A big thank you to Jon Cousins from Moodscope and Rhiannon Horsley from UnLtd for taking the time to give us some really interesting advice and information.

Thank you to everyone who came to last night’s Esc Wednesday.

If you didn’t come: here is what it was about. Hope you enjoyed it and found it useful.

10 things we learnt:

  1. Plan for your escape thoroughly. Begin saving far in advance. Plan your way out of your current commitments (employees, clients, team members, etc). Don’t leave anyone in the lurch.
  2. Share the reasons why. It was important for Jon to communicate to friends, family, and colleagues what he was doing and why he was doing it.
  3. Be prepared to feel guilty (and a host of other tricky emotions) when you make your escape.
  4. Just go. Despite preparing thoroughly, sometimes it is important not to know what the plan is (when he took his year off, Jon arrived at Heathrow not knowing where he was going to go)
  5. Have a business partner. It’s so much harder to go it alone.
  6. Have a lean start-up approach to your business: keep your costs as low as possible. You don’t need lots of the things you think you need to start a business.
  7. Write all your ideas down, even the bad ones. Don’t edit your creative thought process.
  8. Forecasts are guesses.
  9. Business model evolution: in a social enterprise the people who benefit from your services aren’t always the people who will end up paying you. Be prepared to evolve your business model as you go.
  10. Find someone to challenge you. Jon’s friend asked him: “Can you do it?”… when the answer came back as a “Yes” his friend said: “So do it.”

Jon Cousins – Moodscope:

Lift Your Mood: 1. Clean your teeth, wash your face, measure your mood. A daily must-do. 2. Track your ups and downs on a graph to understand what gets to you. 3. Share your scores with trusted friends so they can support you. Everybody needs a buddy.


UnLtd helps 1,300 social entrepreneurs a year. They provide financial support, advice, mentoring, introductions and also help people find investment from other sources. Plus… if you do get one of their Level 2 grants (£15k towards your living expenses) they don’t want to see the receipts for your corn-flakes.

Hope you all enjoyed last night as much as we did. Good luck with everything, stay in touch, etc.

We covered the minimum spend behind the bar – so thanks to your contributions we can make a donation of £140 to Hope & Homes for Children. So another positive outcome from the evening!

If anyone wants to make any connections from last night that they didn’t manage to do after the questions please just comment below and we’ll try and put you in touch with each other.