As part of our ongoing series ‘Focus on Women Entrepreneurs we spoke to Eloise Skinner the founder of One Typical Day and The Purpose Workshop.
Tell us a little about your businesses:
The Purpose Workshop was my first business – a social impact consultancy helping clients navigate a sense of meaning and purpose. We work with clients across the world on the big questions of life: meaning, purpose, identity and passion. Our first book was published in 2021!
My second business is One Typical Day: an ed-tech startup that helps students figure out their first careers. Our intention is to create a socially-inclusive, environmentally-sustainable way to navigate the world of work, designed specifically for students finding a first job.
Where did the ideas come from for the businesses?
The idea for One Typical Day was a direct response to feedback from my audience of young professionals and students. I’d been writing about careers development and professional skills for almost a decade, and I was constantly getting feedback from my readers about what they wanted to hear, and they advice they were looking for. Internships / work experience placements were getting harder to obtain (especially during the pandemic), and there’s also an environmental cost to the current graduate recruitment market. One Typical Day aims to provide a tech-based solution to that problem.
The Purpose Workshop is an extension of my work as an existential therapist: it’s an effort to make the big topics of ‘purpose’ and ‘meaning’ more accessible, especially for students and young professionals!
What were your main challenges and what did you learn from them?
Starting new ventures is always difficult, and it takes a lot of effort to find product-market fit and create traction. Our main solution to this challenge has always been to listen closely to our users and audience – we’ve allowed the businesses to be guided by market demand, even when this requires a pivot. This has been the biggest lesson in starting the businesses – to create something that users or clients genuinely need, rather than something that works for the preferences of the founding team or investors.
What are your plans for the future?
We’re aiming to make lasting, sustainable change in the field of graduate recruitment. Our vision is of a more inclusive, diverse, equitable way of finding a first career, and we hope to reduce the environmental impact of the sector as we do it.
What advice would you give to other first-time founders?
Before you get started, get clear on your personal mission and purpose. If this is clear to you, you’re much more likely to find the resilience and determination you’ll need to sustain your entrepreneurial journey.
What’s your number one tip for success in starting a venture?
Look for a good support system around you – whether it’s an incubator programme, a mentor, or a great founding team, seek out other people who believe in your vision. Starting something new can be intimidating, and you’ll need to have people on your side, regardless of what happens!
Eloise Skinner is an entrepreneur, author and existential therapist. She is the founder of two businesses: One Typical Day (an ed-tech start-up), and The Purpose Workshop (a social impact consultancy).