Wednesday, January 14, 2009 by Dave Blum

At the end of last Thursday’s treasure hunt in New Orleans, the team leader, Dean, came up to me and asked “So, what we’re all wondering is, how did you ever get into this line of work?”, to which I replied, (with a straight face), “What, leading scavenger hunts isn’t an ordinary job path?  🙂  What follows, briefly, is my story … call it “Birth of a Clue”:

The year was 1995. I had just turned 31 and was “temp”-ing around in corporate offices in San Francisco, wondering when I’d ever see my career “light bulb”.  While all of my friends and family members had already embarked on their vocational paths (or so it seemed), I remained the eternal late bloomer.  Eventually a friend of mine, Scott, sat me down and said, “Dave, I see you’re floundering a bit.  Have you every thought about starting your own business?”

Now you have to understand how anti-business I was at the time. The son of a journalist and a teacher, I didn’t know the slightest thing about running a business:  reading financials, marketing, selling, bookkeeping … forget about it. The learning curve seemed impossibly steep!  Still, I agreed to take a few days and at least think about it.

That weekend I got to pondering, IF I DID start a business, what would it look like?  Certainly I ought to LOVE what I’m doing, otherwise why do it? So I began by writing down on a piece of paper the title: “Activities That I Love.”  At the top of the list were these three “touchstones”:

1) Travel.

2) Working with groups.

3) Games and wordplay.

I didn’t know if I could come up with a business that incorporated all of these touchstones, but wouldn’t it be great to try?!

To Be Continued…