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Turning apathy into action
Episode 1256th February 2024 • The Happy Entrepreneur • The Happy Startup School
00:00:00 00:50:02

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In a complex fast paced world it’s all too easy to think that we’re unable make any impact. But this isn’t true.

At Happy Startup Summercamp 2022, Liana Fricker, founder of Inspiration Space, gave an empowering talk about turning apathy into action.

Liana believes that if we harness our inspiration we can inspire others and these small ripples can turn into tidal waves of change. To start we just need to ask ourselves two simple questions:

  • What do I really care about?
  • What can I do about it from where I am?

Liana talks about the inspiration flywheel and how we can go from being activated, to elevated, to motivated and back again.

We can then start with a small actions that inspire us to make bigger and bigger moves.

Think big. Start small. Stay committed.

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Transcripts

Liana:

I am the founder of Inspiration Space and I consider myself to be a venture catalyst and I call myself the Inspirer in Chief.

Liana:

And, and I know I've told you two this story like a million times, but when I decided I wanted to sort of solve the problem of people working in isolation and not stepping into their full potential, I started to look around to see if there was any other kind of business support service that was doing this.

Liana:

Not because I was trying to assess the competition, but because I was like gaslighting myself.

Liana:

Just like, I don't think that this kind of thing could exist or does exist because it's a bad idea.

Liana:

And so I went looking and I came to the Happy Startup School, it was a blog post on Medium.

Liana:

And I was like, this is cool.

Liana:

And then I went to the website and it was, I saw Summercamp and I was like, this is what I wanna make.

Liana:

I was like, this is it.

Liana:

This is it.

Liana:

And you know, it was the, the whole, the antidote to the, to the old way of working and, and, and all of that.

Liana:

And I was like, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Liana:

I was like, that's all the validation I need.

Liana:

Let's go.

Liana:

And, you know, it, it, it, you know, it's part of that like foundational story of inspiration space.

Liana:

And so then when Carlos and I kind of bumped into each other in the virtual halls of clubhouse, you know, before that became like, what that is now, um, you know, and I was like, oh my gosh, that's you.

Liana:

And I, and I have this thing about meeting people in real life whose work I've seen out in the world that impacts me.

Liana:

'cause it's not something that you can force.

Liana:

It just happens serendipitously.

Liana:

And when that does happen, I'm like, oh my, like I, I know you, like you are why I'm doing this right?

Liana:

And that's huge, especially if you like, when you do feel like some small, single individual, you know?

Liana:

And so yeah, so I, I did a, a Friday fireside and I just, I love you.

Liana:

I love the energy of the Happy, Startup School, the community, the content, all of it.

Liana:

And so when you asked me if I would, uh, speak at Summercamp, I was like, all right.

Liana:

And it was exactly what I needed.

Liana:

I've realized that 2022 has been the year of the slow burnout.

Liana:

Like, like the slow burnout, like almost like those trick candles on like a birthday cake.

Liana:

Like it's almost like, I wish I would just collapse.

Liana:

And then it's like, Nope, got some more fires.

Liana:

Heck, oh my gosh.

Liana:

Please, can I just, can I just stop please?

Liana:

And so I took August off accidentally on purpose, and then I went to Summercamp and I just came back alive.

Liana:

And I'm not the kind of person who like puts myself in large social situations.

Liana:

Like, and I mean, Summercamp is by no means Glastonbury, but I'm like, you know, five people in a room is touching on the uncomfortable for me.

Liana:

So because I am a, uh, you know, I am an introvert.

Liana:

I've, I'm an introvert with a DH adhd, so people think I'm, I've got, I'm an extrovert, and I'm like, nah.

Liana:

And so the whole thing, I was like, okay.

Liana:

You're gonna push yourself outta your comfort zone and you're gonna say yes to everything you would otherwise say no to.

Liana:

So I volunteered to drive Ayse, 'cause usually I'd be like, oh my God, I'm not gonna drive.

Liana:

And somebody don't know.

Liana:

Like, that's so awkward.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Liana:

It's like, you're gonna do that.

Liana:

So ev all like the whole thing, I was like, you're gonna say yes to this stuff that would otherwise make you feel so insanely uncomfortable just to see what happens.

Liana:

And yeah, it was the most incredible weekend and I remember we were doing one of the circle exercises and I was saying to, we were all talking about what we're gonna listen to.

Liana:

And I like made myself wait, because usually my impulse, if I feel uncomfortable is to go first.

Liana:

And I was like, no.

Liana:

So that means you're gonna go last.

Liana:

Like I was really trying to just re kind of wire myself or something.

Liana:

And when it was my turn to say like, what I was listening for, I was like, I'm gonna listen for the silence because my mind is always going, going, going, going, going.

Liana:

I'm gonna allow myself to listen to those uncomfortable pauses and not fill it with my own words or you know, any of that.

Liana:

And so I stuck with it.

Liana:

And then in the car on the way back, it was completely silent and then like, I guess started processing everything and I just became wildly inspired.

Liana:

My Apple Watch, the heart rate thing was like going really high.

Liana:

I was like, okay, I'm gonna stroke out on the road.

Laurence:

Yeah, Floris does say to be careful driving home for reason.

Liana:

Literally, I was like watching my own time, but it's pretty high.

Liana:

But it was just like, so much just came in, but it was new stuff and it was like lighter and more confident and bolder, you know, like it was just like, it was a huge upgrade and inspiration basically like.

Liana:

And yeah, I pulled, I had to like literally pull over and I just started writing and I was like, and just so much came out, like it was like a huge force and it's really been driving me since and I think that's almost where my, my stoicism now is coming from, and almost in what I've call embracing my shadow side.

Liana:

It, it, there's something in hearing so many different stories and meeting so many people who you have so much in common with, but you've never met 'em before.

Liana:

Like, and all of that just kind of, I don't know, just infused me and inspired me like I've, like probably never been in my life and I'm like a super inspired person.

