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Friday Update: Focus, focus, focus!

In the spirit of using this blog to track the story behind Escape the City and share what we’re working on I thought it would be a good idea to post a bit of an update…

Dom is a stickler for focus and it is serving us well. If it weren’t for him we would probably be flying at dozens of different projects and running in circles.

So, every Monday morning after sending the newsletter we have a fry-up, brew a huge pot of tea, and use our big Escape dashboard (see pic below) to work out our plan for the week driven off our 4 priority areas (Platform, Content, Growth, Business – that’s for another blog post).

A wise man once said: ‘true priorities are like arms; if you think you have more than a couple, you’re either lying or crazy.”

We try to have no more than 3 main priorities for the week (I know, one more than we should). And this week it was…

1. Escape opportunities

The lifeblood of Escape the City is exciting escape opportunities. You can have all the inspiration and advice you like – but without that tangible plan / position you’re stuck.

Now that we have built up a bit of gravity we get quite a lot of phone calls and emails from organisations with fun and challenging alternatives to unfulfilling corporate jobs.

Sometimes the position won’t really fit the bill and we’ll have to turn them away (too corporate, not enough of an escape, etc) but more often than not we’re thrilled to have the chance to connect an exciting organisation with our members.

In the past month we’ve spoken to Google, Virgin, Playfish, Cancer Research UK, and Camfed – amongst many others – about them using our site to help you lot escape from unfulfilling ‘city’ jobs in order to find something more interesting.

2. A big party

We seem to have forgotten how stressful it was pulling off a 700-person party (or perhaps remembered how fun it was!) and we’re going to do it again in January.

Everyone loves a party and parties with a purpose are best of all (OK, I stole that line). Anyway, the focus for this week was to get the venue sorted and invite some inspirational speakers / special guests.

We’ve got some great high profile speakers lined up so watch this space for an announcement as to who they are and what we’ve got planned.

All we’re saying for now is SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday evening – 26th January. Central London. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

3. Finding a Tech superstar

The third and final focus for the week was to find our mythical third team member. We need someone to help us make all our exciting ideas a reality on your screen.

I can’t exaggerate how much fun it is going to be to have a programmer on the team (now I’m sounding like a real geek). We’ve had so many great suggestions (and here) and our own thinking for the Esc vision has evolved hugely this year.

We’re really looking forward to taking the hand-brake off and building something that can help more people, more effectively.

So we spoke to a whole load of interesting people this week and are hoping that we’ve found our man (not being sexist, just didn’t receive any female applications). You can see our job description here.

And (of course) we worked on a whole lot of other stuff too…

  • Planning another Esc Wednesday (next week) – come along
  • Promoting Em’s campaign to win Paradise Hunter – please vote for her
  • Recovering from SpringWise effect (flooded inboxes – popular site!) – our piece
  • Launched a Questionnaire to learn more about what you want – please take it
  • Update with Esc Coaches on the first ppl using the service – Coaching
  • Thrilled to be partnering with The Adventurists for their film festival – here
  • And probably lots of other things too but I can’t remember them right now…

Have a great weekend!