why i left lululemon, but can’t leave it behind
posted: March 6, 2014
The entirely true story about how I went from educator to educator…
Let me start by saying that I’m a believer that fortune favours the bold.
After graduating with a degree in finance and working for a major financial institution and marketing agency, I was still searching for how I could make my dent in the universe.
So, I chucked stability out of the window and backpacked through China and Southeast Asia for two months.
Jason in limbo—but actually looking pretty stable—somewhere in Asia
When I ran out of money I didn’t look back; I ventured onwards to Australia. It was there where I began my life as an educator—a lululemon educator.
I worked at Sydney’s flagship store, the Ivy, with an amazing team who taught me the meaning of the lululemon culture.
On day one I was exposed to the power of creating a vision for my life and the goals that would help me achieve my vision. I envisioned myself as the Head of Global Strategy for lululemon athletica by 2023. Australia wasn’t going to cut it; I needed to get more international experience before heading back to Canada.
Jason gets high at Bondi Beach, Australia
I set a one-year goal to work for lululemon in New Zealand, and within six months I was on a flight to Queenstown to assist another awesome team in opening the first store on New Zealand’s South Island. I fell in love with the ability to establish a brand from nothing and to positively impact my community.
After six months I travelled home to Canada and worked in Oakville [Ontario] and Toronto as a key leader, a community builder and on a men’s strategic initiative. But I thirsted for a new adventure.
Supporting my vision of always being an active individual and connected to my community, I set the goal to sweat for 365 days straight, a feat that I completed on December 31, 2013. It was that journey that opened up opportunities to accomplish two other goals I had set for 2013: to learn a new language and to create my own business.
Yet learning wasn’t enough, we wanted to empower others. We set the goal to create innovative technology education for the next generation of creators.
See that grin? That’s the grin of success
On September 18, 2013 BrainStation Educational Inc. was incorporated and goal two was accomplished; I became a founding member of my first business with three inspiring partners.
Over the past four months we have created a brand, coded our website, been featured in articles in Betakit and Techvibes, on-boarded eight web and mobile development educators, established BrainStation headquarters, become the first Coursera Learning Hub in Canada, and our first cohort began on January 13, 2014 with 17 eager ‘Creators’ ready to learn.
It has been such a rewarding journey and my ability to perform and execute as one of BrainStation’s directors stems heavily from my experience that began as a lululemon educator. Our team at BrainStation also set goals in the ‘trickle back’ format I learned at lululemon; we have a core library (digital of course), we demonstrate an ‘attitude of gratitude’ for each other at weekly retrospective meetings, and most importantly, we sweat together (foosball, bikram yoga and soccer). Like lululemon, our founding principles include integrity and authenticity, and we host complimentary “Intro To Coding” workshops to positively impact our community and unite passionate learners with passionate educators.
BrainStation is born
Know that there is never going to be a better time than now to seize the day. Each step of the way is a new learning experience that leads to bigger and better things. Continue to set goals. Continue to crush goals. Continue to live in possibility. Remove yourself from what is perceived as comfortable because that’s where the magic happens. While my short-term goals shift each day, my end vision remains the same. I will be in Vancouver and handling the international expansion of a brand that sparks positive change in the world. The only change is, that company is mine.
Do it now. Do it now. Do it now.
10-year goals for BrainStation:
January 2015 – BrainStation launches a part-time course in Vancouver
May 2016 – BrainStation launches a part-time course in Sydney, Australia
February 2024 – BrainStation has a global presence in at least four countries and has expanded its reach into youth education, corporate development, a philanthropic arm and a design agency