My Farewell Message as CEO

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The start of 2021 marks the 4th year since launching Odyssey3D and going “all in’’ back in 2017. Before that time, I spent my last year in university to validate the idea. I failed in all my other business attempts and this was my “last go” as an entrepreneur. I thought, “even if I could make $1 from this idea, I would pursue this full time after I graduate”. I actually earned $200 for shooting Sahil Jaggi’s custom-developed home and lost $400 for employing a third-party vendor to do it. I was down $200 but was more motivated than ever. Sahil’s interest instilled in me the confidence to turn this idea into reality.

I was scared starting out. I feared that, like all of my other ideas, this too would die a silent death. I feared that Odyssey3D would never be appreciated nor have the impact that I hoped. I feared having to go through corporate recruitment if I failed and to work in industries that I did not care for — this was worse than unemployment. As our company grew, I feared letting everyone down who believed in me.

My responsibilities grew along with the company. I started as a freelancer taking on any work possible — even if it was offered to me below market rate. I worked for below minimum wage — but I was happy to be desired. I served realtors — who are professional negotiators — that sensed my uncertainties and exploited them to my detriment. I was a “boy” entering the “real world” and I got slapped hard — rightly so.

At this point, I entered into business with something to prove. I needed to convince myself that I was worth something, that I could produce value for this world, and that I had what it took to run a successful business. I wanted to look my fears, doubts, and insecurities in the eyes and tell them to fuck off.

Overcoming fears made me strong. Failing gave me experience. And faking confidence gave me strength.

Year over year, I grew and so did the company. My responsibilities fluctuate based on seasonality and company needs. At the beginning of each year, we spent a month in another country to build team morale and plan our annual strategy. Returning to Toronto, I met 3–5 clients every day for several weeks to win more business. Other months, I interviewed candidates and trained new hires. Some months, I hosted presentations commuting from brokerage to brokerage. And yet during the months in-between, I worked on my laptop without much social interaction so that we can scale further. At the end of each year, I spent the month attending client socials, eating so much turkey that my stomach would hurt.

Working in this evolving role was truly a dream come true. I loved every part of it: the variety, the challenge, the growth, the people, the pressure, and the process. Sometimes we had meetings underneath a playground slide, and other times we met in a downtown boardroom. One day we may wear our 3-piece tailored suit to a client event, and the next day we would attend our “Internal Update Meetings” in our pajamas. The best part of all of this was experiencing it with my co-founders, Yauheni and Kaushik, and our “misfit tribe” team.

We call ourselves the “misfit tribe” at Odyssey3D. This is the primary trait that we look for when hiring new candidates. We look for talents who are uniquely themselves and out-of-the-box thinkers. We look for someone that does not follow the status-quo, got burnt as a result, and yet still continues to gravitate towards their unique expression of self. We have cultivated a kickass community of movers, shakers, and creators that embody the ethos of what it means to be a “misfit. of Odyssey3D”.

As appropriately named, Odyssey3D is a vehicle to progress through the “hero’s journey” in discovering our authentic selves. The company was founded to enable the individual to realize their highest potential. As Odysseus aimed to do in Homer’s “The Odyssey”, we too help people “find their way home” — both in the practical sense through real estate marketing, and the metaphorical sense of enabling the “misfit tribe” to access their own hero’s journey to discover their authentic selves.

Kaushik and Yauheni, my two co-founders, have grown to become brothers to me during this journey. We share in each other’s struggle, failure, and success. We’ve overcome hell and back, and we had a damn good time doing it. We’ve grown as leaders and could not have achieved what we have without one another. To them, I offer my highest level of respect, gratitude, and love.

As Odyssey3D continues to grow, I can see now how that being an entrepreneur is just another art form for self-expression. As artists, we’ve crafted Odyssey3D to be an embodiment of our own values. The world is our canvas and Odyssey3D is our first showpiece. As I continue to grow, I am no longer fixated on learning the rules of the game. Rather, I’ve internalized the fundamentals and now hope to express it in unique ways to produce value like nothing before it. I have chosen the artist’s path, life is my canvas, and I still have many more pieces to create.

As 2020 ends, I’ve come to realize that the fear that I once had no longer exists today. I’ve proven to the “boy that I once was” that I can start and run a sustainable venture. As Abraham Maslow diagrammed in his “Hierarchy of Needs”, I’ve satisfied my need for “self-esteem” and now crave for more. I crave to grow in dimensions that Odyssey3D, in its current form, cannot offer me. I want to learn who I am if I shed my CEO title and if I can continue to succeed without my brothers. I want to explore the space of personal enablement and deepening my spiritual progress towards the Mature Masculine. I want to be a part of disrupting the future of education and scaling its access to billions of people worldwide. I am driven to continue my own hero’s journey to become whole while enabling others to do the same. I look towards Southeast Asia as a central hub of the future economic boom and hope to get involved in this exciting change.

So for these reasons, as of this new year, I am stepping down as the CEO of Odyssey3D.

I will continue to support the team as a member of our Board of Directors, and pass on the torch to Kaushik and Yauheni.

To them, I pass on the responsibility to continue molding Odyssey3D in their own vision. I look to them to lead the company to new heights and honor our “misfit tribe” ethos. The team is informed and is excited for a new beginning.

My leadership style is to enable the individual and then get out of their way towards progress. I’ve been hands-off since day-one in order to create long-term opportunities. The company is at a stage now that I can step back and it will prosper because of it.

  • Kaushik is a born salesman, and over the years he has honed his ability to motivate the team on ideals worth striving towards. Beyond the Chief Growth Officer, he also earned the responsibility as our Head of Culture.
  • Yauheni possesses the highest work stamina and stress tolerance out of anyone I’ve ever worked with. He is systematic, clear-headed, and adapts well to pressure. This makes him an effective COO in our hyper-competitive market.
  • Kaushik’s contagious energy and Yauheni’s clear-headed stability makes them a complementary duo to take on the helm as Co-CEO moving forward. I have confidence that they have what it takes to become better CEOs than I am in order to take our company to new heights.

Today, we have one of the largest market shares in the Greater Toronto Area — ranking Top 5 in our industry. We are also the youngest entrant on this list. Our competitors have been in the industry for 15–30 years. We have proven time and time again that we can triumph over long-standing contenders. Under Kaushik and Yauheni’s leadership, Odyssey3D will continue to grow, prioritize having fun along the way, and enable each member of the “misfit tribe” to reach their own version of success.

Continuing my personal odyssey

As for me, my future lies in a new land far away from Canada — I will keep this a secret for now and will reveal the big move in a later update. If you’re interested in following my next adventure, stay glued to my Instagram page Here!

Wherever the world takes me, I will continue to explore the field of personal enablement and hone my craft as a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur — dabbling in smaller projects that give me the freedom to explore. Simultaneously, I will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of Odyssey3D, guiding its strategic alignment and general direction.

In my 20s, I am dedicated to progress through my own hero’s journey by welcoming challenges, suffering, and hardship as my growth vehicle. In this next chapter nearing the end of my decade-long pursuit, I hope to take all the lessons learned and learn to apply them in a way that benefits humanity. The greatest joy in life is to serve others and knowing that we are irreplaceable in the work that we do. I am still young and I am still a boy, but I am committed to progress through the death and rebirth of my own psychology in order to become someone that inspires and gives others courage.

With this intent, I hope to express gratitude for all those that have been a part of my journey, to bid you a bittersweet farewell, and I hope that our paths may cross again as we continue to progress through our own odyssey.

Adelante!

Jimmy Chan

Former CEO @ Odyssey3D Inc.

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