Karma: What's it all about?
I've been having a wonderful time thinking about Database Sherpa. I am grateful to have the time to develop a process that will work for all organizations. Maybe a little history would help for those new to my concept. It started about 20 years ago when I was running my business, Hopper Business Solutions. Hopper was the embodiment of my dream to run my own business, be my own boss, and to change the way women were viewed in technology. In the beginning, Hopper provided Internet consulting to emerging businesses, but over time, turned into much more.
- "The consultant never listened to us and did their own thing. I don't know why we have to capture the client’s (shoe size, favorite color, etc.). So we don't and leave that field blank."
- "The reports don't give us what we need. We fill in all the information, but the reports are missing a lot of information that is in the database. Our data is trapped."
- "The consultant never finished the database because we ran out of money (or worse, they stopped helping us and moved onto another project). Plus, they worked too much on what they felt was important, and not on our immediate needs."
We should all help those that reach out to us. Give them the guidance and tools they need so that they are more capable and empowered to drive their mission in the right direction.
A key core value at Database Sherpa is to help build good database karma for organizations (I said we'd get back to that). What is this database karma and how does it work? Well, it's not the karma from the eastern philosophies, or from the TV show, “My Name is Earl.” It's about destiny to a small extent, but karma is more about action than anything. (And as an aside, I’d like to say there is really nothing “good” or “bad” about karma; it just is.)
Taking this concept one step further, we also believe you cannot outsource your karma. You can’t blame your karma on a long-gone consultant. Good database karma is the result of organizations investing energy to create its database and taking ownership of its long-term maintenance and evolution.
In order to bring positive database karma to organizations, it's crucial that they be open, be willing to spend time and learn, and be capable of making their database work for them. Good database karma is not as simple as importing data from a spreadsheet. It requires being patient, practicing compassion, facing your fears and doing it "self mommy".
So, my friend will continue to exhibit compassion for her clients, encouraging and guiding them—even after they've started working with her. (A workstyle I greatly admire.) Compassion can have a powerful outcome. It could change the world by making us active, rather than passive learners. (If you read my last post about compassion, you'll see why I'm such an idealist now.) Ultimately, we desire the same outcome: To make our clients successful with their database systems and increase their knowledge. My friend has already achieved that, achieving great success and admiration from her clients. That is a wonderful feeling and one she is very proud of.
As a Sherpa, I dream of a day when my client will outshine me and go on to do great things in the database community. I bow deeply to my new friend who has given me food for thought and opened my eyes to other possibilities.