Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Start Line

If you've ever woken up early, brushed your teeth, and headed in to open the doors of a new business on day #1 then you are part of a small but hardy group. It isn't easy to get to the Start Line.

Let's say you have an idea. Almost everyone does...

Starting: The hardest part for sure. You have to have courage... and you have to find money (usually). Then you have to wade through tons of governmental bullcr&p... Now you have a bunch of paper (BC865446776 or something like that) and a bill from a lawyer. Congrats.

Time to get started.

Planning: Locations, sticky leases, irritating landlords, pesky holdbacks, confusing clauses, 80 page contracts, quirky lawyers, bearded accountants. And bills. Now you have an empty building. Congrats.

Time to get started.

Creating: Busy builders, tough negotiating, expensive designers, expensive millwork, better go with the less expensive computers, choose the lighting & flooring, order the equipment, delays, decisions, decisions, decisions. And bills. Now you have a concept for your empty building. Congrats.

Time to get started.

Build it! Crews, electrical, plumbing, framing, drywalling, painting, debating, second guessing. Lots of bills. Bills. Bills. Now you have a business under construction. Congrats.

Time to get started.

Planning (yes, again): Marketing, studying, learning, networking, monitoring construction, counting the days, worrying, dreaming. Now the construction is done and you feel ready. Congrats.

Time to get started.

Preparing: Cleaning, arranging, shopping - Home Depot, Staples, Ikea, Canadian Tire, Costco, London Drugs, and more. Bills everywhere! This place is stocked! ...better mark this occasion with a celebration. Congrats.

Time to get started.

Celebrate: The IF crew, 1 jumpsuit, 1 wig, several beers, Browns, St. James, The Point. Taxis, tylenol, lost phones, a few hours of sleep. (Clean again.) Congrats (you're alive.)

Time to get started.

Opening Day! The doors swing open at 6. The music is on and our first customer is warming up on the bike. He is followed by one more - then the place is empty again - hopefully not for long. We made it to the START LINE. Congrats.

Now it's time to get started.


We are doing really well. Four days in we find ourselves ahead of our projections for the first month - which is great - but we've barely started. We are the swimmer exploding from the blocks but yet to hit the water...

Other photos from Day 1:

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Different Kind of Coaching

I am a big believer in coaching.

I've invested time and time again - fitness, swimming, triathlon, cycling, skiing... If I took up darts next week? ...well, I'd probably hire a coach.

As important as my athletic pursuits are to me, they are really kind of inconsequential compared to my role as a parent. Yet, until very recently, it had never occurred to me to hire a parenting coach.

I have never really spent any time writing about the challenges of parenthood... but that's not because being a parent is a breeze. It's not. Our family of 5 is an ever-changing, ever-challenging, mixture of personalities - and sometimes that mix works better than other times.

As educated, intelligent parents it's easy to feel like you should be able to solve just about any parenting issue. In our case, Sacha and I have 7.5 years of parenting under our belts - that's just over one "dog year" for those of you without kids.

I'd like to say that harmony abounds and there is nothing but "cumbaya" around our house, but lately Sacha and I have been running up against a short (but complicated) list of parenting challenges. The self-conscious parent in me will add that these "challenges" are likely nothing abnormal (at least I hope), but they are intensely irritating and generally distracting from the enjoyment of life for all involved. The result is stress - not just for us adults, but for the kids - their little brains and little hearts. It's not cool and we needed help.

Tonight we met with a Parenting Coach.

The first, and probably most interesting thing about the meeting, was that both Sacha and I came away agreeing with 100% of what she said. WOW - let's just say we haven't been in agreement on how to handle these issues - ever. We could barely agree on how to describe them!

We came away with a better understanding of the issues, tools to help us navigate through them, and methods to support each other when challenges crop up. In short, we have a plan, we know how to execute it and we are a team again.

Pretty great coaching.

The other HUGE lesson learnt for me is that we didn't need to stumble through the parenting process without help.

  • When I was 5 a baseball coach taught me to choke up on the bat - I hit the ball a lot better!
  • When I was 14 a rugby coach taught me that TEAM was all that mattered - by ourselves we are nothing.
  • When I was 21 a physiotherapist taught me that setting goals was an important part of achieving my dreams - she taught me to walk again too.
  • When I was 30 a personal trainer taught me to challenge myself beyond my comfort zone - I found my passion in endurance sports.

