Laurence McCahill - Chipping away at the rock until the image reveals itself

Laurence McCahill is a co-founder of The Happy Startup School, an antidote to business as usual. The Happy Startup School provides an online school and off-grid gatherings for purpose-driven entrepreneurs and leaders seeking to balance money with meaning. Laurence's story is particularly inspiring for anyone who's struggling to find their purpose. Anyone who finds themselves with the feeling that this is not as good as it gets. We talk about his time travelling the world, the period he spent temping, a spell working for a financial corporate, self-employment, the trials and tribulations of building an agency and beyond. Laurence has spent 20 years or so as a business sculptor, chipping away at the things that don't allow him to align what he thinks, says and does. When something doesn't feel right he doesn't ignore the feeling, he changes something, he removes some rock and slowly the image or vision that he has is revealing itself. At the moment it looks like The Happy Startup School but that's evolving too. Laurence founded The Happy Startup School with Carlos Saba, his mate from school and they have spent much of their working life together which says a lot about the way they see and do business.
Laurence and Carlos are designers of events and an online community that make entrepreneurs happy. In this conversation, Laurence talked to us about:
  • Growing up in London pubs
  • The family DNA of bringing people together
  • The benefits of aligning what you think, say and do
  • How he helps corporate hippies
  • A life spent working out what he doesn't want to do
  • Forgetting his vision which became a reality 20 years later (his wife Tamsin did not forget)
  • Breaking his back in the middle of nowhere 
  • The merits of 'temping'  
  • The benefits of not being an artist when in a creative role
  • Realising that culture is the way people treat each other
  • Working with a mate
  • The uncertainty of self-employment 
  • Becoming a digital agency (Spook Studio)
  • Becoming digital business designers
  • Becoming start-up business designers 
  • The misadventure of developing a co-working space      
  • Becoming the Happy Start-up School
  • Moving out of London
  • His approach of chipping away at the things that don't work
  • The benefits of 'space' when deciding on a new direction
  • Balancing speed and scale v control and solid foundations
The Michelangelo quote(s) Laurence referred to are:

"Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it"

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free"

Creators and Guests

Neil Witten
Neil Witten
Entrepreneur, Business Advisor, Podcaster @lifedonediff, Co-Founded @StoryStreamAI now building & You only get 1 go, live consciously 🏂
Ray Richards
Ray Richards
Converting small steps into the unknown, into the known
Home of the podcast. Inspiring interviews with people who go against the grain & live their lives differently. @nwitten & @rayrich
Laurence McCahill - Chipping away at the rock until the image reveals itself
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