My role at LIFEHACK is to drive the vision and ensure we succeed. Going into LIFEHACK I knew we were in for a challenge. The goal was large and the timeframe was small. Fortunately the Naive Optimist in me made sure I backed myself and jumped right in.
There were many times during the process that I felt burned out, and was running at an all time low – both physically and mentally. It’s been an exhausting few months. There were times when I struggled to keep my head above water, and in several cases had to check out for hours on end to mentally regain my strength. Like many other people, I have high and lows in my life.
You soon realise just how important it is to have someone you trust in your corner. Mine being Jil, my always supportive and caring fiance’ and best friend.
Today I start a new blog; which means I’m officially retiring my old blog (or to be more accurate, what I blog about…)
What started out as a networking blog, quickly became about entrepreneurship and my experiences wrangling New Zealand’s tech scene. This is no longer my sole focus for blog content.
My new direction is going to be about me and my journey through life. A journal of my life – somewhere to share what I’m doing, learning, but most importantly how I’m feeling and who I’m being.
Too long I’ve hidden behind a smile, scared to really share what’s going on in my life – good or bad. The time has come.
New blog, new purpose.
Yesterday I busted my knee while surfing at Muriwai beach.
While riding down the side of a 3 foot wave, my body was knocked by the wave, with my feet firmly planted (and unwilling to budge) on the board. Unfortunately, this resulted in my knee buckling inwards, much to the joy of my now torn MCL. Crap.
I’m told that an MCL injury can take up to 12 weeks to heal – which couldn’t have come at a worst time. We start our national tour of LIFEHACKweekends on April 5th, which will see me facilitating 48 hour events in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
I’ve got crutches now, which is helping. 5 days and counting until our first event.
Wish me luck.
Is what I am…
It was only a short time ago that I came to this realisation, after throwing myself blind into another large project (of which I new very little about).
What some people might see as a weakness, or as ‘crazy’, I see as an enormous strength.
I try. I fail. I learn. I succeed.
I attempt things before I realise just how difficult it might be. There’s a lot to say about just fucking doing it.
Change depends on unreasonable people. Don’t assume–analyze. Brutal honesty trumps hypocritical politeness. Have courage. Build companies instead of cutting deals. Thrive on technological risk. Ignore the nonsense of conventional wisdom. People matter. Care about genuine issues: a healthy environment. Sustainable power. Free information. Go for GREAT, not just good. Be willing to fail but aim for revolutionary success.
- Vinod khosla
[This post was originally posted on the Borrowed Size blog, written by my business partner and beautiful fiancé Jil O'Brien.]
This is by far the most difficult post I’ve penned for the Borrowed Size blog.
As from today, the Borrowed Size store is no longer open for business. The decision wasn’t an easy one to make but, after hours of deliberation, I’m certain that closing the store is the best option for us right now.
Developing Borrowed Size has been an amazing experience, I’ve learnt a lot since Jason and I began work on the concept back in August 2011, and I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved. We’ve worked hard, made substantial discoveries about the wardrobe dilemmas faced by new Mums and had the support of some fantastic people who believed in us and Borrowed Size. But it is time to put the brakes on and scale back our plans.
The reasoning behind the decision is two-fold, both personal and business. On a personal level, working with your spouse inevitably adds pressure to your relationship. Extra pressure is added when the balance between business and family is mismatched and I wasn’t able to achieve that balance. For me, the scales tipped too far in favour of family meaning I lacked the commitment and motivation to drive Borrowed Size forward as we had planned for me to do. I realised that I’m just not ready to spend time away from my son. I’m not ready to entrust his care to someone outside of our family so I can work. I’m not ready to be anything other than a full time Mum. I’m still making my peace with this realisation but I’ve already felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.
The other part of the reasoning rests on the business model – I don’t think we’ve got it right, yet. I still believe (and know that many of you agree) that Borrowed Size in an amazing concept. The whole point behind the store was to test the market and validate the concept through a Beta launch. We’ve had some fantastic feedback but we’ve struggled to source the product our customers want for a price they want to pay! I’m sure we can find the solution (and I’m sure we will at some stage) but, right now, I don’t have the energy or the resources to commit to developing the next iteration of Borrowed Size.
That said, I’m sure there is a future for Borrowed Size. We’ll still be engaging via the Facebook page (and the Borrowed Size blog) and translating the latest fashion trends into wearable looks for breastfeeding Mums. We may also sell some garments via Facebook and we’ll continue to reach out for feedback on our ideas and plans for Borrowed Size.
Thank you to everyone who’s supported Borrowed Size this far and given us love, support feedback and insight into their wardrobe woes – you’re all amazing! Please keep in touch.
Jil & Jason
Every year Unlimited Magazine publishes a list of influencers who are making a significant contribution to New Zealand. In August this year, I was lucky enough to be named one of them for my work bringing Startup Weekend to New Zealand.
Over the course of two years it’s been amazing to see how popular Startup Weekend has become in New Zealand, and by the end of 2012, there will be around 800 startup addicts expected to complete the weekend.
Below is the video I filmed with Unlimited. Note the challenge at the end to “Smash out the Australians in a Trans-Tasman battle”
There were many people who helped make Startup Weekend a success – it definitely wasn’t a one man army. I want to acknowledge these people for there support – for without them, SWNZ wouldn’t be where is is today.
There were also the hundreds of attendees who put up money in exchange for a weekend of work to sprout a new movement – kudos to you too!
Business Networking can be an asset or it can be a complete waste of time. Anybody who’s any good (or bad) at networking will agree with this. The problem is, or at least the problem I faced, was is networking really worth it?
This blog started out about business networking. I spent countless hours meeting people, simply because they seemed interesting. I met people for months and months and months, convincing myself that each one of these meetings were generating me business. They weren’t. In fact, I was loosing money. Lots of money (coffee isn’t free you know…)
On the flip side, my connections are new relationships were high – growing at a very fast rate. I became people rich. People sought me out to have a chat, hoping I might know this person or that person – and I was happy to do it. It wasn’t until I was introduced to a successful business women that I realised that networking alone wasn’t a good enough reason to meet. After some light hearted banter, she (who we’ll call Jane) got right to the point by asking ‘what do you want, Jason’, to which I relied ‘Errrmm, nothing… I just wanted to meet…. Fail. It was so embarrassing. I made sure that would never happen again. Ever.
So to answer my own question – does networking make you money? Yes – but it doesn’t happen overnight. Being well ‘networked’ is a privilege you earn, not a gift you’re given. Handing out cards won’t get you known, and neither will selling to everybody you meet. It happens from spending time connecting and being useful.
Choose wisely the people you share your time with, and if they grant you a meeting, don’t waste their time. Be straight up about why you’re meeting. There’s nothing worst that a tire kicker.