The Entrepreneur: Eloise Skinner, One Typical Day and The Purpose Workshop

As well as being the founder of an ed-tech startup and social impact consultancy, Eloise is also an existential therapist and author. We speak to her about her entrepreneurial journey.

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Startups was founded over 20 years ago by a serial entrepreneur. Today, our expert team of writers, researchers, and editors work to provide our 4 million readers with useful tips and information, as well as running award-winning campaigns. We interview successful entrepreneurs from all over the UK, celebrating their achievements, hard work, and determination to get to where they are today.
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Company: One Typical Day and The Purpose Workshop
Founder: Eloise Skinner

Eloise is a master of all trades. Not only does she run One Typical Day, an ed-tech startup that helps students figure out new ways to discover their first careers through a digital platform, she also operates The Purpose Workshop, a social impact business that helps people redesign their lives around their intentions.

Plus, she is the author of The Purpose Handbook and The Junior Lawyers Handbook. All this, whilst running her own podcast centered around spirituality, intentions and existential philosophy, entitled, About Wisdom.

Eloise speaks to Startups about the importance of market research, business challenges, and how video-sharing technology is at the centre of her business.

The Business

Describe your business model and what makes your business unique?

We are a careers content platform for the next generation of students. We work with corporate recruiters and careers services to provide relevant, engaging content for students.

What is your greatest business achievement to date?

Securing our first investment was a big achievement. But working alongside students so that we can tailor the platform exactly to their preferences is the most rewarding aspect.

How did you fund your business?

We raised early-stage equity investment.

What numbers do you look at every day in your business?

We’re early stage, so our most important results are from prototype testing and market research. We measure user engagement and preferences, especially when it comes to content creation.

To what extent does your business trade internationally?

We’re just UK-based for now…. but with international ambitions!

Where would you like your business to be in five years?

We’d like our platform to be shaping the future of careers content. We’d like to enable both recruiters and universities to create new digital strategies.

What software or technology has made the biggest difference to your business?

Video-sharing technology is the centre of our business, and the ability to film, upload and share high-quality video content has been fundamental to the way we work.

Growth challenges

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in business?

The earliest few months – when the business was really just an idea – were the hardest, in terms of motivation and drive. It was difficult to stay with the vision throughout all the early challenges. It takes a lot of discipline to stick to it when the temptation is to switch to an easier alternative!

What was your biggest business mistake and what did you learn from it?

If we could re-do our business journey again, I’d start with market research before doing anything else.

Fortunately, our market research did validate our initial assumptions, but there’s always a danger of progressing an idea before finding a product-market fit.

What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you started on your business journey?

It’s a lonely journey, especially as a solo founder. Finding mentors, team members and investors has been the most supportive thing for me in the journey so far.

It’s a lonely journey as a solo founder. Finding mentors, team members and investors has been the most supportive thing for me in the journey so far.

How has the pandemic affected the market you operate in?

The pandemic has greatly accelerated the shift to digital content, especially in education. This shift (and the resulting interest in edtech investment) has been helpful for us – we’re designing for a post-pandemic world, with all the enduring changes that come with it.

Personal growth

Did you study business or learn on the job?

A mix! I have a background in corporate law, and trained at Oxford Business School (in the executive education programme), so I had some formal education and real-life experience. But building my own start-up was an entirely new challenge!

What would make you a better leader?

Getting consistent, accurate, real-time feedback from the people I work with. I’m a huge fan of feedback – I think it’s the most helpful tool for personal and professional growth.

One business app and one personal app you can’t do without?

Business app: Slack – this is the best way to stay in touch with all the members of my network and team!

Personal app: It would have to be TikTok! It’s the one place on social media where I really feel relaxed and entertained.

A business book or podcast that you think is great.

I love Jason Feifer’s podcast, which is called ‘Build For Tomorrow’. Jason is the editor of Entrepreneur Magazine, and he has an incredibly engaging, storytelling approach to the topics he covers on his podcast.

Finally, what’s the most important piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur starting a business?

Figure out what your central driving force is – whether it’s to give back in some way, or to contribute to the world, or simply to be successful… whatever it is, work out why you’re actually on this journey.

Be honest with yourself about it. And then use this as your source of energy, whenever you feel exhausted or overwhelmed, or if you feel like giving up. Even just reminding yourself why you’re doing your work can give you a sense of inspiration and fuel.

Figure out what your central driving force is – whether it’s to give back in some way, or to contribute to the world, or simply to be successful… whatever it is, work out why you’re actually on this journey.
Written by:
Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website. Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Condé Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism. Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.

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