LET'S DO SOME BUSINESS
At the end of 2004, my work life wasn't great. In fact, I didn't have a work life, since I had been laid off in November the year before. I had applied for a number of jobs but so far no luck.
Back then, buying online was still something relatively new and since there was no Amazon equivalent in Denmark the market was fairly open. After a few months of considering, I opened my first webshop.
The start was very slow. It took a lot of work and a lot of learning but eventually, the sale started to pick up. When I initially planned to start a webshop I imagined that I could be doing it full time but as it takes time to build a steady flow of traffic and sales, I had to ditch the idea of playing golf between packing orders. I still needed a real job to pay the bills. Luck finally turned so eventually I landed an interesting job in a really interesting company so things were going well. I went to work during the day and did internet business at night.
Orders came in 24/7 and within 3 years, the income from the webshop was almost the same as my salary as an engineer. Lars was happy 🙂
As it often happens, happiness doesn't last. In the summer of 2008 my life as I knew it came to an end. My wife and I decided to divorce. A few weeks before that I had quit my job as it wasn't that great anymore and I was determined to work full time on the internet shop.
However, the divorce and the consequent move out of the house made me rethink my whole life and I came to the conclusion that I need a big change. Long story short. An opportunity to start fresh in Switzerland came up. A big company within the ship engine building industry offered me a job, and after a bit of hesitation, I decided to grab it. Another big life-changing decision had just been made.
From that moment things went fast. Within a few months, I had found an apartment and started in my new job. Everything was new and exciting to mee and it was love at first sight, Switzerland and me.
Switzerland is a great place to live. No doubt about it. Salaries are great, taxes are low, and you are in the middle of Europe with France, Italy, Germany and of course Denmark within reach by car. I settled in quickly, bought myself a motorcycle and a car and enjoyed every day. Building new friendships at work while exploring Switzerland on hikes or other outdoor activities. Life was great.
After about two years since I made the move from Denmark to Switzerland, things at work changed from great to not so great. The department I worked for had to lay off people and I was told to leave. They gave me, however, a very long notice, so I had quite some time to find something else to do. I was still enjoying all the good stuff Switzerland has to offer, so I had no intentions of going back to Denmark.
Somehow I always manage to land on my feet when things turn sour and luckily for me, the company I worked for was really big. This meant that other opportunities opened up continuously, so I managed to find a new position in the same company within a few months. Things went back to being great.
In my new position, I had to travel quite a bit so I got to go to Singapore and Dubai on a regular basis. I had been to both places before so not much was new but I like the change of scenery and the opportunity to get out of the office.
This went on for a while, a year or two. However, on one of my business trips, I started to ponder about my work. Did it really interest me that much or was it just the change of environment the trips offered that was the real attraction? Did I enjoy meeting customers and give sales presentations and do training? No, not really. It started to remind me of the time back in the nineties when I was travelling to ships around the world to do inspections and warranty work on the engines. I liked the job but for the wrong reasons. I enjoyed the circumstances related to travel around the world i.e. the flights, the hotels, the idea of going to new places but I did not enjoy the actual work I was going there to do. That is not a sustainable situation. I knew that feeling all too well.
I couldn’t keep pretending that Mondays were great despite the good salary, the business trips, the cars, the motorcycle, and the holidays. But what should I do?
Finding a new job in Switzerland as an "Ausländer", a foreigner was difficult. My German wasn't good enough to find a job in a company where English wasn't the corporate language so the opportunities for an engineer whose expertise was within "two-stroke diesel engines" were few and far between.
I contemplated starting an internet business again, but I wasn't sure what it should be about. What could I sell?
Sometimes things happen like they were influenced by an invisible force of something. You have probably experienced that yourself. It is called the "Law of Attraction" and it is a phenomenon that is very familiar to me. If you're curious to know "the how, what and when" you can find the story in this article.
Anyhow, in the spring of 2013, about four years after I moved to Switzerland, my spouse, whom I have met in Switzerland, asked if moving to Canada would be an option for me. She is Canadian and had found that moving back home, after almost two decades in Switzerland would be something she would like, and she would be happy if I would come along.
Oh, another life-changing decision had to be made. Would I stay in Switzerland and try to turn my job into something interesting again, or should I come along to Canada and seek new opportunities?
I don't recall how long I pondered on that dilemma but it wasn't very long I think. Having an adventurous mind and always on the lookout for new opportunities, I was very excited. The only minus, which was a big one though, I would be adding thousands of kilometres between my kids and I. How would that work?
You know already by now that I said yes. I took the plunge. I left beautiful Switzerland behind and started a new chapter of my life. A new fresh start in Canada.
I was very excited.