Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Point of Reference

In the efforts, of not writing a “honeymoon” piece, I held off writing about Cambodia for a little while, until I could struggle a bit. It is just the beginning of a meaningful and inspiring journey, but here are some small thoughts on what I’ve experienced in business so far...

Point of Reference: The intentional use of one thing to indicate something else. A point of reference differs depending on each individual. I have this habit of relating everything that happens in my life to something else that has come before--a constant analysis of my current endeavors with the past. What happens when you don’t have this point of reference anymore, especially in business relations? Scrambling. Running. Reacting. I have been in Cambodia for about a month and a half and have completely lost my point of reference. I have lived abroad other times--and other developing countries at that--but wow Cambodia, you really throw people for a loop. Business here is like an obstacle course. There’s a clear path to the finish? No silly, you have to jump through hoops, fall, get back up, roll in dirt, turn around, then maybe, just maybe you will get the outcome you're aiming for. Is it all exciting? Yes. Thrilling? Perhaps. Easy? No. The best things never are. For instance, today we packed up half of our office to send down to Phnom Penh, as we are moving headquarter locations. Seems easy enough. Kongkea and I packed boxes, made lists, organized for the movers to come. The first half of our goods went really well, they fit almost everything we set aside for them to take. Then, we discussed that the next truck would come a week from today to pick up the rest. Well, no. They don't travel down to Phnom Penh that day. Why? Because it's an “even” day and the truck only travels on “odd” days (the 15th, the 17th, the 19th, etc.). Oh and also, you may not be able to bring your bed frame because the police may think that you are illegally taking wood from the jungles to make household items. Hmmm. Welp, looks like we need a back-up plan. 

The good thing about a point of reference is, as the years go by, it turns into hundreds, thousands, millions even, ‘points of reference.’ One day I’ll relate my future ventures to moments that happened here. The business lesson of hitting a wall, then hitting it again, and then the realization that you can build a contraption to catapult yourself over it. Oh yeah, I’ll keep that one in my back pocket.     

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