After hearing that a friend of the family had been admitted to the hospital last night, I knew that a hospital trip would be on my agenda for this morning. I have become accustomed to visiting people while they are in the hospital. As a minister, it is a key part of the job description. However, today’s trip to the hospital taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of preparation. When I finally got to the room to talk to my family friend, she informed me that her children were in the building somewhere as well. Sure enough, they reappeared a few minutes later. They had gone to the cafeteria to eat.
Somehow, over the course of the usual ministerial small talk, we ended up getting on the topic of my employment. I knew better than to tell the full story of my journey toward self-employment (which I shared here on my personal blog) because it is just complicated enough to be misunderstood. Instead, I mentioned that I had been working hard to get my consulting business off the ground. Everyone was immediately interested. They began asking me for more information and even requested business cards so they could schedule appointments with me. There was only one problem–my business cards were still in the car.
Prior to coming to the hospital, I stopped by the post office to check my box and I noticed that my business cards had arrived. I inspected them to ensure that the information on them was correct and proceeded to leave them on the passenger seat of my car. From my perspective, I had no reason to bring them into the hospital with me. What was the likelihood that anybody in the hospital would want to do business with me anyway? I figured that carrying my church-related business cards was enough, but I was wrong. Thankfully, these prospective clients were kind enough to allow me to run back out to my car to get my business cards for them. In the end, I was able to schedule two appointments. Still, I learned a valuable lesson–in business you must always be ready.