Turning Childhood Dreams in Reality - How video games changed my life
Uploaded by Chris Bacik Jan 7, 2013 11:54 AM EST 4886 views
My name is Chris Bacik and I am a 23 year old who recently graduated from Western University finishing a Business and Engineering Degree.
Like many children, I grew up playing countless video games and was always hounded by my parents and friend’s parents to 'go outside and do something productive.' I did play a lot of sports, but a large amount of my outdoor time was designing and racing high performance remote control cars and helicopters. At the time no one knew, not even myself, that the experience I gained from these video games would make me a successful entrepreneur.
As my third year of University was coming to an end I couldn’t let myself go back and work at either the local golf course or a juice-packaging factory, which I had previously worked at for my student summer jobs. With the support of my parents I started to redesign my remote control helicopters so they could carry a camera. I knew that aerial photography was very expensive at the time and I could shoot the same quality photos for a fraction of the cost. A week after completing my project I had already shot aerial photos for over ten properties around my neighborhood. Everyone was blown away by the quality. This is when I knew I had something…
At that time I had very little money for advertising so I knew I would have to be creative. I designed an 8”x12” flyer and put it in a Ziploc bag with a twist tie attached. Living in Barrie, I headed out to Muskoka at 5am in the morning and launched my Sea-Doo in Lake Muskoka. Carrying boxes full of flyers I drove around the shore tying my flyers to everyone’s docks. This turned into a very successful campaign and I shot almost 100 properties my first summer. There was nothing better than making my own schedule during the summer break.
After my fourth year I ran the business again full time and I was very successful. I shot over 200 cottages, a number of golf courses and a few resorts.
During the last couple months of my fifth and final year in university I won two notable awards. I won an engineering innovation award and a London based Entrepreneurship competition, both based around my remote control aerial photography platform. With the prize money of $7500 I re-invested it right back into another helicopter. After graduating from both degrees in April 2012, I set out to pursue growing my business Sky Eye Media full time. I now own three remote control helicopters each costing over $8000. The majority of my work is now shooting aerial video for documentaries, sporting events, golf courses, land planning and the list goes on.
The amount of skill required to fly these helicopters is immense, even more so than it takes to fly a real full size helicopter. If I didn’t grow up playing video games and learning to fly remote control helicopters, I would have never been where I am today. When you’re my age, with very little ties, now is the time when you can take risks and try doing something you have always dreamed of. If there is one thing that bothered me the most when going through University, it was the lack of drive the education system has towards pushing entrepreneurship. All of my friends were studying for “cookie-cutter” jobs. Our economy only gets stronger through entrepreneurship and innovation. My advise to parents would be to help your children identify their strengths and talents, and work with them to see if there is an opportunity to turn them into a business.
Every day when I show up for a new job I tend to spend at least a half hour retelling this story because it truly seems to inspire young children, teens, and adults. I think it would be a truly great and inspiring story for all Canadians to hear.
Chris Bacik, President of Sky Eye Media