So I went through with the final day of my employment – 12/28/11. It wasn’t easy, I’ll tell you that much. Every doubt in my head was stacking up like a giant wave of legos teetering on the edge of collapse.
I took a few days to myself and tried to focus on next steps. I cleaned up and organized the office space in our common house and started planning the trip to Peru that LuAnne and I had decided I needed to go on.
One of the first things I did was to reach out to Dan Ferrick, the real estate agent for the building I wanted to work with. I knew exactly what building I wanted – if you want the details on why/how there’s a forthcoming “History of Change” blog post to describe that.
Dan pointed out that the building would require a lot of work because the owner had changed his mind about using the space after gutting it. He said it would cost 500k-1M to get it ready, but of course that didn’t deter me. I’d just left my job to change the world – I wasn’t about to let the question of finances get in my way. Well, not yet at least.
He let me know that he would be showing the space on Monday and that I could join in. When I got there and we walked into the building the reality of what he had said previously sunk in: The building was literally a shell. There was nothing inside but pools of water from where the roof was leaking, insulation hanging out like entrails, wiring hanging exposed and (thankfully) lifeless, and the occasional hole in the floor leading into the pitch black basement. And that was just the main level!
The second floor and basement followed suite – the former being obviously used most recently by a few people who’d sought shelter there, the latter having no real lighting and quite a few obstacles to trip over.
Yet the space was perfect.
What better place to start a #LearningRevolution than in a building that had been discarded and left for dead in the heart of a thriving city full of entrepreneurial energy? Artists, programmers, MBAs, students – they had unknowingly collaborated to create a city where you couldn’t help but feel inspired. This building could be a testament to that. It should be a testament to that.
And if I had any say in the matter, it would be a testament to that.
To be continued …