We have been big fans of The Happy Startup School for a long time, and how could we not be? With Boomcast being a startup, and one that is trying to bring a bit more happiness to the world, it was inevitable.
We first met the The Happy Startup School founders, Carlos and Laurence at an Inspiration Dinner in The Netherlands. We were able to talk for hours about everything from food, to politics, to dreams, to the highs and lows of the startup world. We were lucky enough to hang out with them two more times last year: at the Happier World Conference in London, and at their coworking space in Brighton. Their passion project-turned world-wide business is helping to bring happiness and mindfulness to companies and individuals alike. Read on to find out more about their journey...
1. Tell us a little about how The Happy Startup School came to be: What were you doing before? What inspired you to start it?
Before founding the Happy Startup School Laurence and I ran a successful digital agency in Brighton. We worked with many first time entrepreneurs and found we enjoyed helping them build the business as well as the product. We also discovered that the ones who were clear about why they were doing it (other than to make lots of money) were easier to work with and led to more successful projects.
We saw that there was a need to educate first time founders not only on how to build a startup (ie. taking a Lean and agile approach) but to also help them explore their own motivations. We wanted to help them create a definition of success that wasn’t just based on how much money they had in the bank. That’s how the Happy Startup School was born. We wanted to see more startups built on the four Ps: passion, purpose, people and profits.
2. What does The Happy Startup School do? How do the events you host each year tie into this?
The core mission of the Happy Startup School is to inspire, empower and connect a new breed of entrepreneur that wants to build a business that’s fully aligned with who they are. We do this designing innovative learning experiences and inspiring events.
Our retreats to beautiful parts of the world provide an opportunity for attendees to find space and time to think more clearly about the direction of their business or career. They get to meet likeminded people from across the world and form a wide variety of backgrounds. Amazing experiences and shared and life long friendships are made.
Our Summercamp is our signature event and is a chance for our community members to get together and for an immersive 3 days of learning, connection and festival fun. Everyone comes away from this event on a massive high and feeling part of something much bigger than themselves.
Everything we do is about growing a global community of heart-shaped founders that want to help each other succeed.
3. How has taking this on full time changed both of you? What was your biggest moment of growth?
Both of us have had to develop different skillsets and move from building products to managing a community and designing events. Our digital skills have come in handy when building our online presence but we’ve had to develop a whole new business model and way of working. The biggest aspect of growth is accepting uncertainty and trusting in our own skill and judgement that we’re going in the right direction.
4. What is your favorite story of someone you have helped with The Happy Startup School?
One of our Home School students Sylvana Toledo went from an idea on the course to creating her own coworking space called Collab&Play. She’s helping freelancers and business owners with young children who want a place to work and have their children near. She had a very clear vision for what wanted to create and also a very clear “why?”. I like her story because she started testing out the idea by inviting mothers and their kids round to her house to work while their children were looked after by childcare specialist. She was able to prototype the concept before having to rent any premises. She then went on to find a space and even have people approach her who wanted to franchise the idea.
5. What is one piece of advice you would go back and give your younger self?
Don’t worry about screwing up and getting things wrong. Trust your gut more and be open to heartbreak and disappointment. They are valuable opportunities for growth. Dream big and don’t worry about being unashamedly selfish.
6. What is one place you would recommend others to travel to and why?
I haven’t been there but I think it’s important to everyone… outer space. I can only imagine the amazing sense of perspective you’d get by seeing the earth and the 7 billion people on it revolving below your feet. Then turning round to see the infinity of space. It makes all those worries and problems seem a little less troubling.
7. What does “Happiness” mean to the Happy Startup School?
Freedom from judgement, acceptance of the present, hope for the future and connection to the world.