Books are at the heart of my business and my world, and they’re the centerpiece of each blog I write. But not today.
Today, I am simply saying thank you.
Since the summer, my world has been rocked. At the end of July, my partner, Benjamin, was diagnosed with a rare form of bile duct cancer. From the moment I got the call, my business life went on hold. I entered a whole different reality—one filled with doctors, hospitals and alternative therapies.
(Not to mention a whirlwind education in the grim realities facing organ transplant recipients in our country. Seriously friends, if you’re not already a registered organ donor, please become one now.)
But even as I struggled to keep my own head above water, kn literary arts has been thriving. From the moment they heard what was going on with me, the women in the inner circle of this company had my back. They took phone calls for me; conferred with one another instead of me when they needed help; made important decisions; and just generally stepped up their games so I could focus my attention on getting Benjamin the help he needed.
Most people still work inside of the masculine business model, where you are only as important as the work you do on a given day. When life intervenes, and someone you love needs your full attention, you have a small number of sick days you can use. If the need exceeds your paid time off, you risk losing your job and even your career.
But as our newest Nobel Laureate would say: the times, they are a-changin’. I saw it in the room at the Emerging Women Live conference this past weekend, which was full of women pioneering new ways of doing business. I heard it from the badass speakers who took the stage, explaining how they are actively changing business culture from within their own companies. And I saw, felt and experienced it these past few months in my own organization here at kn literary arts—as Rachel, Nikki and Chandika kept the business chugging along, while I stepped out and took care of my love.
A new set of values is finding its place in the world of business. Love itself is slowly, carefully, quietly tiptoeing into offices and boardrooms around the globe.
And it carries with it a whole different set of values. Values like compassion, gratitude, and collaboration. Values that take into consideration the entirety of who we are—not just what we do. Values that tend to come more naturally to women, at least given our current cultural norms.
Benjamin’s condition is still very serious, and we are sending up prayers day and night.
Please let his cancer remain stable while he waits for a liver transplant.
Please let the perfect organ arrive in perfect timing.
And please bless and keep the family and friends of our future donor—who will have to experience a devastating loss in order for our Benjamin to live.
It’s still very heavy around here. But even so, I can’t help but feel grateful for what this experience has shown me.
It’s shown me what’s possible when you create a business based on your own values. It’s shown me, once again, how supported we can feel when we surround ourselves with amazing women. And it’s reminded me that when life surprises us with a “tragedy,” it is offering us enormous gifts at the same time.
And for those gifts, today I say….thank you.