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So - the last ten years have been a whirlwind... Got my PhD. Moved to Columbus and joined a tech company. Started a small hobby business called the Columbus Idea Foundry (ref: "Origin Story" post on this blog...) Managed that business while still maintaining the day job (which meant years of 80-100 hour work weeks). Hustled, danced, guessed, gambled, and did a thousand other things to make ends meet. Worked a few more years of insane hours. Discovered that I could put in a 35-hour workweek from Friday 6pm to midnight Sunday. That I could eat for $5/day by wolfing down beans out of a can, and that I could finish each meal in two minutes. (Pro tip: don't heat). Fretted and fought to make the business work. Found some amazing volunteers who became members who became friends who became staff. Watched the business grow from a small 2400 sq ft garage to 24,000 sq ft industrial space to 60,000 sq ft beautiful building; from 1 member to 300+ members. Still wasn't turning a profit, still burning through my dayjob salary and my savings. Quit the dayjob on Jan 1 2014. Now really worried and stressed to make the gig succeed. Recently (2015) found some investors. Or rather, investors found us. Stumbled around in weeks-long daze at luck and surprise at having investors. (This business doesn't provide an ROI - hence, doesn't attract investment). Struggled to realize that I don't need to struggle that much anymore. Relented as investors grabbed me by the shoulders, shook and shouted: "Stop running. Breathe. Think." Sat back and inhaled, dizzy. And for the first time in ten years, realized that I didn't have to react to my crises. My clothes were no longer on fire. I could choose what I wanted to do with the CIF and with my life.

I couldn't be more grateful to have this exciting and different type of challenge, and I very much look forward to writing about it....


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