Don’t struggle alone
When we’re inside the bottle, we can’t read the label
Rewind to January 2018 to when myself and Carlos were sitting down to work out our plans for the year. Closing our co-working space a month previous had meant we now had more headspace to get clear on the year ahead.
Unexpectedly, one thing that came out of those discussions was a desire from both of us to offer more high-touch support to a handful of entrepreneurs and business owners.
Whilst there’s lots I didn’t miss about the agency days, I had missed the intimacy of working one-to-one with founders and feeling like I’ve played a part in the growth of their ventures over time.
It turned out Carlos felt the same. Who knew?
So the question then became: Just because we have a grand vision for The Happy Startup School, did that stop us from working one-to-one with people? Did this realisation mean we were thinking too small?
My answer to this in the past would have been different to the one today.
My Dad passing away in 2017 shifted my view on the meaning of impact.
I used to think it was about changing the world, but his sudden death — and the stories that followed it from those he had helped over the years, on the quiet — has taught me a valuable lesson.
That it’s not about changing the world at all, it’s about giving the people right in front of you the time of day — and being there for them when they need it.
Sometimes a listening ear and kind word is all it takes. That in itself can be world-changing for someone.
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” — Mother Teresa
So whilst the ego in me loves the idea of us being able to reach millions of people through our work, now nothing satisfies me more than a great conversation with someone I feel I’ve helped nudge in the right direction.
I can feel the impact right there and then. And not feel the need to be anywhere else or achieve any more.
Personal growth = business growth
Our journey has been far from a smooth one and we’ve had to make some bold decisions along the way, decisions that are now starting to pay off, but only after a lot of hard work and belief. And the crucial support of a couple of business coaches.
We certainly couldn’t have done this alone.
Coaching was something that I didn’t truly get until I experienced the value of it at first-hand. It all felt a bit business 1.0 if you like. Or maybe I thought I knew it all.
But then I realised what a good coach was — someone you trust, who gets you and helps you to find answers to your biggest questions. Most people talk about businesses in terms of numbers and targets, but behind every business are people. And we sure are a complicated bunch.
Entrepreneurs, it turns out, are on another level. They think differently. Entrepreneurs that aren’t doing it for the money are an even rarer breed.
You can get lost in your own head and often can’t see the wood from the trees — it’s a struggle to stay true to your beliefs and vision and not follow other people’s path.
I know because I’ve been there myself.
Hence I’m ready to help others get on track and stay there. For the last 12 months I’ve been coaching several people including:
- the founding team of a children’s innovation lab based in Germany
- the founder of an online wine education service in Switzerland
- an entrepreneur who’s recently sold his company and wanting to launch a running community and brand
- a creative coach in the US that’s looking to shed the business armour and be more authentic
- the founder of a new music tech startup in Portugal looking to launch their first product
Some I meet in-person, but most virtually. I’m loving it and already seeing positive results in a short time.
Last March we even invited them all to the Alps for a memorable few days so we could get to know each other (new learning: snowshoeing is A LOT of fun).
“When you are trying to climb a mountain on your own, you need to a have clear idea of the path forward, the road map, the most efficient way to reach your way up. The coaching sessions with Laurence have not only helped me to find a clearer path to move forward, but also provided the much needed oxygen to complete the task. It is hard to breath sense when you are confused and overwhelmed by daily life and family constraints.” Juan Lo Bello, Wine Guru on Wheels
Want to level up?
After running the agency for close to 10 years and helping to launch dozens of startups during that time, we’ve both since built up many years invaluable experience transitioning from a service to product business and building a sustainable, profitable company with a global following of over 150,000.
But more importantly following a dream we had and making it happen — that is, building a sustainable business that is a true reflection of who we both are, what we care about and how we can best serve the world, where money was never the goal.
For us it’s not about the numbers, it’s about how it feels every day.
We’ve learnt what it takes to create a purpose-driven business and build a global community. Plus crucially, trying to stay balanced in the process, in the face of what life throws at us.
After a busy few months we each have capacity from March onwards to work with a couple more founders. Maybe that could be you?
Some things I specifically can help with:
- Getting clear on your vision
- Aligning your business decisions with your values
- Balancing the demands of others with your own needs
- Finding a healthy balance between work and family life
- Finding your creative flow and managing your energy levels
- Being confident that what you’re doing next is the right thing
- Finding the quickest route to your goal — whether that be building a product, finding customers or hiring
- Discovering new tools, methods or books that can help you fast-track your way to success
- Growth hacks for building your community
- Connect you with influencers or collaborators I know that can help you
- Or often just being a sounding board or offering a few words of advice based on my experience and observations
So whether you’re looking to start a business, grow an existing one or course-correct, I’m happy to have a quick chat to see if either Carlos or I can help you avoid some of the mistakes we’ve made, and seen many others make, saving you precious time, money and worries.
Through regular 1-to-1 sessions I can provide a safe space for you to get clear on your vision for change and make it happen. Where appropriate I wear more of a mentor hat, offering guidance based on my 20 years experience across design, innovation & happiness at work.
If you think we could add value to you and your business fill out this short form and we’ll follow up to arrange a call.