Everyone has ideas, but execution is the hard part.
Jenn Vroom started Van Isle Paddleboard Co. after months in solitary confinement trying to figure out how to turn a dream into reality.
Her company operates through the summer on Vancouver Island and takes people on paddleboarding fitness and adventure tours.
Persistence pays off
“Google was my best friend for a few months,” said Vroom, who had no background in business or marketing.
At the time, Vroom was still in nursing school, which she’s just about to graduate from.
“I don’t think I saw anyone for three months while I was researching and trying to get it off the ground,” she said.
Health and fitness is her passion. Working in a summer camp gave her experience on paddleboards and outdoor tours in university taught her how to lead a group.
Vroom thinks paddleboarding is more than just standing on a board. It allows people to overcome fears and challenges, get in touch with nature, work together and experience adventure.
“Paddleboarding touched my heart,” she said. “It’s fun and easy enough for everyone to do. That’s what stuck out to me.”
Months of research taught Vroom how to make a business plan and start a website.
Doing it on her own was tough. The business isn’t popular enough for her to have a set schedule yet, so summer days are determined by customer demand.
A network of supporters and belief in herself were big factors in persevering from the idea stage to execution.
“I feel like everyone is an entrepreneur,” said Vroom. “We all have it inside of our spirit. Everyone has a vision, everyone has a passion.”
But acting on that is hard.
“It takes determination, grit, perseverance, being frustrated sometimes,” she said. “It takes knowing you’re doing the right thing, believing in yourself and having a community of people who believe in you and keep pushing. It doesn’t happen overnight.”
Vroom found confidence and inspiration from God.
“He’s the foundation of my life,” she said. “I know that I can persevere through anything.”
Arlene Dickinson visited her university and told would-be entrepreneurs not to be worried about people stealing your ideas.
“Don’t worry about that, because it takes so much time and energy to do anything with those ideas,” said Vroom.
As she moves into a nursing profession, Vroom plans to still run the business but have another employee lead most of the tours.
Paddleboarding season opens on May 1.
Check out Van Isle Paddleboard Co. at http://www.vanislepaddleboardco.com.