The last year has been an interesting ride.
The last post was about pivoting due to The Great Lockdown basically shutting down operations on every single part of RaceTime. I knew I needed to find some “pandemic-proof”, where no matter what happens I can still work in that industry. At the beginning of The Great Lockdown, the only private businesses allowed to continue operating completely were in-patient hospitals, pharmacies, transportation, grocery markets, and churches (ha). Plus a few more I’m sure but that was the main bunch. So how can I get into one of these types of businesses? I had a Biology degree, experience in retail/bike shops, but stayed mostly active in sporting events.
Early in April, I was contacted by the owner of a local bike shop chain that I’ve worked with in the past in events. He wanted me to work as a sales associate as bikes were flying off the shelf as people looked to fill their time as they were working from home or stuck at home not working (like me). Side note: I began going on long walks with Christy (including a few 20 mile walks), which was extremely therapeutic for both of us and we enjoyed our company. I also spent loads of time baking breads, eating cookies, and hand building wood home decor.
Back to the bike shop story: I wasn’t ready at the beginning of April to be in contact with many strangers up close and personal. No one knew what this virus was so it was best to try remaining a little isolated. So I rejected the offer, I never saw it as a long term idea anyway. At this time, I had no intension of working any time soon, it was the first 14 days of The Great Lockdown and there was a National (sort of global) Slow The Spread campaign to force everyone to stay home.
Fast forward to June: I needed to get back out there, I had applied to several hundred jobs but nothing came to fruition, plus I have a wildly strange resume. I decided that going back to bike shops is what I NEEDED to do, and the bike sale trend was still rising out of control.
I went and scheduled a meeting with the owner of the local bike shop chain to discuss working there as an Assistant Manager. Unfortuantely, they only had sales associate position available. But I was ready to take it and hope to grow within the organization (a truly great organization).
When I arrive back home, I look again on the job boards but this time I search for ‘bike shop’. A post showed for Bike Shop Manager in Miami Beach. I applied for it. Within a few hours, I received an email from the company with a request to have a zoom meeting the next morning. I’m over the moon at this point.
The next morning, I go to the RaceTime office (which I had from February 27,2020 to May 31,2020 #IfWeWouldOfKnown)and take the interview. I meet Josh on the Zoom interview and it goes great. We kick it off as two fans of the startup world, and he wants to meet me in person that same day. WOW!
I meet Josh at an unfinished bike shop on the corner Venetian Causeway and Purdy Ave, the most scenic location for a bike shop. But Josh did not have a vision for a traditional local bike shop, he looked into the future of the bike shop and focused solely on electric mobility which electric bikes and electric scooters.
He hires me on the spot. I’m thrilled!! Thrilled for the opportunity, excited to create greatness with Josh, and looking forward to creating stablity with this job.
Since that moment (June 19,2020) until today (September 29,2021) this is my list of accomplishments:
Open the first Vene Rides store in Miami Beach
Launch our online store venerides.com
Become a Co-Founder of Vene Rides
Move to Miami Beach with Christy
Discover the power of the mind
Get engaged to Christy
Open our second Vene Rides store in Chicago
Schedule our wedding for Earth Day 2022
RaceTime becomes the official timer for the Mercedes Benz Corporate Run
Launch a crowdfunding campaign for Vene Rides
Visit Austin Texas for Vene Rides (and write this post in a coffee shop at Austin)
See Joe Rogan & Friends comedy show in Austin (soon)
I hope everyone had a successfully fulfilling year.