Firstly, a big thank you to all those that donated to my Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride fundraising efforts. As a result we pulled together $921 for The Movember Foundation and their mission to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. That is amazing!
Now, this week I am going to pick up on the Dream story line. I am going to share when I realized the idea of my Dream was achievable. My Dream watershed.
Returning home from my last tour to Afghanistan, I rolled right back into my instructing and course management duties. It was an easy task though as a light at the end of the tunnel was provided to me on day one of my return. A hard one to bear, but I mustered the courage and suppressed any disappointment when I found out that we were to be posted to … wait for it …
… Miami, Florida.
The horror (I write, sarcastically).
What an amazing opportunity. We were there for four years and we truly owned that Florida experience. Beaches, Disney World, access to cheap flights, and the Florida Keys to name a few. Living what to many would be a vacation. These though weren’t the best part. The best part you ask? The people, the friends we made.
We made and developed relationships that have proven deeper and more enduring, truer and more genuine than many previous. This is not to suggest that we don’t have deep, enduring, true or genuine relationships from previous posts and relationships. It’s just that we made so many and they have all been so rich and persistent; they remain as strong today as the day we left several years ago.
This depth may be a result of the age of our children when we were living in Florida. Maybe it was because we Canadians were a curiosity to our American brethren. I would offer though, that whatever confluent variables might have introduced and established these relationships, it is the fact that they remain so strong that elicits my statements.
So how does this all tie back to my Dream?
Well, one of the things we noticed quickly about our American friends was their passion. For life, for politics, for relationships and family; and most relevant to this blog, their passion for entrepreneurship and business.
It is contagious. We were surrounded by people doing business. They identified and explored every opportunity, and took risks. They accepted consequences. It is amazing and exciting. Sure Canadians do to, and maybe we just weren’t exposed to or cognizant of it before, but it just seemed that everyone in America was impassioned by an entrepreneurial spirit.
As our time in Florida matured and we settled into our American life, we too became more passionate about life , opportunity, and entrepreneurship. What started as fireside chats, quickly advanced into action. I shared my coffeehouse ideas and they shared theirs of brewing beer. Soon we were brewing beer with friends. The beer was good. Really good.
Each brewing session required many hours of monitoring and process. They often became a guitar and beer drinking event. With music enlightening the experience and with bellies full of beer, talk turned to starting our own brewery.
Here is where that passion really manifested itself. These American friends didn’t restrain their passion very long before taking real action. This is my Dream watershed.
It didn’t take long before efforts were being made to find locations, ideas were sketched on paper and money was being pooled. The idea of a brewery was a little out of reach to start, so it was a brew pub or tap house that gained traction, and it started to move, fast.
I won’t get into all the details but suffice to say, that idea is now a reality and it did end up becoming a full brewery. Now, here I need to be very clear here that I am no longer a part of this venture. There are no links to it apart from my being a fan and supporter to their business. But, the experience I gained and the passion I felt during those early involvements propagated inside me and truly were a watershed moment. I was never able to shake that bug of entrepreneurship.
I withdrew from the venture for the right reasons; many outside my control. The team that owns and manages Lincoln’s Beard Brewing Company are doing an amazing job. If you ever find yourself in Miami looking for some great local brews and a great location to visit, make this one of your destinations
The point here is that this experience, this watershed, stoked the Dream. It fueled my passion and moved many of my ideas from concept into action. It was only a matter of time before I retired from the military to devote myself fully to realize becoming an entrepreneur. I am only at the beginning of this journey. I am as passionate now as I was then.
To my Canadian readers, have a Happy Thanksgiving and long weekend.
Also, if you’re in the Ottawa area, the next open mic night I will be hosting will be on 19 October, once again at Anabia Cupcakery Cafe.