3rd Clean-up Lake Burley Griffin Day

Sunday was the third time that I organised Clean-up Lake Burley Griffin Day. I started this event in 2018 with a lot of help from regular users of the lake in our hometown of Canberra, Australia. However, not everyone knows why I started it.

Rubbish from Clean-up Lake Burley Griffin Day

That year, I left my job as CEO at RSPCA ACT. And rather than moving right into another job, I decided to take some time off and travel for a while. It turned into a four month sabbatical that took me around the world from Honolulu to S. America to the US and Finland and then Singapore before heading back to Australia for a few domestic trips.

All along the way, I always found ways to paddle – kayaks, white water rafts, stand ups, surfskis – basically anything that could give me a local experience on the water and a little exercise. And just about everywhere I went, I saw rubbish.

It was during this trip that National Geographic published the iconic front cover below and talked about the issues of plastic in the ocean. I bought the issue at one of the airports. Then, I saw it everywhere first hand in just about every body of water. Needless to say, the article hit me hard.

Plastic Iceberg cover

When I finally returned to Canberra, I had such a sense of duty to do something about this problem. So, after some research I decided that cleaning up Lake Burley Griffin made the most sense as I paddled in it every week. What I had started as an one-off clean and an educational message has now just completed our third year over the weekend.

Will Clean-up Lake Burley Griffin Day have a fourth year? I hope so. I just need a lot more support with the event planning side of it as the mission is still important, but I’m so time poor these days. So, we’ll have to see.

One day, I hope that we don’t need to do clean-ups. In the meantime, I want to send a shout out to everyone who has made this event a reality each year. After all, it truly does take a community to clean-up a lake as big as Lake Burley Griffin.

Who holds an entrepreneur accountable?

Who knows if I worked today?

Who cares if I checked off tasks?

Who sees me advance my goals?

Who even bothers to ask?

_______________________

It’s the mission that drives me.

It pulls me from bed each day.

It works me late every night.

And without a cent of pay.

It’s a go!

Received back 43 market surveys within 3 hours of it being posted on that Facebook group’s page – almost all very positively in favour of my product idea (#1), and just as many were willing to test my prototype. They also brought up a need for a Product #3 in the survey results. How can I not do this if so many people are looking (and in some cases begging) for these types of solutions?

Bought the business and product domains that I think I’ll need. I’m into this business with both feet now. I feel certain that I can help both people and the environment now.

Tough day

I haven’t heard back from the Facebook group since I sent them the survey. It’s doing my head in because despite doing months of research and initial actions towards this business idea, I still don’t feel like I have fully validated the need. What if I’m just wasting my time?

I also haven’t heard anything from that circular economy company that said I was going to have a 2nd interview. They won’t reply which is honestly SHIT especially since I offered to fly to Sydney on my dime to meet their CEO!

I finally took a hike up Mt. Ainslie around 3pm and feel so much better now. I must make sure to get my daily endorphins, especially when I’m having a bad day.

Learning via Google searches

Product/market research continues. I feel like the majority of my time is spent on Google these days. It feels wasteful, but I don’t know a faster way to learn about this industry and potential business opportunities.

Start a business and/or get a job?

I attended an event to hear a local panel of successful entrepreneurs talk about their businesses and how they got started. It’s motivating to know that it’s possible to grow something big and meaningful locally.

I saw a job ad for a middle manager role in the circular economy industry – first one that I’ve seen. I think I can provide them with real value too. I’ll go ahead and apply since it could help me learn about this industry faster if I get it.