The Journey – Decision I

My mind consists of numerous creative ideas, visions and decisions for my own future. I can literally change my decisions on where to go next, overnight. On the one hand, it offers me many ideas on where I want to go and how to go about it. But on the other hand it frustrates me enormously, because I keep switching directions when I’m already moving in a complete different direction. 

Not getting it? Let me give an example:

I work in fashion retail management. I’m an advocate of (obscure) artisanry and I want to create together with those more gifted with a needle and thread than yours truly. For years now, I’ve had the idea to start my own business in Antwerp. A brick & mortar store focused around artisanal denim and honest coffee (bean-freak as well). An environment where fashion students and aspiring designers can collaborate with each other and sell their end-product alongside the brands I run. My aim would be to create a platform based on transparency between the brands and the consumer, basically a “from the fibre to the floor” set-up. I firmly believe consumers nowadays seek purity and what they buy and want to know how and why it is made.

Example of How it is made, IMjiT35020 Manufactus from Italy. Picture courtesy of Mauro Fardin.

So, this year I decided I should finally write the entire business plan to see if it would work and if it is financially viable. Early January I did loads of research and started on the plan. The commercial/creative part of the plan was no “biggie” as I know why I want to do it, how I want to do it and my years of experience plus creative mind helps me out in all aspects. I know how it should look like.

Fast-forward to this month, which is early February, and I start having doubts. I’m working on the financial part of the plan, definitely not my strong side, and I start thinking (or overthinking):

What if this fails? Do I truly want to commit myself to a huge financial risk with every chance of this not working out as I optimistically dream of? And would I still be free to do all the things I want to do in life?

I don’t have any private capital, which would automatically mean I need to take out a loan with either the bank or some sort of “business angels”. And actually, I’m not sure if I want to take on that massive financial burden. It’s not about stress, I excel under stress and I know how to make a store work. My main issue would be that I already have a heavy financial boulder rolling around somewhere, it’s called a mortgage. Taking on another financial mountain is something that doesn’t feel right for me, at least not now.

Example of where travels might take me

Over the years I’ve discovered that I have a very strong passion for traveling as well. Starting my own, physical, company would mean I could hardly travel unless it would be business-related. Not a bad thing, as you do it for your company’s greater good, but what if I’m more dedicated to having the opportunity and freedom to decide ” The hell, I’ll go travel around for two months now” ?

Another “issue” holding me back is the fact that I’m not even sure I want to stay in Europe. With all the terrorism threats, refugees and the physical violence between refugees and naysayers (and the violence in Europe in general), well it isn’t exactly becoming a better place to live. It’s more like Europe is creating its own Apocalypse. I lived in China for a while and traveled a fair bit throughout Asia, and comparing The West and The East on the goodness of life, I absolutely favor the East for so many reasons I won’t even begin with summing them up. So who knows, maybe during one of my freedom travels I might decide to start living somewhere on the other side of the planet. I would at least like to be able to make that decision without financial factors holding me back too much.

And then there is the fact that I also want to develop products on a small scale and with an artisanal touch. When I moved to China, my initial idea was to create something with locals. My time there was a sabbatical, I had no pressure to work full-time and the resources of the Old World are still plentiful over there. Eventually I never created anything due to circumstances, but it is still something that keeps lingering in the back of my mind. So why not give it another try now? On a small scale, developing a prototype and try and get it out there to the public. It might trigger a few dedicated believers that want to own it, thus allowing me to run a small production. It would be a completely different risk compared to starting a brick & mortar store.

And there you have it. This is just one example and the prime reason I started writing about it. My mind, my decisions and visions, they’re all part of a timeless journey that keeps changing direction. By running this page, I hope to discover my true passion and focus on making the right decision for my future. A future in which I hope to be truly happy with what I’m doing because it embodies why and how I am living.

So follow me on my journey, and see where life takes me. Criticize me, advise me, inspire me. And hopefully I can do the same for you, one way or the other.

Stay tuned for the next decision I’ll (have to) take.

P.S. In case you were wondering, the first decision was to start this post.

One Comment

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  1. I too find inspiration easy, deciding which path to take is where the burden lies. However, I must also be aware that without variety in my routine motivation becomes a bigger obstacle. We all have to find our own way, it’s not always one or the other. Maybe starting the store with intentions of selling and then traveling? Good luck on your journeys wherever they may take you.

    Liked by 1 person

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