Remember when we couldn't wait to get the training wheels off our bikes? The mere thought that one day we could ride on two wheels all by ourselves was so exciting! It meant we had graduated. We were big kids now. What about when the wheels came off -- remember that day? Did we coast with ease down the street? Nope, we didn't. In fact, if you were anything like me you fell off. Hard... and many times. You may have even had a few cuts and bruises to show for it, but then what happened? The desire to ride on two wheels didn't stop us from getting up, telling mom or dad to leave us alone because -- "We can do it!"
Fast forward to now -- many of us are in our careers, pursuing whatever form of greatness we've envisioned for ourselves. Yet, today, as adults, we don't seem to like the idea of falling off the bike or getting cut and scraped as we try something new or put ourselves in a place of vulnerability. We no longer see the end goal as being on two wheels, striving for that new-found independence and riding off to new experiences. Now, in our adult years, we constantly refine and test our ideas and plans to ensure perfection, so much so that sometimes those plans never really get to see the light of day. The fear of failure paralyzes us. For some reason, we're no longer ignited by the vision of us achieving the goal. We allow potential roadblocks to keep us from even getting on the bike.
So what's your bike story? What are some of the things you've been putting off simply because you feel that the "time isn't right"? What new opportunity, new career, new business, new relationship, new endeavor are you putting off due to fear? Life happens; it gets hard -- sometimes extremely hard. There are many things we can point to that could give us enough reason to do nothing, but where's the fun in that? Let's face it, the feeling of always wondering "what if?" is a terrible burden to carry. Trying and failing is a lot better than not trying at all, because at least within the failure, there is strength and learning.
At the beginning of 2011, my life changed. I found myself embarking upon one of the biggest and, at times, scariest endeavors of my life - entrepreneurship. I decided I was going to launch a company around the things I was passionate about: fashion, technology, music, branding, marketing, etc. and, most importantly, the inspiration of others. Starting out was exciting; I had a vision, drive and desire around where I wanted to take things. Though that drive and desire never quite left me, roadblocks inevitably appeared. I decided that although starting something from the ground up with a non-existent team would be incredibly difficult, I would stay the course and do what I needed to do to keep going. I worked side jobs between client projects: everything from overnight warehouse jobs to courier driving by day. The key was that I needed flexible jobs that would work around my pursued passion of developing my business - my end goal. It was no easy task, but a necessary part of the process to bring things, as I saw them, to life.
Fast forward to now, in just two years alongside incredible partnerships, TEN81 Lifestyle Inc. is Canada's leading lifestyle marketing agency. TEN81 is expanding, growing a great team and working with some of the most recognizable brands. In this short time, we've been able to transcend what most would consider a typical "marketing agency". We are called upon to help brands build their strategic plans and tackle their front facing consumer dialogue, and work with global HR departments who appreciate and value our focus on uncovering and activating personal passion as a necessary conduit to increase employee career satisfaction, enjoyment and retention. This puts us in a remarkable place as an agency, one that can help organizations inside and out.
We all experience trials and tribulations on the paths to pursuing our passions, but the drive to keep going is what sets up apart - the dreamers and the actualizers. Life is about making mistakes - keep making them because you'll learn. Acting on your passions and goals with the risk of failure exemplifies that you have the ambition it takes to succeed.
Today is a new day, a fresh start. A new opportunity to go forth and put into action the ideas you've been sitting with for days, weeks, months... maybe even years. Today you have the opportunity to assess the roadblocks, but not allow them to keep you inactive. We all fell off our bikes as kids. But, we got back up. So, continue to ride on those two wheels and hold on to that inner-child tenacity.
- Jesse Jones