A Tough Week

Every once in a while, you get a really good and easy week. This was not one of those. I will start with some background:

That was before the week began...

Monday Monday - Can't trust that day

The weekend included me installing electrical systems in cabinets. I am not, of course, an electrician, but I am an electrical engineer by degree and training. So I don't know the electrical building codes, but I know what will get me killed and start fires.

Monday morning, without warning, you can guarantee... that meetings started to pile up from people who didn't do what they were supposed to do, forcing me to be on the phone with them for hours. Remember, I am sick with a sore throat and trying to save my voice for Go To Angel on Tuesday.

Along the way, I was trying to get featured investors for the Tuesday session, and I got two set up. One was feeling sick and had to go to the hospital. So we didn't know if he would make it for Tuesday morning. The other had meetings for the first half of Go To Angel, so could only come late.

Late on Monday an uniterruptable power supply failed, so I had to switch some circuits to the redundant one and order a new battery. Everything kept working (yay), but it was a worry to add to my stress.

Tuesday brings the rain

Did I mention it was now raining cats and dogs, with high winds, and power failures? Naturally, our motor generator kicked in with workers in the kitchen, but the lights came back on quickly, and things kept going for a bit...

Now we start Go To Angel. Live Online Remote with 35 people or so, 10 presenting companies, a no show company, my sore throat making it hard to get words out, but we keep going. Our featured investor made it out of the hospital and came to the event, and everything went reasonably well, running on only one of the two high speed Internet connections and preparing for using cell phones as a backup for video programming...

My voice is now officially rasping all the way. But we got through it. Send out the follow-ons, setup for the afternoon meetings, do some more electrical work, hold the afternoon meeting, and boom, the Internet goes down.

Yes, the redundant Internet connection was down, and the second redundant Internet connection went out late in the day. So now we have meetings scheduled all day for the next day, and what else can go wrong?

Meanwhile, legal issue 1 crops up with a crazy email making a demand, claiming a desire to sue me, unless ... So I'm on with lawyer 1 making sure I do the right things.

Meanwhile, legal issue 2 starts generating paperwork... which I have to read. Legal issue 3 now requires 3 people negotiate separate deals before I can sign my deal. So I am trying to get that started.

Why would you ask about Wednesday?

Fortune smiled, and the person supposed to come to fix the Internet connection was not necessary because apparently it was the rains that caused the outage and it was fixed overnight. So Internet was working, but my meeting software was not. So I changed to a new software provider for live online remote meetings, redid the invitations, and we were off to Wednesday meetings.

Included in there was a presentation to family offices which, fortunately, worked because the Internet had returned. It was the one important thing that day compared to all the other important things. And of course my throat was still sore and my voice was getting worse, and the noise was louder from the repairs to the kitchen, and and and...

Thursday - my meeting day

Thursday came and more meetings, more loss of voice, 3 legal issues being worked, the report getting closer to deadline, the kitchen not working, and one of the key folks I have been working with not showing up or answering emails. So double the normal load for most of these calls. I also spent time gathering all of the data associated with the company another partner just closed, in anticipation of litigation, and coordinating with the lawyer I am using for that matter.

And because it's near the end of the year, all of the paperwork associated with end of year processing is underway. So that's coordination with the accountant, paying bills that can be paid this year, scheduling payments and processes for the end of year boundary, closing out a business and its bank accounts, and all of the other end of year processes that cannot wait.

Then Friday hit - like a ton of bricks

I found out early Friday why I was unable to get in touch with the featured investor who was missing meetings. He was also my business partner in one of my key businesses that was getting successful. It turned out the he had to go back to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon and passed away by Wednesday morning. Middle aged, healthy, a good friend for years, a business partner, and he died within a day after the hospital sent him home with back pain.

But I had calls lines up all day Friday. So I smiled and did my job. He wasn't there, so I had to adapt everything to compensate for it. Two of the legal issues were coming to a head, and one I ended up getting settled, signed, sealed, and delivered, and that was related to his death. And all of this while notifying many folks who knew him that he was no longer with us, and taking calls, and trying to coordinate with the other parties working with my friend to fund our company, and doing my other work. It hurt.

And then there is the business that we partnered in, which is in the middle of a fund raise, has multiple clients who had to be notified while letting them know that we won't let them down, and all of those issues, which we are setting up to deal with in the coming week.

The battery for my second UPS arrived, was installed, and the UPS is now in place. My (now) secondary high speed Internet connection still is not working, and I am delaying repairs until Monday because I can, and in this week, it's worth the risk of another outage to get everything else done.

Saturday - a day of rest? Not this week...

The expert witness case cannot be delayed, so I spent much of the day working on those issues, reading documents, writing a report, and dealing with the plumbers who had to change the water and gas in order to get installations done on Monday. And hammering at the tiles on the floor along with my wife because we have to redo them this weekend for cabinets going in on Monday. And moving electrical infrastructure to accommodate a new oven and get out of the way of the gas and water lines going in.

Sunday - the end of another perfect week

Now it is Sunday. I am in the process of recovering all of the content from my friend and gathering it in one place to secure all of the details of all of our mutual clients. And I still have to finish the report for the court case. And we need to get the last old tile cut and removed and the new tiles installed in time for them to be dry enough for Monday when the cabinets come in. Then later in the day I will get caught up on the other 34 contact activities I did not get to this week even though they were scheduled.

Some week!

I know there are at least another 10 things that were going on this last week that I don't remember, or choose to forget for now. And I am still trying to reconcile my friend dying, while keeping everything else going. I am mostly better from being sick, although I have a lingering cough that is still slowly going away.


Frankly, this is not the worst week I have had in my life. And many people had bad weeks this last week because the Pandemic is very rapidly worsening, with hospitals overloaded again, which may be part of the reason my friend was sent home instead of kept in the hospital where he might have survived.

I listened to an interesting video discussing coping mechanisms while doing some mechanical work this week, and one of the interesting things they brought up is that doing something - anything - helps cope with the stresses of the modern world. The sympathetic nervous system is activated by the release of hormones stimulating the adrenal glands, triggering the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, and that is what we will call the stress response that produces fight or flight - or some such thing. The parasympathetic nervous system counters the sympathetic nervous system to calm the body after the danger passes. It turns out the slow deep breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, and as a side effect, also reduces coughing, if you can keep your bronchi under control as you breath deeply.

A call to action

Take a deep breath slowly for about 15 seconds of inhale. Then hold it for 15 seconds. Then slowly, over another 15 seconds, exhale it completely. Do it again while writing reading this paragraph, as I did when writing it. Then, sign up for our next...

Go To Angel

In summary

Some weeks just end up being hard. But learning to cope with them and keep on going is key to success. Work the problems, keep a level head, and you will come through it... Or like my friend, maybe not.

Copyright(c) Fred Cohen, 2022 - All Rights Reserved