Solitude: The secret to success

How two friends ditched their 9 to 5 office jobs to help others create epic moments in the mountains

By Fiona Duffy + Carlos Saba
Chief Happiness Officer at the Happy Startup School
Interview with Kim & Jake from Unknown Epic

“We believe nature + the world we live in shouldn’t be separate, we should blur the lines and make epic moments”

Last week Kim + Jake joined Carlos, our founder at the Happy Startup School on a hangout to chat about their story starting business together.

It’s inspiring to say the least.

They’re in the process of building something special born from their passions in life. Adventure + Nature.

Listen to their full podcast if you’re on the move. But below is a write up of their story.

You’ll love it.

Tell us more about yourselves and your journey to creating Unknown Epic

We’re Kim + Jake. We run an adventure company called Unknown Epic. We set out to inspire people to get outdoors more, adventure more, and in doing so, create epic moments that will have profound effects on people’s lives that challenges them to get outside their comfort zones and experience nature in its purest forms.

It all began about 4 or 5 years ago, although Unknown Epic as a business is still in it’s infancy.

We got immensely bored of being in an office. The 9 to 5 felt really unnatural and not really ‘us’, so we decided to do something different together on a whim.

We walked the Alps. Very unprepared and inexperienced. We left with everything we thought we needed on our backs, and for 4 days walked the wilderness to raise money for charity.

The experience changed our lives. It was a huge learning curve (with comedy moments).

From then, we knew we wanted to bottle the feeling being in nature gave us and give it to other people to encourage them to step out of their boundaries and fuel their mind, body + soul.

Finding solitude in the Alps
How was ‘Unknown Epic’ born?

We started plotting our escape from the office soon after the trip.

We came up with some really CRAZY ideas, some we’re still looking to bring to life. But it was at the pub, with our good friend Jack Hubbard from Dream Valley Projects where Unknown Epic came to life.

We shared our business ideas and challenges with Jack.

He said “What do you like doing?”

We said “Going on adventures”

He said “So do what you want to do — make it happen”

We since returned to the Alps several times, going back with other keen travellers, backpackers and adventure seekers to help them experience unique + epic moments.

Our dream was to do awesome things in nature, and take other people along with us for the journey. We’re living that dream, and every trip brings new connections and new meaning.

What sort of thing are you guys doing at the Happy Startup Summercamp in September?

We’re doing a sunrise service. We hope it’ll be a moment campers will never forget. We’ll be trailblazing through the woods to a beautiful highpoint, watch the sun rise, drink coffee, talk about ways we can make the world a better place, and head back after the freshest start to the day possible, for a full day of inspiring talks and workshops at the camp.

We ran our first service at Slope-Off Festival in the French Alps. People said it was a highlight of the whole week for them — which was awesome to hear.

Sounds incredible, we can’t wait. Being outdoors & connecting with nature is your happy place, but what is your definition of happiness and success?

Doing what we want to do every day. With the people we want to be with.

Life’s about surrounding yourself with like minded others, and having a positive effect on the rest of the world. You don’t have to have made a huge impact either, just being on the path to doing it is success enough.

What’s the future for Unknown Epic?

Our vision is to be constantly collaborating with like minded people from all industries, niches and walks of life.

We’re on a journey to do more extreme stuff too, to go where no other has gone before and to discover untapped parts of the world, to provide more places of solitude. No phones or selfie sticks allowed.

What advice would you give for someone out there who wants to do their own thing?

If you’ve got lots of business ideas, don’t chase the one that will bring you more money. You’ll be throwing so much time and energy at it, you have to care about it.

Learn the path from passion to profits with a community of likeminded people on The Happy Startup Home School — our groundbreaking 4 week program for budding entrepreneurs and changemakers. More info and how to apply at