Friday, March 21, 2014

"It Will Be Awesome!!"...and other musings about my latest defining moment

Have you ever looked back on your life and been able to recognize events that shifted everything?  Events that took you off a path you were happily trucking along and caused you to change and evolve in completely unexpected ways?  Defining moments - that's what I like to call them (or maybe it was Dr. Phil that I got the phrase from).

I've had a lot of Defining Moments.  My life always seems to be shifting and changing.  Moving to Saudi Arabia is just one of many of these change-based Moments, albeit it's definitely the biggest and quickest changes I've had.  The thing about moving here, though, is that it was just meant to be a temporary change and then I was going to go back home to BC and carry on with my outdoorsy fun and my speech-language pathology career.  Of course, I knew that my eyes would open to crazy and amazing experiences and my perspectives on the world would change, but that was about it.  Ah, but this is me we're talking about.  The momentum of my life tends to dictate more permanent shifts and, not surprisingly, it seems that I've had a Defining Moment within my Saudi Defining Moment.

It started with a conversation with Jack, a rad guy living here in Saudi who's become my best friend.  The conversation was about a thought that has played in my head ever since I started mountain biking; "Wouldn't it be cool if we had a hostel to accommodate the super cool bikers and outdoorsy folk who visit my town?"  When I said this aloud to Jack he replied, very matter-of-factly, with, "Why don't you do it?"  Let me put this into perspective and give you a bit of background on Jack and me at that point in time.  Jack is who I would call the ultimate "businessman."  Someone who's been buying and selling goods since he was a kid.  Literally.  When he mentioned business'y things to me his voice would start sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher and I would just nod and smile until he recognized my glazed look and changed the subject.  The hostel conversation was different.  Even though I laughed at his reply, he continued on the topic.  For the following 20 minutes he had me explain my finances, give ballpark figures on housing costs, potential income from hostel beds and hostel services, minimum wages, costs of living, and tons of other numbers and figures.  He did impressive math in his head and when he was finished he said, "This is something you could do."

Of course he meant something I could "do" financially and I would be keeping my S-LP work going while I was "doing" it.  So you can understand when I replied in a very high pitched and sarcastic voice, "Really, Jack?"  I proceeded to remind him about my complete lack of business-sense, business experience, and even interest in business'y things.  But he had me.  Jack had finally piqued my interest in something business'y and he kept rolling with how businesses really worked.  By the time he was finished I came to realize that, as my lovely entrepreneurial friend, Amy, says, "Business is simple.  It's hard, but simple."  I can do hard;  especially if it's straightforward.  Better yet, this hostel-thing would be SO FREAKING COOL!

Everything shifted in my brain after that.  It was like Jack had taken a mixing spoon, dipped it into my skull, and stirred my brains around.  When it all settled down I knew the life I would be leading when I moved back home would look nothing like I had originally imagined.  It was going to be better.  Harder, but better.

So, now where does all of this put me?  Let's be honest here, I've got a lot to learn.  So, this hostel-thing will take time to develop.  A lot of evolution is going to happen in terms of what it will actually look like when it's time to break ground and even afterward.  I say "hostel-thing" on purpose because the evolution has already begun.  Since I seriously started planning this business six months ago it has warped and changed into some pretty cool things that, in many ways, don't look like a hostel at all.  My main goals for it, however, have not changed.  This "hostel-thing" is going to bring the people I love to be surrounded with together: the nature lovers, the bikers, the hikers, the outdoor extremists, the yogis, the meditatives, the animal lovers, the gardeners, the musicians, the lovers of life, the lovers of love.  It will bring the visitors to my town together with the resident community that I hold so dear to my heart and soul.  It will combine the love of fun, nature, and learning.  It will be a place in my community where people feel good, nay, feel great.  It will be a place of happiness and heart.  It will be awesome!!

I sound so confident.  And I am confident, about the absolute awesomeness of this place that I am creating and how good it will be for my town.  I'm also scared beyond reason to do it.  But I will.  I will learn. I will work hard.  I will take risks.  I will take criticism.  I will take praise (oh please let there be praise).  I will cry.  I will snap out of it.  I will grow.  I will ask for help (dearest friends, please be patient with me in this area).  I will start small and make it bigger.  I will keep going.  I will keep going because it's the only way to go from being a beginner at something to being great at something.  And this business, this "hostel-thing," feels oh-so-good to me.  It deserves to become something real.  It deserves to be as wonderful as it feels to me in my heart.  Most importantly, my community deserves to have something awesome.

Now that I, hopefully, have you just as excited about this business venture o'mine as I am, you might consider helping a beginner out.  I'm starting some market research to get a feel for how the different ideas I have might pan out.  If you're in a giving mood and have ever given a course or a workshop of any sort please head on over to this quick four question anonymous survey for teachers and trainers.  If you are not a teacher or trainer but are still in a giving mood then I have something special for you.  Have you ever taken a workshop or course that wasn't in a typical classroom?  If so, head on over to this quick three question anonymous survey for lifelong learners.  Thank you SO much for your support in my newest adventure!

In Joy,

p.s. Check out Amy's awesome aromatherapy (and then some) business, The Blending Bar.