Friday, March 13, 2009

hindsight is 20/20

I took my PMP exam today. Passed. (yay)

But this story is about prior to taking the exam.

I showed up to the test site about an hour early (was a little jittery and there wasn't much else to do at home).

Nothing in the way of a starbucks or somewhere else to hang out prior to the test in the immediate vicinity, so I went out for a walk and came across a small-ish doughnut & espresso shop.

There was nothing else comparable around so I went in. The proprietor had maybe 3 dozen doughnuts left (he starts business at 4:30 am each day and it was already 1:30 pm when I walked in).

I got a few things and we started talking. It turns out this guy's family was originally from somewhere in Guangdong province, China, somewhere outside of Guangzhou. Of course I was interested as I cannot easily forget my life over there (but I'm really not living in the past either).

When we got to discussing the topic of China & the rapid economic growth & changes there, he mentioned that he had the opportunity to go in on an investment with some of his cousins, who had remained in China and not immigrated to the US. Their business? Selling gravel.

If I were in this man's shoes, in the mid-80's, hearing about an opportunity to invest in a Chinese cousin's gravel company, I would have been suspicious, to say the least. As the guy I was talking with had been back then.

However, it turns out that his family's business turned out to be wildly successful. Sounds as if they have more money now than they know what to do with. They ended up selling gravel on a lot of gov't contracts for train & subway development...and infrastructure spending was certainly going on with reckless abandon in China in the 80's and 90's.

I had to pause and reflect how I'd deal with a missed opportunity of sorts like that if I were in his shoes.

The shop owner seemed to have some pangs of regret, but on the other hand did not seem to be a broken man - far from it; he was jovial and spoke proudly of his sons, who are gainfully employed doing jobs they really like (both involving computers & software) around Seattle. He was also very proud about his business, which had been running strong for 22 years.

I guess that there could always be missed opportunities in one's life, but if you let that eat at you then you would miss out on what you were actually living.

Meh. I guess it is late for me (finally getting used to the time change) and I'm reaching to find something profound in what was just a random conversation.

(but hey, talking with the dude was both interesting and cleared my mind prior to taking the exam).

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