Carlos:

Wow.

Laurence:

Wow.

Carlos:

And that's actually, I'm curious, you talked about in, did you, it enforced your stoicism.

Carlos:

Could you just ex explain a bit more what that means to you?

Carlos:

What does that yeah, what's that phrase?

Liana:

Uh, yeah, I think it's just this, it is what it is, and you can almost compartmentalize the fact that it is what it is and that doesn't mean that that has to impact your joy or your purpose or any of those things, but it is what it is.

Carlos:

So I'm, I'm getting the, well, there's this scenario, you want things to be a certain way or move things, move at a certain pace or see so much change happening.

Carlos:

Uh, and you can either fight that or you can berate yourself or you can like get down on yourself because of it.

Carlos:

Or it sounds like you can somehow just accept and keep on moving.

Liana:

Yep.

Liana:

That's it.

Carlos:

Because it is, you know, I think one of the things we wanted to, to kind of talk to is this, this idea that we all have the power to inspire.

Carlos:

And I think that, you know, I.

Carlos:

It's interesting, like I might talk to some people and they see myself in Laurence, they say, oh my god, this amazing big thing.

Carlos:

And it's like, you know, it's just so much impact and it's like so much great work.

Carlos:

And it's like 10 years ago we had no idea what we were doing or where were we going with this in terms of like, I think Laurence had this real need and vision to like, make change in the world.

Carlos:

I wasn't sure exactly how that was going to happen.

Carlos:

You know, maybe the cynical side of me in terms of this is so complex, there's so many things that you have to deal with and think about and you know, it's like how are you actually gonna make a useful change in the world and what does it actually mean?

Carlos:

And so there's this, this, I dunno if it is imposter syndrome or whether it is this idea of like, how on earth is just one person supposed to do anything?

Carlos:

Because it, it just takes too much effort or the, the, there's people on a pedestal that are so beyond me doing the, the kind of the big things in the world.

Carlos:

What, what is, what am I gonna do?

Liana:

Well, I mean, you know, I think Chris kind of says it one person at a time, and I think it's like one moment as a time as an individual.

Liana:

Nothing is linear.

Liana:

You go forward, you go back, you go upside down to go forward again, to go, you know, backwards loop.

Liana:

It's, it's nothing is, is linear.

Liana:

And there's, I think for me it was the liberation of deciding to just do kind of freed me from the thing that was holding me back first and foremost, which was myself.

Liana:

And then once I did that, I could take another step towards something I hadn't done before and then another step towards something I hadn't done before.

Liana:

And there was no, and there is no grand plan.

Liana:

It's more a, this constant recipe against disaster.

Liana:

Like literally, you know, it's like my own little elixir to just cope with the world.

Liana:

And so it constantly evolves.

Liana:

And then once you realize that you can do so much and it's not, doesn't have to be big, it's saying hello to someone when you're walking.

Liana:

Like that's probably the thing that makes me like feel the most uncomfortable.

Liana:

Like I love that British people don't say hello to each other.

Liana:

'Cause in America they do.

Liana:

I'm like, this is so awkward.

Liana:

I don't wanna talk to you right now, but it may, it feels good, right?

Liana:

It does feel good.

Liana:

So I, you know, I try and like do that.

Liana:

And, you know, it's giving people time and attention.

Liana:

It's not doing some things.

Liana:

Almost holding yourself back and being like, okay, I could share this post with my outrage, or I could not.

Liana:

Because if I share it with my outrage, I'm just adding outrage to the fire.

Liana:

If I don't share it, I'm actually helping to diffuse.

Liana:

You know, and so I guess I'd always think of things like, or not things, but I think of this like concept of like solving the world's challenges as like one big whack-a-mole, but everybody just has one hole.

Liana:

So I'm like, if everybody just bangs their hole, like don't go to the left.

Liana:

Don't go to the right.

Liana:

Just bang your hole.

Liana:

Bang your hole.

Liana:

What would happen?

Liana:

Because too often we're all trying to be everywhere and it feels counterintuitive to just do one thing because we live in such an individualistic society.

Liana:

But could you imagine what things would look like in a, in a, in an actual tribal sort of community where one person starts to go rogue, I'm like, get back here.

Liana:

Like, that's not how we do it.

Liana:

And yet we're encouraged to think that way in, you know, Western society.

Liana:

And it makes people feel apathetic and helpless.

Liana:

'cause you're bleeding out so much energy because you feel the enormity of the problem, but you're trying to like solve like a little bit here, a little bit there.

Liana:

And for me, I was just like, I can only do what I can do.

Liana:

And if I focus on what I can do, I'm adding some light to this giant blob.

Liana:

I'm not gonna go try and take over the blob.

Liana:

I'm not gonna rally everybody together to go attack the blob together.

Liana:

Instead, I'm gonna look at how, like, who's fighting the blob?

Liana:

Where can I add my energy and what would that energy mix look like?

Liana:

So sometimes it's on the ground, sometimes it's just connecting people.

Liana:

It's like, you know, I would love to fight this fight with you, but I got my own thing going on.

Liana:

But if you two talk like, you know, it's like, it's like I don't have to be everywhere.

Liana:

We don't all have to be everywhere.

Liana:

We need to be conduits for change.

Laurence:

Yeah, I, I love that idea because I, I struggle with this in terms of you, you know, you wanna, well, there's so many issues out there in the world.

Laurence:

We read about 'em every day.

Laurence:

They're not getting any better.

Laurence:

And so there's this partly guilt maybe that you feel like, oh, not that I don't care about that, but I, I can't care about that and care about this and care about this, because if I do, then I won't care about anything in some ways.

Laurence:

So, yeah, I've kind of gone full circle with this.

Laurence:

There was a time where I wanted to help with lots of different things, but it sounds to me a bit like stay in your lane and, and doing your thing.

