Building Something Big in a Small Town

I was born in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia. I grew up here. Nearly everyone I know, love and care about either lives here, or did at some point. And I love this place more than anywhere in the universe.

It’s important to note that Victoria isn’t a very big city. Compared to many metropolitan areas in North America, and certainly the world, it’s downright tiny.

Despite this “small city” upbringing, my whole life has been full of big ideas. Whether it was starting my first business when I was 13 (from the trailer park where I lived with my big sister), running for City Council when I was 23, or starting my eleventh business when I was 36, I have tried at each turn to put my dreams into motion.

To some folks I was either “too young,” “too ambitious,” the idea was “too radical,” or it just plain wouldn’t work, complete with an all too common refrain of “especially not here in Victoria.”

Well, guess what? I didn’t get elected to City Council when I was 23, but I made some amazing friends trying. And some of my business ideas failed miserably, but I have absolutely no regret trying.

I guess the point of this post is that life is short. Don’t let the naysayers define what you do with it.

And, by all means, if you live in a small city or small town, do not let the town define you. Instead, you define the town.

And, above all, if people tell you, “you can’t do something like that here,” take that as a solid sign that you should do it anyway.