Taking the Leap – My Journey to Vedavoo
Ever since I started the evening program at Babson, the same question has been asked at the beginning of every entrepreneurial focused class: What stops people from becoming entrepreneurs? There are a number of answers, but the one that always had the most relevance for me was, â€śIt is scary.â€ť Lets be honest here, no one starts a business or joins a start up with the mindset that it isnâ€™t going to be around in a year or two. When the commitment to that company is made, there has to be a 100% buy in or things will get tougher than they already are for any new venture.
The â€śscaryâ€ť factor is what stopped me from taking the leap over to a life of an entrepreneur a few years ago. In the winter of 2010, I met Vedavoo founder and Babson Fast Track Alumni, Scott Hunter. We sat down for coffee and discussed the goals I had in somehow breaking into the outdoor industry. My idea at the time was to open an archery pro shop with a unique twist. In that conversation we learned that we had a lot in common and shared many of the same interests and a friendship was born.
A few months later, Scott approached me and asked if I wanted to join Vedavoo through an internship. He wanted to explore the world of fly fishing (to date Vedavoo was primarily rock climbing and hiking) but didnâ€™t have the time to really dive into it. I was thrilled and jumped at the opportunity. I finally got my foot in the door.
I was also working full time in finance and was making a decent paycheck at the time. The problem was, I lost all interest working in the financial industry after one year of being there; year four was right around the corner. I wanted to leave and pursue something that I loved doing, but I was too scared to make the leap.Â I wanted to expand my role with Vedavoo, but coming on full time meant that I would need to sacrifice an income for a while. The trouble was, I recently got engaged so me leaving would directly impact my fiancĂ© as well.
As it turns out, hating your job can also directly impact relationships. The more time I spent hating my job in finance, the more it came home with me. My fiancĂ© could see how miserable I was and it was hard for her as well. After a lot of conversation regarding our future goals we decided that I needed to take to the leap and pursue something I truly believed in. My last day of working in finance came in June 2012. It was the best decision I ever made.
Once I got beyond the idea that everything was about money it was like a weight lifted off of my shoulders. Of course my goal is 100% to make a nice income, but I will never again make a living doing something I hate. Since joining Vedavoo full time there have been nothing but positives as the company continues to grow. We are now beyond the startup stage and are a growing small business. 2013 is shaping up to be a great year!
The bottom line is Babson has amazing resources for entrepreneurs. Go to the Blank center, speak with advisors, and reach out to piers. There are a lot of students and professors doing some really great things. I know for a fact there are a lot of students that are in the same boat that I was in. You want to try something, but its scary. If you are thinking about taking the leap to pursue a venture you truly believe in, do it. The experience you will gain will be invaluable and if anything you will stop thinking, â€śwhat ifâ€ť. Taking on any entrepreneurial venture is not going to be easy, but it will be worth it in the end!