LETTER

Feeling all the feelings of anxitement

Ever had that feeling when you’re both anxious and excited? It has a name.

Laurence McCahill
Aug 30 · 4 min read

If you’ve ever hosted a gathering, however big or small, you can probably relate to this.

In a previous post I shared many of our learnings from running events these past few years.

But despite runnings hundreds of events, we still get tinges of excitement — and anxiety — when Happy Startup Summercamp is coming up.

This is the big one.

And we’re now in the home straight.

In any moments of unease, I find this graphic always settles the nerves and is a great reminder that any creative project is a rollercoaster of emotion in the build up to launch.

It’s a good reminder that even the best artists still have doubts and fears before they go on stage.

When you care, they care

If you really care about what it is you’re creating, you obsess about the details.

It keeps you up at night.

  • Will people feel welcome?
  • Will they get everything they need (and more)?
  • How can we surprise and delight them at every turn?

Whilst some might say not to sweat the small stuff, I’d disagree — the devil is in the detail.

It might lead to a few sleepless nights and a herculean effort in the run up, but this attention to detail is always worth it.

There ain’t no party like a happy startup party.

“With the meaningful journey, pain comes as part of the course. When you move towards things that are meaningful to you, it’s going to hurt.” — Shamash Alidina


Creating a fuss

My wife thinks I’m pernickety.

Pernickety — Placing too much emphasis on trivial or minor details; fussy.

She’s probably right. But I like to think that this trait becomes useful when designing experiences.

Sure it’s fair to ask:

  • Will enamel camp mugs really make a difference to people’s enjoyment?
  • Do we really need to light dozens of tea lights on the evening dinner tables?
  • Is decorating hay bales really worth the hassle?

You could argue that none of these will matter. But we believe they do.

Two weeks today, more than 150 changemakers will gather on a 200 acre farm that becomes the home of our community for a weekend.

Together, we’ll share experiences, conversations and co-create something special — the ripple effects which we hope will be felt for years to come and across countries and continents.

But it all starts from that nervous energy that propels us into action.

As Eiji Han Shimizu said in his powerful talk in 2015 “serve until it hurts”.

With anxitement.

Laurence McCahill
Co-founder, The Happy Startup School


And the winner is 🏆

Our free scholarship place for Summercamp went to Amber Sayers, a young design graduate from Brunel University who is on a mission to create a product for people living in cities in developing countries to tackle the growing issue of air quality. Amber demonstrated a clear passion for solving a pressing problem that is growing by the day, and her youthful energy and optimism won us over against some tough competition (close to 100 applications). As a budding designer with lots of transferable skills, we’re confident that this experience will be something that will inspire and empower her with the support she needs to bring her ideas to life, and kickstart her mission and entrepreneurial journey. Thanks once again to Robert Vos for gifting his place.


“Serve until it hurts” Eiji Han Shimzu at Happy Startup Summercamp 2015

The Happy Startup School

Build a life and business rich with purpose

Laurence McCahill

Written by

Co-founder The Happy Startup School. Building a global community of heart-shaped entrepreneurs and leaders, one event at a time.

The Happy Startup School

Build a life and business rich with purpose

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