Perhaps one of the most challenging things I have done is leave the security of employment and set myself up as an entrepreneur. Leaving behind the security of a good, consistent income challenged me more than I thought it would. A sizeable part of my self-worth was tied to that income.
The challenges of setting up new business systems, working out where and how to make money in new fields, while working in foreign (cheap) countries, have stretched me more than anything else I have done. The intrinsic rewards have been well worth it, and the freedom of choosing where I work each day, and reporting directly to myself, has been worth the price. Working hard to achieve a goal you believe in is more stressful, but ultimately more rewarding, than working out to make someone else rich.
I have set up multiple different businesses, with varying degrees of success, and learnt a huge amount along the way. One of my most important lessons was to do what I am good at, and not what everyone else is doing. I am good at - and love - project management and adventuring. Focussing on these two things, and leaving things like web development to others who enjoy it, has been an important decision. Making adventure projects happen using project management techniques is the best of both worlds! I also enjoy speaking to and motivating others, which is the reason I have ventured into mentorship and public speaking engagements.
• Jumping on a plane to South-East Asia to kickstart an entrepreneurial phase of life
• Sharing hard lessons learned at “F*ckup Night” speaker’s event in Bali
• Walking away from a WordPress development agency to focus on what I enjoy
• Four days of touring on a small scooter in northern Thailand
• Launching a branding agency with an awesome launch party in Bali
Early entrepreneurial journey reflections at F*ckup Night Bali
Other random memorable moments
• Getting off a train in small town Vietnam at 2:30am, with nowhere to sleep
• Sunset kiting on the West Coast of Australia, keeping a close eye out for sharks
• Getting lost in a dust storm at Burning Man
• Trusting the locals and ignoring the “Danger - Crocodiles” sign while kitesurfing. “Don’t worry mate, there is only one croc here and he lives around the corner. It’s only a 15-footer (!)”
• Scuba diving with Manta Rays on the Great Barrier Reef
• Waterskiing in the stillness and early-morning mist on Lake Maraetai in New Zealand