Laurence McCahill
The Happy Startup School
4 min readJan 14


Founders — don’t forget to refuel

The dashboard tells us when to refuel our car.

The warning lights are there for a reason.
If you don’t fill up you’ll be forced to stop.

But us founders aren’t as disciplined.

“Leaders eat last”

We put others first — customers, our team, even our products.
We care so much we feel guilty when we stop.

Too often it’s only when the rubber hits the road we are forced to take notice.

Yet our body keeps the score.

Never let it get to that point.

Top up on the good stuff. Create space.
Not just pockets of time, but stretches.
A day is good, but a week is better.

Pause, walk, breathe…

You won’t know how much you needed it until you give yourself permission.

If you don’t no-one else will.

The beauty is that everyone around you will benefit from the renewed energy you bring home.

Ps Our annual reset in the mountains is back this June — read on to learn more…

Alptitude brings together 25 purpose-driven entrepreneurs & leaders from around the world for a unique, meaningful experience in stunning natural surroundings. It will take place this June 17–24th in Morillon in the heart of the French Alps aka Dream Valley.

The lucky few that come leave with a renewed vigour for life, a ton of game-changing ideas to implement, but most importantly a shared experience and group of new friends that will stick with them forever. Friends they never knew they needed, but now can’t live without.

Rather than talk about what happens at Alptitude (honestly it’s too hard to put into words) — I’d rather you hear from those that have been.

Elena Kerrigan who came last year wrote a beautiful post on her return capturing everything she learned from a week in Dream Valley.

Her 10 lessons:

  1. Drag yourself out of your home office and get to know a load of new people
  2. Get a renewed sense of what you bring to the table
  3. Stop taking your body for granted
  4. Rekindle your sense of adventure
  5. Make time each week to be alone with your thoughts
  6. Make time to ask yourself the difficult questions
  7. Crying can be clarifying
  8. Laughter is THE BEST
  9. Slow down in your need to problem solve
  10. Learn from others how to do less, but better

Read the full post here

Ruth Anslow also wrote a lovely post following her experience of the week (her second Alptitude).

If you don’t know Ruth, she’s one the most inspiring people we’ve ever met. And an inspiration anyone out there looking to align their work to their beliefs and values (watcher her Summercamp talk from 2015 if you haven’t already).

Ruth walks the walk. Her mission is incredible. But she also knows the value of hitting the pause button.

Net Promoter Score of 100

Last year’s Alptitude is the only event we’ve ever run that achieved an NPS of 100. This is unheard of. This means that everyone who came gave us 10/10 when asked ‘how likely are you to recommend Alptitude to a friend or colleague?’. This is the holy grail for any experience designer. The bar has been raised.

Who’s Alptitude for?

Each year we attract a hugely diverse mix of purpose-driven people from around the world, including:

  • Founders looking for a re-set to get clarity on their future direction
  • Changemakers looking to make more impact with less effort
  • Leaders looking to get inspired and build their tribe of like minds
  • Professionals looking to step back from the day-to-day to recalibrate

The thread that ties us all is our core values — learning, play and friendship — an open mind and a curiosity in others and their stories.

If any of this resonates, then we’d love to hear from you. Right now we have 10 spaces left.


Super early birds and payment plans available for bookings in January

“Like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I pushed myself to new heights.”



Laurence McCahill
The Happy Startup School

Designer, coach, entrepreneur. Co-founder The Happy Startup School.