I'm here only to belittle myself. You're here because you're curious. If you're not, close the article - move on, why waste the time? <3
I can't finish anything. I can't finish a single project. I'm haunted by the "potential" or perhaps cursed?
I'll never known why I'm proud to be poor. But after months of soul searching and careful introspection, I'm sure it has something to do with growing up with less. It sucks to type that, It sounds so fucking cliché. It's important to note that the pride of being rich is actually free. You can feel proud for what you have, you can choose to feel rich, and it doesn't cost anything. Like, it's free.
You don't have to steal, beg or borrow. No tricks, or lies. No good hard honest work, no luck or silver spoons; you can just choose to feel wealthy for what you have.
This has always been a benefit for me, someone with less, to feel equal to those with more. You're stoked on your fancy new bike from Toys R Us? Rad mine, is from a Garage sale and my grandma got it for $15! Let's Jam! "New To Me" has been a great tool to level.
This anti-pay-to-play mentality has gifted me great freedoms in participation.
The best gift it's given me, is the freedom to start a task. With the hurdle of costs removed from my mind, it's easy to crack open a new idea and get drunk on it. Soak it up, let it splash over me, and just be drenched. The inverse though is entirely true. Every project stalls and dies when I finally need money to progress.
Not only do I lack the money, but even worse, I lack the comfort or personal skills to even manage it if given the chance. My skills of money and time management are so under developed that it's simply impossible for me to complete a task.
The same freedom of being unashamed or even proud to be poor, makes me feel guilty, selfish and ultimately disgusted when I do need to manage money or wealth.
I'm so morally objected by it that any time I do accrue an once of savings or capital, not only is my wallet giving me 3rd degree burns, but it must be given away freely of good will to rid me of the mountains of guilt excavated my my ant hill of finance.
It is morally, socially, and emotionally impossible for me to ever make the dreams I prove to be affordable, true.
Here's some examples, if you don't believe my ability to not finish:
1. (of an uncountable mount): iRide was a Flatland BMX company I tried to start in high school. I dropped out in grade 11 and chased a grant from the government through a 10 week? business training program at the local city hall. I had an idea for a frame, and at the time, there was an extremely low number of products aimed at modern flatland.
The very first prototype was made by another 17 year old kid from Michigan. I'd hired him....based on confidence? I can't remember how those old ICQ messages went down, but alas for a chill $200 it was almost a usable frame. There was some tubing thickness issues that arose from that, but for two 17 year olds to connect via the internet, across the boarder of two countries, for $200, it was a darn good first prototype!
I'm merely guessing it was around the 7th week of the 10 weeks that I was told I was likely going to qualify for the $5600 government grant. This was to be awarded at the end of the course. The instructors seemed to really like my passion for the project and gave me a hint early.
The issue was that it wouldn't be in time for the International Bike show in Toronto that year. I really wanted to complete a generation 2 prototype. One of the business counselors for the course offered to lend me the money ahead of time, out of his own pocket, just so I could make it for the show.
Above are 2 of the 3, generation 2 iRide Mobius Loop frames, we had hastily fabricated to be able to make it in time for the trade show. The third was off to get special rainbow flake powder coating as it was going to be the demo bike, while the silver and white were to be given to friends who were competing in the competition at the trade show.
The trade show, and what happened with the frames is a separate story, but that $5600 loan had to be dealt with.
At the time, I had my mother and girlfriend helping me manage money, but even then, it was common to find stacks of paycheques, stuffed in drawers, uncashed as I didn't want to deal with them. Recently I even found a birthday card from around that time period, still brimming with cash, neatly tucked back into the envelope and forgoten about for close to 20 years.
The loan loomed, and instead of taking me 3 weeks to finish the course I had adapted and flourished with up until that moment, I broke down and dragged my feet. The smallest amount of effort possible and often through a concussion of blurry thought as my body panicked thinking about money.
All I had to do was finish writing the business plan, but that involved cost analysis and projections, and even worse, being responsible for these funds.
With the encouragement of the staff at the business center, I was finally able to finish my business plan, 2 weeks late, to finally release the loan back to the counselor who had forwarded me the money. Years later I found out Jim Lehman had passed away in a horse racing accident and I regretted never being able to thank him a second time for his patience with my panic and extreme anxiety around money.
2. SpeedHero Wheels is a HUGE on going failure. But few know how long ago it started for me? Like this one is a huge huge failure, you have no idea. I feel like such a loser because I can't get this, like almost every project of mine, to fly.
2004 is when those renders are from. Some are digital versions of my favorite wheels at the time, some are attempts at original designs. All of them are pretty crappy, but, who was drawing vintage JDM wheels in 3D back in 2004?
I was already starting to dabble in ideas for my own wheel designs, and I suspect I was likely playing with designing wheels in 3D before I even posted these shots.
This was the first "SpeedHero" wheel design in 2009. Though to be clear, this wasn't at all what I designed. I didn't glow up that well in 3D modeling to be doing renders like this. I'd reached out to a manufacturer about an idea with some.....scribbled drawings of what I thought was a really clever idea. A reversible offset wheel.
