by Annie Vieira
Richard Branson famously said, “business opportunities are like busses, there’s always another one coming.” These words––spoken by one of the world’s preeminent businessmen––have since become a frequently parroted mantra of entrepreneurs everywhere. When two of my closest friends recently shared the plan behind their own fledgling business, I couldn’t help but find some amusement in the undeniable pertinence of Branson’s words. There’s always another one coming... Enter: Double Decker PDX, the company’s young, idealistic co-owners, Brooks Thompson and Kent Metcalf, and their big, red bus standing two stories high.
It is a strange time to be 22. In the last year, as they have graduated college or gone out in pursuit of careers, I have watched as my friends and peers have teetered on the dividing line between adolescence and adulthood. It is a scary time in anyone’s life, yet this generation also has the added hurdle of entering this new stage when the present state of our economy is––to put it kindly––less than ideal. Furthermore, with Oregon currently boasting the second highest unemployment rate, it can be incredibly daunting to venture out into a cold, harsh world where jobs are scarce and opportunities are rare. Given these realities, one might assume a person would have to either be incredibly foolish or incredibly brave to consider starting a new business––much less a luxury, charter company––and it is my belief that Brooks and Kent are the latter.
Under the circumstances, I somehow thought there might be more of a sense of competition as we head out into that abyss of unknown that is our futures. Instead, Double Decker PDX is an example of the support among all of us––the palpable feeling that somehow we are all in this together. At the core of this company is an impenetrable friendship that demonstrates the unwavering confidence Brooks and Kent have in, not only themselves, but each other. In addition, they have reached out and shown that same confidence and support in the dreams and futures of their friends: When they could have hired an established web-designer, they instead enlisted a college buddy to create their website; And similarly, they put their trust in me––an aspiring writer––to act as their voice and to document their experiences as they continue to build, nurture, and develop a company from the ground up.
As I said, it is my opinion that Brooks Thompson and Kent Metcalf are incredibly brave. Regardless of the outcome, they will carry this experience with them into everything they do. The lessons they are learning today, the knowledge they are gaining, the adventures they are having––these are the things that will shape their lives and the people they are in the future. It is a privilege to be a part of Double Decker PDX in any facet, and I look forward to acting as a window into the occasional hilarity as well as the hard learned lessons, both which inevitably come with taking a chance and attempting to build something new––and perhaps, one day, something great.
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