Laurence:

And for me, that means always come back to this idea that like, we can impact the world through entrepreneurship, and that is our vehicle in some ways.

Laurence:

So helping people be happier, make an impact through entrepreneurship.

Laurence:

And in the past I've got diverted down dead ends where you think it could be something else or you get too distracted by other people's ideas of what this could become.

Laurence:

But going back to that point, but it's easy to say, hard to do.

Laurence:

You almost need to go the other way, play the game, and then come back to your, your lane.

Liana:

I think that's why communities are so awesome, ' cause you feel the energy of other people's whack-a-mole.

Liana:

And for me it gives me, it almost is like, okay, reassurance.

Liana:

Someone's looking after that.

Liana:

I don't gotta worry about it.

Liana:

Like, you know, Nicola is on it.

Liana:

She's getting people moving, solving back problems.

Liana:

One, you know, light post at a time, that makes me feel better, right?

Liana:

Because my head can't help but think about the connection between say, opiate abuse and back pain.

Liana:

You know, that's how my brain works.

Liana:

I always, I, I can see how all these, all this stuff Connects together and then the pharmaceutical industry.

Liana:

And that's the kind of stuff I like to fight.

Liana:

So if I know that on the one hand someone is preventing the need to get high dose opiates because they're using their joy and spirit and passion to solve the problem on one end, I can then concentrate on the other end.

Liana:

I'm like, we're all gonna meet in the middle, right?

Liana:

If we all just keep attacking this from all of our angles, we could all just meet in the middle.

Carlos:

Have you seen a film called Limitless?

Liana:

No.

Carlos:

That's an interest.

Carlos:

I, I love it.

Carlos:

And basically it's about this guy who gets addicted to a drug, but the drug allows him to access.

Carlos:

Every part of his mind, basically.

Liana:

Mm-Hmm.

Carlos:

And so this idea that he will encounter a situation, see a problem, and just see everything, all the connections, know exactly what to do, what's gonna happen.

Carlos:

And so what was coming up for me is this idea, there's, there's some people in the world who just can just see so many things, so many patterns.

Carlos:

And I'm, I'm hearing what you were saying is like, oh my God, someone tells me something is, oh, you could do this.

Carlos:

It connect you.

Carlos:

Like you can see all the patterns straight away.

Carlos:

And while that is amazing in terms of like, okay, now I know what needs to be done, now you, the trouble is that you see now you know what everything that needs to be done.

Liana:

Yeah.

Carlos:

And so you then get overwhelmed with all the possibilities.

Carlos:

And then what does that mean in terms of actually taking action?

Liana:

You know, I think on the positive side of that, you get overwhelmed by the possibilities.

Liana:

For me personally, that's actually an easier problem to solve.

Carlos:

Hmm.

Liana:

When I get overwhelmed by the negativity and I can see, and it's just like the meck underneath, you know, you're like, ah, man, geez, that's what I find hard.

Liana:

I'm happy to play in my own head, and explore stuff.

Liana:

And I've learned over the past kind of four years with Inspiration Space to do what I call sit on my hands.

Liana:

So I no longer have this compulsion to act on every single idea that comes up.

Liana:

I can literally just enjoy it like a film.

Liana:

In my mind and just be totally happy with it and be like, ah, okay, that was, that was nice.

Liana:

But on the other side of it, when you just see the structural systemic issues in the world, and at the same time you know that you have the intelligence and the critical thinking skills.

Liana:

And now I've realized not the naivety to understand that this could all be fixed very simply.

Liana:

It's not that there's not people working on it, it's definitely not that there's no money.

Liana:

This is a active choice by the system to keep it like this.

Liana:

That's hard to deal with.

Carlos:

So what my first thought was, I don't know this, like, I can remember getting like balls of string and like, or I, I don't even like, you know, a chain, like a, a, a necklace and then you left it in your pocket or something.

Carlos:

That something, oh, it's all that.

Carlos:

And then you're just like trying to unpick this thing.

Carlos:

Oh my God.

Carlos:

This is just like, ah.

Carlos:

So just looking at a system like, oh my God, this is really complicated.

Carlos:

It's gonna take a lot of work.

Carlos:

and so there's a already before you even started, it's just like, ugh, energy's down.

Carlos:

Because you've already seen all the angles.

Carlos:

The other aspect of this is like, there's the system, and that's what I'm hearing is like the system that's being per perpetuated in inverted commas, and then there's the people in it.

Carlos:

And so there's the ball of string or the chain that needs to be unraveled, but then there's the, the, the, this change in mindset that required of the people in that system as well.

Carlos:

So the system might be broken and there's the wrong processes, blah, blah, blah.

Carlos:

But then there's people who are tied to that or wedded to that or stuck with it and you are having to get them to think differently.

Carlos:

And what I'm trying to say, how we connecting this to this idea of like, inspiration isn't just about fixing problems, it's about changing mindsets.

Carlos:

I'm hearing.

Liana:

Yeah.

Liana:

And this was the thing that came from when I was coming back from Summercamp, it was this concept.

Liana:

It's like we can create a brave new world a hundred percent we can.

Liana:

I remember when I was on Clubhouse and it was in the very early days and what was so incredible at that early experience and you know, if you talk to a, a, a heavy user in the summer of 2020, they'll just be like, I've never experienced anything like my, like that in my life again, and I probably never will.

Liana:

And there's almost like this, like a sadness almost.

Liana:

Like, damn, what could have been?

Liana:

And for me it's very similar to kind of the moment that I was inspired to start Inspiration Space because I was allowing myself to be too invisible because you could just sit there and listen and da da da and I would have some conversations, but I didn't say nearly as much as I could have or, you know, not even should have.

Liana:

And there was a missed opportunity.

Liana:

Like, the Get Out the Vote drive on the app for the election was huge, but these were people that were actual decision makers.

