What did YOMO learn at Live the Dream?

It’s been over three months since the YOMO team left Live the Dream, a three month social enterprise accelerator run over the summer of 2014/15 in Wellington, New Zealand. It was one hell of a ride, full of stress, tears, hugs, wellbeing, mindfulness, business models, validation and of course, pitching to over 200 people on the final night. So, what did we learn?

You never know when you’re going to use what you learn.

Prepare for the worst and things can only get better.

A very pessimistic view on things, but this point of view might have made us more prepared for the future.

In Live the Dream(LTD) we had a huge list of contributors come in and do workshops, be mentors, and share their knowledge. A lot of the time this knowledge would be given to us when we were not ready for it. The best example of this was when we were given advice on best practices for accounting and what to do with revenue before we had even started validation of our idea. With only three months to jam pack all of the information needed to run a business, this was bound to happen. This meant that we had to store this knowledge until we needed it most.

During our time at LTD we were very naive and thinking “We won’t have that issue/problem” and assuming you’ll be fine. Instead, we should have had the opposite point of view and prepared for the worst. We ran into this problem recently, a few months after LTD when the momentum was hard to keep up and this required a lot more effort from us to keep this project going. We had a communication breakdown, we didn’t keep in frequent contact and we had no idea what the other was thinking, what commitment level they were putting in and we had no shared sense of direction. In short, we didn’t have an open communications channel. We were told during LTD and even during Lifehack Labs when this project was first created that you need to be clear with everyone what the expectations are and be honest with yourself and others. If these communications are in place everyone will always be on the same page and nothing will come as a surprise. We dropped the ball on this and after a brutally honest conversation we’ve recently made the space regularly to check in with each other and be clear about expectations and direction.

Mindfulness is one huge area

Mindfulness and meditation has a lot of different elements to it. Have you seen all of the positive effects it can have to a person’s wellbeing?

What problem do we want to solve? Is it stressed people? Is it people not being self aware? Is it self esteem and acceptance? Is it their physical health? This is one massive topic we are diving into and we discovered this through our research at Live the Dream. We’ve got another blog post coming dedicated to this question alone so we can fill you in more on that soon.

Setting deadlines worked very well

During LTD we set up a pre-order campaign. $1.99 for 5 YOMO podcasts. We did this without any podcasts being created yet. Yup, we had nothing to sell but we were confident that we could follow through and produce what we said we could.

The main reason for doing this was that we were getting a lot of great feedback from people, but had no proof that anyone would pay money for our product. Another reason was so that we had something to aim for straight after Live the Dream had finished. We had a deadline and paying customers that we had to deliver these podcasts to, that puts some pressure on the team and that was exactly what we needed.

Getting feedback from customers has a huge impact

We decided to release the 5 podcasts one week at a time and also create them one week at a time. This was great because we had our users input while creating these podcasts. By having this constant feedback loop with our customers, they shaped how each podcast progressed and each week our podcasts got better and better.

Everyone’s stressed, everyone’s busy

During LTD we went out and talked to potential customers trying to find out what their pain points were. We found incredibly quickly that a few people considered themselves stressed and busy but most people thought they were fine, but showed most symptoms of being stressed. We also talked to a few students that got to a breaking point in their life where the stress was just too much and they had to take a large break from everything to recover and understand what had just happened. After talking with them it sounded like they were lacking the self-awareness to know what makes them stressed and when they truly needed to relax and recover.

So, what are we going to do with these learnings?

We’ve learnt an absolute tonne at Live the Dream and would like to shout out to Inspiring Stories and the Live the Dream crew for their support. Now that we’ve learnt a lot, we’re in the process of taking these learnings and putting them into action. We’ve got some exciting work coming up and will have a blog post soon about that work.

Until then, feel free to get in touch through Twitter or Facebook.