I wanted to touch base, recap, and cast vision for what has been going on, what is happening, and what will be happening with me in the future.
Why? Well, as much as we got to hang out in the CA, I don’t feel that I got to communicate too thoroughly with many of you.
First, I wanted to say again how much fun I had out there. With each trip, there are high points, and one of them was when mom and I hit a tumble weed on the drive up to Monterey. We were in the desert area of I-5 watching the dust devils, when we looked up and saw, no lie, a tumbleweed. TUMBLEWEED. I mean, didn’t those things go extinct in the early 1800’s? None-the-less, bobbing and weaving, we barely avoided the tumbleweed. The mighty contrast the California desert makes with the cold nip of Monterey is astounding. I still don’t really know how to articulate it.
Also, I didn’t get to share this with many of you, but while visiting Long Beach, I was able to visit the most amazing book store called Acres of Books. It was quite overwhelming in that there is every book, from every century, on every topic on every square inch of every shelf in every acre of book available. The old warehouse-converted-to-a-book store had dusty shelves, some barely nailed to one another. The aisles were barely shoulder-width, and at least the height of two men. (Who knows what ancient tome lay on the top shelf? More importantly, who knows how it got there?)
I meandered as if taking a tour on a set of Harry Potter in some ancient ruin. I found a back corner called The War Room where decades and decades of war manuals, war history, strategy and biographies of warriors lay. It was impressive. Set even further in the corner of this corner room was a room called International Policy. This was like finding King Solomon’s Mines for me. There was so much treasured information from a golden age of international politics, ambassadorship, and national management. There were biographies of key ambassadors and world leaders. There were books on ideologies of delivering aide to developing nations, and it was one of these books I finally purchased. World Without Want, written in 1962 by Paul G. Hoffman, then Director of the United Nations Special Funds, has been far and away the best foundation for world changing I have yet seen. Every minister and missionary should read this book.
Oh! How many more leather-bound treasures lay in this building? I may never know.
NOW, however, Clark and Nicole are shipped off on the next stage of their adventure. Mom is back in Laguna looking for work and maintaining her cats. Dad is back on night-shift duty, sustaining cardiac patients. Heath and Ally are back in Vienna, VA, working at the bank and studying economics. David is drawing students down their educational paths. And I am here in Lakeland, enjoying the warm sun and lake breezes, wondering what is coming next. My bottle of wine from David, the Fratelli(?), is now resting and collecting dust. My luggage is finally unpacked.
There were a few surprises upon returning. Not only had the nation’s first, serious revival in 10 years broken out here (Terry and Donna drove out this weekend to check it out, and it was full! We got turned away!), and the plumbing at our rental called it quits permanently (showering at the gym until we find a new place, but, hey! I have to work out daily to justify it), but my main client, the “group” of people I always mention here, has temporarily had its funds dry up.
The thing that interested me the most is how calm and collected I react to these things. If only I could imbue you all with the sense of overwhelming peace I operate under most of the time, I would do so. Even though I am wired most of the time, and move at a rapid clip, inside there is a slowness, a peace that I cannot explain, so I dare not try.
Assessing the situation from strictly a financial perspective caused me some concern; I had just spent all of my personal reserve on the trip. Expecting to return with steady income from this one client and finding something else, I learned quickly that I was too confident in my circumstances, and should always a) have multiple clients (I knew this! I just didn’t “know” it,) and b) have double the reserve at all times than I originally thought.
By the grace of God, just before I found out about the loss of my client, I received a phone call from a past client for whom I had completed some web work. He had more work for me, if I had the time. Not knowing about the loss of my main client, I said I could fit something in. He asked my rate. I told him. He negotiated to increase that rate, offered to pay for my learning curve on some specific items, and then we got started! This was a huge blessing in that merely an hour later I found out that things were not so steady with my main client.
Along with that, I have put together a proposal to another potential client for assembling his business plan and creating his web presence with several media including books, audio and video. Lastly, I am contacting another gentleman with whom I have done some consulting in the Planning and Zoning world.
Throw in other random things; like the stock I had forgotten that I bought almost 2 years ago at $6 a share and is now worth a couple hundred dollars, or the partnership with Terry to find vacant land nationwide for one of his partners; all in all, I am very blessed.
Say it again! What a blessing this has been! My client-base has expanded. My partnership with Chad, my house mate and friend, for real estate and private lending is taking huge strides forward. I learned more in the last week than many would learn in semesters at college. (You cannot learn better about financial management than to feel the sting of a $0 balance and the sole stream of income drying up immediately.)
The Future is bright, actually. It looks like my main client will have funds this week, so he will catch me up with a month’s worth of billing. I have my positioning with my new clientele. And, here is the kicker: some work I had done for a group here with their eyes set on Haiti has paid off in that I was invited to go with them in the end of May! How ecstatic I am to be considering going abroad to serve again. This first trip will be short to assess the situation with our local infrastructure. We should have approximately 100 cell groups throughout the country, and 7 schools and training centers. So we are going to verify if those ministers are truly involved, find potential economic opportunities to train the locals, and more clearly define how we can serve.
Upon our return, we will be pushing forward a master-strategy for the entire country. I have a desire to formulate our board similar to forming a president’s cabinet, directing major affairs from Education (Formal and Trade Education), to Health and Medicine, to Infrastructure, to Economics and more.
I feel as if my human capital has gone through the roof in this formative time. I feel capable and confident to handle, strategize, and improve any situation I am handed. Though I may need to go get an employee situation (J-O-B) at some point temporarily, I feel that my Self-Employed situation is strong and hopeful. I may be able to do my dream (helping in a 3rd world country) in under 30 days, provided I pull the financing together.
More importantly, I still have my freedom.
I so appreciate what I have had up to this point.
I woke up today in my right mind.
I have hope and a vision for my life tomorrow and on.
What more could I ask?
With that, I pray that all is well. Let me know how things are going, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Grant R. Nieddu
Cheyenne, I copied this to you in an effort to begin communicating with Simon. Should I just write to you when wanting to communicate with you both?
Dad, I wish we got more time to speak about Haiti. I returned and found my 3-ring binder, which I wish to forward to you. I will have a document to send to you this week sometime from the group, called Cornerstone International Ministries. Once I send it to you and you have a chance to look it over, we can return to looking at your plan, and strategize from there.
Heath and Ally, the shots of your climb were awesome. That would have been amazing. I am WAY jealous.
Clark and Nicole, keep up the hard, dedicated work. If I can help in any way, let me know!
Mom, how did the nanny application go?
Dave, thank you again for San Luis Obispo. That was fantastic just to hang at a slow pace. I really appreciate it. Keep me informed about the move East!