Carry On Regardless

I came across this meme recently, and it really resonated with me. It summarises the reality of being self-employed, or the owner of a small business. Regardless of what type of day you're having, you have to get up, deliver, and carry on. Your clients are relying on you to be on top form and to deliver the results you have promised. There's no sick pay to help pay the bills, no HR to talk to, no Occupational Health to get support from, it's all about you ploughing on regardless. 

It resonated even more because this week is the 3rd anniversary of a day that impacted me and my family on so many levels. Picture it; I’m in the middle of a very arduous User Acceptance Testing session. The supplier has delivered the latest version of their software, and we are 3 or 4 hours into our full day of testing. We’re finding the same bugs the supplier had promised they’d fixed, and some new ones for good measure. The stakeholders aren’t happy, I’m not happy, the Test Manager is getting it in the neck from all directions, so he's definitely not happy; then my phone rings. It’s my Dad. I’m busy refereeing the issues in the UAT room, so I don’t answer. My Dad phones again, followed by a text message from my Step-Mum; “Can you call your Dad ASAP please….”. I leave the room to call my Dad, only to be faced with the three words you never want a loved-one to say to you; “I’ve got cancer”. He’d just got the results from a biopsy a couple of weeks prior, and it was the worst news. 

I consoled my Dad (staying strong for him of course) and told him I was on my way to him. He insisted he needed some time to digest it and not to leave work, so it was agreed that I would go to him that evening. I headed back to the UAT room and finished refereeing the session. The stakeholders and Test Manager were none-the-wiser. I continued to give 100% to my client, because that is what I committed to deliver. 

Fast-forward 3 years, and my Dad is still battling his cancer. It turned out to be Mesothelioma; a terminal cancer, and, for his rare strain, there is no treatment. The prognosis is unknown, but right now he is well enough to enjoy life, and I cherish every day.

The point is, we all have bad days, and sometimes, we have days when we want to run away from it all, but for interims / contractors in particular, we can’t. Our clients need us to deliver, the project team need us to deliver, and we need to do a good job in order to make an impression for the future. And so….we carry on regardless…..

For more information on Mesothelioma, take a look at the following websites / (Mavis Nye is an incredible lady who herself is a victim of Mesothelioma, yet she campaigns tirelessly to raise awareness of the disease, as well as supporting victims and their families. She is the ultimate example of carrying on regardless!).