I used to live out of my car. When things got worse, I slept on gas station bathroom floors, behind buildings, constantly watching my back. I made a series of bad decisions that caused a lot of pain, and left me with a criminal record (now pardoned). But it wasn’t until I was facing a long time in jail, and a lack of a positive support system that I decided to turn my life around. I entered a 10-day detox program and started a real-estate course. After my time on the streets, I had to switch gears to learn how to not just survive, but to thrive in a business environment.
When I began dating my now-wife, our relationship inspired me to work for others. I stopped expecting success and started creating it. I made a list of four goals: buy a house, make a million dollars, sell 20 homes per year, learn how to fly a plane and to scuba dive. I held myself accountable to doing something every day towards each goal. Two homes, a million dollars, 400 houses sold and a certified scuba diver and pilot-in-training later, I had accomplished and expanded upon every goal I’d set. But I was also burnt out. So I redefined my vision of success. I decided that success would be having the financial freedom to choose work that could positively impact as many people as I could, without risking my family’s happiness.
Time is the most valuable asset I hold, and to spend it how I choose is true success. I had a friend who shared my values, and we decided to start our own company. It had to be remotely manageable so we could travel and spend time with our families. One field ticked all our criteria: apps. Did we know ANYTHING about technology or making games? Nothing! When it came to generating ideas for apps, we leaned on our personal experiences and realized that we were both passionate about destigmatizing cannabis culture—and with Canadian cannabis legalization on the horizon, it was prime time to join the industry.
As someone who has cannabis to thank for breaking the cycle of addiction, I wanted to change society’s view of cannabis. Hempire could educate and entertain a mass audience and also achieve my goal of creating something both meaningful and financially rewarding. After that, we set an appointment with a gaming consultant. At that first meeting, all we had to go on were our guts. But by the end of the meeting, we trusted him, because he genuinely believed in our idea, was brutally honest about how difficult the journey was going to be, and transparent about costs, with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. And he delivered. He helped us build our team and allowed us to drive our project, while supporting us. And I can tell you that’s how we’ve run LBC Studios to this day.
We acknowledge we’re not experts in any gaming discipline, but we hire people who are, and we support them in what they need to thrive in both their professional and personal lives. That’s how we’ve managed to secure top-tier talent in BC’s booming tech sector as a smaller studio. We hope to inspire the same growth in our people, that we’ve been fortunate enough to be mentored through, and continue to expand upon. We’re LBC. We grow games. We grow communities. We grow careers. Come grow with us!