DFW – HTX
"Who run the world? Girls (girls) Who run the world? Girls (girls) Who run the world? Girls (girls)
This is how they made me, Houston, Texas baby."
A lot of people don't know how Tiny Bus Collective came about. Well, let me tell youuuu. In May, I went to the HOW Conference in Chicago. Amazeballs. On the last day of the conference, I felt God say: don't charge start up companies for six months and I thought, well this is silly because I haven't taken freelance work in two years but yeah okay. (For my agnostic and atheist homies, I just had a strong feeling ;))
When I said okay, I was overwhelmed with six different clients needing full branding services, within six months. In June, I had the idea of what I wanted to do. I had no idea where it came from but I just started writing so many ideas down at rapid speed. I wanted to be out of the cubical, quiet, in-a-box, environment. I wanted to see things, like outside and the sun, I wanted to have the freedom to travel and also, be more than just a designer. I wanted to do more. I wanted to give more and I honestly missed people. I loved making amazing things with my amazing friends. I wanted to start a collective – a collection of insanely talented people who cared about the client more than the money.
When I realized that I wanted to do this in a school bus, I researched buses and found one on eBay for $2,000! I researched some more and went about my day. I got on the phone with one of my clients that I had been working with since May and told him about my idea. The next day, he said: do you want to make a bid on that bus? *wide eyes emoji* Uh, I have never bid on eBay but I can try, I replied. You have the $2,000 in your PayPal account, He responded. *crying emoji* So I panicked for 2 minutes than ran to the computer and had my mechanic try to make the bid too! We both missed it ... Yet I wasn't disappointed.
So, I text my Uncle ... The former Chief of Police of Fort Worth. I said: hey, do you know anyone who sells big yellow school buses? I got a response that said: this is Clint Bowman's phone. (When my Uncle retired from the force, someone else got his phone number. Poor Clint.) I said: Well, Clint, do you know anyone who sells big yellow school buses? He said: My friend Brad sells buses.
I call Brad and I say Brad! Here's what I'm doing, here's what I need. He said, lets meet when you get back from Prague. (Oh yea, I went to Prague for a missions trip in July. I said: God, if you are seriously doing this, bring a bus when I get back from Prague.) My first day back to work, what do I see? A BUS IN THE WORK PARKING LOT. A guy was living in a bus. Sure, some people may be like, oh dat be a coincidence, but I did not think that.
I meet with Brad. He's been buying and selling child care buses for 14 years but just left in January to start his own company – he's a start up. Long story short, I received additional monies from the previous client who generously gave me $2,000.
I put my notice in mid October. I left my job December 1st with no hesitancy.
Which brings us to today. Today we started the trek from Dallas to Houston to start the process of building the inside of the Tiny Bus! It started out wonderfully – we woke up at the crack of dawn, fueled up and hit the road. We stopped at Buc-cee's, used their spotless restrooms, got some redbull and headed out again. THEN – my engine light popped on, in my personal car, as well as the bus was starting to putter. Oh, dear Lord was I nervous. I just wanted both vehicles to get to our destination with no towing truck bills.
We arrived to our destination but, the engine wouldn't turn off. We could take the keys out and it was still running. Hangry and tired, we had to figure out what was going on so all the gas wouldn't be wasted. (Well, my dad had to figure it out.) He cut all of the wires that were connected to the ignition but it was still running. He and my grandpa (Ronald Dale White,) went and got a new ignition, replaced it and it was still running. Finally, he cut the fuel supply and after about three minutes, the bus shut off. Then the key worked turning on and off the bus and SO FAR, everything is okay – I guess it just needed to be reset.
On my drive from Fort Worth to Houston, I had a lot of time to think. Why am I doing this in a bus? Why did I leave a stable job with unbeatable benefits? Why would I leave income? Because I feel like all of these things fell into place as well as, I'm tired of being scared. I'm tired of being held by the fear of the unknown and the fear of the status quo. Even with these obstacles, I'm not scared anymore. If I lose it all, I lose it all and rebuild. This is the American Dream. Please, for the love of God, chase your dream and stop being scared of the unknown. You were built to handle so much more and dream so much bigger.