Startup Entrepreneur and Writer in Canada
I've spent to better part of my career dealing with new ideas. For a long time my expertise was where technology, entrepreneurship & creativity collided. And collisions there were. Early on, I helped hundreds of entrepreneurs with guidance, support and cheers - honestly before I was even qualified to offer advice. But I learned and what I remember most is the thrill of a really good new idea. I lectured and wrote about entrepreneurship and loved the vision of a prosperous future of freedom-embracing and happy as shit hordes of entrepreneurs.
I was good at this game, very good. During all of this, we built ideas into companies, raised investor money, generated crazy revenues and hired lots of employees. Slowly though, I began to realize we, and there was a ‘we’ - a self-serving business support industry really - were honouring the wrong things, the wrong motivations, the wrong people. Providing help to those that really did not need it.
I made this the first part of my career because it had the potential to improve people lives, to make them self-reliant and to live fulfilling lives away from corporations (and institutions). But I was helping to make fledgling corporations, the very things I wanted to free people from. It was like I was working in the Matrix - but I was the only idiot in there.
At first I quit the game. Happy to have made my mark, still with more losses than wins, but I got out with a few dollars and psychologically relatively unscathed. But to retreat is not the thing to do. There is no service in that step, only fear and self-preservation. So besides taking care of my family & friends, there has to be something else.
Looking back I realize the only worthwhile thing from that whole episode was the desire to help people become ‘free-er’. The bitter thing is that anyone who spent even one hour helping at a homeless shelter has done far more than I have ever done for someone else. This is a personal failure. I can and should do better. And so for my next act, stay tuned.
A quick bio: I feel people should be selfish to a degree that makes them happy - here are my selfish things - I spend time in St. Mary's Bay Newfoundland, the south of France, Barbados and on the Mani in Greece. Places where I write, read, build, play soccer and train Brazilian Jujitsu. I'm happy to share any of these things with anyone who is intrigued.