Ever thought of trying something new in your life?
A few weeks ago i got an e-mail from an Aussie guy named Alan. Alan left his career in corporate finance to follow his creative ideas. In other words, he started to design bicycles and opened up a bike store. He and his sister now run the brand - Papillionaire Bicycles - in Melbourne. He wondered if I’d like to make guest posts on their blog. With my passion for cycling and the land Down Under, it was hard to resist. See my first post here (and read Alan’s kind comments on my work!)
Alan and I had a great chat about his journey, I hope you enjoy it and finds his story inspiring:
Tell me about Papillionaire!
- I started Papillionaire only a couple of years ago now. I run it together with my sister, we have mechanics and store assistants who work with us, and a close friend of mine does the web design. We’ve been growing pretty strongly with the boom in cycling culture in Australia. So we’re planning on opening up in New Zealand, and will hopefully try the US market in the near future.
What’s your personal story?
- I’ve been very into cycling since I was a kid. My dad’s a road cycling enthusiast. And so I’ve always ridden bikes. But when I moved out of home (long time ago now - I’m 27), I started riding more and more as way to get around. I’ve traveled alot as well, as many Aussies do, and travelling through Europe really opened my eyes to how amazing cycling can be for a city, and for the lifestyles of the people within. It’s something I really want to help develop further in Australia, and a lot of people are behind the movement here these days.
So that’s pretty much my story. I’m also very into fiction writing, I write a lot.
If you would give some advices to people who are thinking of trying a new path in their lives… (like your career swap) what would they be?
- I think I’ve rarely regretted taking a risk, even when I fall flat on my arse. Rather, I tend to regret the times I’ve played it safe because I’m too scared to take a chance. That’s not to say there aren’t times when you’re better off saying ‘no’ to an opportunity. But I’m yet to have developed the foresight to know when those are. I think in the end, if you work truly hard, and you’re passionate and educated about what you’re doing, you’ll have a good chance of success. Then the rest is down to luck!
That is so true. Thanks heaps Alan! I’m glad our paths crossed, It’s great how Internet brings continents, people and ideas closer. Hope I get to go to Melbourne the next time I’m in Oz to try out a Papillionaire and to whisle down the street with you guys.
The two behind the brand: Nicola (who left her job as a lawyer) and Alan (+ very cute dog)
‘‘We both really wanted to be creative but our parents made us do finance and law so we did our token four years and moved on.’’ - Nicola in The Sydney Morning Herald.
P.S: Be the nerd you are and stay curious. And if you feel that you’re in the dreamer but not the doer state, why don’t you like this project; Project of How. They’re in the making of a platform for sharing insights, methods and learnings about creative processes. Great initiative me thinks, and they might be a part of the catalyst you need!