Triumphs and Turmoil: Ambition
Growing up with ADHD I had huge ambitions but didn’t know where to place them. This led to me bouncing all over the place, struggling to stay focused on a singular goal and going from idea to idea and dream to dream. From trying to be a pro snowboarder, and a desire to be an NHL player, to dreaming of being a carpenter or a historian, I had so many ambitions and longings that it was hard to keep track. I was interested in all types of arts and sports, as well as cars. In addition to this I was keenly interested in history and learning about my predecessors. I yearned to know about the failures and successes of important historical figures - I wanted to understand what got them to where they were. As someone who has failed so many times, I have learned a lot about how important failing is, as it becomes an opportunity to learn from what you may be good at, what your strengths and weaknesses are and where you are headed in life.
3 and a half months ago, I began driving Uber. Driving for Uber was step one in my plan to make money while building my business, so I’d worked a pretty miserable retail job for months to save up for the vehicle to do so. During each drive with a passenger, I typically ask a series of questions about their life. It usually starts with the easy stuff, like how they’re doing and where they’re headed. Most riders answer that they are off to work, so when they mention this I like to ask what they do for work. I follow this up asking them if they enjoy their work and find happiness from it. Additionally I ask them, “if you could be doing any job what would it be?” A lot of the time I’m met with “I don’t know”, which I follow up with, “what was your favourite thing to do as a child?” This question tends to get people thinking harder about what they truly enjoy and how it relates to their lives now. For me, it was all about creating things. I would build rails for skateboarding, draw, paint, colour, explore different types of art and make up stories in my head. After high school I thought I wanted to be a carpenter as it let me pursue that desire to create things, but later came to realize this was more of a hobby than a fulfilling career for me. In addition to this I grew up helping my dad build his cars in the garage. These creations of his included some cool rides, like a 396 swapped Chevy nova, a frame off restoration of a 350ci, 3 on the tree, Pontiac Acadian, a ratrod model A, a t-bucket and so many more awesome cars. While I wasn’t afforded much opportunity to build the cars, as he liked to do it himself, I did learn a lot about the cars and how to build them by watching him work. In these times I felt much more connected to my father than in any other area of my life. I saw him for what he really was - a creative, intelligent and independent man; a true leader at heart.
I have recently become obsessed with the creation of business. Ambition is a tricky thing when you’re creating a business, and it’s especially tricky when you have so much of it that it feels overwhelming. I often feel like I don’t have enough hours in the day to get through everything I wish to accomplish, and some days I don’t even know where to start. However, I know that my greatest ambition, my life’s ambition, is to help others. Since I’ve identified my strongest skill set, which is creation through photography, I know that I can use my skills and ambitions to help. If I focus on making my business successful, I believe I will one day be at a point to be able to create jobs and opportunities for others. This belief keeps me going, and helps me wade through deep pools of ambition to the other side – productivity and determination. On that side, I am able to get things done, systematically and efficiently.
As I've talked about before, pursuing your greatest passions and creating a business on your own is terrifying, and I can understand why a lot of people prefer to have a boss and a job where someone else tells them what to do, even if it’s not something they always dreamed of doing. It's really not easy to face failure every day. As an entrepreneur, I hear ‘no’ constantly. But I personally could not imagine working for someone else for the rest of my life, and I'll gladly hear ‘no’ and face constant failure for the freedom to do things my way. I’d like to think that me as a kid would be really proud of me today for finding the courage to be as ambitious as I am.
Most of the photos posted are property of Roger Hornby (my dad) and are at a lower quality than usual as to show what was spoken about.