I recently flew to Vancouver to start a company — Shift connections — with two of my closest friends. We have been working on the company for about four months now. On the very first day I was in Vancouver we began connecting to the community by going to a tech social event. It was a great chance to meet some developers and some other entrepreneurs.
The day I arrived we were totally focused, and had a great plan in place to hire developers and build an innovative marketing approach. Day two we worked all day on content creation and outreach before heading to another tech event. We spent time breaking down the first event, our successes and failures. We improved our plan, jumped on our bikes, and headed to another networking event.
One of the things we’re doing along the way on our startup journey is recording video so we can share it with other people interested in creating. We want to show the whole process, the creative breakthroughs, and the stumbles along the way. We want to show that normal guys like us can create amazing value for society — as can everyone.
Before heading I shot a quick video of Blake who wasn’t wearing a helmet. We laughed, and talked about how neither of us had ever been in a bike accident. I’ve got in the habit of wearing a helmet when I bike, but I still feel silly wearing one, especially since I’ve never been in an accident. Lucky for me, my habit of wearing a helmet was stronger than my doubts. If not, I wouldn’t be typing these lines right now.
We were riding down a small hill. I wasn’t peddling, but I was going pretty fast. I hit my break to slow down and go around a roundabout. Before I knew it I was flying through the air, and soon I’d be lying back down on the ash fault.
Somehow as I was flying through the air, I stuck out my right arm to brace my landing. I landed on my palm first, then my right hip, and finally my body turned and the back of my head slammed down on the pavement. My helmet was ruined, but my melon was fine.
By the time the firetruck and ambulance arrived I was convinced that I was fine, but it was pure adrenaline. Two hours later, I was sitting in the emergency room, and I even fainted when the doctor cleaned the giant cut on my hand. When I came to, a nurse offered me an apple juice and a cheese slice. Score.
If it wasn’t for my habits, I’d either be dead or lying in a dark room somewhere trying to sleep with ear plugs in. Wearing a helmet isn’t about style or convenience. It might sound cliché, but accidents do happen, and when they do, your positive habits will keep you afloat, or in this case, alive.
Habits aren’t easy. They take effort, dedication, and a strong will to silence the voices of doubt. Right before we left I saw Blake leaving without a helmet and thought if he wasn’t wearing one then I didn’t need to. Luckily my habit was strong enough to overpower my doubts, and I ended up with a cut on my hand and some scrapes up my back instead of a broken skull.