The first time I heard Doug Richard speak was back in 2009 – I had just moved to London and he was speaking at a social enterprise event in central London.

At the time, I was going to A LOT of events. I had just left law school and was feeling pretty aimless – I just knew that I somehow wanted to stay involved in social enterprise and startups (which I’d been doing pre-law school) and events were a great way to meet new people and to stay inspired.

I’ll always remember that afternoon because Doug has a straight-shooting, no-bullshit style of business advice that I found insanely valuable. He doesn’t try to protect an entrepreneur’s ego – he tells it like it is, and it’s refreshing and uplifting.

Here are some zingers taken from an archived holiday blog post of his here:

Many of my articles and blogs are about the hard realities of starting a business. For example, you can’t borrow your way to success. Loans, grants and outside investment won’t help you buy a business model that works and they might well prevent you from ever acquiring one. Your business plan is probably less valuable than confetti, and most of the people who buy your products will do so for all the wrong reasons. But, in honor of the season, I have decided to write you something uplifting…

As entrepreneurs we so often feel rather guilty that we love our businesses and it’s offerings so much. Most of us could get a “real job” if looked long enough and searched hard enough. New businesses suck up so much time, and so many personal resources, we really do have to ask ourselves over and over again if it is right to be investing ourselves this way. This question becomes particularly pressing when we have a family to care for and support. Well, this year’s Christmas present from me to you is…

You Have Permission to Be Obsessed.

It’s OK to be a little crazy about your business, to talk about it at parties and to spend just a little too long every night working to make it just that little bit better. Because that’s what makes it good.

If you stay true to a vision that seeks to help people, to amuse or educate them to the very best of your considerable ability, you are putting something priceless into your products and services. You are giving it something that I and others most in a position to help you will recognize as remarkable.

If you’d like to come meet Doug and Medeia Cohan-Petrolini of the School for Creative Startups in person, come join us on Wednesday June 12th at 7:00pm at Adam Street Club. Use PASSION promo code for £8 tickets.

As usual, if you’d like me to personally introduce you on the evening to other members who might be at a similar Escape stage to yourself, just email me in advance: Or you can just come along and sit at the back. Or you can be uber-social and go around meeting everyone yourself. We get all types at our events! And I enjoy meeting all of you.

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