Inspiration and self-care
Willie: Courage in the face of uncertainty inspires me a lot.
I don't like people going against the grain just for the sake of rebelling, but when you see someone who actually believes in what they're doing, and they gracefully dismiss the doubts and judgements of others, I find that to be powerful.
My three role models are Jane Goodall, Paul Farmer, and Jim Kim.
Lizzy: One of the most inspiring things to me is seeing the big ideas that young people are putting into action before they’re even out of high school.
I'm passionate about what we're working on, and I don’t think you can ever fully switch off once you start your own business. However, it is vital to get away and sometimes. I’ve found that these are the times when great ideas will pop into your head!
My switch-off time is when I’m running or doing anything physically active. I wasn’t great about it last year, so this year I signed up for a few races.
Willie: It doesn't take too long for me to recharge: sitting outside, getting some fresh air, and just taking a break from screens help a lot.
In a typical 9-5 workplace you get the weekends off, but with a startup, your business is always on your mind, so you have to find your weekends in 15-minute increments -sometimes a cup of tea and a fun conversation are enough.
I bike to work every day, which has been a great way to decompress, but after a tough week, I make sure I get outside and recharge.
How to keep the momentum going?
Willie: I expect us to be fully operational in Ireland, the US, the UK, and Canada in the next five years, and looking to expand into other markets.
Most of our decisions and growth plans are dependent on funding, so if we get the funding we need our next move will be into the US. We have about 20 schools in the US interested in using our platform, so it is a natural progression for us.