Liana:

So you could then see the power of just going straight to the top, right?

Liana:

And just being like, yeah, go make that happen.

Liana:

And then you see it out in the world.

Liana:

And I'm like, we missed an opportunity to change everything.

Liana:

Because it's not like the people weren't in the room that could have done it.

Liana:

And it's not like they weren't talking about their own frustrations with the system, but didn't do it.

Liana:

And I didn't offer the suggestion, so part of that's on me.

Liana:

Maybe nobody saw it.

Liana:

Maybe I assumed people saw it and they didn't, and I didn't offer it.

Liana:

So we are.

Liana:

And with Summercamp, it was that same feeling like, damn, these, everybody here is fired up and they're working in their sphere of influence and they're using creativity.

Liana:

And no-one's being performative.

Liana:

So it's like even better.

Liana:

right?

Liana:

It's genuine, it's authentic, it's rooted.

Liana:

I was like, this is how we create a brave new world.

Liana:

It's like more of this.

Liana:

It was like, like this fireball in a tent.

Liana:

I was like, you can't turn that off with anything.

Liana:

What would happen if we could amplify that and let it like rip like a forest fire, right?

Liana:

Like scorched earth.

Liana:

No one could come back.

Liana:

Like you couldn't come back from it, you know?

Liana:

And so I think there is something in this idea of saying it, it's almost like it's okay to be corny.

Liana:

Tell people, you know, nobody ever like, it's like, oh, that's really lame.

Liana:

Like, you wanna go like justice fight?

Liana:

Like, no.

Liana:

And then, you know, Laurence, to your point, I think entrepreneurship is the great, like it's the best ruse, right?

Liana:

It's like capitalism, right?

Liana:

Because it is super powerful.

Liana:

And it's like if we could just ignite by allowing ourselves to say, nah, this isn't, this is not acceptable anymore, this is not acceptable.

Liana:

I don't think we actually have to have a mindset shift.

Liana:

Because we are just building the new solutions and that's why it's a brave new world.

Liana:

It was not always the way that it made more sense to replace a dishwasher than get it fixed.

Liana:

The system created the conditions to allow us to change our mindsets.

Liana:

Like if you ever speak to like your grandparents would be like credit, you know?

Liana:

'cause like that wasn't a financial instrument that existed in the same way it does now.

Liana:

People changed their minds, not 'cause they changed their minds.

Liana:

Just the they.

Liana:

It's like one day the wallpaper was blue and now it's pink.

Liana:

We can do that for anything.

Liana:

We just have to make something else normal.

Liana:

We have to make kindness normal.

Liana:

We need to make slow sustainable business growth normal.

Liana:

We need to change the stories about what entrepreneurship even is.

Liana:

I'm like, for me it's like a strategic game that's also sort of like a science experiment.

Liana:

And because it's an experiment, the money sort of flows out of it as like, oh yeah, it worked.

Liana:

Like, and when I think of it like that, it makes it easy to be like, well, if I can't make a living doing this, that doesn't mean I have to stop doing this.

Liana:

I'll get like some kind of more like stable paid work.

Liana:

It doesn't mean I'm not an entrepreneur anymore, doesn't mean anything.

Liana:

And yet, you know, there's all these narratives and stories that we hold onto that prevents us from creating this brave new world.

Liana:

And I'm like, we gotta knock this off.

Carlos:

Amen.

Carlos:

as I was trying to connect to, one of the challenges that we find that some people have around this is this ability to speak up.

Carlos:

You know, you were saying, oh, it's cheesy to do this thing or say this thing, and, you know.

Carlos:

Um, and so I wanted to explore this idea of, for people who have a strong sense that something, they wanna say something, but either A, they'll say, oh, someone said it before, or, B, I can't say it in the right way because it sounds corny or cheesy, or, I'm not that kind of person, or, or C, like, I'm adding to the noise.

Carlos:

I can't really say it, I was wondering what either of you could offer as, again, inspiration to speak.

Laurence:

Well, I'd add D as well.

Laurence:

It'll only just stoke the fire and all the trolls will come out and find me.

Liana:

The keyboard warriors.

Liana:

That's a good question.

Liana:

I mean, I guess I'd put it back with a question.

Liana:

Why are you afraid to speak?

Liana:

Like what are you actually afraid of?

Liana:

I would challenge the idea that you need an audience.

Liana:

How are you talking to yourself?

Liana:

Literally, how are you talking to yourself?

Liana:

How are you showing up every day?

Liana:

If you care that much about it, how are you showing up?

Liana:

You could literally just show up every day.

Liana:

Talk to yourself as if every day is a TED Talk.

Liana:

What would happen?

Liana:

You know, I do think we gotta challenge this idea that we always need some audience.

Liana:

Maybe it's my A DH ADHD because I talk to myself all the time.

Liana:

So

Laurence:

it's giving yourself permission.

Laurence:

Yeah.

Laurence:

And well, I, I'd also argue even just write, you know, if you are publish something, writing bills clarity for me.

Laurence:

So you are talking to yourself 'cause you're helping yourself build your clarity around what it is you're trying to say.

Laurence:

I mean, it depends on what, what the energy is.

Laurence:

If the energy is like the enemy, you know, picking on them, they're doing it wrong.

Laurence:

It's all about them.

Laurence:

It's very kind of activist energy, which can be helpful, but also can be toxic as well, I think, to actually, like you said, this is the world I wanna be in.

Laurence:

This is the world we are creating.

Laurence:

So you can't argue with that.

Laurence:

It's not like there's a right or wrong, it's just like this is the world.

Laurence:

This is where we're going.

Laurence:

This is our philosophy, this is our belief system.

Laurence:

So if you like it, join us.

Laurence:

If you don't, then.

Laurence:

Stick with the dinosaurs, and, and that's your choice.

Laurence:

And then maybe that influences who you listen to or who you don't listen to.

