I've lived my entire life in Western Canada except for 4yr of high school in Los Angeles. I originally went to school for the business of adventure tourism with the plan of being a mountain guide. I soon realized a career based on physical health is risky; a broken leg makes you unable to work. A friend got me a "low-key office job" in an insurance office while I sorted out my career. That was 18 years ago and I've worked in various aspects of insurance since.
While building my insurance/risk career I've also had a few startups. My first startup was an outdoor clothing and equipment company. That company failed because retailers wanted to see a full product line (in the days before Kickstarter). My second startup was online risk management tools and that failed through my own perfectionism and inability to be agile. My third startup was a "full-service, one-stop-shop marketing agency". I left that business when I discovered my co-founder was using web hosting logins to go into customer email accounts. I'm currently working on my 4th startup that provides a server app that builds data lakes (like a data warehouse).
For one insurance company I built an internal web app that saved ~200 employee hours and ~10,000 pieces of paper per month. It started without the approval of head office or IT (roque IT) but it was so successful they asked me to translate it to French and release it to the other 6 offices across Canada. At my most recent insurance job I built a data lake that I could populate from 4,200 spreadsheets (1,800,000 rows of data) in 24hr. I also built 2 online platforms for quoting/issuing various types of insurance.
In 2016 I was hit by a car while cycling home from work and very nearly killed. I've been forced to make significant changes to accommodate chronic pain and brain injury. It's been a horrible recovery but I believe I have a much better understanding of self-care now that I face significant limitations and don't have the spare capacity to work as long or hard as I would like.
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