HERE’S WHAT I’VE BEEN UP TO

Things are changing around here.

Back in January, J left the visual effects company he co-founded eight years ago and decided to start freelancing. He set up shop in an office downtown, not too far from our condo.

Oliver started part-time daycare in February. While the adjustment has been painfully slow (two months ago I was ready to pull him out of daycare altogether and just pay for babysitting), he seems to finally be settling in and — dare I say — enjoying himself.

I am starting to work on some interesting blog-related projects: guest posts, blog carnival entries, media interviews, and even some article submissions for parenting magazines and websites!

I have also very recently made the decision to take a leave of absence from my part-time work with the military. With freedom from my employment obligations and 10 hours a week of Oliver-free time on my hands, it’s time for me to re-visit something I’ve been dreaming about for several years.

In the fall of 2010, I was accepted into a government sponsored program that helps aspiring entrepreneurs turn their ideas into viable businesses. I was two months into an intensive planning process for a 6000 square foot tactical (military/police/fire) fitness facility when I found out I was pregnant with Oliver.

A photo shoot for my gym website, two days prior to finding out I was pregnant!

At the time, I believed that if I could get my business up and running before Oliver’s birth, I could manage to be both a new entrepreneur and a new mom. Fortunately, some very wise family and friends convinced me that given the scope and complexity of my gym plans, it would be difficult — if not impossible — to manage both new “babies” at the same time.

They were right. I never imagined how busy and chaotic the first year of Oliver’s life would be. But now, as Oliver approaches his first birthday, I am ready to dust off my business plan and carry on, albeit with a different and much smaller scale version of the original concept.

However, the window of opportunity to pursue my dream is closing quickly.

The start-up costs are going to be big. They’ll be a fraction of the projected costs of the tactical fitness facility, but daunting, nonetheless. We are in a unique position where our current finances will allow for such an investment. This may not be the case in a year’s time.

Knowing what I know now about raising a baby, there is no way I’d be able to get this business off the ground with two little ones in the picture, so if the gym is to become a reality, it needs to be running smoothly — and earning money — before we consider expanding our family.

For the next few months, daycare days (after all requisite housework is done) are going to be devoted to the re-working of my business plan; to determining the feasibility and profitability of the venture.

I have an idea that I think can work in this city. It’s something that isn’t currently being done, and something for which I believe there is a growing demand. But it’s going to take a lot of careful research to determine whether the idea can be truly profitable, given the high cost of operating in Vancouver (because, let’s face it, I’m not going to be pouring my heart and soul — and our family’s finances — into a non-profit venture!).

I’ve set a deadline of October for “go or no-go.” If its a “go,” the fall is going to be a very busy time. Contingent on finding a suitable location (which involves navigating the City’s labyrinthine business zoning bylaws), I’d like to be up and running at the start of the new year.

I hope you will all join me on this new and exciting journey.

5 responses to “HERE’S WHAT I’VE BEEN UP TO

  1. Awesome! I put my own entrepreneurial project on hold and opted for the security of a full-time job when I found out I was pregnant. You are inspiring! I too want to get my business off the ground again before expanding the family. The clock is ticking…

    • A full-time job during pregnancy is not just a matter of security – it’s also a matter of the benefits that come along with it (i.e. health, maternity, etc.)! Sometimes you have to make the best decision for the immediate situation, instead of the future. Good luck with your venture! 🙂

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