Laurence:

But like you said, it can be this need to seek approval rather than just, this is how it is.

Carlos:

I, I quite, I was curious actually about what you said there, Liana, about how are you talking to yourself.

Carlos:

And I wanted to relate it to what we talk about in this journey from the inside out of entrepreneurship.

Carlos:

When you say how am I talking to myself?

Carlos:

Is that, how am I relating to myself?

Carlos:

How much do I know about myself?

Carlos:

Because if I'm talking to myself in a quite cruel, belittling way, am I aware that I'm doing that?

Carlos:

And how does that actually then impact how I talk to other people?

Carlos:

So there's this, we need to be able to speak what we feel is true for us and needs to be said in the world so that we can make the world a better place.

Carlos:

And then we need to know, actually know what, what is true for me?

Carlos:

What is it I really believe in?

Carlos:

I want to change.

Carlos:

And it is important to me that isn't, oh, everyone else is interested in that, so I should be interested in that.

Carlos:

It's like, no, this is my hole that I'm gonna whack because I love this hole.

Carlos:

This is the whole, how is that?

Carlos:

I don't know.

Carlos:

Have you encountered that?

Carlos:

Have you done that for yourself in terms of like, just understanding what is it I'm here to do and, and how did you follow that process?

Carlos:

Or did you have a process for it or?

Liana:

You know, I wish I could say that there was some formula, but it's just how I feel.

Liana:

I think if everyone, if anyone who looks back at their life will see these pivotal moments where it's like, I could go left or right.

Liana:

And you evolve, you know, probably every 10 years or so and you always have this, am I going left or right?

Liana:

And, and as I've got older, and I think probably the, the most significant thing was coming to the UK at 21 and like getting married in like a year and like, just totally did all the stuff people take till they're thirties to do I did in nine months.

Liana:

You know, I, so I was like, I'm all in, you know, and, and, and so maybe that's what it is that I just, because I, I jumped or rather leaped so long, so early in my life, that probably liberated me from this whole concept of like, the woulda, coulda shouldas, and like, oh, you're supposed to do this.

Liana:

You're supposed to do that.

Liana:

'cause I didn't do any of the stuff I was supposed to do, like.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Liana:

And I probably never have, you know, that's always been in my nature.

Liana:

I challenge everything.

Liana:

It's like if I, and it's not from like an aggressive bit, I'm just trying to understand, I'm trying to make it make sense in my own head.

Liana:

And I'm a quite practical person in a lot of ways, like very first principles.

Liana:

And that's why I get so frustrated because I'm like, I, I do not understand why it is this way, because I could come up with like 15 different alternatives now.

Liana:

So I just don't, you know, it's like, it's like this, like I don't get it.

Liana:

I don't get it.

Liana:

Tell me again.

Liana:

I don't get it.

Liana:

I don't get it.

Liana:

And it makes me so frustrated, you know?

Liana:

And so there is no path or calling.

Liana:

It's just my own frustration that just leads me, and that's where I get this whole concept of like, you can't mistake apathy for self-care.

Liana:

'Cause it's exhausting.

Liana:

It's exhausting.

Liana:

And you're, and I can take it in on so many different levels.

Liana:

So many different things, right?

Liana:

And it, it can just weigh up and it's like, ah, I just can't look, I can't look, I can't cope, I can't cope.

Liana:

And it's like, yeah.

Liana:

But what's happening mentally is you're literally checking out from the whole situation and you can't, like, you're not feeling it anymore.

Liana:

You know, so it's not just a mental break, it's a physical break.

Liana:

'Cause I feel things very physiologically.

Liana:

So it's like, nah, like it feels like, uh, like in my head, the image of like, water comes up, but I don't have the word, uh, you know, like almost placid or flacid, you know, something like that where it's just like, you know, both, it is that feeling where it's just like, uh, you're sinking in to the gray.

Liana:

Hmm.

Carlos:

You're not actively, you know, fighting against it in flight or fight.

Carlos:

You're sinking into the gray.

Carlos:

Like, don't pretend like you're looking after yourself.

Carlos:

You're just like apathetic.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Carlos:

Yeah.

Carlos:

It, it is, it's interesting that you, you said placid, it's kind of, uh, I was gonna say surrender, but in a, in not the, there's many ways that people can think of that word, but there's this thing of just like disempowered.

Liana:

it's like that scene in Get Out, have you ever seen Get Out?

Liana:

And he's like, in, get in in Get Out.

Liana:

Like when he goes into the, I don't even know what the word, like what the place is called, like this, like he just like sinks and he is like falling back and it's like just in this hole and it's beautifully slow.

Carlos:

Mm.

Liana:

Like oil, like when you, if you pour o pour oil out and it's just like viscous is.

Liana:

Yes,

Carlos:

Chris, exactly.

Liana:

You know, it's like that.

Liana:

Yeah.

Liana:

And it's like, ooh, I don't, I don't like feeling like that because I, I'm always very hyper aware of the physiological sensations.

Liana:

That was the other thing I learned at Summercamp was that what I had been mistaking is anxiety for so long was excitement.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Liana:

I used to, I like get this feeling.

Liana:

I'd be like, oh, I have to do this.

Liana:

I've gotta work, I've gotta do this.

Liana:

I'm gonna stay up late and work.

Liana:

And then I wouldn't do anything.

Liana:

They're like, oh my gosh, I haven't done it.

Liana:

And I realized, I was like, nah, you're excited.

Liana:

It feels like anxiety.

Carlos:

Hmm.

Liana:

And because you don't know and because you think it feels like anxiety, you think it means that you're supposed to be actually doing something and actually you're just excited.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Liana:

I was like, oh, okay.

Liana:

That's good to know.

Carlos:

I can stay excited.

Carlos:

Just watch this movie in my head play.

Liana:

Exactly, exactly.

Liana:

It's like giving yourself permission to like, no, just stay on your whack-a-mole.

