Last year I set myself a challenge. A new micro-adventure every day of the year to push myself out of my comfort zone. To reconnect me with friends I hadn’t made time for in a while. And to stop myself from sliding into the apathy that can easily take over when you get diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 29. And all your neck muscles start failing at 35.
The idea was conceived, as all good ideas are, after cider. But the difference between this scheme and the hundreds of other drunken promises made across the country at closing time was that I always follow through. However hair-brained the plan I’ll do it.
And so the F---itlist was born. A year of challenges, surprising warmth from strangers and far too much rich food. And it saved me. I was slipping into a loneliness that came not from being alone but from not feeling connected and I wasn’t sure how to get myself hooked back in. With each attendance I felt more like myself.
And something dawned on me.
I noticed that everytime I had a great experience at an event, and left with all the warm and fuzzy feels, there was a similar set of ingredients. There was a friend or acquaintance in the role of co-attendee who held me accountable to actually showing up. There was some clear and yet exciting info about the event itself and who I should look for to welcome me. The guardian angel who would make sure I didn’t end up stood in the basement of a shopping centre wondering where the rum scavenger hunt on a manmade boating lake was (ok, this might have happened once.) And there was a whole range of amazing, talented, committed and infectiously passionate activity hosts who loved what they did so much I couldn’t help but love it too.
It was all about the humans.
When I joined the zinc.vc program in the latter part of 2019 (a f---it application form completion that surprisingly came good), had a mini epiphany that loneliness underpinned a lot of the challenges people face in life, and fell head-over-heels in professional love with my now co-founders Mel and Duncan things started to come together. And to be honest I only noticed the other day that the platform we’ve built to help communities enjoy more get-togethers with less of the hassle has everything I learned last year ingrained into it. The human stuff. Just as it has Duncan and Mel’s feelings of not fitting in when they were younger written all over it too.
Because for me, if I’m going to build something I need to understand it, to live and breathe it. As a start-up founder there isn’t really any other way you’re going to be able to get up every morning if you don’t. Founder-market-fit, or just plain ‘getting it’, is everything.
At More Human we support groups to come together more often by breaking down inclusion, financial and time barriers. Underpinned by tech. But always driven by humans.