Their artist came up with this, and it was good enough that I shared it openly. A 2 piece 15x8 that went from 0 offset, and when flipped, was +25 offset.
Around 2015? I borrowed a girlfriends Camosun college ID and would go into their computer labs at night and teach myself solidworks on their computers. I'd just draw wheels for fun, and accidentally that was practice.
These simple one piece heart cut out wheels, were the first I ever drew in Solidworks to completion, but as you can see from the older poster pictured above, I just kept drawing.
After learning enough I finally got to go back to my 2-piece wheel idea and re-design it the way I originally envisioned it. As an oldschool throwback, 2-piece wheel. The DP1S was finally out of my head and a concept I could openly share. Dual pattern, dual offset, pure vintage style.
I kept throwing designs at wall, most were failures, but every once in a while one would stick....
"Wild Ride" was the working title for a concept that hit me one day. A true throwback style wheel that harked very directly to the 70s era of Japanese racing wheels. Few, designs prior had invoked the same emotion of that era, and it was wonderful to stumble on.
"New Mesh" came shortly after. It was actually on a live stream where I was just openly designing wheels that I stumbled onto this design. Some of you know that both New Mesh and Wild Ride would grow, and I spent the next two??? years perfecting the designs of each.
TGSX-1 and V-Type would be the final working names for the wheels. Renders on instagram garnered SOO MANY views and messages. But, I had no money, and no experience actually manufacturing wheels. So it was all just concept.
A few people stepped up for sets, but that wasn't enough to actually solve the problem, I needed more money and more experience to actually achieve wheels. But one person came forward. A company from Australia that wanted to make the wheels.
He and I opened a trade agreement. He paid me to design wheels on the side for him. Projects for customers in small and large quantities, while he sorted out the manufacturing of prototypes for the various versions of the GSX-1 and V-Type. However the same problem that always happens when money starts to get involved; I shrunk.
Confession: Many of the designs I worked on for him were clones or copies of other wheels. At first I kinda felt like a cool art thief as I found the proficiency of my talent to clone wheels almost exactly just by looking at photos of them was really rewarding. Additionally it felt kinda taboo. But as I continued to work, and get paid, the more I got paid, the less motivated I became.
I must repent for these sins, as a wheel designer, I am my own arch nemesis.
He paid for an organized the prototypes and everything seemed on the up and up. I was working, my wheels were progressing, and although they were perfectly to my vision he worked well with my desires.
This was all out of his own pocket, and so I never heard of the numbers. This lack of money talk allowed my mind to remain free of anxiety. The money anxiety causes me to go literally emotionally blind. This lack of knowledge of costs, kept me free and clear. It worked. But as progress of my wheels continued, I kept getting paid for creating clone wheel designs. Where a problem began to develop.
I started to hear how he was behind on projects for clients, and I began to hear how he moved money around between new clients to satisfy existing clients, and the juggle of this money.
Knowing I was drawing wheels to entice new clients, to pay for clients who'd already paid, had a stress level of guilt that caused this blindness to shut me down.
Yes. Those are finished prototypes. To take you to a small piece of the end of this failed project, I have one of each, shipped from Australia, sitting in a box by the end of my bed. A prized possession.
I had many offers from people trying to do Sema builds. I had to turn all of them down, as I didn't want to deal with the money and responsibility of delivering wheels that were safe and long lasting. I couldn't handle that level of responsibility. Anxiety shutdown, give them a hopeful but non-committal response and move on.
We even had an ERA-CORRECT website. It was around the time we launched the wheel brand! Finally a project that wasn't going to be a failure. Someone else was handling the money, and finishing details. They liked my vision enough to help me make the final leap into a completed project. Now to accept some orders and just fulfill them......
$15,000 of orders came in from friends. I would only let friends place orders on the first sets. It somehow was less responsibility that way??
But then, a deadline passed. This is common in manufacturing, unexpected delays. Normal.
Another deadline passed. Not uncommon, shitty and not desired, but it happens sometimes. Reaching into the drawer to pull out the red flag.
Another promised deadline passes. A problem, this is now a problem.
Communication starts breaking down. FLAGS! RED FLAGS! They're waving vigorously!!!
Almost complete communication stoppage. It's over jump ship!
It took a long time, and in the end I had to use Visa to charge back the $15,000 through the wheel company to force the refund of our group order for wheels. A major failure.
Over the past two? years I've dabbled in trying to launch the idea again, but I just go blind with anxiety when I start talking numbers and responsibility with people. Emotionally I even tried different approaches of manufacturing and different approaches of logic to help jump this blinding anxiety hurdle, but those have failed, and I've continued to hurt peoples feelings and wallets while attempting.
A great example of a dead project, again, I'll never finish.
*****Failed to utilize Shadynasty
*******Drift school Corolla
******Jaclyn axle swap.