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  • Lacy Starling

#101: Lessons from BeeBoop

As I'm sitting here, writing, my foot is being run into by my robot vacuum. Repeatedly. And it is teaching me a lesson. (Two, in fact, but we'll get to the second one later.)


The first lesson is one in persistence and continuous adjustments. BeeBoop, as we call our robot vacuum, doggedly criss-crosses the floor, never getting frustrated or angry or discouraged when he runs into an obstacle (like my foot.) He simply backs up, pivots, and tries again. Endlessly. Over and over. Every single day, he leaves his dock with one mission—to sweep the floor—and he does it. He zigs and zags, he bounces off walls and chair legs, he avoids the kid and the dog the best he can, but he never stops. And if he does get hung up on something that he can't escape, he calmly beeps for help until someone untangles him or, if no one is around, he goes to sleep. Never once has he thrown up his hands in despair, sobbed loudly, or threatened to quit.


Would that I were so well-behaved. In the three and a half months that I've owned my consulting company, I've often felt like BeeBoop, zigging and zagging, running into obstacles and errant cords, trying to take on tasks that are too large for me. The last 100 days have been one pivot after another as I work to figure out what I'm doing and how it is supposed to work (and make money, natch.)


Some days, I'm fine. I'll bump my head and, like BeeBoop, simply turn slightly and try something different. But other days, I'm very un-BeeBoop-like, throwing my hands up and declaring it all too hard. (I think that's my version of beeping if I suck up a phone charging cord.) On those days, I just return to my charging position (sitting on the couch with Brian, drinking box wine) and live to fight another day. The first lesson, though, remains. Sometimes, you just have to keep going, even when it seems like you'll never get out from underneath the coffee table.


Oh, and the second lesson? I need to run BeeBoop at night so he's not crashing into my feet while I'm working.

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