Kelowna. Back in Black

Ideas are not static. They are fluid. Don’t force yourself into the “plan”. Be flexible. My original startup idea had changed. The Universe showed me the middle finger and said it will not workout. It’s all I had. What do I do now? Is it a test? Continue pushing or drop it?

Your goals change over time. The original ideas take different forms and shapes. Don’t be a stubborn donkey that fights his way through. The original idea gave you direction, not a destination. Adjust -> Iterate.

I’ve spoken to a lot of people. How did the world accept your ideas? What was the feedback? Did you change your vision? You did. It is totally fine to change your plan. Reflect -> Adjust -> Iterate.

Focus. Decide what to keep and what to get rid of. What do you need at this point in time to take the next step? What people do you need on your team? What did you already learn? Reflect -> Adjust -> Iterate.

Maintain the Energy High. Remember: the energy will not last forever. Use it wisely. How can you keep your work exciting and fun? Use humour. Simulate a sense of urgency.

The original plan was to spend the winter in Vancouver or Victoria Island. The absence of snow and somewhat warmer climate promised me a comfortable winter, where I can train and work. I lasted almost a week in Vancouver – hated it. Specifically:

  • Rain. It constantly rains. Six days a week. Yes, it’s a bit warmer than the rest of British Columbia, however, I am not sure if I can deal with constant raining. The choice was either +5 degrees and constant rain or -10 with more sun and less precipitation. I need the sun;
  • Lockdown. Everything was closed due to COVID. All the swimming pools were drained and I couldn’t find a single one in the city. There were so few gyms that were open and they all required ahead of time registration. Most of the facilities won’t even let me in, as I am a newcomer. I needed a pool to swim and the gym to workout. I hate having to jump through hoops just to get my workout in;
  • Parking. I lived full time in my spaceship. I needed a safe place, where I could leave my camper. Ideally, with the power connection. It is a pain in the butt to find parking in the city. Everything is paid. The only legitimate option was to find something on the outskirts of Vancouver. This meant that had to commute to the city. Why? To co-working/office space;
  • Workspace. I am more productive working from the “office”. I need that environment. Co-working spaces I attended in Vancouver are either of a high price or don’t accept new members because of COVID. Libraries are closed. Most of the cafes didn’t allow to sit in. I couldn’t find a good place for work;
  • Didn’t feel right. I felt uncomfortable in the city of Vancouver. I forgot what it was like to live in a big city. I felt drained and low on energy. On the second day, I wanted to leave. I didn’t like all those masks, rules and regulations… People seemed scared. I could feel the tension in the air;

I wanted to visit Victoria island and explore more of Vancouver. I knew that one week was not enough to judge the city, however, I did not want to spend any longer there. I was fully immersed in my startup idea on which I was working for the past month. I had a hard time deciding on whether to stay or leave. I knew that Vancouver had more opportunities for me, however, I didn’t like it. I knew that I could find a spot for a camper and the gym to work out, however, I didn’t feel welcomed in Vancouver. While deciding on either to stay or leave, I put my priorities on the table:

  1. Work/business
  2. Sport

I was really passionate about my startup idea and I needed an office or some kind of workspace, where I can work on it. A place, where I could focus and be productive. Sport payed a huge role in my life, so I also needed a pool to swim, a gym and the road to cycle. I needed to find a place, where I can drop my camper off and feel safe. It had to be cheap and with a power connection.

Kelowna. I left Vancouver after only one week. I went back to Kelowna – a small town, four hours east. I’ve spent there three weeks while on my way to Vancouver. I’ve found there the office space. I had a pool to swim and the gym. People seemed to be more relaxed and friendly. No masks, no restrictions. It almost seemed like COVID did not exist in Kelowna.

I decided to make Kelowna my home for the next few months. I was eager to work on my project and I felt like it was a place, where I could dive into it. I found a great co-working place to work from. I got a pool/gym membership. I was tired from moving and needed to create the routine. I wanted to be stationary for some time.

It was the end of October. COVID hit again and I my friend from Montreal and Toronto told me that things got pretty bad there. It was depressing. I still couldn’t find a job. No money were coming in. I felt anxiety creeping on me. The sense of urgency was buzzing on a back of my mind. I needed to figure something out. I needed to pull myself out that hole.

Once in Kelowna, I decided to go fully into my startup. I would work my ass off – day and night. I would give it all my time and energy. No more traveling. No more driving around. Train -> Work -> Sleep -> Repeat. I felt uncomfortable with my situation at that moment. I could do so much better. It was the time to push through. Focused work.

What if I couldn’t bring my ideas to life? What if my startup failed? Those questions gave me a lot of anxiety. I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing, however I believed that no matter what, my work will pay off. It had to pay off in some way. I really wanted to create something out of nothing. I told myself that I would work like a dog and if I fail, I would buy the latest PlayStation and get lost in games. I will say f@ck you world and lock myself in my camper. I will find an easy part-time job just to buy enough wine and fastfood. I would lay on my couch, play games and stuff myself with junk food. Pizzas, donuts, chips, ice-cream… I’ll become a fat f@ck, but I won’t care. I won’t even look in the mirror. This was the backup plan. PlayStation.

I arrived back in Kelowna with a very strong intend to make this business work. I worked hard. That week I stumbled on the article on BBC. I found out about exactly the same startup that was launched two months ago in Toronto. Companies website described my idea word to word. Unbelievable.

I felt a little bit down, however it proved my theory that there was a demand for such a space. The next day I had a few meetings among which was one with a reputable local investor. This was our second video call. During our 90 minutes conversation he gently shredded my idea. His points were logical and made sense. I could not, but agree with him.

I was so excited a month ago. I was absolutely convinced that I was onto something. That idea was all I had. It kept me going. Now I felt how she leaves me. What should I do? Where to go?