Liana:

You're good.

Liana:

You're good.

Liana:

Like.

Carlos:

But there, There's this, you know, viscosity, inertia, this feeling of like, uh, it's, it's not worth it.

Carlos:

And what it, what's coming back to me now is this whole thing.

Carlos:

It is connected to apathy.

Carlos:

The opposite of that is like, uh, is like what you are saying, I just need to understand, just help me understand.

Carlos:

I wanna understand.

Carlos:

And so you ask the questions.

Carlos:

And so I think there's a, a permission to always be asking questions, you know, if we're gonna speak out, you know, whether it is social media, whether it is talking to yourself, is that permission to always ask question, not to, like, I don't understand.

Carlos:

So I'm not gonna do anything.

Carlos:

I don't really, it's too hard for me to get into my head, so I'm not even gonna try.

Carlos:

So I'll just stop.

Carlos:

Maybe call, maybe it's curiosity, but there's, uh, but there's even like a nearly a demand energy around it.

Carlos:

It's not like, oh, that's interesting.

Carlos:

I, I need to understand why is this happening this way?

Carlos:

And, and to have that without feeling like it's an imposition, like you are upsetting people or demanding their energy and attention, it's nearly like a childlike why?

Carlos:

Why?

Carlos:

Why?

Carlos:

Why?

Carlos:

Like, until it's like, okay, I don't know why.

Carlos:

Shall we change it?

Liana:

Mm-Hmm.

Liana:

Or because I said so.

Carlos:

Yeah.

Liana:

Right.

Liana:

It's 'cause I said so the system just is that way because I said so.

Liana:

And that's why I love the internet.

Liana:

You know, I've been on the internet since like the, the early, early, early days.

Liana:

You know, in America, like with the plugin bid I was like 13.

Liana:

And so I've always been talking to people online.

Liana:

And I think I've always underestimated what that's meant for me.

Liana:

Because I will just go down rabbit holes.

Liana:

You know, there's so many communities and forums and you know, where you can actually like hear what people have to say.

Liana:

Like I, you know, I spend a lot of time in like conservative and to Reddit as an example, because I'm trying to understand.

Liana:

And in an anonymous forum like that, people are a lot more genuine.

Liana:

And I, I come away genuinely inspired.

Liana:

For example, when you're in conservative Reddit and they're like, why did we lose the election?

Liana:

And their own peers are like, because of abortion.

Liana:

We need to stop.

Liana:

You know, like it's like wow, okay.

Liana:

They're keeping each other in check.

Liana:

You know, another reframe is with the news, they only put out the bad stuff.

Liana:

So it feels like the world is so bad.

Liana:

And I was just thinking to myself, I'm gonna really challenge, 'cause I don't consistently show up on social media to just be like, no, I'm gonna share like one good news thing a day, 'cause I don't know why like uplifting lose is some niche.

Liana:

Web platform that should be the dominant one and all the bad stuff should be the niche thing.

Carlos:

That for me is a, one of those examples, like now my head is spinning in terms of like, you know, that why news channels are like that and commercialism and money and then eyeballs and attention and just like sparking people's interest or click on something that feels a bit ah, rather than ah.

Carlos:

So, and at the same time, if you then do that, if you fall into that mindset and you don't do anything about it, then you're sinking into apathy as opposed to.

Liana:

But you're are doing something about it.

Carlos:

Yeah.

Liana:

You are doing something about it.

Liana:

You're on your whack-a-mole.

Liana:

You both show up consistently on social media with good stuff.

Liana:

So you are doing something about it.

Liana:

That's the thing we, I think we all take for granted our contribution.

Liana:

And so in actual fact, what we're doing is bigger and more significant than what we think, and so we belittle it.

Liana:

We don't feel its impact.

Carlos:

And I, and I, it feels like on a wider scale, just thinking because of how social media has evolved and developed and how the measurement of likes and follows and all this engagement has kind of dominated our understanding of what impact means, it's that feeling of like, if I write something and no one ticks that thumb or clicks that thumb, it's like, ugh.

Carlos:

As opposed to maybe someone didn't click the thumb, but what they did is they read it and it sunk in.

Liana:

Thank you.

Liana:

That's exactly what I was gonna say.

Liana:

Exactly that.

Liana:

'cause I'll tick stuff and not even read it.

Carlos:

And if we have that awareness that maybe this is part of, hopefully a message that we can put out is like, don't chase the thumb clicks.

Carlos:

Just be curious or be demanding or positive about what you would like to see and what you'd like to say.

Carlos:

And that be a, basically your whack-a-mole sort of approach.

Liana:

Yeah.

Liana:

I think otherwise it, it can become so forced, I, like I said, you know, I don't show up consistently because I'm so busy doing the doing, I'm like, we don't tell, we probably share 1% of what is actually happening.

Liana:

You know, the transformations we are actually making, the awards that people are winning.

Liana:

And I think for me, that's the thing that's really fueling me.

Liana:

It's like when I, when I know that someone has come into Inspiration Space, as a stay at home mom with an idea to make a doll, and we in 90 days can turn that into a textile and material circularity company where this person then gets, you know, an invitation to join a VC-backed

Liana:

accelerator, and then two years later is winning awards and you know, is actually doing something for the environment, I'm like, that feels good.

Liana:

And I don't need to post about that all the time.

Liana:

You know what I mean?

Liana:

Like, it's just like, that feels good for me.

Liana:

And that means that I can show up in a different way.

Liana:

It boosts that confidence, right?

Liana:

It makes me bolder.

Liana:

And I don't necessarily have to tell that story everywhere all the time, nor do I have, you know, because it's, I'm too busy trying to make that happen again and again and again, and again and again.

Liana:

Like the proof is in the pudding.

Liana:

It's like, if I can, if we can as Inspiration Space, just create this factory of progress, does it matter if I get a like?