  • Tonight a parenting consultant taught me how to be a better coach and dad for my kids - which means that a bare minimum of 5 lives were improved in 90mins at the local coffee house.

If you were pulling your hair out earlier today, have a sticky issue or just want to raise your game to be the best parent you can be I highly recommend getting some coaching.

If you happen to live in or around Vancouver you need look no further than:

Karen Hoffman BA, CCFE, RPC

Canadian Certified Family Educator
Registered Professional Counsellor

Thanks Karen!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Fall Classic - I.F. Port Moody on the Board!

Yesterday was the Fall Classic out at UBC.

The last time I ran at the Fall Classic it was a small race - 5 or 6 six foot tables set up in the Student Union Building for registration - pretty minimal.

Nowadays it is entirely different.
  • Three distances - 21.1 km, 10km, 5km
  • Hundreds (maybe more than a thousand) runners
  • A massive stage with an Elvis impersonator, TV personalities as hosts, and more...
  • Chili after!!  (Best ever after a cold, wet race...)
As far as running events go the Fall Classic is pretty mega now.

But all of that was secondary compared to the importance of this event for Kris, myself and two important people that I'll tell you about in a moment.

This was the first official destination for IF Port Moody customers!  

Kris ran the half marathon with Julie.  It was her first in quite a while and despite the terrible conditions - cold, windy, rainy - she toughed it out to finish in an admirable time.  She'll be building from that in future events for sure!

I ran the 5km with Eric.  It was his first run of this type for several years.  We set a goal prior to the race and proceeded to DESTROY it by an entire minute!  Eric really dug deep and cranked it up in the final 2 km for a negative split.  It was a blast running with him.

Julie and Eric were pretty much our first customers out in Port Moody and it was awesome to see them getting results already...

Yesterday was also a great moment for Kris and I....  It's exciting to be helping people make progress and reach goals already...  that's why we chose this career.  There's a lot more to come and our doors don't open for another week!


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Friday, November 6, 2009

New Venture - Innovative Fitness Port Moody!

The space you see above will soon be a part of the training floor of Innovative Fitness in Port Moody.

If my post frequency has been down a little lately this is why....

For those of you who may not know, I am opening an Innovative Fitness franchise with a partner out in Port Moody, BC.  (That's about 30mins from where I live.)

We are scheduled to open on November 23rd, 2009....  which is right around the corner!

This venture is a really exciting step for me - it signifies the first time in my life that "passion" and "career" can be uttered in the same breath.  I intend to write a more thoughtful post on this in the near future.

I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have mentioned work in this blog...  "work", "career", "paying the bills" has simply not been something that excited me in any way for a long time.  I'm not blaming anyone - after all I have been an entrepreneur, so I only have myself to blame!  It was, however, something I wanted to change - in a big way!  You don't win the Game of Life by toiling away without passion every day...

Fortunately, that phase of my working life seems to be ending...  with this new entrepreneurial venture I am watching my passion and my career merge for the first time and it is very exciting.  Waking up for "work" in the morning has a totally different feel already!

These days there is a mountain of tasks to be seen to - Mt. Innovative.  New businesses need a lot of time and effort (whether you are passionate about them or not).  It has required a shift of priorities - a good thing really.  All of the most important things in life (for me) are now nicely aligned at the top of my priority list.

I look forward to sharing lots more about this venture, and its place in my "bigger picture", on these pages....  hopefully it will be of interest to my readers.   

For opening details, location, offers and lots of current news you can follow Innovative Fitness in Port Moody on Twitter....  CLICK HERE!

In other news...  I also have a new season of racing and training to plan!  That will be fun to do over the next few weeks.  You'll be the first to know!

Some photos from November!!!  (This is not normal November weather in Vancouver!)

Lighthouse Park with the kids.  Mattias is there too but out of sight.

Viggo is still small enough for this....  It's fun to hear his "dada" chatter in my ear...

Beautiful day with dozens of sailboats off Point Atkinson.

Timer shot....  not bad.  Had to photoshop it a bit but I liked the effect.

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