If I was asked to describe myself I guess I would probably say, I think of myself as a nice guy. I try to look for the positive things in people and in life. I do my best to be open-minded on different topics and groups. I try to be slow in judging and give the most leniency to situations. However, as tolerant as I think I am, I have to admit, that I still have an enemy.
Now, this might seem surprising, but when you think of it, there are a lot of people who I could hate. There are the trolls out there that comment negatively about everything I do online. There are also legitimately skilled woodworkers that disagree with my methods. There is ‘the competition’ that thinks they know more and can do better than me. And there are those who hate me, well…. Just for me being me. But none of these people I have a problem with. I can, on some level, understand where they are coming from. No, the person who is my worst enemy is, myself.
I’ve been self-employed for almost 25 years now. During that time a lot of things changed for me. Some good, some bad. But all of them are a learning experience. But over the years I have learned a couple of things that never have changed, and that is I’m a bad business person. I often choose a difficult job with less pay over an easy job for a lot of pay. Even though my head is telling me not to do it, for some reason I purposely ignore it. And time after time when I’m halfway through the project, I tell myself I shouldn’t have done this.
Some have said, “Oh Chad that’s because you are an artist.” I never have thought of myself as an artist. A craftsman, yes. I would even say I’m creative. But I don’t think of it as art. But let’s say for example I am an artist. In my opinion, an artist has a clear vision of what he or she wants to create. But for myself, I constantly will be changing, adding, and redesigning a project while I’m building it. Sometimes it’s a type of joinery I want to use. No one will ever see it or even care, but I will decide I need to do it. Other times I will just get a crazy idea to incorporate into the project for no other reason than I thought it would be cool.
Any of these changes cost me time and money. And although I get very excited at the moment, later at night I hate myself for doing that. But over the years I just have to accept that’s who I am. I’ll never get rich, or be giving out business advice, but ultimately I am pleased with the quality of my work and the look of happiness on my customer’s faces. I have to accept I will never defeat my enemy, but maybe I can get along with him because together we actually work as a team.
Chad Stanton- Stamtom Fine Furniture 7-29-22