Liana:

Or does it matter that now I don't have to walk around feeling like a basket case because, you know, I can see the impact because now there's not plastic in the trees or whatever.

Carlos:

What I, I was connecting to there was this idea of intrinsic motivation.

Liana:

Mm.

Carlos:

It's like I don't have to tell everyone everything.

Carlos:

What I'm driven by is this inner satisfaction of the job that I'm doing well, and seeing and, and and feeling that.

Carlos:

And we talk about, well I talk a lot, a lot about this in our Vision 2020 program around what does impact mean?

Carlos:

Some people they can like write a book and it can go out to thousands, hundreds, maybe even millions of people, and that for them is good impact.

Carlos:

They dunno how the people are receiving the book, whether it's read, whatever it's, but it's like, that feels like impact.

Carlos:

And then there's others who need to experience it face to face, they need to be in front of the someone and they need to see something happen.

Carlos:

Whether that's a primary school teacher or a coach or a therapist or a, even a, I don't know, a designer where they're actually working one-to-one or something, ah, they really appreciated what I gave them.

Carlos:

And it feels like there's something here around what, what lights us up in terms of this idea of feeling that our action is, is worth taking, and accepting that rather than chasing the clicks or the accolades or the trying to share the stories 'cause it's good marketing.

Carlos:

It's like what, what feels good to start off with rather than what's just strategically good for the impact strategy that we're trying to create.

Carlos:

And And I, I think was, I was also connecting to those that you, on, on your talk, you talked about this inspiration flywheel.

Carlos:

And so I was wondering maybe just a little bit to connect to that.

Carlos:

If it does, this idea like there's action and then well remind me how that worked.

Carlos:

Again, remind this, if you'd maybe share.

Liana:

So yeah, so how inspiration works is like people think that it's ephemeral, but it's not.

Liana:

So there will, there will be, there will be a catalyst and then that creates little, this like transcendental experience and the end result of that is motivation.

Liana:

And then the motivation creates action.

Liana:

And then the action, the actual, like the reward of having taken action fills you with more inspiration and the whole thing starts again.

Liana:

So there's research that shows inspired people are more likely to achieve their goals and then to keep stretching as they do it.

Liana:

They're more motivated.

Liana:

Something that I found really interesting is that you can feel inspiration.

Liana:

Other people's inspiration through experiences and content.

Liana:

So as part of the, the research, uh, that Trash and Elliot did around inspiration, they had a set of poets write poetry, and they had the poets do their inspiration scale.

Liana:

So they knew how inspired the poets were when they wrote the poetry.

Liana:

The more inspired poets inspired more people.

Liana:

And there's even like footage of, uh, Michael Jordan in, you know, this iconic game.

Liana:

And the research showed that the people who watched the game were more inspired and they did show increased, you know, feelings of inspiration long after.

Liana:

It literally is infectious.

Liana:

And if you can surround yourself with inspiring people and inspiring content and or isolate yourself in a way from the negativity, just by the turning it off or whatever, or accepting it and just kind of leaning into it and be like, tomorrow's another day, it becomes this flywheel.

Liana:

And it's not like every day is a good day at, not at all.

Liana:

You know, that's why I'm embracing my stoicism and my shadow side because it does you a disservice if every time someone asks you, how are you?

Liana:

Like, everything is great.

Liana:

You know, it's like, maybe it's not.

Liana:

That's cool.

Liana:

You don't have to bring anybody down, but it's like, yeah, you know, could be better.

Liana:

And so it is this, it is a flywheel.

Liana:

I, I, I see it, I experience it.

Liana:

I know it, it is a flywheel.

Liana:

And you just have to allow yourself to embrace that, that buzz.

Carlos:

So I, I've got like two pictures of how this inspiration thing could work.

Carlos:

Uh, I got like this kind of top down hierarchical approach.

Carlos:

You've got, uh, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, if you are Gandhi, Obama, you know, people that you think, oh yeah.

Carlos:

And, and then it trickles down, you know.

Carlos:

So the question who inspires the inspires or other people before, before them, but there's always like a big person at the top that just spreads it out.

Carlos:

And then there's more of a kind of a circular aspect.

Carlos:

It's like put, you put yourself in a space with other people just doing, you know, not majorly inspiring on that scale, but still doing inspiring stuff.

Carlos:

So you are all inspiring each other.

Carlos:

So rather than someone has to inspire everyone else, it's like I inspire you, you inspire me, who inspires Laurence?

Carlos:

Who inspires you Again, who inspires Chris, who inspires Anya, who and inspire.

Carlos:

And there's this feeling of like, how can you be in a space where it is not up to one person to inspire everyone?

Carlos:

It's up to everyone to inspire everyone in their own unique, authentic way.

Liana:

It, it happens naturally.

Liana:

And I challenge this concept of what inspiration looks like.

Liana:

You've mentioned all these positive people and you know, you'll know from my talk, I'm like, you wanna see inspiration in action?

Liana:

Look at Nazis.

Liana:

Literally.

Liana:

They, they like mo, they used motivation and storytelling and all of these things to get people to do horrendous things.

Liana:

That is inspiration in action.

Liana:

January 6th.

Liana:

That is inspiration in action.

Liana:

And so long as we refuse to see it in that way, everyone will always think it's corny and never, no one will ever really turn it on.

Liana:

But it's a fire, it's an actual fire.

Liana:

If it could do that, what could it do for climate change?

Liana:

If we could actually stop trying to be everywhere and just like, bang our drum and like, you know, change our own personal behaviors in our own sphere of influence.

Liana:

Don't go, you know, you don't need to glue yourself to a picture if that's not right for you, but, you know, compost, like, you know, like get the, get the, get the simple stuff right.

Liana:

Make that part of your daily bit.

Liana:

Because that's how you get this ground swell.

Liana:

Of, of, of change.

Liana:

Inspiration is not this light, fluffy thing.

