Change Ventures Alumni Interview - Borja
We meet with Borja, a past participant of our Signature Programme Change Ventures (now known as the Reinvention Retreat) to learn about his experience at CV 2014.
Share with us more about your journey prior to joining the retreat.
I think my professional career can be described as a general drift of mis-managing expectations, uncertainty and a lack of clear ideas or honesty with myself to a certain extent. Although, at the same time, it has been a real journey of learning which I value and there are absolutely no regrets. I graduated from Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore and worked in advertising, in logistics for a cement manufacturing company, then marketing, I have taught English, worked in events, worked as a photographer...
During my last job, I was the Community Manager for a co-working space. This was the happiest I had ever been in a job, and interestingly enough, it did not last as long as I initially envisioned. This threw me down a spiral of not knowing what I wanted, what I could/couldn't do, it put me in a place where I was trying to find my way in the dark (professionally speaking) and it made me lose focus in a way I had never felt before. I travelled, spent a lot of time reflecting, looking for similar jobs to the one I had and liked... but there was little response. I talked to family, close friends and I paused, though considered and made one of the most important decisions I have made till now. I joined Change Ventures.
What made you decide to join the Reinvention Retreat?
During the months after I stopped working for the co-working space, I travelled and started considering the possibility of joining some sort of coaching program. I got sick, very sick traveling from Cambodia to Vietnam and had a conversation with my dad who asked if I had considered joining a coaching programme. I told him I had been thinking about it (I already knew about The Change School (TCS), and as much as I did not fully understand what it was 100%, I thought, chances were it could only change things for the better). A day later, I got a call from Solonia (one of the co-founder of TCS), asking me if I had ever thought of joining Change Ventures. I have known Solonia for over 15 years and the coincidence of my dad asking, Solonia asking and me having been considering, made things even clearer. It had to happen. Not knowing what it was all about was compensated by knowing Solonia for such a long time, and It made the gamble an easy decision to make.
What was your biggest challenge prior to the retreat experience?
The lack of direction, focus and clarity in what I wanted to do or what I could and couldn't do. I felt it was taking a real toll on me in many aspects of my life.
Share with us what you’re doing now.
I am setting up a company. It is a "custom motorcycle tour company". I have spent the last 7 months building a fleet of beautiful custom motorcycles, designing itineraries, and getting everything ready to make my passion for custom bikes and travel, a source of income.
Share with us a little about your reinvention journey.
It's still early. The company has not officially launched yet. At the time of writing I can say I have never been happier. I am learning how to weld, I have built a bike with my own hands, I have not really had a day off since I took the plunge, there have been numerous setbacks which have delayed the launch date, difficulties of trying to set something like this up in a country like the Philippines... but... for the first time in my life, problems and obstacles have become fuel for the machine to run with more power. I used to think saying what I just said was a start-up hipster cliche. But now I know it is a real possibility, but you need to live it to experience it.
How did you feel throughout the process?
It's been scary at times, but overall it has been a very rewarding experience.
Prior to joining the retreat, how did you view change?
I've always been excited about change. I've lived in different countries, done different jobs, been to different schools... Change has always been present in my life, and I have always had positive results out of it.
Greatest takeaway from the retreat?
Having been surrounded by a number of people in a similar situation, sharing, and just being in the right environment helped me get to where I am today.
Complete this sentence, “The Reinvention Retreat helped me to…”
Take a plunge into something I wanted to do.
Borja is a native from Madrid, Spain, who has spent a good part of his life living in Asia. Trained as a graphic designer, passionate about music, photography, travel and custom motorcycles. He is currently setting up Sakay & Co, a custom motorcycle tour company in the Philippines.