The role of innovator is not for everyone. Life tosses challenging problems at us, and many attempt resolution by choosing favorite solutions first, before the problems are understood. The resulting wasted effort may only serve to mask the issue lurking in the shadows, awaiting an opportunity to reassert itself.
An innovator analyzes the data to identify the problem before considering solutions. Problem awareness may lead to a creative answer using readily available resources. Chuck Swindoll in his book, Come Before Winter, shares that innovators must have, among other traits:
- Drive – a high degree of motivation
- Courage – tenacity and persistence
- Goals – a sense of direction
- Knowledge – and a thirst for it
- Enterprise – willing to tackle tough jobs
- Persuasion – ability to sell
- Versatility – broad interest and skills
Source: Come Before Winter and Share My Hope, Copyright © 1985, 1988, 1994 by Charles R. Swindoll, Page 154
Michelle’s townhome includes a beautiful fireplace with space above for a TV. She opted to wall-mount the TV, leaving the top of the fireplace open for future creativity. On her recent birthday list was a request for Dad to build shelves in this area.
We invested time looking at ideas online as well as in several woodworking books from the public library. Our discussion included these questions:
- What problem are you hoping to solve?
- How will you use the shelf space?
- What future plans might be impacted by a built-in?
- How do you plan to handle the existing electrical and cable outlets?
- Will this change affect your resale potential?
Here’s the picture of her free space. (Please ignore the slabs of ancient barn wood. Those are for a future ceiling light project which has been added to Dad’s project list. I really need to password protect that file.)
Our list of requirements included:
- shelf space for books
- display area for doodads and what-nots
- a place for her expanding plant collection
You can access full project details including several additional pictures on my web site.
After cutting the pieces we did a layout to assist in marking the spots for the pocket screws. Clamps kept everything square while the screws were inserted.
While I may have sawdust in my eyes at this point in a project, my girls have sparkles in theirs. Their design is becoming reality and excitement builds.
The onsite test fit showed us why it is better to be lucky than smart. The finished unit missed the AC outlet as planned, but it covered the cable outlet which is thankfully unused in her application. Michelle said, “No worries!”
This corner shelf solution preserves the open look of the fireplace and meets her requirements. I can’t wait to see the plants lined along the front. Nice design, daughter!
The world has plenty of problems. We need more innovators. Are you up for the challenge?