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Work is a Distraction

🌀 It’s hard to start a company about personal growth and relationship building when you’re 21, broke, a nanny, a martial arts apprentice with a broken hand, an aspiring rapper making music about the fabric of the universe, and generally unskilled and undisciplined. 🤷‍♂️ That was me a nutshell the summer after dropping out of college. There are many important stories about this period but I will save the more personal ones for another time and space. For now, let’s move past this strange summer into the Fall where I unknowingly found the path I would walk for the rest of my life. The nannying job I had in the summer was given to me by Kyle Dodson who, at the time, was the Director for Service and Civic Engagement at Champlain College. He had inspired and supported me as I took the leap into drop-out oblivion and gave me the opportunity to make a little money taking care of his three boys during the summer months. Ages 10, 12, and 14, they tested my patience, my intelligence, and my beliefs. It was the greatest summer job imaginable. Aside from many fights, a failed lemonade stand, and me getting pulled over by the cops as I rolled through a stop sign driving them home one day, the summer was a success. But come Fall the kids were going back to school and I wouldn’t have my parent's support anymore so I’d have to find a way to pay rent on top of all my other expenses. So I looked for a job - and found three. 1. Host during breakfast at the Courtyard by Marriott. I often saw the sunrise on my way to work and the demands of early mornings helped me develop some discipline. 2. Afterschool teacher at JJ Flynn Elementary. After my morning shift, I’d come home for lunch - or I’d fill up on leftover bacon at the Marriott - and I’d go to the afterschool program where my love for teaching was kindled. 3. Classroom aide at the The Schoolhouse Learning Center pre-school - for one morning a week. Although it was the cutest job I’ll ever have, I’m glad I only had to wrangle tiny humans part-part-time. This experience gave me a deep respect for early educators. I had developed a creative way of paying my bills and taken a step into the world of education which would open up increasingly interesting doors. But in my scramble to make a living, oK seemed to die before my eyes. I had run a few more meetings that summer and started doing them at Champlain again in the Fall, but attendance dwindled and my enthusiasm died accordingly. While I got a taste of the joy I could experience working in education, I also got a glimpse at the difficult road I had before me. oK wasn’t going to be a company that I could immediately make a living from. It would take patient experimentation, mirroring my own personal development. I would have to split my attention to excel in a complementary career while not giving up the larger vision I was working towards. It was doable, but it got more difficult when the winter came and I added on a 4th job. 😵


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