Liana:

It's so powerful.

Carlos:

That is a powerful message.

Carlos:

And it feels like in the wrong hands.

Carlos:

Inspiration can cause incredible damage.

Liana:

It does cause incredible damage.

Carlos:

Yeah.

Carlos:

And so it, it's nearly, I'm gonna say a duty.

Carlos:

I don't want it to sound too heavy though.

Carlos:

But at the same time, there is a, there's a power in knowing that we can use inspiration also in much more beneficial ways.

Carlos:

And I'm hearing also a way that's more aligned to what's in your lane, what's in your hole, what's actually, what is is yours to do, as opposed to what everyone else is, is to do.

Carlos:

And one of the things we talk about in our program, in our community, this, uh, Seth Godin's people like us do things like this.

Carlos:

And this other idea of Marshall Gantz is, uh, perspective of story of self, story of us and story of now.

Carlos:

Uh, and knowing what is asked to do.

Carlos:

And then knowing who Connects with that.

Carlos:

And then motivating, like you're saying, people to take action now through skills that we can acquire, which is storytelling.

Carlos:

And I think some people may feel like, oh, there's born storytellers.

Carlos:

Like there's not born entrepreneurs.

Carlos:

It's just people who have, uh, inclination to do something about something that they think is important to do.

Carlos:

And what we need is just more people to inspire each other.

Carlos:

Say, actually, it's okay to do that.

Carlos:

You are allowed to, it's, it's fine as long as you don't hurt anyone.

Carlos:

But you know, go ahead.

Liana:

Like, the rules are so simple, right?

Liana:

Like.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Liana:

This is why I, why, why do we make life so hard?

Carlos:

exactly.

Carlos:

Well, thank you very much, Liana.

Laurence:

Yeah, thanks.

Carlos:

Been a wonderful, lovely, energizing conversation.

Carlos:

I hope it's been helpful and useful for those of you who are listening live.

Carlos:

And I've seen some lovely comments already in the chat.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Carlos:

Thanks to Mark and John-paul and Marga and Russell and Chris and Anya.

Carlos:

So before we end, uh, maybe some final, a final thought, uh, about what, you know, what you're taking away from this conversation.

Liana:

Uh, yeah.

Liana:

I'm just, I'm taking away reassurance.

Carlos:

Lovely.

Carlos:

Thank you.

Carlos:

How about you, Laurence?

Laurence:

Well, I think it's a reminder of don't underestimate what you're doing because we can always feel like there's a massive gap between what we wanna be doing, or feel like we should be doing and what we actually do.

Laurence:

But at the same time, this idea of, I dunno about duty, but there was a responsibility of sorts, which I feel, and so sometimes it's like, well, if no one else is gonna do it, then we better do it.

Laurence:

And so it's that balance, isn't it?

Laurence:

It's like, yeah, but I just wanna go and walk on the beach or play Frisbee, but there's also time for action.

Laurence:

So it's that constant challenge of tension between action and inaction.

Laurence:

And maybe just getting the balance right between, like you said, creating, you know, just doing the work and not just talking about it and or even consuming the wrong things, being conscious of where the inputs come from.

Carlos:

I, I was quite taken to by this idea of just not trying to chase the metrics, you know, whereas the clicks, particularly when it comes to social media and when it comes to speaking out loud, you know, we're looking for the external validation.

Carlos:

How can we be more intrinsically motivated by these things so that we do, we see some impact, we get motivated, we get inspired, we motivated to do some more and, and that flywheel effect.

Carlos:

And I think the, the other thing is you mentioned the person you're talking about, I can't remember who got the funding over two years.

Liana:

Mm-Hmm.

Carlos:

You know, this is be being patient.

Carlos:

You know, this is something we've seen in our community.

Carlos:

You know, some of these ideas take three years to just come to some kind of clarity and fruition.

Carlos:

And so you, I connected to what you said at the beginning, this kind of stoic mentality that's like, you know, just accept where you are now, how it's going.

Carlos:

Don't get bogged down, don't get stuck in the, the viscosity of whatever it is that apathy is creating for you.

Carlos:

And I feel how we do that is to surround ourselves by others trying to do the same.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Carlos:

And that's where we'll get inspired.

Carlos:

We don't have to look to the massive big names out there and try and listen to their TED talks.

Carlos:

We just go and chat to the person next to us who, who we believe is on a similar journey.

Liana:

And you never know who that person next to you will be.

Laurence:

Mm-Hmm.

Liana:

And I would just add, you know, it's about focusing on the metrics that matter.

Liana:

And you have to determine those for yourself.

Liana:

And that is what can drive you.

Liana:

You know, you have to set what you know, success looks like for you.

Liana:

And I genuinely believe any good business story that you ever hear, it takes time.

Liana:

And I'm suspect of anything that happens really quickly.

Liana:

'cause more often than not, it's a fraud, it's a scam, it's not real.

Carlos:

Mm-Hmm.

Liana:

And it blows up eventually.

Liana:

Very rarely does it not.

Carlos:

Mm-Hmm.

Liana:

So it is like you can get yourself all het up trying to follow that road, but that road is a dead end.

Laurence:

I'm imagining some.

Laurence:

Well, I'd love to know what inspiration space meets some account next year looks like, because yeah.

Liana:

Oh my God, that's gonna be literally ridiculous.

Carlos:

Explosion.

Laurence:

Anyway, we've got, uh, 10 months to work that out.

Carlos:

Yeah.

Carlos:

Thank you very much, Liana, I really appreciate your time.

Laurence:

Yeah, thanks your time.

Carlos:

Everyone else.

Liana:

Thank you both

Laurence:

And thank you everyone in the chat.

Carlos:

It's been an inspirational time.

Carlos:

Thank you everyone.

Carlos:

Take care.

Carlos:

Until next week.

Carlos:

Bye-Bye.

Laurence:

Ciao.