My Race to 40! challenge will be over tomorrow when I turn 40. I can’t believe that I’ve already lived half a life! There is still so much left to do. The goals that I set myself as part of the Race to 40! challenge are just the beginning. I have big plans for the second half of the year and the next few years.
I thought I would use this penultimate blog post (as part of the Race to 40! challenge series) to document some of these plans.
First things first: I will complete the “2030 ET: Tribulation” novella and self-publish it over the Summer. Depending on how it does in the market I will continue to write and complete the series. The novella is meant to be about one man’s quest to prevent various global catastrophic risks, so this is an epic tale. I have enough material for a trilogy. Even if there isn’t a great commercial (measured in sales) and critical reception (measured in reviews) I probably will continue to write anyway. I enjoy it so I will do it for myself. However, the pace would be slower, and it would solely be a hobby.
After the Race to 40! challenge, I will definitely be taking a break in July. My wife and I are delighted to have family visiting in July. First, we have a visit from my sister-in-law and her family from Stockholm, and then we have a visit from my parents from Dubai and my brother and his family from the US. This will be the first time we are having family over since moving to Canada last August. It will be lovely to see them and to have a full house!
July will be spent BBQing, visiting the wonderful parks and scenic spots in the Greater Vancouver area, taking short road trips, and enjoying playing the tourist guide 🙂 I’m really looking forward to it. Though it will be busy, it will also be a time to recharge the mind for the next big thing.
From August, I will pour my heart, soul, and mind into a start-up company. I have been dreaming of taking the entrepreneurial plunge for a couple of years, and it is finally time to make the leap. The question is what will the business be? I have an idea, but I’m not prepared to reveal it on this blog; not because I’m scared of being ripped off, but because the first step will be to spend a couple of weeks investigating whether this is a viable idea or not. Time to put the MBA to work and 10 years of consulting and business planning experience 🙂
I can give you a hint to what my idea is: it lies at the intersection of digital media, publishing, and gaming. The idea was borne out of my experience writing the novella. There is also a small piggyback project that I may actually launch first. It is something I can set up in a couple of months and hopefully use to generate some revenue for my bigger idea. The small project will be an accountability tool for writers.
However, it is as likely that I will pursue these ideas as that I will switch to something else. I have an excel spreadsheet where I have recorded the various business ideas that come to me at different times (sometimes in the middle of the night). There are over 400 that I have logged.
Ideas, by themselves, aren’t worth the paper they are written on. One of the things I will do towards the end of July – once the family leaves – is to go through the idea list and short list the ones to take forward to the next stage of market research and business planning. I also need to be excited about the idea otherwise, I know I’m not going to succeed at it. Whatever I end up doing, it will be something I am passionate about.
Taking the entrepreneurial plunge will be a big deal for me. I have to be ready to fail, which is something very challenging for me. As important, I will have to be ready to succeed and whatever that entails. Either way, I will have to be ready for change; whatever happens, I’m sure I’m going to grow beyond what I can imagine through the experience.
I’m very excited about this next phase of my career. I’ve been preparing for the last six months by familiarizing myself with the angel investing and start-up ecosystems here in Vancouver. Generally, they are very accommodating. The people I’ve met – from young entrepreneurs to seasoned veterans, to investors, academics, and professionals – have been friendly and ready to lean in, provide support, and share advice.
Part of the attraction of being part of this ecosystem is to be able to do the same for others. I’ve already (informally) provided mentoring and advice to a few young entrepreneurs. I hope to also turn my blog into a repository of knowledge for start-ups in Vancouver. I will be blogging my experience and document tips and recommendations as I go through the steps of setting up the start-up (e.g. incorporation, finding cofounders, the shareholder agreement, IP agreements, getting minimum viable legals in place, using government funding and grants, contracting developers, etc.).
I’ve probably spent a bit too much time on planning the next phase before the current phase is over. This is at the expense of my current goals, but that’s ok. The start-up will be the real play, not the novella or half marathon.
But for now I have to put the thoughts of building a business aside for at least another month – got to complete the half marathon tomorrow, novella over the next few weeks and enjoy time with family first!