“Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are usually the ones who do,” – Steve Jobs.
Those who know me will know that for years I’ve had this notion of wanting to change the world. It’s funny because when you tell people that, they kind of roll their eyes and give a sort of sympathetic smile – all that did was make me more determined!
I remember at least ten years ago sitting in my dad’s flat talking about starting up a positive news outlet. Around this time I’d also had conversations with my brother about how the world could be a much better place if people were to do more acts of kindness for one another.
These conversations came and went over the years, but life runs away with you, and before you know it so much time has passed.
The turning point for me was my first ever solo trip abroad. Before my first adventure in Australia back in November 2017, I was career driven and focused on climbing the corporate ladder but then it all changed.
At the beginning of that year I had my heart broken and this, combined with my daughter turning 18-years-old, prompted me to do something for myself. Something crazy and out there! So whilst having never travelled anywhere alone before, I decided to book a month away on my own to explore the wonder that is Australia!
This trip started the change within me. It showed me that I was so much braver than I thought. It taught me in real time experiences that everything is a state of mind. And every time I overcame a fear of some sort, I felt empowered, I felt free and suddenly life was – and could be – so much bigger.
After returning home I felt a disconnect to my life in London. In the sense that the ‘work, sleep, repeat’ cycle didn’t feel like it was enough for me anymore. So much so, that I considered leaving my corporate job, taking a backpack and exploring the world for a year.
I decided to think on this and make sure I wasn’t just experiencing holiday blues, and to compensate I booked a longer solo trip at the end of 2018 travelling Thailand, Laos, Australia and Bali. I wanted to see how I felt after this trip.
In the lead up to that trip, I continued to feel like I wasn’t getting enough from life. Not only did I want to explore more of the world, but I wanted to do something that made a difference somehow. My two ideas started to come back to me, and in December of that year, after teaching english to kids and volunteering in an orphanage in Laos, I sat on a beach in Australia and sketched out the user interface and functionality of my upcoming app.
Yes the app was going to come first! I had my plan, I’d started the action, I was on the move! 2019 passed with the app in progress and I started thinking more about the idea for a positive news site.
In February of this year, I went back to Australia (yes I’ve fallen in love with the place, there’s no denying it!) and again, having my mind cleared of life’s stresses, my creative side was ignited and I wrote fifteen stories that I thought would be a start to the site. The stories weren’t good, I’m not a writer, I’ve been in IT for nearly 20 years!
But whilst I wasn’t there in terms of skill, I was completely there in terms of mind and I called upon my wonderful sister who has been in the media industry for years. Along with her and the input of her amazing best friend, we launched Uspire on April 29th.
I realised that by freeing my mind from the stresses of everyday life and filling my head with good content, whether that be books (I’m a complete book worm!), motivational videos, various entrepreneur documentaries and meditation methods that worked for me (running, tai chi and now piano), I was able to ignite this creative side in me that I never knew I had.
I appreciate not everyone can jet off to a beautiful setting and find their zen but they can certainly have some say over what goes into their mind, and in turn, affects their behaviour. My aim for the site and the app is to make people feel good, that’s it, because I believe that which you feel yourself to be, you are.
It’s not been easy, I’ve had to overcome the terror barrier so many times. I’ve worked a LOT over the last two years, I’ve got things wrong, made many mistakes, have had to accept and re-adjust to changing plans (the app didn’t come first!) and had to push through the fear of failure. The main thing that has and continues to drive me is that I don’t want to look back on my life when I’m old and grey and wonder what might have happened had I tried.
The response to Uspire has overwhelmed me, I never thought we’d reach as many visitors across the globe as we do on a daily basis. When I think about people reading the features and even if just for a moment, feeling positive and inspired, then I have already succeeded.