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16. You snooze, you lose – getting paid for stuff you already know January 25, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Another job idea.
Tags: , ,

I went scuba diving in the Solomon Islands about 10 years ago in a boat for 16.  We visited a few very remote villages and bartered with the folks there for beautiful carvings.

Children came up to us in awe and we taught them to do High-5’s.  The boys showed off their hunting prowess by shooting arrows into trees.  It was amazing to see life so simple.

I have an incredible scrimshaw that I got for a small bit of cash and 4 D cell batteries.  While a few small islands had running water, many kept a radio for communications, so batteries were a common barter.

After a good haggle for another item, I hemmed and hawed, and the carver just blurted out, “Hey – you snooze you lose!”  We all burst out laughing – where had he heard that term?  Another said, “Opportunity knocks.”  Then we realized that what they learned of the outside world came from visitors like us stopping by every few weeks to barter for carvings and fresh vegetables.  Just like we’d taught the kids to do High-5s.

Hope you didn’t forget about those grants

But I thought about those guys today as I pondered with great dread about picking up yet another train wreck grant from yesterday.  It took me nearly 4 hours to make it through the 50-or-so pages of narrative.  All day yesterday, my mood flipped from apathy and annoyance to frustrated incredulity!  I saw a relevant patent and the PATENT ABSTRACT was easier to read.

My poor husband had to listen to my ranting as I wandered through the house (disturbing the football games of course).   “There are 14 different capitalized names of what seem to be research and/or commercial projects, somehow all related, and I had to draw a DIAGRAM to figure out which chickens came from which eggs!”  Frankly, I had to put it aside last night and start another one to keep from losing my mind.

The carvers on that island figured out how to help seal the deal.  They’d leveraged what they’d learned in a way their offworld teachers hadn’t imagined.

What if I did the same?

I had started a list during the review of my first train wreck proposal.  I could call it “Things You Should and Should NOT Do When Writing A Grant Proposal.”  A quick Google search reveals many guides to writing the proposal, but they focus on *content*.  Someone should write a short treatise on grant proposal guidance on *presentation*.

I’ve helped a few collaborators improve their grant proposal presentations and some went on to win awards.  I’ve written grants and received several awards.  I’ve reviewed grants and see the other side of the fence.  I could also offer this service for a fee.

I ought to take advantage of the situation.  Because Opportunity Knocks.

Compass Point – Keep your ears open in case opportunity knocks.  I’m going to update my social media webpage to include this service I can provide, and maybe do a little more research on a short book.

16 down, 344 to go.



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