By David Ryan, an EO Ottawa member and President of Electronic Time Capsule.
At age 31, I have just sold my nine-year-old insurance business to live my dream.
As entrepreneurs, we extrapolate, create and execute. We spend much of our time doing and orchestrating, but it all begins with one thing: To live the dream, one has to dare to dream. I think, as entrepreneurs, that’s where it all begins.
Over the years, I’ve had more than one dream that I was eager to pursue— ideas that hit me and that I thought I could put into practice. Some that might have worked (such as a lawn ornament to cover gas meters) and others that were shot down by market studies (like my idea for an internal automotive garbage system to decrease litter).
But one day, even as I was pursuing one dream as an entrepreneur, another dream grabbed me— one that I began to pursue doggedly.
It started as I was writing a journal for my newborn daughter. I wanted to create a journal so that she could reflect on my love for her and use my experiences in guiding her own life, much as we do with experience sharing in EO. But, not long after I began to write, I recognized some drawbacks to my chosen format: I was uncomfortable discussing certain mature topics, in fear that she might read the journal at a young age; I was unable to contribute to the journal when traveling because I didn’t want to lose it; and I wasn’t comfortable allowing others to contribute, though their input would be meaningful, because the topics and information I had revealed were too personal.
I had to find another way of preserving my thoughts, events and emotions and sharing them only at a time when I wanted them to be viewed, but no immediate solution presented itself. I thought a time capsule might be a good way to go, but I didn’t want to worry with the mess of digging and burying and all that. As I pondered ways to accomplish my goals, I realized that, with today’s technology, the answer was quite simple: I would create an electronic time capsule.
It took me two years. During that time, I realized that others might desire an electronic time capsule of their own, for something similar or for something that had not yet occurred to me. I decided to offer this service to the world, to families everywhere. From there, it was all business. I began the market study and finally launched www.electronictimecapsule.com in May 2006.
For me, my dream isn’t about business so much anymore. It’s fortunate that I’ve been able to translate my passion into something that is marketable, but it’s about more than that. Living the dream for me right now is seeing my daughter’s time capsule account being filled with messages, photos and videos from myself and all the important people around her. I know that, when these messages are delivered to her in 30 years, she will be able to tap into something that many of us only dream of— her history, her family and her innocence.
I sure hope I never stop dreaming.
David’s personal mission is to create and lead situations to enhance people’s lives.