We help you turn your startup idea into a happy, thriving business

How one entrepreneur escaped a career in banking to launch a business around her passion

This is the second of a series of posts spotlighting early stage entrepreneurs’ stories. People like you, who are building purpose-driven businesses, showing the world how simple it can be to make a start on your idea. Read all ››

Jo_Living_Entrepreneurs storiesMeet Jo Living. An ex-city Investment banker based in London who has taken the leap from a career she felt stuck in, to launching her own business doing what she loves.

We find Jo’s story hugely inspiring. She joined our very first tribe of budding entrepreneurs back in December with an idea to help busy people build mindfulness into their daily routine, and in the space of 6 weeks she’s launched LifeUp, and with that a 21 day introductory course to make mindfulness a habit.

I’ll let Jo explain in her own words how her startup story has unfolded…


After a decade in Banking I was feeling pretty disillusioned with my life and career.  I first started to explore mindfulness about 4 years ago now, and it helped me to reconnect with my values and the person I wanted to be.  I started to notice a gradual shift in outlook and priorities, which eventually led to a complete career change into Social Enterprise.

That was when I connected with my business partner Scott and together we decided to build an accessible and simple model to help mainstream mindfulness.  We think it can help anyone and everyone, regardless of life circumstance.  We had some great content, but it was structured as a rather dense online course – and feedback told us it was hard to engage with.

Life Up story

LifeUp is a simple tool to build a daily mindfulness practice as a habit for life.  Structured around an initial free 21day introductory course, delivered straight to your inbox, LifeUp helps people to refocus the lens through which they experience life.  We think it can lead to a clearer calmer mindset, healthier relationships, and improved well-being.

Working with Happy Startups via the Home School helped us to focus in on our product offering, the problem we were trying to solve, and the people we wanted to engage.  The tools and exercises Laurence and Carlos expertly guided us through quickly helped us to see we needed to create our “Minimum Loveable Product” – and that branding would be a key part of this. The primary challenge was to breakdown our material into bite-size chunks, and we reformatted the online course into 21 short daily email prompts.  We also landed on the tag line “from survive to thrive”, which sums up our mission perfectly, and worked with a designer to really bring it to life!

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 11.08.02
Drawing by Graphic recorder Claire Holgate

My favourite Home School exercise was writing a postcard addressed to ‘us now’, from our ‘future selves’.  This freed us from limiting beliefs and let us think big… Now we’re positioning ourselves for traction with companies as well as individual users, and the next few months will see us develop the follow-on course, and look to work with corporate partners to boost wellbeing in the work place.   

Check us out at lifeup.be or follow us @lifeupbe


It’s not too late to join us

Our third tribe of Home School students begin their 6 week online program on the 4th May 2015. They’ll be gaining the confidence, tools and community they need to start building their business ideas, fast. As a number of you missed the deadline to apply we’ve re-opened applications until this weekend.
Visit home.thehappystartupschool.com for more info. It takes just 3 minutes to apply – a small price to pay for entrepreneurial happiness :)


Fun stuff happening soon…


Stuffocation + the power of living more with less (with guest speaker James Wallman)
London’s happy Café, 14th May, 6.30-9pm
Lean Coffee Our Brighton headquarters, 15th May, 9-11am
Creative Money Training (with host Charles Davies) Our Brighton headquarters, 19th May, 6-8pm
Alptitude Morillon in the French Alps, 23rd-30th May (sold out, but you can apply for next year)
Growth hacking & full stack marketing for startups London, 11th June, 9.30am-6pm
The Happy Startup Summercamp A magical location 1 hour from London (and easy access from Gatwick airport), 18-20th September

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