And isn’t it a little eerie that the man giving out the award was the same gentleman I sat down with just over a year ago to “Interview” about potential job opportunities in Peterborough?. I met Jim Grant when he pulled up outside the bookstore one lovely Fall day in his antique MG. I was about to enter and do my first reading/signing for my newly minted book. Giving credit where it is due, it was my neighbor Wilson who introduced us. It was also Wilson’s way of try to clean up a terrible pile of proverbial poop he had left on my doorstep that morning. I was beyond nervous and outraged, two emotions that don’t bode well for meeting the public and hawking your book.
The signing/reading went very well. I stored away Jim Grant in the back of my mind. He is one of the few people left in this world who knew my grandfather. He is also an exceptional student of local history and a successful entrepeneur. When I came to the conclusion my break from life was over and I needed gainful employment, I called Jim. We went to lunch, his treat. He listened to my ideas, gave me lots of names of local folks to contact, and though I knew he could have offered me a job, he gave me something better.
“Listening to all you’ve done and all you want to do, I think there isn’t a “JOB” out there for you. You need to create one. Reinvent yourself!”
With a smile he was gone and I was still unemployed. But I had names. I went to the local bookstore, site of my reading, and pitched the idea of a Christmas Book Fair featuring all the local authors I could find.Those names lead to other ideas and in the middle of these lovely, non-paying ventures, I found Korey, Kim and the store.
One week ago today, the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce had their “Community Awards Gala” and the little store, and our team (and in a very small sense, I,) won the Business of the Year award. Jim Grant presented it, Korey accepted. Later, Jim came by to congratulate Korey. There was a crowd and suddenly we were face to face. I know that look when someone can’t quite place you. They are searching the memory banks.
“I’m Brim Woods granddaughter. You didn’t make it to my book signing but you took me out to lunch and instead of a job you gave me the best advice ever. I have reinvented myself.”
Winning is about change, change is reinvention.