After a recent trip to the Redwood City Library, I learned something about myself. Without even thinking about it, I grabbed numerous books off the overstocked shelves, sat in a hard library chair consumed by the ideas and knowledge that these books contained. Hours past while I sat there learning about Switzerland, new knitting techniques, small engines and re-visiting the magical world of Harry Potter. It dawned on me that I just love and enjoy learning. I am curious and like asking questions to how things work, why we do certain things, and exploring unknown worlds, a trait that often had my mom going crazy when I was a child since I had the tendency to touch everything! Safe or not, keeping my mom on constant watch. Luckily all this learning taught me a thing or two about safety and common sense.
I have lived in many places these past years London (Ontario), Ajax, Vaughan, Pittsburgh and now Redwood City, California, and one of the things I do in each city is visit the local library. Libraries bring me back to the countless hours spent as a child with my dad, reading sessions, and even book clubs to see who could read the most books in a summer. Looking back through old report cards, as the top reader in my class are proof that I just love learning and exploring.
Libraries were my escape; we never had money for gaming consoles or cable so books were my way to spend the long summers. In one of the houses we lived in, the library was right across the street and I would often sneak away to get books. These books taught me how to knit, the wonders of cats cradle, the adventures of King Arthur and my first introduction of quantum physics.
While the Internet is great for information and even feeds by need for learning, there is still something about going to a library and reading from a book. Through these books I can go anywhere and be anyone. It is a break from the crazy hectic world, a little bit of quiet among the world’s great teachers, past and present.
One of the things that has surprised me in my education as of late is my sudden interest in business, entrepreneurship and investment finances. This sudden interest has taken me aback due to the fact that growing up, business was just a word adults used when they were off to the bank, dealing with money, and doing other adult responsibilities, which at the time seemed uninteresting to me. Learn finances or play? The latter was a much more intriguing option at that age. However I was pleasantly surprised a few years back when I turned on CBC’s Dragon's Den: a Canadian show in which aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to venture capitalists in hope of partnering up and making their ideas into reality. The excitement of making smart quick decisions and the risk involved soon had me excited in this world that I knew little about. I loved seeing the creativity people had in modeling their business products and services and how they were presented in unique not normally thought of ways. The intensity that the Dragons had in dealing with these new entrepreneurs was something I had never seen before. They knew what it took to be a success and their no bullshit attitude was something to revere.
That is why when the opportunity arose to take an entrepreneurship class I quickly jumped to the chance. Carl Rosendahl’s class at the ETC-Silicon Valley campus is a way to sink my feet into the crazy world that is the start-up business. His knowledge of the business world in the entertainment industry as the founder of Pacific Data Images is unmatchable and I know I will learn a lot. His class allows us to pitch an idea for a start up business and with his guidance we maneuver the various phases of the business model canvas. From how to pitch a product, to work culture and financial statements to partner relationships, this is just the start and I feel like a sponge ready to learn all that he has to teach!