Going through LinkedIn late on Thursday night, after a full night of networking, I came across a stunning post – and not of the good kind. It was the kind of news I never want to hear, whether it’s a family member or not.

The husband of Abby Grant, who I met when she was at the Boston Business Journal, posted that she has cancer and is in quite a fight. A trip to a Go Fund Me page established for her notes that she has inoperable esophageal cancer. My heart sank as soon as I read that.

To be clear, Abby isn’t a family member, or even a close friend. She isn’t someone I worked closely with. But she’s a good person, and she really helped me out – and I suspect many others in the same way.

Abby has spent two separate stints at the Boston Business Journal, and both times, she led Smart Reader Seminars, which I was fortunate to attend once. The seminar is aimed at teaching people to read the paper (yes, it is a newspaper, and a weekly one at that – not to mention a thriving one) as a job seeker. At the time, I was a relatively new subscriber to the paper and in the midst of what would be a protracted unemployment. I had heard about the seminars, and that one could read it as such, but seeing was believing.

I became a believer. I still subscribe to the BBJ to this day, and I haven’t read it the same way ever since. Even when I have been gainfully employed and not looking to leave, I have read it with the same mindset. I read other stories on the ACBJ publications online, some of which I have access to from e-mail subscriptions that originated with my BBJ subscription, and I suspect it influences how I read a lot of other business news.

It’s also probably no coincidence that it was around the time of this seminar that I began to change my overall mindset. I stopped thinking like an employee and started thinking like a business owner. I have a much clearer view and mentality regarding how many things impact and are impacted by the bottom line at a company. Many things have contributed to this, and it didn’t happen all at once, but this was certainly part of it.

I have not gotten a job because of how I read the BBJ, but I don’t have to – that would just be a bonus. Maybe I’ll help someone else get a job from my reading of it and pointing them to something important I read in it.

The business community in the Boston area has a lot of unsung heroes like Abby Grant – people who do so much to impact the community but don’t get much pub for it. And right now, let’s hope she gets to impact it much more. Let’s pray for Abby to have a speedy and (more importantly) full recovery.

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