Tool Proficiency

Circular Saw

Have you ever picked up a tool that you had never used before? Was it awkard? Did you feel self-conscious?

A friend of mine had wanted a loft for her bed since she was a teenager. She decided that 40-something was the perfect age to fulfill that dream. I have some cool friends.

She found a great design but she needed tools and a place to build it.¬†Could I help? With room in the garage and plenty of tools, I said “Sure!”

She was clumsy when she first picked up the circular saw. She didn’t know where to put her hands, or how to line the blade up to cut along a mark. With guidance and practice she gained confidence. She had fun, and did things others told her she could never do.

Proficiency with tools is important, but it isn’t enough. She wasn’t ready to design a new loft from scratch. To be fair, that wasn’t her goal; she just wanted a bed that would make a college freshman jealous.

I feel like my friend right now. I’m playing with a lot of new software packages. When I start, I don’t know where to click or which menu to use. With time, things get easier. I’m getting comfortable with graphics editors and IDEs.

But I’m also reminded that tool proficiency is not enough. Creating a world-class website from scratch is still beyond me.

There is a difference between my friend and me: She only wanted one loft, so she quit when it was done. I want to build lots of websites for people, so I’ll keep going.

If you are starting something new, you should keep going, too. You will be glad you did.

About TJ
The Geek Who Speaks People, TJ has a both passion and a penchant for clarifying complex subjects.

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