business together has been a process of applying our talents, drawing on our education and past experiences, and following our gut.  Rather than setting out to be a web designer, or business manager, we let our strengths and passion lead us here.  

I guess I could say that we followed our hearts, and it lead us here.  And that’s the message I would want any of our three children to have when it comes to life -- whether its choosing a job, or a partner.  

We may not spend our days looking for evidence of other life forms on Mars, or risk our lives for the betterment of the human race.   Let’s face it; running a web design business is not usually exciting and, thank goodness, never dangerous.  But running this business is something we do well, we do it together, and we love it.  So, take that, NASA.