I find it hard to believe that it’s been five years since I left the corporate world and started my own business. Where did the time go?
I suppose it had been on the cards for some time, and eventually led me to the ultimate decision to do my own thing instead of working for someone else.
In truth there were a number of contributing factors that guided me to starting again. In essence I yearned for a life and career where I had control and had the final say in the type of work I did as well as more time doing the things that I loved versus the grind that I felt I was mired in.
My feelings of dissatisfaction started sometime before my dad’s diagnosis of brain cancer in Aug 2010, and his eventual passing in Feb 2011.
During dad’s illness I had a lot of time to think as I spent 3 weeks per month in Australia helping him and one week at home in Canada which meant around 60 hours per month were spent on a plane either coming or going to Australia.
I was obvious that my life had to change! I lived out of a carryon suitcase and was always in another city and far from my family, after 7.5 years I was done!
My frustration at not being the engaged and active parent that I’d always wanted to be had become too much. And most of all I didn’t like the person that I’d become, I was the guy who was caught up chasing the corporate dream and not really living, nor spending time with those that meant so much to me.
Nope, things had to change…
I asked my company for a local assignment, but their response was that I was I was hired as a consultant and knew what I was getting myself into when I first started with the firm. It was irrelevant that I was now a partner in the firm, nope they were going to dictate exactly what clients they wanted me to work with – no if’s, and’s or but’s…irrespective of where they were located. Clearly, it was their prerogative.
But feeling powerless didn’t help my cause, I was not going to be the victim in this story.
At the time I was disappointed and upset that they really weren’t willing to help me out. I guess they felt that they had already bent over backwards during my dad’s illness and now it was time to get back to work.
To be clear, during his illness they had been great.
Now add to this mix my marriage was also spiraling downward (we split in Jan 2012) and that I had lost my equilibrium completely.
My life was upside down – my dad had died, my marriage was over, and for good measure I left my job. Yeah, I’d call that wholesale change, others might say (yes, those less charitable!) that it was a mid life crisis.
Initially I went to work for a local software company from whence I had come back in 2005.
The CEO and management team were familiar, I could travel on my terms and for the most part work from Toronto. It was a good fit for the moment…
The first year was a rebuilding year as I led the global sales and marketing capability, which resulted in a solid sales year for the firm.
Our parent company was based in the Netherlands and had decided to sell us off, and over the course of the next year the majority of my time was spent doing roadshows for potential buyers.
We signed the paperwork with a private equity firm from California on July 1st 2014. That was the Tuesday and got my pink slip on Friday. That’s the way of the world, what can I say.
It didn’t really matter as I was getting on a plane later that day bound for Vietnam. I still remember distinctly thinking to myself during the flight to Hong Kong “why am I working for someone else again?”
So I thought why not create my own business? Crazy idea…right?
Clearly I needed a business plan and so began jotting down things that I like to do for a start, why not do something you love – right?
Well, I love to write (check), I really enjoy photography (check), I could share my story and journey from the corporate world with others who are in a similar position, plus I’ve already done a lot of motivational/inspiration speaking over the course of my career (check). Don’t forget travel (check) and if necessary I can still do some consulting (check) on the side.
Interestingly when you put all of these things together – writing, photography, speaking, travel and consulting it’s an interesting and eclectic mix. So this is what I based my business plan on…
Yep, I drafted the plan during my trip to Vietnam and bandied it about with a few trusted advisors upon my return.
Universally they said, it’ll never work. Too many things…you can only be one thing so just choose one and do that.
Bar humbug I said to myself!
As you know, if you’re avid reader of my blog then you’ll know that I rarely follow the herd and always back myself, no matter what. My gut instinct was to push on regardless. So I did! 🙂
Soon after getting back I incorporated my business, got myself a lawyer and accountant to get me started and then steadfastly set out to build my dream job.
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been five years since I started Indelible Adventures Inc. My business continues to thrive, not just in one domain but in all areas, I get to choose where I focus my time and efforts and most importantly I’ve had the opportunity to be the dad I’ve always wanted to be with Zach and Sam. I’ve also been fortunate enough to travel and explore the world on my terms as part of my business. Nice!
I read a book recently “The Universe has your back”, and although not a religious man I do believe in fate. I truly believe that my focus, perseverance, self belief coupled with my work ethic serve as the foundation to my success. I feel like the sky’s the limit!
I am the perfect case study for creating the life you want!
So far I’ve published two books, have two podcast series on iTunes, sell my photography via an agency in New York, get the opportunity to speak about creating the life you want as well as travel the world – in fact, exactly the life I’ve always dreamed about.
Some might say I’m just plain lucky. Luck, my friends has nothing to do with my success. Lots of people talk about following their dreams and doing what they love, while others have the courage to risk it all for what they totally believe in and just go do it. Yeah, that would be me! 🙂
So, what’s stopping you from living your dreams? I’ll let you ponder that question this week…
Until then – ciao!